Vince Agostino – Chairperson
Vince has been an active philanthropist for over 20 years. Participating in and hosting charity events on a regular basis, Vince is experienced when it comes to major charities those that have had benefit from Vince’s events include the National Breast Cancer Foundation, The McGrath Foundation and the Sir David Martin Foundation, to name a few.
In March of 2004, Vince was diagnosed with a brain tumor, a major shock to him and his family with no family history of the disease or any understanding. He underwent surgery within a matter of weeks. Vince knows firsthand the turmoil of having a brain tumor and that there aren’t enough funds to support more research, equipment and patient aid.
In 2012, The Yellow Diamond Brain Cancer Foundation was formed to raise money for research and equipment and create a widespread awareness for brain cancer in the community.
Frank Mirabito – Deputy Chairperson
Frank moved from Italy to Australia in 1964 and soon after opened his first business. Since that day, hard work and perseverance have ensured success for Frank and his businesses. He was elected to Strathfield Council in 1995 and served the community until 2000. During this time, Frank developed an understanding that community spirit is what makes Australia a better place. He began working with charities such as the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and Camp Quality and sat on numerous fundraising committees. His passion for charity work has been admirable and he has been successful in hosting wonderful fundraising activities and raising awareness and funds for those in need. Frank brings a wealth of knowledge and gusto to The Yellow Diamond Foundation and is highly regarded in the local community.
Norman Arena – Treasurer
As The Yellow Diamond Foundation’s Treasurer, Norman is responsible for the day to day running of the Foundation. A qualified accountant, Norman has a Bachelor of Business and a Masters in Commerce.
Norman has past experience with “not for profit” organisations from previous roles as Financial Controller. Norman has always operated in the past and in the future, on the basis of honesty, integrity and customer service.
Norman’s father passed away from brain cancer in 1970. At that time, there was no understanding or recognition of the disease. For this reason, he is enthusiastic about doing what it takes to help find the solutions for brain cancer.
Jermaine Joseph Alfaro – Secretary
Jermaine Alfaro is a legal practitioner who initially assisted with the formation of the foundation and currently practices in Sydney. Jermaine is no stranger to hard work, working full-time whilst completing his legal studies and assisting with the running the family business.
Jermaine is the secretary of a community, sports and social club, that operates with its main objective of giving back to the local community and is a member of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta – Ecumenical Order a very respected organization that support an array of charities.
Jermaine is also a supporter of various other charitable groups and through his profession he also gives back to those most in need in the community.
With Jermaine’s foundations, experience and professional rapport he has the ability to make a difference on this Board to promote awareness and assist in raising the much needed funds to finding a cure for brain cancer.
Kathy Klonis – Director
Kathy Klonis runs a successful law firm in Sydney’s inner west and is the trusted advisor to The Yellow Diamond Foundation. Kathy has had numerous experiences within her network of people who have suffered from brain cancer and feels strongly about what The Yellow Diamond Foundation is doing.
Elizabeth Falanga – Director
Elizabeth Falanga is self employed and runs a business in Painting and Maintenance. With many years experience in customer service roles such as Banking, Mortgage Broking, Real Estate and Business Development, Elizabeth has a real passion for building strong relationships.
Due to losing her sister to cancer, Elizabeth has reached out to the YDF to provide support and understands the hardships people face, and with her compassion helps spread awareness.
Frank Placanica – Director
Gianfranco is the founder and Managing Executive of the Formtec Group which operates in the Construction Industry of Formwork for over 25 years.
Gianfranco is Deputy Grand Prior of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta – Ecumenical Order, Member of the Order of Cavalieri Di San Silvestro and Board Member of Father Atanasio Gonelli Charitable Fund.
Gianfranco has a strong commitment in supporting many charitable groups.
Gianfranco brings a wealth of experience to the Board through his business knowledge and desire to support the community.
Dr Mustafa Steve Kassem – Director
Dr Mustafa Steve Kassem completed his Bachelors of Science at The University of Sydney, where he completed honours at the Brain and Mind Research Institute. Subsequently, he went on to complete his PhD, in a dual supervision, at the University of Sydney and the University of NSW. For his PhD, he won the Peter Bancroft Award for research excellence and a thesis which did not require amendment, and now works as a Senior Research Fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia under the supervision of world expert in brain mapping Scientia Professor George Paxinos AO. He has recently completed two atlases on the brain and is currently lead on the most comprehensive atlas of the human brain in the world.
Steve has been involved in science communication and philanthropy since his time as student, assisting in Sydney Science Festival for years, event managing Mental Health Week 2017 and 2018, and now making moves into foundations and community networks to assist as much as he can. He has an enthusiasm for helping those for which his years of training are helpful. He has joined the Yellow Diamond Brain Cancer Foundation in 2023 as a board member, where he hopes his expertise in brain research can facilitate the foundation to do an even better job.
Viktoria Bolonina – Director
Viktoria Bolonina is a Sydney based operatic mezzo soprano and contemporary singer. Viktoria was unaware that for 10 years of her life she had an aggressive grade 4 brain tumour growing to a size of an orange, which she only discovered in March of 2022.
Viktoria had a successful surgery but is still completing her treatment and has joined the Yellow Diamond Brain Cancer Foundation to support individuals like herself in fighting the terrible brain cancer diagnosis.
In 2012 Viktoria became a semi finalist on The Voice Australia after which her music career took off. In 2018 she completed her Master of Music in Opera Performance from Sydney Conservatorium of Music and is now involved with Coast Opera Australia as one of their principal artists. She has been performing on the annual Woolworths Carols in the Domain with the Stars of Australian Opera on Channel 7 for the last seven years.