Board and Executive

Meet our current board members and executive leadership team.

Our Board

Kirsten Armstrong M.Ec, M.PH, FIAA GAICD

Kirsten is an experienced actuary and strategic adviser with a 25-year career in health, disability and international development. In 2019 she was recognised as one of the AFR’s 100 Women of Influence. Kirsten currently leads Social Ventures Australia’s social impact bond work and is a Director for icare and WIRES.

  • Chair, Northcott
  • Chair, Risk Committee

 “’I am proud to have worked with Northcott and its people for the past decade. My aim is to ensure Northcott continues to push the boundaries to help each and every unique customer unleash their full potential.”

Richard Blaiklock B Comm MBA

Director since 2003

Richard is Chairman of the Baresque Australia Pty Ltd group and affiliated companies.

  • Chair, Nomination Committee
  • Chair, Remuneration Committee

“The work of Northcott over so many years and the achievements of our customers and their carers are an inspiration. It is a privilege to be able to support management and staff in their endeavours to make meaningful contributions to people’s lives.”

Riccardo (Ricky) Casali BComm LLB Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Ricky joined the board as a Director in 2022. He is an experienced corporate lawyer and strategic advisor with more than 20 years of experience. Ricky is an active contributor to pro bono initiatives, with a particular interest in supporting not-for-profit organisations in the disability sector.

“Having supported disability service providers for over a decade, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to serve Northcott during these times of exciting regulatory change and to make a contribution to hopefully improve the lives of Northcott’s customers, their families and carers.”

Tracey Corbin-Matchett BA (Welfare Studies) Dip Bus (Frontline Mgt) OAM

Chief Executive Officer, Bus Stop Films

Tracey joined the Board in 2022. She is the CEO of Bus Stop Films and a Director of Deaf Sports Australia. Previously she held senior roles with the NSW government including at Screen NSW in Stakeholder Engagement and Industry Development; Legal Aid NSW as State Manager of the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Scheme and as a Senior Policy Officer with Housing NSW (FACS). She is also an IncludeAbility Ambassador to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

“I have long admired the work of Northcott, especially around access to dynamic services and quality, accessible and affordable housing for people with disabilities. I am proud to contribute to their amazing work in creating an equitable society for all.

Mathew Franklin B Comp Sci M Mgt PLDA(HBS) FGIA FRSA FIML GAICD

Managing Director, MF & Associates

Mat was pleased to join the board as a Director in 2022. With a mining, civil engineering, tech start-up and federal government background, he currently leads businesses in management consulting and cyber security. He is passionate about inclusion with a focus on disability, as well as women in ICT and leadership.

“It is a privilege to work with the Northcott team to help the next generation of customers realise their potential.”

Christopher Janssen, MB, BS, MBA (IMD), FAICD

Director since 1986

Christopher is the Founder and Managing Director of GPC Electronics and affiliated companies. He is an Advisory Board Member for The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering at The University of Sydney and a member of the Abbotsleigh School Council. He is a registered (nonpractising) Medical Practitioner and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD).

Jeyan Jeevaratnam B Eng (Hons 1) MBA M Eng Sc MAICD

Director since 2020

Jeyan was a Director from 2012 – 2016.  He is the General Manager of the Microsoft Enterprise business in Asia. Previously he was Chief Operating Officer for Avanade North America,  Managing Director for Avanade Australia and prior Managing Director for AT&T Australia and held Senior Executive roles at IBM.  Jeyan is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • General Manager, Enterprise Business, Microsoft Asia Member
  • Member, Finance and Properties Committee

“I am delighted to be part of the Northcott Board and I hope I can play a role in supporting Northcott and its important clients to achieve more, through Innovation and Technology for a Better Future.”

Christine Kelly, BEng- Electrical (Hons), BComm, GAICD

Director since December 2022.

Christine was most recently the Deputy Fund Manager (CQR) and Head of Retail Finance at Charter Hall. Prior to this, she worked at Sydney Airport as Treasurer. Christine brings experience in property, finance, energy and banking.

  • BEng- Electrical (Hons), BComm, GAICD
  • Member Finance and Properties Committee

“It is a privilege to be a Board member for an organisation that builds an inclusive society by providing access to services and accommodation to customers with disabilities.  I look forward to supporting the Northcott team and their vision”.

Debra RichardsBA (Lib Studies) Grad Diploma (Arts) MA MAICD

Director since 2012

Debra is the Director, Production Policy, APAC at Netflix and Vice President of the Communications & Media Law Association (CAMLA) and Director and Treasurer of the International Institute of Communications (Australia). She is also Deputy Chief Adjudicator of the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code Adjudication Panel and a Member of Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) Council, NSW Film & Television Advisory Committee and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Director, Production Policy, APAC, Netflix
  • Member, Northcott Nomination Committee
  • Member, Northcott Remuneration Committee

 “It is an honour and a privilege to join the Board and become part of Northcott.  I am inspired by the work of Northcott, its dynamic team and valued customers.  I look forward to supporting management in working towards the goal of access and inclusion for all.”      

Hugh Wehby BEc (Hons), DipInvRel

Director since 2018

Hugh is the Group Executive Partners, Delivery and Risk at Transurban. Prior to this he worked at Sydney Airport in various roles including Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Hugh was formerly with Macquarie Group in Sydney and London. Hugh is also a Director of Sydney Transport Partners (WestConnex), Transurban Queensland, Transurban Chesapeake and Transurban Finance Company Pty Ltd. In June 2023 Hugh became an External Member of the Building and Estates Committee (BEC) of The University of Sydney.

  • Chair, Finance and Properties Committee

“The work of Northcott is fundamental to building a society that is inclusive and one which enables individuals to realise their potential. It is a privilege to join the Board and I look forward to supporting the team and its valuable work in society.”

 

Chris Willcocks B Comm / B Science

Director since 2022

Chris joined the board as a Director in 2022. He is currently a Co-Portfolio Manager of Alphinity Investment Management’s global equity strategies. Previously he spent 15 years at Citibank, working across Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. His final role was Head of International Equity Sales – APAC. 

  • Member, Finance and Properties Committee

“Northcott does incredible and critical work for disability services across NSW. It is an honour of mine to join the Board and help support the management and staff to achieve Northcott’s goals in the future.”

Liz Forsyth BA (Hons), BSW (Hons), Dip Mgmt, MAICD

Director since 2020

Liz is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Northcott. She is a Director of The SpineCare Foundation, Northcott Innovation Ltd and Northcott Therapy ACT Pty Ltd. Liz is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Finance and Properties Committee
  • Risk Committee
  • Nomination Committee
  • Remuneration Committee

Melissa Barlow

Melissa is an accomplished professional who joined the board as an Observer in 2023. Currently serving as the ANZ Commercial Director at Microsoft, she brings a wealth of experience in the IT industry, with over 25 years. Throughout her career, Melissa has held various leadership positions in sales and partnerships, making her a seasoned expert in driving business growth and fostering strategic collaborations.

Melissa’s passion lies in empowering and supporting early-career individuals, recognising the importance of nurturing talent and promoting diversity within the industry. She actively serves as a Cohort lead for the Women Rising Program, a platform dedicated to uplifting and empowering women in their professional journeys.

 

OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM

Liz Forsyth

Chief Executive Officer

Liz was appointed CEO of Northcott in September 2020. With a love for Northcott and its staff and customers, Liz is very passionate about the organisation and is excited to lead Northcott into the next stage of its development.

Liz joined Northcott in 2008 as a family support worker in our Coffs Harbour branch and has held a range of roles including Area Manager, Business Development Manager and leadership roles in Customer Experience, Supported Living and Northcott Innovation. Liz then took on a role as CEO of CareSouth, gaining valuable leadership experience, before returning to lead Northcott’s response to COVID-19 and the integration of Creativity Inc. 

Find Liz Forsyth on LinkedIn

Andrew Kew

Chief Operations Officer

Andrew joined Northcott in January 2022 and is passionate about inclusion for people with disability. Andrew has extensive experience in health, aged care and children’s services, having held senior positions at HammondCare, Jewish Home and Anglican Retirement Villages. Andrew has also held Board positions at Thorndale Foundation and C3 Church Carlingford.  

The Chief Operations Officer leads service delivery for all Northcott’s services including Supported Living, Operations, Therapy and Northcott NDIS early childhood.

Find Andrew Kew on LinkedIn.

Pat Buick

Head of Operational Excellence

Pat joined Northcott as Head of Therapy in 2018 following a career encompassing managing change in the private radiology sector, working at St. Vincents and Mater Health Sydney, and completing a Masters of Business Administration.

The Head of Operational Excellence is responsible for leading Northcott’s service development and ensuring high quality and consistent operational processes and performance across our service delivery areas. 

Find Pat Buick on LinkedIn

Amanda Dawson

General Manager, Engagement 

Amanda joined Northcott in 2001 as a support worker while completing a Bachelor of Education. She has held a variety of leadership positions including management of state-wide services such as Individual and Family Support, Early Links, the Preschool Disability Support Program, and the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) contract with the National Disability Insurance Agency.

As the General Manager, Engagement, Amanda has responsibility for customer experience encompassing marketing, communications and fundraising, as well as research and innovation, customer service and sales functions, and advocacy.

Find Amanda Dawson on Linkedin

Jodie Hamblin

General Manager, Strategy

Jodie joined Northcott in 2015 after extensive experience leading technology and business transformation activities for major media organisations in Europe and Australia including UPC Communications, Austar Entertainment and oOh Media.

As the General Manager, Strategy, Jodie has responsibility for strategic business development growth and business transformation work, encompassing the Project Management Office (PMO).

David Long

General Manager, People and Culture

David joined Northcott in 2012 and has more than 30 years’ experience in human resources management. He has worked across various industries in the public and private sectors for organisations including the Roads & Traffic Authority, the TAB and St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney.

As the General Manager, People and Culture, David has responsibility for Northcott’s strategies to attract and retain the right people, and to develop and support a dynamic person-centred workforce, workplace and culture.

Find David Long on LinkedIn 

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