The Board

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Our directors

Lyn Swinburne

Ms Lyn Swinburne AO

Lyn began her professional life as a primary school teacher. In 1998, as a result of her own breast cancer diagnosis and treatment five years earlier, Lyn Swinburne founded Breast Cancer Network Australia, the nation's most successful consumer-led health organisation, currently with 105,000 members across all states and territories. She is internationally recognised as a thought leader in developing best practice models for consumer input into health policy and service development. Lyn has extensive experience in brand building and fundraising, as well as advocacy for women's health issues.

She has been a guest speaker at numerous international and Australian conferences and is the creator of the Field of Women concept which has seen thousands stand together in pink ponchos on the MCG to form the iconic pink lady silhouette. Her community contribution has been acknowledged with numerous awards including as a finalist in Australian of the Year in 2006, being named Melburnian of the Year in 2007 and awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Social Science) by Swinburne University in 2015.

Since retiring as BCNA’s CEO at the end of 2011, Lyn has accepted a number of Non-Executive Directorships, continues her public speaking and conducts her own consultancy practice advising on community/corporate engagement and NFP management and strategy.

Lyn was appointed to the Board of the Royal Women's Hospital in July 2013 and appointed as Chair in July 2016. Lyn is also a Director on the Board Quality & Safety Committee and the Royal Women's Hospital Foundation Board.    

Cath Bowtell

Ms Cath Bowtell
(Deputy Chair)

Cath is the Chief Executive of Industry Funds Services (IFS).  She assumed that role in April 2016, having previously served on the Board of IFS while working as a senior adviser to Industry Super Australia.

Cath has worked in senior roles in both the superannuation industry and union movement. She was the Chief Executive of the Australian Government Employees Superannuation Trust (AGEST Super) from 2010 until 2013, when the fund merged with AustralianSuper.  Prior to this Cath was a Senior Industrial Officer at the ACTU and Assistant State Secretary for the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU).

Cath is also a Director of the various companies and partnerships that own and operate Ausgrid, and is a member of the Victorian Public Sector Commission Advisory Committee.

Cath has held a number of directorships and committee positions throughout her career including Director of AustralianSuper, Director of AGEST Super and Hon President of the Australian Labor Party’s Victorian Branch.

Cath is the Deputy Chair of the  Royal Women’s Hospital Board and the Committee Chair of the Finance & Information Technology Committee. She is a Director on the Board Quality & Safety Committee.

Appointed to the Board in July 2016

Rosie Batty

Ms Rosie Batty AO

Rosie Batty knows pain no woman should have to suffer. Her son was killed by his father in a violent incident in February 2014, a horrendous event that shocked not only the nation, but the world. Rosie has became an outspoken and dynamic crusader against domestic violence, which led her to be named Australian of the Year in January 2015. Since then, Rosie has made the most of her position of influence, campaigning and advocating for necessary systemic and attitudinal change, to address the family violence epidemic.

Over the past 3 years, Rosie has been proud to lead the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council as Chair for the Victorian Government, which is in response to the country’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Rosie was named by Fortune Magazine as one of its top 50 world’s greatest leaders in 2016 and the most influential person in the Not for Profit sector on Pro Bono Australia’s Impact 25 list.  She has also been inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and is a recipient of The Pride of Australia National Courage Medal.

Rosie received an Honorary Doctorate in 2017 from the University of the Sunshine Coast for her contribution to raising national awareness and action concerning Family Violence, and has recently received an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List.

Rosie is a Director on the Community Advisory Committee and the Board Research Committee.

Appointed to the Board in July 2019

Marie Bismark

Associate Professor Marie Bismark

Marie Bismark is a public health physician, psychiatry registrar, and legal academic. Marie heads a research team at the University of Melbourne, focused on the interface between patient safety and clinician wellbeing. Her research has influenced regulatory policy internationally and has been published in leading journals. In addition to her academic role, Marie works as a doctor in psychiatry with Melbourne Health. She has previously completed a Harkness Fellowship at Harvard University. Marie is an experienced company director and serves on the boards of several large health sector companies. Marie and her husband have three children.

Marie is the Committee Chair of the Board Research Committee and a Director on the Board Quality and Safety Committee.

Appointed to the Board in July 2020

Mandy Frostick

Ms Mandy Frostick

Mandy Frostick has more than 20 years’ experience in strategic communications counsel and is a specialist in organisation reputational leadership including stakeholder engagement and issues management. 

Mandy was recently Media Manager for the City of Melbourne. She was previously Managing Director of MessageWorks, a public relations and marketing communications consultancy which partners with clients in health care, community services, energy, finance and government.  

Prior to establishing MessageWorks, Mandy headed group media relations for the world’s largest resources company; BHP Billiton. She has also led public affairs and marketing teams for some of Victoria’s best known organisations including WorkSafe, Western Health and the Royal Women’s Hospital.

Mandy is a member of RMIT University’s Program Advisory Committee (Bachelor of Communications). She is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and was appointed to the Board of the Royal Women’s Hospital in July 2016.

Mandy is Committee Chair of the People, Culture & Engagement Committee and a Director on the Community Advisory Committee.

Appointed to the Board in July 2016

Naomi Johnston

Ms Naomi Johnston

Naomi is currently a Senior Lawyer with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and has worked as Senior Legal Counsel and in Commercial Litigation for more than 20 years, including holding leadership roles with the National Australia Bank for over a decade. Naomi holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Western Australia and has completed an Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) ‘Finance for Directors’ course.

Naomi has extensive experience managing disputes across Courts nationally as well as dispute resolution schemes, both internally and with external counsel. She has a highly developed risk radar, which enables her to identify and manage all aspects of risk, e.g. financial, reputation, media and operational risk, with a focus on achieving an outcome that aligns with the values and strategic focus of the organisation.

Naomi is Committee Chair of the Community Advisory Committee, and a Director on the Board Quality & Safety Committee, and the Audit & Corporate Risk Management Committee.

Appointed to the Board in July 2018

Alan Lilly

Professor Alan Lilly

Adjunct Professor Alan Lilly is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse and Registered General Nurse with a Graduate Diploma in Health Services Management and Master of Business in Health Administration. He has worked across the health, disability and the aged care sectors and has been a Chief Executive for the past ten years in public and private organisations.  He is also an Adjunct Professor with Australian Catholic University.

He is currently a Director of the Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital and a Member of the Monash Institute for Health & Clinical Education Advisory Board. Most recently, Alan was a member of the Australian Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce and the Dementia Support Australia Expert Reference Group.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Managers & Leaders and the Australasian College of Health Services Management and a Member of the Australian Institute Company of Directors.

Alan is now Principal of his own consulting firm, Acumenity, providing consulting services in Health and Aged Care.  His special interests include leadership, quality & safety and the consumer experience.

Alan is Committee Chair of the Board Quality & Safety Committee and a Director on the People, Culture & Engagement Committee.

Appointed to the Board in July 2019

Michael O'Neill

Mr Michael O'Neill

Michael O’Neill is an experienced company director and has over 25 year’s experience as a senior financial services executive. Michael has a strong background in finance, risk and governance, having held executive roles as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Risk Officer for NAB’s Personal Banking Division in Australia and Treasurer for the NAB Group. 

Michael’s current non-executive roles include Director and Board Chair of Gymnastics Victoria, Director and Chair of Investment Committee at Tidswell Financial Services and Director of Teachers Mutual Bank and Incolink. 

Michael holds a Bachelor of Economics and Graduate Diploma in Accounting from Monash University. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Finance & Treasury Association.

Michael is the Committee Chair of the Audit & Corporate Risk Management Committee and is a Director on the Finance & Information Technology Committee.

Appointed to the Board in October 2013

Ken Parsons

Mr Ken Parsons

Ken Parsons is a senior finance executive with more than 30 years of experience in financial leadership and management.

Ken has an extensive background in financial leadership having held the senior executive roles of CFO and company secretary of Clifford Hallam Healthcare, CFO and company secretary (and became the CEO) of KH Foods and Executive Director Finance of RMIT University.  He also held finance management roles at Goodman Fielder, Bunge Industrial and Monsanto and he commenced his career at Rio Tinto.  His recent sector experience covers manufacturing, wholesaling, FMCG, distribution, tertiary education and health service provision across public, private and private equity owned companies and semi-government organisations.

Ken holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University and is CPA qualified.

Currently, Ken is a non-executive director of Palliative Care South East Limited and he chairs the Finance and Audit Board committee.  He is also engaged by KPMG’s CFO Advisory group to provide interim senior finance solutions to the corporate sector.

Ken is a Director on the Finance & Information Technology, Audit & Corporate Risk Management and People, Culture & Engagement Committees.

Appointed to the Board in July 2019

Helga Svendsen

Ms Helga Svendsen  

Helga is a consultant, coach and facilitator specialising in leadership, strategy and planning, governance and stakeholder engagement. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has founded two governance programs for women - Board KickStarter to inspire and support women into governance roles and Board Accelerator to support women directors.

Helga is also the Chair of the Centre for Sustainable Leadership (CSL) and a member of their Finance and Governance committees. She is also a member of the General Assembly of Greenpeace Asia Pacific. Her previous Directorships include YWCA Victoria, Social Housing Victoria and the Community Services and Health Industry Training Advisory Board

Prior to establishing her consultancy, Helga was Chief Executive Office of Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project, a UnitingCare agency providing housing and case work support to people seeking asylum. Her background includes leadership roles in government, not-for-profit and membership organisations and experience in employment and industrial relations.

Helga is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and holds a Bachelor of Arts/Laws from Monash University. She is also a fellow of the Williamson Community Leadership Program. Her memberships include Australian Institute of Company Directors, International Coaching Federation, Fundraising Institute of Australia and the International Association of Public Participation.

Helga is a Director on the Board Quality & Safety Committee and the People, Culture & Engagement Committee.

Appointed to the Board in September 2015

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