Dr. Sepehr Lajevardi – Chairman
Dr Sepehr Lajevardi was the elected Treasurer for DAISI from 2015-2017, and the elected Chair of DAISI in 2017. Dr Lajevardi is a plastics advanced trainee resistrar from Concord Hospital, who, along with Dr Mckay, founded DAISI first volunteering in the Solomon Islands in January 2016, doing mainly plastics and hand/tendon surgery. He returned again in June 2017 and returns on a regular basis. Dr Lajevardi has been instrumental in organising the donation of much needed medical supplies and organising funding grants for DAISI projects.
Dr Danny Kozman – Vice Chairman
Dr Danny Kozman was elected the Vice-Chair of DAISI in 2017. Dr Kozman is a colorectal surgeon from St George and Bankstown hospital in Sydney who first visited Honiara and Gizo hospital in July/August 2016. Dr Kozman is keen on teaching all aspects of colorectal and laparoscopic surgery and performed the first open ultra low anterior resection for rectal cancer at Gizo hospital amongst 27 other operations that visit. Although Dr Kozman has a wife and young kids and a busy practice in Sydney he is committed to developing colorectal surgical services in the Solomon Islands and is a key coordinator of a laparoscopic course planned for June/July 2017 at Honiara & Gizo hospitals. Dr Kozman would also like to see an exchange program where surgical trainees can visit Australia and New Zeakand and do observational rotations in surgical units to increase their surgical exposure.
Mark Taffa – Secretary
Mark Taffa is a DAISI member Secretary and the PNG Programme Officer. Mark designs and develops medical equipment, with a keen interest in Pacific Islands development, having volunteered in the highlands of Papua New Guinea for a year in 1984, where he learnt to speak Pidgeon and again to the Enga Province of the Highlands of PNG in 2018 with DAISI. He is currently the PNG Programme Officer.
Mark is a keen supportor of DAISI and has been involved in reclaiming and sending medical equipment to PNG as well as their ongoing maintenance. Through his company Horten Medical, Mark has also sponsored school fees for children in Kagua (Souther Highlands of PNG). Mark is actively involved with DAISI, and a regular sponsor to the Annual DAISI Charity Ball. Mark was part of a DAISI volunteer trip to Enga Province in the highlands in PNG in November 2018 where he is the DAISI representative. He has been instrumental in logistics for repairing and maintaining existing equipment in the Enga Province. Mark is married is married to his doctor wife Maryanne, and has three sons aged , 18, 16, and 13. Mark hopes to return to PNG with his sons.
Prof Peter Hewett – Solomon Islands Progam Officer
Prof. Peter Hewett is a DAISI member, first volunteering in the Solomon Islands in April 2018, where he conducted the fourth laparoscopic session at National Referral Hospital (NRH) in Honiara, teaching various aspects of general and colorectal laparoscopic surgery. Prof Peter Hewett is a Colorectal Surgeon and the head of the Colorectal Surgical Unit at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Adelaide. Prof. Hewett is a keen academic and teacher and an associate editor for Diseases of Colorectal Surgery from 2004 to 2009. Prof. Hewett is committed to humanitarian volunteer work, with most of his overseas charitable work to date as a colorectal surgeon in mainland China. Prof. Hewett has done a number of colorectal surgery development programs in both Gizo Hospital and National Referral Hospital (NRH) in the Solomon Islands, and is currently the DAISI Solomon Islands Program Officer.
a/Prof Chris Berney – Treasurer
Email a/Prof Christophe Berney
Prof Christophe Berney is a colorectal, general upper GI and thyroid surgeon from Sydney who works at Waratah and Hurstville Private and Bankstown-Lidcomb public hospital and serves as 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. Prof Christophe Berney has also been involved in Mercy Ship visits to needy countries in Africa. In March 2019 Prof Berney took over the role of Treasurer for DAISI.
Graeme Wertheimer – Medical Student Liaison Officer
Mr Graeme Wertheimer is the medical student liaison officer. Graeme is a medical student from Notre Dame university who volunteered for one week at Gizo hospital in April 2017 accompanying a general surgical and gynae team.
Nili Hali -Legal Officer
Nili is a barrister who has provided pro bono legal support for DAISI in all matters since 2015.
Mr Sam Deylami – Finance Officer
Mr Daylami is DAISI’s official accountant and adviser in all finance matters.
Research & Education Program Officer
Dr Anubhav Mittal is a heoatobiliary surgeon and academic surgeon from Royal North Shore and Ryde Hospital in Northern Sydney who has a keen interest in surgical research. He has conducted a number of DAISI trips with a keen interest in laparoscopic surgery. Dr Mittal is currently the Research and Education program coordinator involved in supervising Pacific Islands research proposals.