Board Member Profile: Ben Young
Wednesday, 17th June 2015

Shake It Up board member, Ben Young joined the foundation back in 2013 initially as our CEO but after returning to the corporate sector Ben transitioned to a position on the board.  We caught up with Ben to ask him what attracts him to the not for profit sector and what he loves about his role at Shake It Up.

What drives you to contribute to the not-for-profit sector?

The sector gives us all the unique opportunity to make a difference to the causes we care about.
For me that cause is medical research as I, my wife and our two young boys have been fortunate enough to see firsthand the impact that advancements in medical research have had on our family.

What attracted you to Shake It Up?

Aside from the clear focus on research there were two key attractions for me.

Firstly it is the business model that underpins all of the foundations activities. As someone who holds undergraduate degrees focussing on Business and Economics as well as a Masters of Business Administration, I am enthused by efficient and effective business structures. The low overhead, high impact model developed by Shake It Up ticks the boxes for me. With the founding directors covering the overheads and a robust research assessment model provided by the partnership with the Michael J. Fox Foundation, it would be hard to find a more commercial approach in the NFP sector.

The other major attraction is our Founder, Clyde Campbell and his family. After meeting and getting to know the Campbell family it was clear that I was joining a foundation with absolute purity of motive. It is most refreshing to come to work each day knowing that there are no hidden agendas but rather a clear and unwavering commitment to find the cure for Parkinson’s.

What do you most enjoy about the foundation?

Meeting Australians all over the country who are passionate about finding a cure for Parkinson’s and who are doing what they can to advance that quest. Everyone has a story and everyone can contribute in their own way. I love hearing those stories and being inspired by the way people take themselves out of their comfort zones to contribute in whatever way they can.

I also love the opportunity to form collaborative partnerships with other likeminded organisations. There are a number of Parkinson’s groups around the country who are all doing great things within their own area of focus. I firmly believe that when it comes to research we can do far more united then we could ever do on our own and I am extremely encouraged about the potential for us to come together and speak with one voice.

And of course, there is the research. Meeting with Aussie researchers and hearing about the advancements they are making is extraordinary. We truly do have some of the brightest minds in the world taking us closer to a cure right here in Australia.

How can the Shake It Up community help to share the message about Parkinson’s and the need for research?

Talking. Every conversation about Parkinson’s builds public awareness and brings the disease into the spotlight. Within your home, amongst your friends, or in your workplace you can start a conversation about Parkinson’s. Whether it is educating others about the disease, about the need for research or the importance of collaboration – it all helps.