Australian Friends of Vellore

The Australian Board of Vellore CMC

The Australian Board

The Australian Board of Vellore Christian College and Hospital is the body established for the purpose of coordinating the activities of the Friends of Vellore in Australia. The Board is a not-for-profit public company limited by guarantee. It is registered with Australian Securities and Investments Commission and enjoys charitable status. A chief purpose of the Board is to provide financial support for the work of the Christian Medical College in Vellore. All donations that pass through the Board are tax-exempt in Australia. The Board is a national organization with representation from various states of Australia.


The Annual General Meeting of the Board is held in different capital cities of the states in rotation. It is organized by the secretary of the Board working together with the State branch where the meeting is to be held. Delegates from the various state groups of Friend of Vellore and Alumni attend the meeting to discuss the activities of the board. The executive, consisting of five Directors, is elected from among the delegates. During the year the Directors meet via teleconferences organized by the Secretary. They are assisted by further Board members drawn from other delegates and also including a representative of the Alumni Association.

The AGM for the year 2023 was held in Adelaide. Dr Vikram Mathews the Director of CMC addressed the meeting via Zoom.

The Directors

Dr Mahiban Thomas


Mahiban belongs to the CMC undergraduate batch of 1981. He dis his Post graduate surgical training at CMC and worked in mission hospitals before migrating to Australia. He did further surgical training over here. At present he is the head of the Maxillary Facial and Head and Neck surgery at Darwin hospital. He is also in charge of the surgical services for the Northern Territory. His wife Dr Sujatha also belongs the same batch and is a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He maintains a very close clinical relationship with his alma mater.

Dr Renjy Nelson

Vice President

Renjy Nelson belongs to the CMC undergraduate batch of 1988. Following his post graduate training in General Medicine at CMC , he worked in mission hospitals before migrating to Australia. He was conferred FRACP after training in Infectious Diseases in Adelaide. At present he is the head of the Infectious Diseases department at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He has an interest in Cardiovascular and Musculoskleetal infections His wife Dr Suja Mary Mathew is a paediatrician and works in Adelaide with Adelaide Paediatrics and at the Womens and Childrens Hospital.

Mr Richard Caitens


Richard Caitens has been the treasurer of the board since 1998. He has been involved with the Queensland FOV for a long period and has been their treasurer, up till now. He is a charted accountant by profession. His wife Susanna is a teacher and they have 3 children – 2 girls and a boy. Richard visited Vellore for the first time few years ago representing the Board at the council meeting.

Prof David Runia


David Runia retired as the Master of Queen’s College at the University of Melbourne at the end of 2016. While he was the Master, he learnt about the work of the CMC, with which his College has had a long-standing relationship since the days of Dr Edward Gault. He visited Vellore in 2014 and again in 2020 when he attended the Council meeting. He is also President of the Victorian FOV. David is an academic and remains active in research on ancient philosophy, with a particular interesting the Jewish philosopher who lived at the same time as Jesus, Philo of Alexandria. He is married to Gonni, and they have a daughter living in Amsterdam and two sons living in Melbourne.

Dr Sharon Thomas

Publicity Officer

Sharon is a CMC alumnus belonging to the batch of 1984. She did her diploma in Ob and Gyn and later obtained the Fellowship of the Australian College of General Practitioner. She has been working on the Gold Coast, Queensland since 2004. Her special interest are in women’s health and chronic diseases. He husband Dr Koshy George is a neurologist in Gold Coast region. They have three grown up daughters. Sharon is the current president of the Queensland FOV.

Dr Stephen Aseervatham

Past President

Stephen is an CMC alumnus. He has been involved with Australian FOV both at national and NSW state branch level since the early 80’s. He and his wife Vimalini are retired from work and are busy with volunteer work and doing some travelling visiting family living abroad.

The Board (2023-24)

Board Member State
Dr Mahiban Thomas Northern Territory
Dr Renjy Nelson South Australia
Prof David Runia Victoria
Richard Caitens Queensland
Dr Sharon Thomas Queensland
Dr Stephen Aseervatham New South Wales
Dr Robyn Bradley New South Wales
Dr Steven Bollipo New South Wales
Luisa Mozzi South Australia
Ken Gilbertson Victoria
Dr Roshini Nayyar Alumni (New South Wales)

Board Activities

AGM August 2023

The AGM of the Australian Vellore Board was held at Rosefield Uniting Church, 2 Carlton St,...
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President’s Report at AGM August 2023

Held on August 26th, 2023, in Adelaide. We have completed another year; we thank God...
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Australian Friends of Vellore, Newsletter 2023

We hope this finds you well and excited about 2023! We, at Australian Vellore Board,...
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The Friends of Vellore (FOV) groups have been in existence for almost 60 years. Currently there are active groups of FOV in various states of Australia – New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia. The groups in the different states are located in the capital cities and they work throughout the year in various ways to support Christian Medical College and Hospital at Vellore.

The Australian Board of Vellore Christian College and Hospital was established in 1956 to co-ordinate the activities of the various state branches of Friends of Vellore. For many years the board was based around the Sydney Friends of Vellore. Over the years, the Board has evolved into a truly national organisation with representation from various states of the country.

Ida Scudder founded The Christian Medical College and believed that it was a calling and a challenge set before her by God to begin a ministry to the health needs of the people of India, particularly women and children. Today the CMC is now one of the leading institutions in India, known all over the world for its excellence in clinical care, medical research and education.