DAISI’s Board of Directors consist of a Chair, two Deputy Chairs, a Treasurer & Secretary. All are honarary volunteer positions with no salary. These positions are voted in by members every two years (the odd year). All decisions concerning DAISI Policy and Directives must pass DAISI Executive Board approval by majority vote.
a/Prof Matthew Rickard. ChairpersonEmail a/Prof Matthew Rickard
Associate Professor Matt Rickard is the current Chairperson of DAISI. Matt is a Colorectal Surgeon at Concord Hospital and Macquarie University Hospital. He is the immediate past chair of the Australian and New Zealand Training Board of Colorectal Surgery, previous chair of the RACS Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery and previous CSSANZ council member. Matt has had a longstanding interest in humanitarian work. He has worked in Kenya and South Africa for a number of years He also works with PANGEA (formerly Specialists Without Borders) and, throughout the 2010’s, has been on 5 trips with Pangea to Rwanda, Malawi and Zimbabwe. He has also volunteered and operated in Cambodia and East Timor. Matt first volunteered with DAISI in the Solomon Islands, and now is actively involved in implementing laparoscopic training in Port Moresby and Papua New Guinea’s remote Highlands at Sopas Hospital.
Dr Daniel Kozman. Co-Deputy Chairperson
Dr Daniel Kozman is the elected Co Deputy Chair of DAISI. From 2017 – 2019 he was also the Deputy Chair of DAISI. Dr Kozman is a colorectal surgeon from St George and Bankstown Hospital in Sydney who first volunteered at Honiara and Gizo hospital in Solomon Islands July/August 2016. Dr Kozman has since done multiple trips to Kiribati. Dr Kozman is keen on teaching all aspects of colorectal and laparoscopic surgery. Dr Kozman has also been instrumental in providing necessary surgery in Australia not available in the Solomon Islands. Dr Kozman has also been a key organiser & participant for DAISI’s reclaiming and shipping of medical equipment to the South Pacific. .
Prof Christophe Berney. Co-Deputy Chairperson
Email Prof Christophe Berney
Prof Christophe Berney is the elected Co Deputy Chair of DAISI. Prior to this he was the Acting Secretary in 2019. Prof Berney is a General surgeon from Sydney with expertise in colorectal, upper GI and thyroid surgery and hernia surgery having both public and private hospital appointments. Prof Berney is head of department of general surgery at Bankstown hospital and also a Conjoint Professor with the University of NSW. Prof Berney has a keen interest in humanitarian work in developing countries and first volunteered with DAISI in Gizo (Solomon Islands) in September 2017, has returned to the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and PNG as a DAISI volunteer on a numerous occasions.
Dr Anaimattam Natesa (Santee)
Santee Santhanam. Treasurer
Dr Santhanam is the elected Treasurer of DAISI. Dr Santhanam was born in Chennai, India, and graduated from Medicine at Madras University in 1968 and migrated to Australia in 1972, trained at Royal Newcastle hospital, from June 72 till jan 1980, and was in Sydney Hospital, in 1980 and at St Marks for 6 months in 1988. After a short hon. fellowship in Sydney hospital, Dr Santhanam started his private specialist practice in 1981, mostly colorectal and some general surgery. Dr Santhanam worked for many years at Belmont public hospital, and now works at Lake MacQuarie Private Hospital and Mater Private Hospital in Sydney where his is involved in colorectal and robotic surgery.
Dr Santhanam visited and taught surgery as a DAISI member at a number of hospitals in the Solomon Islands, including the Methodist Helena Goldie Hospital in Munda and the government Gizo Hospital in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. He also visited Taro hospital in the remote Choiseul province on a fact finding mission in January 2017. In 2020 Santee conducted a fact finding trip to Alotau Hospital, Milne Bay district of Papua New Guinea, establishing a working partnership and Memorandum of Understanding.
Dr Gary McKay. Secretary
Dr Gary McKay is the founding member of DAISI & the current elected Secretary. A general & colorectal surgeon from Sydney, Dr McKay and his wife Roshini first became involved in development aid work in India in 1993, where they worked as volunteers for several years establishing a health clinic & Vision 2000 Community Health Centre in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. In 2015 Dr McKay and his wife Roshini and surgical registrar Dr Sepehr Lajevardi conducted their first DAISI volunteer trip to Gizo Hospital in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands, with numerous DAISI trips to the South-Pacific since.
Dr McKay is passionate about social injustice issues and part of his drive is a desire to address the imbalance in wealth that exists between Australia and its closest South-Pacific Neighbours with regard to access to health care services and basic essential resources.