Paul Bernsconi

Paul Bernasconi, MAppFin, GAICD

Paul’s private advisory work augments his extensive global financial markets background having worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Tokyo, New York and Sydney throughout his investment banking career.

With over 25 years’ experience with institutional banking, specialising in currencies and financial risk management, he also has a strong business development history. His client relationships have spanned multi-national and domestic asset managers, sovereign wealth funds, private and public investment funds, corporate treasuries, financial intermediaries, not-for-profit organisations, unlisted companies and high net wealth individuals

During his career he has also had senior involvement in graduate and intern recruitment programs, mentoring roles and actively participated in community and charitable giving initiatives.

Paul holds a Masters of Applied Finance from Macquarie University and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

“I was honoured to join the CRBF Board to help realise Cooper’s  vision of changing the current trajectory of sarcoma. Setting that seemingly Herculean goal was typical of a lad who was raised to relished a challenge, involved those about him, and pursued a sense of justice, despite knowing those efforts were only likely to benefit others. That sense of mateship, good humour and selflessness were the pillars of friendship between Coops and one of his great sporting allies and adversaries; my nephew Matt Jones.
I am proud to be part of pursuing Cooper’s mission in his absence, on behalf of his dear friend, my nephew Matthew,  and in the shared hope of preventing others from ever walking in such pernicious footsteps. “

Jennifer McAsey

Jennifer McAsey has been a journalist for more than 30 years, working in print, broadcast media, film and as a lecturer and communications specialist.

She began her career in Victoria, working for the ABC and then for The Age, before being transferred to Sydney to work as the newspaper’s bureau chief.

She spent two years lecturing at Western Sydney University, and then more than 15 years as a senior journalist at The Australian newspaper, working as a feature writer, section editor and later specialising in sport. She has won numerous awards for her coverage of sports including the AFL, athletics and netball.

In 2009 Jennifer was appointed General Manager, Communications, at the Swans, utilising her expertise to enhance media coverage of the club.

For the past five years years she has been a freelance researcher and writer, and most recently wrote the coaching memoir for former Sydney Swans coach, Paul Roos.

‘I feel privileged to support Tania, Colin and Mitch as they carry on the work that Cooper started. It’s impossible not to be inspired by Cooper’s incredible bravery in the face of his illness, and his extraordinary selflessness to raise funds for sarcoma research, even though he knew it may not help him. Sarcoma is a devastating illness and it’s crucial that we provide the experts with all the resources they need to find treatments that will improve outcomes in the future.’

Heide Robson


Heide is a highly accomplished tax accountant, businesswoman and philanthropist, with over 28 years of experience in accountancy.  Heide is currently a Tax Accountant with Rosen Partners, Bondi Junction, and  prior to this was a Senior Accountant with both BHP Billiton, Melbourne, and Siemens, Melbourne.

Heide is the Founder and Host of Tax Talks Sydney, and the Founder/CFO of Needu, Australia’s first free recruitment platform for SME employers.

Heide is mother to five  children,  who fill her with great pride.  However beyond that she is a self-confessed “tax nerd” and living and breathing tax which she says, “leads my  family to think that makes me incredibly boring.”

The first time I ‘met’ Cooper was when I read his school magazine article about having had cancer. He would have mentioned Sarcoma but I had never heard that word and so glanced straight over it. The main thing was that Cooper was well again. A year later my son whispered that Cooper died. The school sent a note the next day. Sarcoma. I went to  Cooper’s website and realised that Cooper had spent the last two years of his life trying to spare others from what he faced. He identified sarcoma is on the rise and targeting our young, and most of all that the survival rates are low with no improvement in sight due to the lack of research. How can we let our young die like this? CRBF is Cooper’s legacy. He worked tirelessly to the very end trying to save patients with sarcoma, after him. We need to help Cooper and continue where he was stopped. To save our children experiencing what he was forced to.”

Michael Furlong

Michael Furlong BA LLB (University of Sydney)

Diploma of Law (College of Law), Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales

Professional Experience:

October 1995 – Present Corporation Head Solicitor/General Legal Counsel -The AUTORE Group of Companies.

The Autore Group is a vertically integrated South Sea pearling corporate group which was established as an international wholesale pearl merchant business operating out of Sydney in 1991.

In 2004, The Group expanded its operations to include South Sea pearl farming when it established P.T. Autore Pearl Culture, an Indonesian entity, operating various pearl farms in Indonesia, mainly on the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa.

In April 2006, the Group purchased an Australian South Sea pearling group, the Clipper Pearling Group which operated various open sea pearling leases and associated pearl hatchery operations in the Kimberley coastal region with offices in Broome, Western Australia.

In 2007, the Group became involved in both the manufacture and wholesale and retail sale of its own range of bespoke South Sea Pearl jewellery and for some 3 to 5 years the Group operated retail stores both in Australia (Sydney and Broome) and Macau and through retail partnerships with.

In April 2006, the Group purchased an Australian South Sea pearling group, the Clipper Pearling Group which operated various open sea pearling leases and associated pearl hatchery operations in the Kimberley coastal region with offices in Broome, Western Australia.

As the Group’s General Legal Counsel since 1995, having been its external solicitor since 1992, I have seen and been intrinsically involved with and in its development as one of the world’s leading pearling businesses. The legal work I have been required to oversee runs the full gamut of commercial legal practice with particular emphasis on contractual negotiation and drafting, trade practices and trade marks law, administrative and employment law, Australian and international commercial law, commercial litigation and pearling law (Australian pearl producers and their operations are governed by specific state and territory-based legislation).

“I first met Cooper in about 2007 when I was the club cricket coach of his older brother, Mitchell. Cooper would attend the team’s training sessions and was keen to join us despite the 3 year age differential. Cooper was initially a little tentative but with some encouragement, not much was necessary, he was soon participating as if he was a fully-fledged member of the team. It was clear from the start that he was a talented young athlete who coupled his talent with a raw enthusiasm, both to prove his worth and also to try to get under his brother’s skin and prove his worth.

Initially, I was concerned to ensure that Cooper’s involvement did not put him in any physical danger but those concerns were soon assuaged by his ability to hold his own against boys significantly older and more physically developed. It was an early indication of his competitive spirit and determination and it wasn’t long before I recruited Cooper to play for us when various rep players were unable to play club matches in light of their rep cricket demands.

Cooper never shirked from the challenge, whether in the field or with the bat. He was always up to the challenge and was a very welcome addition to the side. For some 3 or 4 seasons, Cooper was effectively a member of the team and on a number of occasions it was his contribution that got the side over the line. Cooper was one for whom stepping up to the plate was never a problem. The bigger the challenge, the greater delight in seeing if he could meet it. He mostly did.

Cooper’s competitive nature and desire was impossible to miss but it appeared to be positively based and healthy as opposed to being self-indulgent or merely driven by ego. He was a team player and wanted the team to do well, not just himself. These were characteristics deeply imbedded. He was a great example to us all as was his courage in the face of a much bigger challenge, one which claimed him ultimately but not without a fight.

His battle was an incredibly difficult one which he bore with grace and fortitude and his desire to do what he could to assist others similarly suffering was a further indicator of his thoughtfulness and staunchness. Impressive! When an opportunity presented itself to me to see if I could assist, there was no way I could not agree to try to step up to the plate and do my bit. If, in any way, my contribution can make the lives of fellow sufferers a little better (and hopefully considerably better), I will be very happy to be working in Cooper’s shadow and re-tracing his gutsy steps.”


Ross McLean

ROSS McLEAN,  BA (UNSW), LLB (Hons) (Sydney), LLM (Dist.) (London)

Ross was for 25 years a partner, and is now Of Counsel, in the Sydney office of global law firm Baker McKenzie. In addition to managing the brand, marketing and commercial  work for a range of multinational consumer law clients, Ross was also the pro bono partner and lawyer for significant charities including Benevolent Society, the oldest continuously operating charity in NSW.

Of his connection with Cooper he notes:  “I first met Cooper when we shared scoring duties for his brother Mitchell’s Sydney Grammar U 13 cricket team, when Cooper was just nine.  His love of all things sport, his ambition to be as good as he could be at his chosen sports and his closeness to and support of his family were apparent from the outset. These ingredients and his engagingly quirky personality helped us form a strong bond over succeeding years. I followed his development and achievements closely, often surprised at what he was capable of when he set his mind to it. I see Cooper’s example in his last year as setting the benchmark for the effort and tenacity that CBRF must demonstrate so that real progress is made, and ultimately victory achieved, in the fight that Cooper began. I am pleased to help CRBF take up that fight.

2015-07-10 Keith Cox

Keith Cox, OAM


Keith was the Oncology/ Chemotherapy Nurse Practitioner at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse unil the end of 2017, after some 38 years in cancer nursing.  He now remains involved in a consultant role. He is a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Sydney, and is an Accreditation Assessor for the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC)

As a Nurse Practitioner, Keith bore a greater responsibility than a regular nurse, prescribing medicine, ordering tests and screenings,  and the referral of patients to other medical professionals.

Keith is a Board member of Cancer institute, Board member of the Biaggio Signorelli Foundation, for Research into Mesothelioma, Member of the Chris O’Brien partnership Advisory council, and committee member of the Foundation. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in the 2007 Queen’s Birthday honours list for his services to Cancer Nursing, his work with youth and his volunteer work.  Keith has a wide range of research experience and numerous publications.

I first met Cooper and his parents, when he first visited the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse to discuss chemotherapy. We connected from that first meeting as we talked about chemotherapy and its side effects. As he continued on his Cancer journey, we became very close, Cooper and I would be able to communicate on all levels.  It was a privilege to have cared for Cooper.

Publications in peer-reviewed journals

Cox KM, Goel S, O’Connell RL, Boyer M, Beale PJ, Simes RJ & Stockler MR. (2011 epub). Randomized cross – over trial comparing inpatient and outpatient administration of high dose cisplatin, Internal Medicine Journal

McKenzie H, Hayes L, White K, Cox K, Fethney J, Boughton M & Dunn J. (2010 Epub). Chemotherapy outpatients’ unplanned presentations to hospital: a retrospective study, Supportive Care in Cancer


Keynote, Plenary and Invited Conference Presentations, Workshops and Panel Discussions

Cox KM (2010) Leadership in Australian Cancer Nursing. Cancer Nurses Society of Australia 13th Winter Congress, Perth, July

Cox K (2010) Treatment Developments. Session Chair, 16th International Conference on Cancer Nursing, Atlanta, USA, March
Cox KM (2009) Recent advances and practical solutions in managing chemotherapy side effects. COSA Annual Scientific Meeting, Gold Coast, November

Cox KM (2009) Cancer Information Update and its relevance to Enrolled Nurses, Enrolled Nurses Conference, Bomaderry, September

Cox K (co-facilitator) (2009) Venous Access Device Workshop. 12th CNSA Winter Congress, Newcastle, June

Cox KM (2009) Management of Tumour Lysis Syndrome. 12th CNSA Winter Congress, Newcastle, 3–4 June

Cox KM, Stirling A, Baychek K, Sister Act: CERS in Chemotherapy ambulatory unit. 6th conference of The Australian College of Nurse Practitioners, Adelaide, 6–8 October 2011