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Australian Red Cross Board

The members of the Board are the key policy-makers of Australian Red Cross.

The role of the Board is to govern the activities of Australian Red Cross. In doing so, the Board works to ensure that we act in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) regulations, the international movement’s protocols, and the fundamental principles of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. It also develops and maintains ethical standards based on a Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest Policy.

Comprising up to 16 members, the Board includes the President, Deputy President, the Audit and Risk Committee Chair, the Youth Member, the Chair or nominee of each of the eight Divisional Advisory Boards from each state and territory, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Chair and up to three Additional Board Members. While they are not members of the Board, the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Board Secretary attend Board meetings throughout the year.

Our Board Members are volunteers who receive no payment for their services, other than reimbursement for reasonable travel and other expenses incurred through their work for Red Cross. Board Members who also serve on the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Board receive payment from the Blood Service.

Ensuring good governance is in place is a key Board responsibility. This includes overseeing mechanisms to comply with legal requirements and regulations, while safekeeping the ongoing financial viability of Red Cross. The Board monitors and periodically evaluates its own performance and strives to always have a skilled and diverse membership in place. It also establishes and implements a recognition process that acknowledges the efforts of volunteers, members and staff.

Board Members

Ross Pinney

Ross Pinney was elected President of Australian Red Cross Society at the Annual General meeting on 2 December 2017, having served as Deputy President since the end of 2011. Previously, Ross served as a Red Cross Divisional Board member from 2005 to 2007 and was elected Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee in 2007. He served as a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Finance Commission from 2007 to 2015. Ross also served as a member of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Board from 2011 to 2017. 

He worked for 15 years as a senior manager at National Australia Bank, as Executive General Manager Office of the CEO, CEO Europe, and Executive General Manager Products and Services. Prior to that he worked for 15 years at the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works. 

Ross chairs the Nominations and Remuneration Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee. 

Ross was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal in 2015.

Charles BurkittCharles was elected as Deputy President on 30 November 2019.

Charles has served as a board member since October 2014, when he was elected as Chairman of the Northern Territory Divisional Advisory Board. He is also Chair of the Finance Committee and a member of the Audit & Risk Committee.

Charles' journey with Red Cross commenced at a very early age not long after his family endured the devastation of Cyclone Tracy in Darwin, which resulted in directly experiencing the Red Cross Power of Humanity with support being provided following this event. Since this time he has continually volunteered with the Red Cross cause.

Charles began his career as an experienced Investment Adviser specialising in financial markets, having worked in that industry for more than 15 years. He now actively works within the Property Development Industry based in Darwin, while also having obtained extensive Board experience as an active Board Member of several local organisations. Charles enjoys an active lifestyle with an interest in most sports and leisure activities.

Kym was elected as an Additional Board Member and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee in February 2020. He is also a member of the Finance Committee and the Nominations and Remuneration Committee.

Kym is an advisor in Strategy and Leadership and holds various directorships and advisory board positions, particularly within the Advertising and Media industry. He has extensive corporate governance experience in listed and non-listed public companies, privately-owned companies and government-owned organisations.

He has held senior regional and country executive leadership roles including CEO, COO and CFO in Asia Pacific, China and Australia for global advertising holding groups, the more recent being Dentsu Aegis Network. He also has extensive corporate development experience heading up the acquiring of over two hundred businesses.

Kym is a Chartered Accountant, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has a master degree in Leadership, a master degree in Business Administration, a post-graduate certificate in Executive Leadership, and a degree in Accounting. He currently is undertaking a PhD in Leadership.

Kym is passionate how leadership can positively impact people, our planet and organisations in a sustainable and ethical way.

Eveline (Evie) was elected as Youth Member in December 2018. Eveline started volunteering with Australian Red Cross in 2015, with the Roadhouse program in Canberra, providing meals to those who are vulnerable or at risk of homelessness. The following year she joined the ACT Youth Advisory Committee and co-chaired the committee from January 2017 to January 2019, while remaining an active member on the ACT Divisional Advisory Board. Since August 2018, Eveline has been acting as chair of the National Youth Advisory Committee, contributing to youth engagement and working with other young humanitarians, helping to lead a shift in the way that youth participate in the Australian Red Cross.

Eveline has a background in law and commerce, a keen interest in human rights, volunteering and giving back, while aiming to inspire others to do the same. When studying her Master of Laws, Eveline became more interested in International Humanitarian Law and its connection with Red Cross. The combination of her professional interests and having a direct impact with people on the ground led Eveline to want to become more involved. In these roles, Eveline saw how young people could influence the activities and direction of the Red Cross.

Along with serving on our Board, Eveline is a policy adviser in the Australian Public Service, with experience in foreign investment, critical infrastructure security and legislative design. Eveline is also a qualified yoga teacher, teaching at local Canberra yoga studios, and is passionate about promoting wellness and wellbeing.

Wendy ProwseWendy has held various portfolios at a senior management level in the not-for-profit sector. Specialising in the health and community services sector she has an established track record in strategic development, business development, corporate governance, marketing, people and culture, organisational change management, research and policy.

A dedicated community citizen, Wendy has provided a consultancy service to new not-for-profit organisations providing assistance with governance, strategic human resources, policy and facilitated strategic planning sessions. She also volunteers on the following NFP Boards:

  • Volunteering ACT
  • No Sweat Fashions (social enterprise business)

Wendy has keen interest in social innovation and measuring social impact.

Sam HardjonoSam Hardjono was appointed Chair of the NSW Divisional Advisory Board in October 2015. He has been a member of the Divisional Advisory Board since 2010 and a member of the National Property Sub-Committee since 2013, National Awards and Finance Committee since 2015.

Sam is currently Chief Operating Officer for an investment company working with the property and technology start-up sectors. For more than a decade he was Chief Executive Officer of a large charity with projects in South-East Asia, South America and Australia. Prior to this, he was Managing Director of a UK-listed property service company, and previously Group Financial Controller for one of Australia's largest and iconic architectural firms.

Sam has served on various charity and community boards continuously since 1996 and was also a director of the Australia Indonesia Business Council for thirteen years. He has held numerous senior board positions, including National Vice President and Treasurer, and has chaired various intergovernmental forums. He was also board member of Waverley College in Sydney for twelve years and Chairman for the last four years.

For his service, dedication and exceptional leadership to the organisation, Sam was awarded a Distinguished Service Award in October 2017.

Sam holds a Bachelor of Business in Accounting and an MBA in International Business. He was twice a recipient of the Goldman Sachs JBWere scholarship for Harvard University's Non-Profit Leadership Program.

Kathleen joined the Northern Territory Division of the Australian Red Cross in 2000 from a corporate  career in mining finance and management.  Taking the role as Corporate Services Manager she worked for 10 years with the Northern Territory Red Cross in several leadership roles including as Indigenous Program Manager and Interim Divisional Director.  

Kathleen developed her social justice understanding and application of community development practices with Red Cross. Kathleen was deployed overseas with Red Cross work in China, Papua New Guinea and East Timor with short duration secondments working with local counterparts in finance and governance training and development.   Over her term of employment Kathleen was activated in many local, interstate and international disasters responses to natural disasters, terrorism and infrastructure failures.  Kathleen was awarded a Red Cross Distinguished Service Award for her work with the Cyclone Yass response in 2007 Kathleen maintained her active volunteering with Red Cross after her employment and has been part of the NT Advisory Board since 2014.  

Kathleen currently works with Menzies School of Health managing a collection of projects in Timor Leste related to public health.  Prior to that she held the position of Cancer Council NT CEO  from 2013 – 2018.

Kathleen is a FCPA and a GAICD. She sits on the PKKP Native Title Board as an Independent Director, the Mala’la Health Service Aboriginal Corporation as an Independent Director, is Deputy Chair of the Northern Territory Primary Health Network Consumer Advisory Board and Director of the Australia Football League of the Northern Territory.

Winifred (Win) joined Australian Red Cross in 1997 after retiring from the workforce as Queensland Administration Manager for a multi-national electrical company. Since then she has been an active member and volunteer, Win was appointed Chair of the Queensland Divisional Advisory Board in October 2018.

During her time with Red Cross, Win has served as Branch President, Regional President and Regional Voluntary Trainer and has served on a wide range of Divisional Committees. She has been active in supporting Emergency Services especially in the areas of Evacuation, Response and Recovery and has served on five of the Queensland Premiers Disaster Relief Fund Distribution Committees. She received the National Emergency Medal for her role in the Queensland 2011 floods and cyclone Yasi. She has served on the National Awards Committee as a member and chaired that committee for 4years. She is a Trustee on the Alexander Steel Young Lions Memorial Fund for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

She has received many awards for her work at Red Cross including Honorary Life Member in 2011 and the Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to Australian Red Cross Queensland Division and the community in 2015.

Rose RhodesRose was appointed as Chairperson of the SA Divisional Advisory Board (DAB) in October 2017. Rose originally joined Red Cross as a member and volunteer in the Northern Territory in 2007. On moving to South Australia, Rose was appointed to the SA DAB member in 2009 and was elected as Deputy Chairperson in 2011. As a volunteer, she continued to work in Emergency Services undertaking deployments to Queensland and in SA performing various roles including that of Team Leader, Planning Officer and Deputy Commander during activations as well as undertaking outreach services and Telecross REDi. Rose is also a REDiPlan trainer and community speaker. Throughout her working career, Rose completed several Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI) courses and contributed in the development of Australian Emergency Handbook Series (2011) – Community Management Practice: Recovery published through the Attorney General’s Department. Rose previously chaired the Disability Action Plan Committee and the Members and Volunteers sub-Committee in SA. She is currently a member on the National Emergency Services Advisory Group and a member of the National Services Advisory Group.

Rose previously worked in Health and Communities Services  with the South Australian and  the Northern Territory Government  including positions of  Regional Director of Health and Community Services, Executive Director of Community Services and Deputy Secretary Health and Community Services in the NT. Rose has a Bachelor of Health Administration; Graduate Diploma for Public Administration.

Rose was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2007 for her outstanding public service.

Anne MacarthurAnne joined Junior Red Cross in 1952 and has been an active member of the Lindenow & District Unit for 40 years. Anne is currently the Chairman of the Victorian Advisory Board. Anne also sits on the National Awards Committee and National Centenary and Member Engagement Committee and the Members and Volunteers Committee.

During her time with Red Cross Anne has been heavily involved in Unit and Regional governance, fundraising and other Red Cross activities. She is a trained Emergency Services volunteer and was involved in the Red Cross response during the Black Saturday bushfires.

Anne has been the Victorian Advisory Board representative on the Victorian International Humanitarian Law Committee for over 10 years, and a committee member of the Victorian Overseas Support Group since it started in 1997.

For Anne's extraordinary work with Red Cross she has been awarded Honorary Life Membership as well as other awards. In 2007 she was also awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her work in the wider community.

Aisling Blackmore was elected Chair of the West Australian Division in October 2019. She has been an active member and volunteer within Australian Red Cross since January 2010. Aisling has a B.A. (Hons), M.A. (Research) and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an alumna of the Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellowship. She has extensive experience in developing leadership systems and communities which are inclusive of the needs of young people and emerging leaders. She is committed to removing barriers to full participation and citizenship for people of all abilities and backgrounds.

Aisling has held leadership roles in Australian Red Cross on state, national, and international levels, and volunteered in services for people experiencing homelessness, newly arrived migrants and refugees, and peer-to-peer harm minimisation education. In recognition of her contributions, Aisling was awarded the Youth Meritorious Service Medal in 2014 and was shortlisted for WA Young Achiever of the Year in 2016. She has been Chair of the National Awards Committee since 2018.

Aisling is currently employed by the Commonwealth Government in the National Disability Insurance Agency as a specialist in psychosocial disability. Her national work role includes project management, policy development, and strategic advice.

In addition to work and Red Cross volunteering commitments, Aisling has been involved with the International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL) since 2016, and since 2017 has led and coordinated the IIDL Emerging Leaders strategy across the eight member countries.

Jim BirchJames (Jim) Birch was appointed Chair of the Blood Service in February 2016. He was previously a member of the South Australian Division Board from 2005 to 2008.

James is currently an independent consultant. Until January 2016 he was the Global Health Care Leader for Ernst and Young, having previously been their Oceania Government and Public Service Leader and the inaugural Leader of their Health and Human Services Practice for Asia Pacific. James has had over thirty five years of experience in planning, leading and implementing change in complex organisations such as Health Care, Justice and Human Services. He has also been the Chief Executive of a Human Services and Health Department, Deputy Chief Executive of a Justice Department and Chief Executive of major health service delivery organisations, including academic teaching hospitals.

At a national level James has been Chair of the Australian Health Minister's Advisory Council, a member of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, a Board Member of the National E Health Transition Authority and a Director of Health Direct Australia. James is currently Deputy Chair of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority and Director of Cancer SA, Mary MacKillop Care SA and Little Company of Mary Health Care (Calvary). James has a Bachelor of Health Administration and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Health Service Management.

Melissa was elected as an Additional Board Member in August 2018. Melissa is a consultant and academic with almost 20 years' experience working with migrants and refugees in Australia and overseas. She is an Adjunct Fellow at Western Sydney University’s Humanitarian and Development Research Initiative.

Melissa was formerly a Senior Regional Advisor on refugee protection and migration for Danish Refugee Council based in the Middle East and North Africa and has academic expertise on issues related to migration, multiculturalism and displacement. Melissa has worked for the United Nations in South Sudan and for international NGOs in Libya, the Horn of Africa and South Sudan in the areas of protection of civilians and humanitarian coordination. Melissa has formerly worked for the Australian Red Cross Tracing and Refugee Services department and managed a refugee resettlement project in Australia.

Melissa has a  Doctorate in Social and Political Sciences on the pre-migration experiences of migrants and refugees was completed at the University of Melbourne (2013). She also holds a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts (Honors).

Melissa is a Regional Advisor for the International Detention Coalition, is on the Advisory Board of Urban Refugees and is an Assistant Editor for the Journal of Intercultural Studies. In addition to her current role on the Board, Melissa is also a member of the Migration Programs Advisory Committee.

Cris was elected as an Additional Board Member in August 2018. A former refugee aided by Red Cross and migrant herself, Cris is passionate about and committed to contributing with her experience across innovation, digital agility and transformation to make a positive social impact and help those in need.

A senior technology executive, Cris was the Head of Merchant Acquiring and Payments Services at Coles and Coles Financial Services.  Prior to joining Coles, Cris held positions in military research and software agencies in Australia and overseas. She was recognized as one of the top 100 influential leaders in payments by Fin Tech Asia in 2016 and is a regular speaker at national and international conferences. Cris contributed to the establishment of a national payments framework and policy through committee membership at the Australian Payments & Clearing Association, Eftpos Payments Australia Ltd, the Australian Payments Council and Standards Australia.

Cris is a founding member of Women in Payments Australia and served as board member for three years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Sciences, Senior Leadership training from Mt. Eliza Business School. She is a certified Senior member of the Australian Computer Society and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ian HammIan is a Yorta Yorta man who has been actively involved in the Victorian Indigenous community in a personal and professional capacity for many years. Prior to joining our Board in April 2017 as an Additional Board Member, Ian was a member of the Victorian Divisional Advisory Board.

Ian has had a wide level of exposure to policy development and program management through his work with the Federal Government (Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health) and the Victorian Government (Department of Justice; Department of Planning and Community Development, Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources).

Ian holds a number of governance positions including: Chairperson: First Nations Foundation (national); Chairperson: Connecting Home Ltd (Stolen Generations Service); Chairperson: Koorie Heritage Trust (Vic) (Victorian Indigenous arts trust); Deputy Chair: Aboriginal Housing Victoria Ltd; Director: Tigers in Community Foundation; and Member: Sustainable Forestry Council, Victorian Association of Forest Industries. Ian is also a former President of the Western Region Football League, one of the major Australian football leagues in Melbourne.

Non-Board Member Attendees

Judy SlatyerJudy joins Red Cross after seven years as global Chief Operating Officer for WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), which operates in over 100 countries. In this role Judy was responsible for the operations of the Secretariat and field programme offices, for global corporate engagement and partnerships, for WWF performance measurement and for supporting the Director General on developing and implementing strategy for how WWF evolved as a Network given global trends.

Before that Judy was the Chief Executive Officer of Lonely Planet Publications for six years. Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel publisher with around 400 staff and 350 freelance travel writers. In her last year, Judy supported the sale of Lonely Planet to BBC Worldwide.

Before joining Lonely Planet Judy worked with a Silicon Valley start up to launch in Australia. She did this for 18 months while waiting until 'the right job came along' after she left Telstra. At Telstra Judy was the Chief of Consumer Sales responsible for over 6 million customers, over $4 billion in turnover and 5,000 staff. Judy was with Telstra for eight years starting in the International Division and was instrumental in the development of the Foxtel partnership.

Judy has also worked in the Australian government across a number of portfolios: Industrial Relations, Transport and Communications, Finance, Child Care and Social Security, including advising Ministers. She is also a keen cyclist and took a gap year when she cycled 6,000 kilometres from Greece to Norway.

Judy has an MBA from Sydney University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Canberra. She also attended a six week executive MBA at Stanford University while at Telstra.

Jeni McDonough

While not a member, Jeni attends all Board meetings and commenced working with Red Cross in September 2004 as Assistant to the Board and was appointed Board Secretary in December 2009.

Jeni has more than 40 years' experience in administration, the majority of which have been at a senior level working in the education, banking, chemicals, information management, utilities and not for profit sectors.

She holds a Secretarial Diploma, Certificate of Governance Practice and Administration, Certificate of Governance for Not-For-Profits and is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia (FGIA).

Jeni was awarded a Distinguished Staff Award in 2009 and received her 10 year Long Service Medal in September 2014.