The Board

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Our directors

Cath Bowtell

Ms Cath Bowtell

Appointed to the Board in July 2016

Cath Bowtell holds several directorships, including Chair of Industry Funds Services (IFS), Deputy Chair of IFM Investors and Chair of The New Daily.

Cath has worked in senior roles in the superannuation industry and the union movement. She was the Chief Executive of IFS from 2017 - June 2022, and Chief Executive of AGEST Super from 2010 – 2013. Prior to this Cath was a senior official at the ACTU, where she worked on various portfolios including women’s workforce participation.

Cath has held roles across the public and private sector, including Director of AustralianSuper, Director of Ausgrid, and Hon President of the Australian Labor Party’s Victorian Branch.

Cath has been a director of The Women’s for six years, and has served as Deputy Chair, Chair of the Philanthropy and Community Investment Committee and member of the Board’s Quality & Safety and Finance & Information Technology Committees.

Rosie Batty

Ms Rosie Batty AO

Appointed to the Board in July 2019

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 become an outspoken and dynamic crusader against domestic violence, which led her to be named Australian of the Year in 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.

Between 2016 and 2019, Rosie was inaugural Chair of the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council, established by the Victorian Government in response to the country’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence.

She 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 in 2019 received an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

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

Marie Bismark

Professor Marie Bismark

Appointed to the Board in July 2020

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 and is an experienced company director serving on the boards of several large health sector companies. Marie and her husband have three children.

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

Mandy Frostick

Ms Mandy Frostick

Appointed to the Board in July 2016

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 has held many senior roles, including Executive Director Communications and Engagement at Infrastructure Victoria,  Media Manager for the City of Melbourne and 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.

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

Naomi Johnston

Ms Naomi Johnston

Appointed to the Board in July 2018

Naomi Johnston 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.

She 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 (financial, reputation, media and operational) 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 and Safety Committee, and the Audit and Corporate Risk Management Committee.

Alan Lilly

Professor Alan Lilly

Appointed to the Board in July 2019

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 aged care sectors and has been a Chief Executive in public, not-for-profit and private sector organisations. He is also an Adjunct Professor with Australian Catholic University.

Alan is currently Chief Executive of Jewish Care Victoria and is a member of the Victorian Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity.

He is a Fellow and Certified Health Executive of the Australasian College of Health Service Management and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. His professional interests are in leadership, operational excellence, governance, care quality and safety and the consumer experience.

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

Ken Parsons

Mr Ken Parsons

Appointed to the Board in July 2019

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

Ken has held the senior executive roles of CFO and company secretary of Clifford Hallam Healthcare, CFO, company secretary, CEO of KH Foods and Executive Director Finance at RMIT University. He also held finance management roles at Goodman Fielder, Bunge Industrial and Monsanto and he commenced his career at Rio Tinto. Ken’s 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 their 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 and Information Technology, Audit and Corporate Risk Management and People, Culture and Engagement Committees.

Helga Svendsen

Ms Helga Svendsen  

Appointed to the Board in September 2015

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 the Chair of the Centre for Sustainable Leadership (CSL) and a member of their Finance and Governance committees. She is 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 CEO 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 a fellow of the Williamson Community Leadership Program and 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 and Safety Committee and the People, Culture and Engagement Committee.

Ms Marianne Walker

Appointed to the Board in July 2022

Marianne is currently the Chief Member Officer at Cbus Super Fund and has held a number of executive roles in government, finance, multinational companies, the utilities sector and banking. 

Her breadth of experience ranges from leading large multidisciplinary teams nationally and internationally in the customer, member and people experience arena, to large scale customer-focused IT and service transformation programs. 

Marianne translates her executive experience into governance oversight with subject matter expertise in a variety of disciplines including Program Management, Technology, Digital, Data, Change and Transformation, Contact Centres, Cultural Change, Commercial Management, and Large Scale Complex Operational Leadership.

Marianne is dedicated to mentoring women and emerging leaders to achieve their personal potential.

Mr Glen Noonan

Glen is the Chief Executive Officer of Diabetes Victoria, having previously been a Board Director and President of the organisation. Diabetes is a cause for which Glen has a great passion; deciding to become involved in this work after his son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes some years ago. 

Diabetes is the fastest-growing chronic condition in Australia and, with 80 Victorians developing diabetes every day, leading Diabetes Victoria’s work to reduce the impact of diabetes in the Victorian community and support, empower and campaign for all Victorians who are affected by or at risk of diabetes is a mission that drives him.

Prior to taking up his role as Diabetes Victoria’s CEO, Glen was a Senior Partner with PwC where he worked for 33 years, including 24 years as a Partner. He held a range of leadership roles with PwC, including leadership of the Transformation practice, leading market facing industry practices and leadership of major client accounts across multiple sectors.  Glen advised clients across Health, Government and Corporate Sectors including in the areas of digital transformation, growth, customer engagement, operations, risk and finance.

Glen has held several Board positions throughout his career, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is currently Director and Chair of the Finance, Risk, Audit and IT Committee of the Australian Communities Foundation, a nationally focused community foundation working to create a more just and sustainable Australia.

Appointed to the Board in July 2022