People with Multiple Sclerosis and related conditions in Otago can participate to their fullest in society.
The Otago Multiple Sclerosis Society empowers people with Multiple Sclerosis and related conditions, their families and caregivers by supporting them to participate in all communities relevant to them.
MS Otago’s official name is The Otago Multiple Sclerosis Society Incorporated. Ms Otago is an Incorporated Society with charitable status. Our charity number is CC28916.
You can find our Performance Reports and charity details in the Charities Register.
Executive Committee members
MS Otago is governed by an Executive Committee.
Lorraine Johnston – President & Treasurer
Lorraine has been a bank officer, a university lecturer and a Librarian in a long and varied career. She has had considerable experience serving on and chairing committees during her work and non-work life. In recent years she has been Secretary for The Friends of the Globe Theatre, President of the Dunedin Public Library Association (Friends of the Library) and served on the committee for Swing Riot swing dance community.
Lorraine has served on the MS Otago committee since 2021 and has been President since 2022.
Claire Hargest – Vice President
I am the current vice president of the Otago Multiple Sclerosis Society and have been a committee member since 2019.
My interest in MS stems from my clinical background as a physiotherapist. I have worked with many people living with multiple sclerosis and share their frustrations about how to live well with a poorly understood and unpredictable condition.
My hope is that as a committee, we can educate the wider community on the impact MS can have on a person’s life and, to provide people living with MS the information and support required to maximise their day to day life. In particular I am interested in promoting physical activity amongst people living with MS and ensuring our community is accessible to allow people to be as active as possible.
Born in Ōtautahi Jan trained as a nurse in Christchurch, as a midwife in the UK and has a degree in philosophy with particular interest in healthcare and business ethics.
After working in the public health system in the UK and NZ, Jan joined Roche Pharmaceuticals based in Auckland in 1999. As a respected senior leader and Medical
Director, she established a medical division over the ensuing 20 years responsible for significant investment in clinical trials in NZ, developing a top-class global medicine information service, advancing compassionate medicine supply for kiwis in need, and leading a team working closely with patients, specialists, MEDSAFE and PHARMAC to support the safe and appropriate use of Roche medicines.
As a retiree Jan has volunteered for Mercy Hospice in Auckland and the WBoP Museum in Katikati. Now living in Ōtepoti, Jan is loving being a nana to her granddaughter and exploring the beautiful southern region.
Jan sits on the MS Research Trust, MSNZ and MS Otago executive committees with a keen interest to ensure people with MS get a fair go in NZ.
Originally from California, I became involved with MS Otago through one of my student placements as part of the Masters in Social and Community Work training through the University of Otago. After spending three months learning from the field worker at the time and from the MS community in Otago, I felt compelled to join the committee. My interest in becoming involved with the local MS community comes from my own lived experience as a family member of someone with Multiple Sclerosis.
My father was diagnosed with MS in 1999 and his experience with the disease had a major influence on me, eventually leading to my interest in social work. I am passionate about supporting families and young people, and feel strongly that supporting whānau impacted by MS is an essential part of supporting our MS communities.
This is my first role in governance and I hope to be able to bring some of my knowledge and experience from involvement with MS Societies in the United States to the work being done here in Otago. Outside of my involvement with the society, I am also a Social Worker with the Otago Youth Wellness Trust, here in Dunedin.
Kia Ora Koutou katoa
Ko Amanda Greer Tōku Ingoa
I feel extremely privileged to represent MS Otago as a committee member. I live with repeating remitting MS and can empathise with the challenges MS brings.
I offer 30 years of educational experience to the board with previous roles in leadership, business and community engagement. I have a special interest in innovative projects which meet the needs of our young people.
My life’s passion has been education and I have been privileged to work in a variety of roles where I have developed a unique skill set which I can bring to the committee.
The world of health care is undergoing rapid change and I support an educational and compassionate approach to the mahi we do and support regionally and nationally.
I currently travel the South Island with my husband and our German Shepherd for 12 months in our caravan, enjoying new experiences and making memories.
Kā mihi nui
Amanda Greer BTchLN (ECE)