Board and Executive

Meet our current board members and executive leadership team.

Our Board

Michael Briggs B Comm ACA AGIA MBA

Chairman, Northcott
Director since 2003

Michael is a Business Advisor and Investor. He is the Chairman of Antec Group Pty Ltd, Northcott Innovation Ltd and Northcott Supported Living and a Director of RLT International Ltd (UK) and Enechi Pty Ltd. He is also an Advisory Board Member of The Collective Wellness Group. Michael has been Chairman of Northcott since 2009.

  • Finance and Properties Committee
  • Nomination Committee
  • Remuneration Committee

“My aim is to ensure that Northcott continues to grow its resources and capabilities in order to increase services to clients, while at the same time ensuring it continues to be a high quality and caring organisation.”

Kirsten Armstrong M.Ec, M.PH, FIAA

Director since 2013

Kirsten has been a Director since 2013. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia, a Member of the Health Practice Committee of the Actuaries Institute and a member of the Australian Institute for Company Directors.

  • Principal, Taylor Fry
  • Founder and Director of Three Rivers Consulting Member
  • Risk Committee

 “’Person centred’ has become the new catch-cry in disability and health care, but has been a way of life for Northcott throughout its history. I’m proud to have the opportunity to work with Northcott and its people as the national disability reforms take shape.”

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.”

Nick Cardno MA (Hons) CA MAICD

Director since 2013

Nick is a Partner of the accounting firm Ernst & Young as well as a Director of Ernst & Young Transaction Advisory Services Ltd. He is also a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Finance and Properties Committee

James A Christian PSM, MPA (ANU)

Director since 2020

James is a proud Wiradjuri man from the Riverina area who was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) in May 2017. He has also served as National Group Manager, Disability, Employment and Carers at the Federal Department of Social Services; led Aboriginal Affairs NSW; was Deputy Director-General of the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care and Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Housing Office. He received a Public Service Medal in 2011 for outstanding service in improving opportunities for economic participation and employment of First Nations peoples.

  • CEO – NSW Aboriginal Land Council
  • Board Member NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS)
  • Member, Risk Committee

“More than 24% of Aboriginal people live in households experiencing disability. As a younger person I was a secondary carer for a family member with disability. Carers are often invisible, but they do so much valuable work for our society. My aim is to influence improved outcomes for Northcott’s Aboriginal clients, their carers and our community.”

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 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.”      

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

Director since 2020

General Manager, Enterprise Business, Microsoft Asia

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.

Jodi Swinburne B Comm CPA

Director since 2018

Jodi has over 20 years’ experience in senior finance roles in listed companies across a variety of sectors ranging from print media, property, retail banking and pharmaceutical. In May 2016, Jodi became the Chief Financial Officer, APAC of Cushman & Wakefield. Jodi has now taken on the additional responsibility of Chief Operating Officer, APAC of Cushman & Wakefield. 

Previously, Jodi was a director of the Diversity Council Australia, an independent not-for-profit peak body leading diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

  • Finance and Properties Committee

“Diversity and inclusion have been a passion of mine and I am honoured to join the Northcott board as they continue to redefine Australia’s disability support.”

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

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.

  • 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.”


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 also a Director for The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering Ltd at The University of Sydney, a member of the Abbotsleigh School Council, and a Warden at St Andrew’s Anglican Church, Wahroonga.

He is a registered (nonpractising) Medical Practitioner and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD).

Chris Willcocks, Board Observer

Head of International Equity Sales for the Asia Pacific region, Citibank


Liz Forsyth

Chief Executive Officer

Liz was appointed CEO of Northcott in September 2020. She joined Northcott in 2008 as a family support worker in our Coffs Harbour branch and has held a range of roles over the years including Area Manager, Business Development Manager, Executive Director of NI, General Manager – Customer Experience, and General Manager – Supported Living. Liz then took on a role as CEO of Care South, gaining valuable leadership experience, before returning to Northcott to lead our COVID-19 response and Creativity Inc integration.

In addition to her deep experience, Liz also has a love for Northcott and its staff and customers. She is very passionate about the organisation and is excited to lead Northcott into the next stage of its development.

David Long

General Manager, People and Culture

David has responsibility for Northcott’s strategies that ensure we attract and retain the right people, and that they are equipped to meet our future challenges. David joined Northcott in 2012 and has more than 25 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.

Aleta Carpenter

General Manager, Northcott Supported Living

Aleta joined Northcott in 2013 as a Manager in Business Development. Since then she has also managed Business Improvement projects in customer experience and product development. In 2018 she commenced as a Senior Operations Manager for Northcott Supported Living. Then, in 2019, she moved to General Manager of this division. Aleta has 25 years of experience in disability and mental health service provision. She holds a Master of Arts in Psychology.

Pat Buick

Head of Therapy

Pat commenced her career in the medical imaging sector prior to moving into management after completing a Masters of Business Administration. Her early career focused on managing change in the private radiology sector before working at St Vincents and Mater Health Sydney as the Service Manager of Diagnostics. She joined Northcott in February 2018 to assist in providing a sustainable customer-centric therapy service.


Amanda Dawson

General Manager, Engagement and Early Childhood 

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

Paul Herbert

Chief Information Officer

Paul has a background in research completing a PhD in physiology. His early career focused on risk and facilities management, before shifting to finance. Joining Northcott in 2016, he established the Individual Plan Advisor team in preparation for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) before moving onto other roles including managing the transfer of fleet, infrastructure and ICT.

Aby Hutchinson-West

Manager – Quality and Safeguarding

With 25 years in disability services, Aby has a Psychology Masters and is a qualified special education teacher. Prior to joining Northcott in 2006, Aby worked as an Autism advisor for the Highlands of Scotland. In her time at Northcott she has established many Northcott services including Intensive Family Support, Early Childhood Autism Service and the Person Centred Behaviour Support service.

Amanda Thomas

Chief Financial Officer

Amanda joined Northcott in May 2018. Amanda brings over a decade of experience in the healthcare industry having worked in hospitals in the UK and in medical devices in both the UK and Australia. Amanda is very familiar with handling requirements from government agencies and has managed complex, multidisciplinary finance teams and contracts functions. Amanda has over 25 years of finance experience.

John Preston

State Operations Manager

John joined Northcott in 2003 and has spent much of his time at Northcott in a variety of management roles, primarily related to Employment and Life Skills services. In recent years John has been heavily involved in the transition to the NDIS and is now responsible for operations across the state.

Alex Varley

General Manager, Customer Experience

Alex joined Northcott in February 2017 working with Northcott Innovation before moving to head up our Customer Experience Group in September. In this role he has responsibility for marketing, communications, fundraising, customer insights and experience. Alex has been a CEO of two disability organisations, as well as undertaking senior marketing roles in the not-for-profit services and arts sectors.

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