Meet our Victorian State Reps


12140786_10154010150542207_1406250652193188044_nHi my name is Maria, I am 43 years of age and was born with Type 3  Osteogenesis imperfecta  (O.I).   OI is normally a genetic condition however no one in my family has had OI.  I live in Forest Hill, Melbourne with my husband of nearly 10 years, Troy.  I, along with Dee am the Victorian state representative for the OI Society of Australia.  Other things that keep me busy include being on the Whitehorse City Council Disability Advisory Committee,  and  volunteering once a week at the Wantirna Health Hospital by helping out with administration duties.  Since 2015 I have also begun public speaking with Yoralla’s new “Speak Tank” program.

I am looking forward to meeting you at future conferences or Victorian get togethers.

Bernice (Dee)

11223906_10206326092164007_1690492552099332167_nMy name is Bernice, nicknamed Dee.  I am a 7th generation Type I, OI “graduate”.

I was born in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1956 and had my first fracture at the grand old age of 5 days.   Thankfully I was placed in the care of an orthopaedic specialist who took the time to study up on OI and became my champion and carer.

I have been extremely lucky through the years and have met many wonderful people who have not only inspired me but who have taken the time to get to know and encourage me, ie. Group Captain Douglas Bader – World War II pilot, who lost both his legs yet continued to fly for England, and Helen Keller, a blind and deaf lady who led an extraordinary life despite her afflictions.

I have many interests and hobbies.  Genealogy – tracing my family with OI – validated back to 1833.  Needlework of all kinds – dressmaking, smocking, embroidery, cross-stitch, tapestry, etc.  Knitting, crocheting, ceramic and silk painting, doll making and reading (avidly), to name a few.

My main motivation for wanting to be a State Rep is to help and encourage others with OI.  This is a debilitating ailment, but life can be full and enjoyed.  I would also like to think that each one of us has something to offer the medical fraternity in learning more about OI and in finding out about new treatments and medications to not only strengthen our bones but also in alleviating bone pain, which will inevitably help in a better quality of life and let us participate in both work and play and make us valued individuals.

I would love to see more participation and getting more people involved in awareness, fund raising, and employment.  We are in general, bright, articulate and intelligent people, so let’s make others aware that “We Can!”

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Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic disorder that causes a person's bones to break easily, often from little or no apparent trauma. OI is also called "brittle bone disease." OI varies in severity from person to person, ranging from a mild type to a severe type that causes death before or shortly after birth.

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