Who We Are

We are completely patient centric and controlled.  Clinicians, pharmaceutical companies or other external stakeholders do not manage us.  We care because most of us in Dragon claw have rheumatoid disease or lupus and we want to reduce stress and isolation and make a positive difference to the way health jurisdictions treat people with chronic disease.  We are all unpaid volunteers.

Dragon Claw (www.dragon-claw.org) is owned and operated by, Dragon Claw Charity Ltd (ABN 7361371775 and ACN 621371775).  The original not-for-profit operation was established on 6 May 2014 and is registered in NSW, Australia. Dragon Claw Charity Ltd now operates the Dragon Claw website and this entity was registered on 13 September, 2017.  The site is designed for people with Rheumatoid and Lupus disease, young people with arthritis and carers who may be located anywhere in the world.

We plan to develop Dragon Claw in a way that will enable better management of self-care, reduce member isolation and stress and provide a set of tools and services that will make a difference.

Dragon Claw Charity Ltd is registered under Australian law. 

Board Member Profiles

Michael Gill, Founder

Michael Gill

Since August 2014, Mike has focused on establishing Dragon Claw, a website-based community providing support for Rheumatoid Disease, Lupus and Juvenile Arthritis sufferers and their Care-givers.  Prior to this, Mike worked at Cisco Systems Inc. in senior executive level roles gaining wide and diverse experience across three spheres: connected online health care, online retail and large enterprise intranet strategies.

Mike has also managed his own consulting business working in the area of organisational performance, chairing committees, performance coaching and providing business and marketing strategy on healthcare and the internet.

Mike has severe rheumatoid disease and fully understands the on-going, up and down journey of a person with a chronic disease seeking support and information about their disease.

He enjoys unearthing and sharing good research on his disease and is a Patient Research Partner for the British Medical Journal. He works consistently on his own self-care and care coordination, which he is passionate about sharing with all patients and carers.

Denis Tebbutt, Chair

Denis2

Denis has over 30 years experience in senior executive leadership roles in Australia, the UK and Switzerland across international software businesses and as advisor and mentor to innovative new entrants. The past fifteen years have been heavily focused on the healthcare sector and its adoption of patient focused technologies that have included advisory roles with national bodies engaged in the development of ehealth records to support improved patient care.

As an active national board member of the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) he chaired the 2014 Telehealth Conference during his three-year term.

He is a Director of the Pearcey Institute and MD of Dudley Mann International dedicated to promoting the development of Australian innovation.

Denis is currently Chair of Dragon Claw and committed to growing self awareness and management of hidden disabilities.

Susan Hughes, Treasurer

IMG 1526 

Susan is a writer, career coach, entrepreneur, and campaigner who brings endless passion to whatever she focuses on.  She has extensive experience business development, relationship management and consulting in private organisations and government agencies. Susan joined the Dragon Claw team in 2011 as a volunteer and is the current Treasurer.

She was  also a founding Board Member for Employers Making a Difference (now the Australian Network on Disability). She is passionate about the health, safety and welfare of children having recently launched a unique trademarked hi-viz product for school-aged kids.

Susan was diagnosed with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2005 and was disappointed at the lack of professional healthcare support and information provided to her at the time. Since then, she has wanted to improve the journey for present and future sufferers, and has been working with Mike Gill and Dragon Claw since meeting Mike at a workshop on self-care organised by a general arthritis organisation.

Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal AC, Patron

dr haikerwal

Educated as a doctor in the UK, Mukesh emigrated to Melbourne in 1990.

He is a former national president of the AMA and former Chairperson of the World Medical Association Council.  In July 2014 he was appointed as the Chairperson of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).  In 2017 he was appointed as board member  (alongside Chair / former Prime Minister Julia Gillard) of Beyondblue, Australia’s organisation supporting sufferers of depression and anxiety.

In 2011, Mukesh was made an Officer of the Orderof Australia  and  in 2018 he was upgraded to a Companion of the Order of Australia, Australia's highest civilian honour.

Andrew Thirlwell, Board Member

Andrew Thirlwell

Andrew commenced his career in health with Novartis Pharmaceuticals before moving to Pfizer in 2009 where he has focussed on Government and External Relations. He is currently the Director of Corporate Affairs,and is passionate about politics and influencing policy to improve the health outcomes of patients.

Andrew holds a BSc in Pharmacology & Microbiology, a post-graduate in Epidemiology, Health Economics and Statistics. He is a fundraiser for Carers Australia and the McGrath Foundation, and he has lupus.

You can contact the Dragon Claw administration and the directors via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Aim

Dragon Claw aims to provide information, community and support for registered users.  The site is designed to minimise the stress and anxiety felt by many carers and patients suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), diagnosed as medium to severe.  We use the term Rheumatoid Disease (RD) to cover the three diseases and to de-emphasise the term ‘arthritis’.  The term ‘arthritis’ is both misleading and fails to denote the wider aspects of the disease.

Please note, this site is not a medically accredited site and does not purport to provide medical or diagnostic advice.

Concept

People with Rheumatoid Disease often go through three distinct stages; crisis and isolation, acceptance and stabilisation and finally living with the condition.  Associated with this is the development of co-morbidities, especially those diagnosed with medium to severe conditions.

This implies that the progression of the disease intersects with the development of other disease states as time goes by. To help address these issues, Dragon Claw encourages electronic collaboration, provides reference information and allows users to detail their own experiences and make suggestions.  We believe that RD is a multi-dimensional condition that requires management across many subject domains, not just those defined as clinical.

We believe that to maximise support to the carer and to the registered user, the web site must dynamically relate a person’s disease state to his or her own specific co-morbidities.  The way the site eventually operates will increasingly reflect this dynamic relationship.

For many people Rheumatoid Disease (RD) can be felt like an unpleasant animal moving around the body biting and scratching.  Occasionally, the dragon rears up and breaths fire, which is felt as a flare, hence the name.

Funding

The website is and will be funded in four ways, as follows:

  • Personal funds from the directors;
  • Philanthropic support from business entities;
  • Funding via our Crowd Sourcing applications; and
  • Tax deductible donations.

All excess funds (if any) are used to maintain and expand the site. The company directors do not take a salary or seek reimbursement for services within their areas of responsibility.  Please refer to our donor’s page for more information.