About Us

Our Vision is to:

  • support neurological disease research and novel therapy clinical trials;
  • provide Brisbane’s research institutions with a central co-ordination point for the ground breaking clinical trials and research which are being undertaken here in Queensland;
  • effectively support expert researchers in the field through grant funding, cooperative institutions and clinical trial opportunities.

Just like the nervous system, it’s all about the connections.


We Value


of all stakeholders is essential including patients, clinical carers, donors and the research community.


in funding, research outcomes, reporting and communication.

Commitment & Resilience

There is no easy answer in research. We are willing to undertake the hard yards.

Nerve Connection Foundation was established in 2021 to address the gaps in knowledge between MND and its close relatives, and coordinated multi-institutional investigations.

It is the aim of the Foundation to create opportunities for connections between patients, research mechanisms, virtual and physical institutions and the next generation of medical minds.

The Nerve Connection Foundation’s activities will be targeted, specific and in face-to-face and virtual environments.  All funds raised will be used specifically for neurological disease research. What’s more, with our research headquarters based in Brisbane, the Foundation is perfectly positioned for connection both here and abroad.

Dr Robert Henderson is the instigator of the Foundation. He is a Brisbane neurologist with over 25 years’ experience in his chosen field and a special interest in that bundle of rare neurological diseases, in particular Motor Neurone Disease.

Time in Northern America early in Rob’s career saw him working alongside brilliant minds – mentors who  gave him the strongly held belief that diseases of the brain and nerves were medicine’s last frontier. Two decades later that frontier has been broached, and these once mysterious illnesses are far better understood.

It’s now a case of connections. Not just with nerves, but with wonderful people who are willing to support Nerve Connection Foundation.

Nerve Connection Foundation is run by volunteers, each with a specific area of expertise, ranging from neurology and research to finance, law, media and education. This keeps administrative and compliance costs to a minimum, which means the very best outcome for the valuable funding raised.

The Nerve Connection Foundation Board

The People Behind the Nerve Connection Foundation

Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO

Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO


Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO is a Queensland lawyer, academic and human rights advocate.  She holds degrees in Arts and Law from The University of Queensland and was admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1965.  Dame Quentin has held many positions of service, including Director of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Queensland and the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner.  In 2003 Dame Quentin was appointed Governor of Queensland, and later became the first female Governor-General of Australia, a role which she held from 2008 – 2014.  A life of service has seen Dame Quentin awarded many honours, including Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Companion of the Order of Australia and most notably Dame of the Order of Australia in 2014.  Nerve Connection Foundation appreciates greatly the support of this accomplished woman and wonderful Australian.
Dr Helen Brown MB, BCh, BAO, FRACP, MPhil

Dr Helen Brown MB, BCh, BAO, FRACP, MPhil

Vice Patron

Dr Helen Brown graduated in Medicine from the National University of Ireland, Galway. She relocated to Queensland in 2001 and attained her neurology fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. She was awarded a Master of Philosophy from Griffith University in 2011.

Helen is the Deputy Director-General of Clinical Director of Clinical Excellence Queensland.  She is passionate about ongoing education and is the Queensland Chair for the Australian and New Zealand Association for Neurologists (ANZAN) Education Committee and a Senior Lecturer with The University of Queensland. 

Helen brings to her role as Vice Patron of Nerve Connection Foundation a drive to re-imagine how neuroscience care is delivered in the future by aligning a research program to a clinical innovation agenda.

Associate Professor Robert Henderson MBBS (Hons), PhD, FRACP

Associate Professor Robert Henderson MBBS (Hons), PhD, FRACP

Director and Advisory Board Chair

A graduate of The University of Queensland, Dr Henderson MBBS (Hons), PhD, FRACP, undertook his neurology traineeship at the RBWH. After attaining his fellowship in Neurology from the Royal Australian College of Physicians, he continued his studies at the Robart’s Research Institute in Canada and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA, becoming a Senior Neurophysiology Fellow.

He is a member of the Australian Medical Association, the Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists (currently national secretary), and Co-Director of the RBWH Motor Neurone Disease Multi-Disciplinary Clinic.

Rob is very well connected in the area of clinical neuromuscular research, and the driving force behind the establishment of Nerve Connection Foundation. Rob’s passion for research and results make him an excellent chair of the advisory board. His expertise, connections and dedication are an asset to the Foundation and its aims.

Wendy Blucher LLB, GAICD, AGIA

Wendy Blucher LLB, GAICD, AGIA

Director and Company Secretary, Advisory Board Member

Wendy Blucher holds a Bachelor of Laws from QUT and is admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Courts of Queensland and Victoria and the High Court of Australia. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Associate of the Governance Institute of Australia.

Wendy has over 20 years’ experience as a commercial solicitor, both in private practice and in-house. She is currently Legal Counsel with The University of Queensland where she provides advice around the complex research undertakings of the organisation. Wendy also sits on the Queensland advisory board of the Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia.

Wendy contributes significantly to the legal, governance and compliance aspects of the work of Nerve Connection Foundation.

Professor Pamela McCombe

Professor Pamela McCombe

Director and Advisory Board Member

Dr McCombe graduated in Medicine from The University of Queensland before training as a neurologist in Sydney at Prince Henry and Prince of Wales Hospitals. She went on to obtain a PhD from The University of Sydney and thereafter gained extensive experience in Neurophysiology in Cleveland, USA. Pam was previously the Head of the Royal Brisbane Clinical School in the School of Medicine and Co-head of the Brain and Mental Health Theme at the UQ Centre for Clinical Research. She currently has research interests in multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and other neuromuscular diseases.

Pam’s dedication to the study of neurology and clinical trials, as well as her commercial acumen in the research space, make her a very welcome contributor to the operations of Nerve Connection Foundation.

Michael Williams B.Com, Dip FC, CA

Michael Williams B.Com, Dip FC, CA

Advisory Board Member

Michael has some 39 years experience in accounting and finance, including the areas of audit, tax, and business services. He is a Director of Hall Chadwick Qld, Chartered Accountants, and an independent member of the national Hall Chadwick Group, Australia and New Zealand.

Michael has previously worked with not-for-profit organisations, has been on Assurance and Audit Committees, and now provides professional advice across a broad range of industries and business structures. His financial acumen, pragmatic approach and commercial nous are assets well utilised on the advisory board. Michael also brings a considered and caring approach to his work with Nerve Connection Foundation.

Kylie Blucher

Kylie Blucher

Advisory Board Member

Kylie is the Managing Director of Nine Queensland and NBN Television in NSW. She has spent more than 25 years working in the television and radio industry and has extensive knowledge of the Australian media landscape. Kylie contributes immense understanding of marketing, communication and commercial strategy to the advisory board.

Kylie has held several board positions over the past 10  years, including Major Brisbane Festival (Deputy Chair), Surf Lifesaving Queensland Foundation, the Queensland Eye Institute Foundation, Youngcare, the Queensland Performing Arts Trust and currently sits on the Tourism & Events Queensland Board and is the President of the Committee for Brisbane.

Kylie brings to the advisory board a wealth of executive and business experience, and a certain dedication to assisting others.

Melissa Watter

Melissa Watter

Advisory Board Member

Melissa Watter is a highly skilled strategic communications professional, passionate about the power of compelling organisational storytelling. Her journalism career began in regional and metropolitan newspapers, before moving to the broadcast arena where she was a senior political reporter, holding reporting and producing roles in news and current affairs programs within the Seven and Ten networks.

In 2000 she co-founded a successful consultancy, Sequel PR, which for over two decades delivered strategic marketing communications advice to private and public sector clients nationally. Melissa has helped pilot a wide range of high-profile brands and respected organisations through times of change and challenge by developing creative internal and external communications strategies and implementing robust crisis management plans.

She has spearheaded national public awareness and education campaigns; helped deliver large scale events; worked closely with scientists, clinicians and researchers to translate complex information to a broad audience; and assisted organisations to bring staff and stakeholders along on important journeys. A soughtafter media trainer, facilitator, and presenter, Melissa has trained hundreds of people from all walks of life, including some of Australia’s top executives, politicians and sporting stars, to become media-savvy and camera ready. A trusted advisor, Melissahas also shared her expertise as a committee member and volunteer Board Director for non-profit and community organisations.

Postal Address

GPO Box 389
Brisbane QLD 4001