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Board profiles

Michael Legge AM – President – to December 2017

Michael Legge AM completed his term as President of the Society in December 2017. Michael had a long and distinguished involvement with Red Cross and his leadership appointments are numerous. He serviced as President for six years, Deputy President for seven years. Prior to his National appointments, Michael was a member of the Australian Red Cross Tasmanian Divisional Advisory Board and Finance Committee and was Deputy Chairman of the Division in 1998 and Chairman in 1999. Michael has also served on the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Board from 2001 to 2011 and served as Chairman of the Board’s International Committee from April 2008 until November 2011. Michael was appointed as a Special Councillor in December 2017 where he continues to contribute to the governance of the Society both within Australia and abroad for the Federation.

Ross Pinney – President – Elected December 2017

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.

Ross’ qualifications include a MBA and B Comm.  He is a fellow of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Lyndal Herbert – Deputy President – from December 2017

Lyndal was elected Deputy President at the Annual General Meeting in December 2017. In her role as Deputy President, Lyndal was also appointed as a non executive director of Australian Red Cross Blood Service, and serves as a member of their Risk Committee.

Lyndal has been volunteering with Australian Red Cross since 2003 when she joined the Tasmanian Divisional Advisory Board as Treasurer.  In November 2006 Lyndal was elected to the role of Deputy Chair and then in November 2012 to Chair of the Advisory Board.  In addition to these Divisional roles, Lyndal served on a number of National committees, including the National Asset and Investment Strategy Committee (2008 - 2013), the National Awards Committee (2009 – 2012), and the Finance Committee (2013 - 2016).  She is a current member of the Audit and Risk Committee, the National Awards Committee and the Investment Sub-Committee.  In February 2015 Lyndal initiated the commencement of the Divisional Advisory Board Chairs meetings, regularly coordinating these prior to each National Board meeting until she stepping down as the Chair of the Tasmanian Divisional Advisory Board on her election to Deputy President in December 2017.

Lyndal commenced her career as a taxation advisor in Melbourne with Arthur Andersen & Co, and moved to Hobart where she has worked with KPMG since 2001. She is currently a Director in KPMG’s tax practice, advising large companies, government enterprises and superannuation funds. She is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (FCA) and a Graduate Member of The Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Jan West AM – Chair, Audit and Risk Committee

Jan has more than 40 years of finance and audit experience across Australian and international listed and private companies, government agencies and community organisations. She is currently a non-executive director of Australia Post, Dairy Australia, Neurosciences Victoria and Melbourne Forum as well as an independent member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance. She has been President and Chairman of the Board of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a member of the Financial Reporting Council, an audit partner at Deloitte and a non-executive director of a number of commercial and not-for-profit entities.

In recognition of her services to the accountancy profession and to the community, Jan was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007 and was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001.

Jan is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (FCA) and a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

In addition to chairing the Red Cross Audit and Risk Committee, Jan is also a member of our Finance Committee, Nominations and Remuneration Committee and Blood Service Finance and Audit Committee.

James Birch AM – Chair, Australian Red Cross Blood Service Board

James 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 & Young, having previously been its Oceania Government and Public Service Leader and the inaugural Leader of its Health and Human Services Practice for Asia Pacific. James has had more than 35 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. In addition to the Blood Service, James is currently the Chair of the Australian Digital Health Agency, Deputy Chair of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority, a Director of the Little Company of Mary Board, a Director of the Cancer Council of South Australia and Chair of the Board for Clevertar Pty Ltd.

James has a Bachelor of Health Administration from the University of NSW (1983) and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Health Service Management (FCHSM).

Dianne Buckles – Chair, WA Divisional Advisory Board

Dianne was appointed Chair of the WA Divisional Advisory Board in October 2013 and has been a member of the Divisional Board since 2006, taking up the position of Vice President in 2007 and Deputy Chair in 2009.

Dianne originally joined Red Cross in 1999 as a passionate member and volunteer, and continues to volunteer in various areas such as Emergency Services, undertaking many deployments in a variety of roles both interstate and intrastate. She is Australasian Inter-Service Incident Management System (AIIMS) trained and has completed several Australian Emergency Management Institute courses, is a volunteer trainer, a REDiPlan/Pillowcase facilitator/presenter, a Team Convenor and represents Australian Red Cross on the City of Stirling Local Emergency Management Committee. Dianne also volunteers in other Australian Red Cross programs including the Migration Support Program and Community Services Program.

She is currently the Chair of the WA Awards Committee, President of the fundraising ‘Flower Committee’ Unit, and member on the National Audit & Risk Committee, the National Services Advisory Group, the National Emergency Services Advisory Group and the WA International Humanitarian Law Committee.

For her service, dedication and exceptional leadership to the organisation, Dianne was awarded Honorary Life Membership in 2016.

Now retired, Dianne worked in the corporate information technology sector for many years, and then in computer software consulting.

Charles Burkitt – Chair, NT Divisional Advisory Board

Charles was elected Chair of the Northern Territory Divisional Advisory Board in October 2014, after having served as a Board Member for numerous years.

His affiliation with Australian Red Cross dates back to a very early age where he was introduced to the significance of the organisation’s work by immediate family members who have had a very active involvement with Red Cross. Charles has consistently contributed in a voluntary nature to the Society and continues to contribute significantly to the Community, especially within the Northern Territory.

Charles began his career as an Investment Adviser specialising in financial markets, having worked in that industry for more than 15 years. He now actively works within the property 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.

John Dorrian – Additional Board Member

John Dorrian has been a member of the Australian Red Cross Board since August 2012. He is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee and the Finance Committee and Chair of the Investment Sub-Committee. He is also Vice Chair of the Finance Commission of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva and Chair of its Investment Sub-Committee.

John has had extensive experience as a non-executive director of a number of significant listed and unlisted public and private companies, joint ventures and funds operating in a wide range of industries. These include investment and funds management, electricity and gas distribution, airports, electricity generation, ports, food processing, mineral processing, agribusiness and major not-for-profit organisations. He is currently Chairman and Independent Non-Executive Director of Colonial First State Infrastructure Managers (Australia) Limited and First State Infrastructure Managers (International) Limited.

John has a Bachelor of Arts (Accounting and Finance) from Macquarie University, is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (FCA) and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ian Hamm – Additional Board Member

Ian 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 at executive level 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, and the Department of 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: Institute of Public Administration Australia (Vic); and Director: National Trust Australia (Vic). He also serves on a number of Advisory Boards and is a former President of the Western Region Football League, one of the major Australian football leagues in Melbourne. Ian is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Vic).

Sam Hardjono – Chair, NSW Divisional Advisory Board

Sam 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.

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

Sam is currently a senior strategic adviser, working with leaders in the corporate, not for profit and 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 Australian Managing Director of a NASDAQ/London Stock Exchange listed property service company, and previously Group Financial Controller for one of Australia's largest and iconic architectural firms.

He has served on various boards continuously since 1996 including the Australia Indonesia Business Council for thirteen years. He was also board member of Catholic Healthcare (Hunters Hills), Waverley College in Sydney for twelve years and Chairman for the last four, as well as advisory roles for several start-up’s.

Sam holds a Bachelor of Business in Accounting and an MBA in International Business.

Pearl Li – Chair, National Youth Advisory Committee

Pearl Li was elected Youth Member of the Australian Red Cross Board in 2014. Pearl’s involvement with Red Cross began in late 2011, when she became President of the Red Cross Club at the University of Adelaide. She soon joined the South Australian Youth Advisory Committee, going on to become the representative for our National Youth Advisory Committee and making a key contribution to youth engagement within Red Cross.

Along with serving on our Board, Pearl also studies law and has volunteered with many of our programs such as Telecross REDi, Save-A-Mate, emergency services outreach and migration support programs. Her vast experience in youth engagement and community service includes mentoring student volunteers for service trips to India and volunteering with the Smith Family and World Vision.

Anne Macarthur OAM – Chair, VIC Divisional Advisory Board

Anne joined Junior Red Cross in 1952 and has been an active member of Lindenow & District Branch for 49 years. Anne is currently the Chairman of the Victorian Advisory Board. She also chairs the Red Cross Emergency Services Advisory Group and is a member of the Nominations and Remunerations Committee and Property Sub-Committee.

During her time with Red Cross Anne has been heavily involved in Branch and Regional governance, fundraising and other Red Cross activities. Anne was a trained Emergency Services volunteer for more than 20 years and was heavily involved during the Black Saturday bushfires.

Anne represented the Victorian Advisory Board on the Victorian International Humanitarian Law committee for 15 years and has been a member and past Chairman of the Victorian Overseas Support Group since its inception in 1997. Anne has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of Australian Red Cross as well as other awards. Anne was the Bairnsdale Citizen of the Year in 2005 and was also awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2007 for her work in the wider community and, in 2016, a Victorian COTA Senior Achiever award.

John Pinney AM – Chair, QLD Divisional Advisory Board

John first began his association with Australian Red Cross volunteering for the Alice Springs Branch in 1981. Since then, he has held a number of senior leadership positions, including Chair of the Northern Territory Divisional Advisory Board and Vice-Chairman for the National Board. He joined the Queensland Divisional Advisory Board in 2007. He Chairs the International Advisory Committee and is a member of the Migration Programs Advisory Group and the Finance Committee, where he Chairs the Property Sub-Committee.

John has represented both the Australian Red Cross and the International Federation at various meetings.

During his career, John was CEO of a government department and, later, Chairman of two Statutory Authorities. He remains an active independent board director.

John was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his work in the Red Cross Movement. He has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Diploma of Agriculture from the University of Melbourne, and a post graduate Diploma of Executive Management from Charles Darwin University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian Property Institute and an accredited mediator.

Margaret Piper AM – Additional Board Member

Margaret is a consultant with more than 30 years’ experience in the refugee sector, including as Executive Director of the Refugee Council of Australia (1991 - 2005) and as a board member of a number of agencies working with refugees and asylum seekers. She currently is a member of the Advisory Board of Multicultural NSW and the Board of MYAN NSW and also works as a consultant, primarily in the areas of policy, research and capacity building.

Margaret served over many years as the non-government adviser to the Australian Government delegation to the annual meeting of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva and has undertaken field work in many parts of the world. In recognition of her service to the community through leadership and advocacy roles assisting refugees and asylum seekers, Margaret was appointed Member of the Order of Australia in 2011.

Margaret has had lifetime connections to Red Cross and, in addition to her current role on the Board, she also chairs the Services Advisory Committee and is a member of the Migration Programs Advisory Committee and Audit and Risk Committee.

Rose Rhodes PSM – Chair, SA Divisional Advisory Board – appointed October 2017

Rose was appointed as Chair of the SA Divisional Advisory Board in October 2017 and as such a member of the Society’s Board. 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 was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2007 for her outstanding public service.

Registered Nurse – Royal Adelaide Hospital Year graduated 1971
Post Basic Operating Cert 1972
Registered Midwife – UK 1973
Diploma of Hospital Nursing andUnit Management – College of Nursing Australia 1976
Bachelor of Health Administration – UNSW 1988
Graduate Diploma for Public Administration.- Charles Darwin University - 1994

Sue Vardon AO – Chair, SA Divisional Advisory Board to October 2017

Before being appointed Chair of the SA divisional advisory board, Sue was an independent member of the National Board for two years. Sue chairs the Members and Volunteers Committee and is on the Information Technology Committee. 

Sue chaired the National Centenary Committee. Sue was a chief executive for 23 years in a variety of State and Commonwealth agencies including the inaugural CEO of Centrelink. Her work in public sector governance has continued in South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and PNG. Sue has many years of experience in disaster management. 

Sue was the Inaugural Telstra Business Woman of the Year and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of South Australia for community services. Sue is the Chair of Connecting Up providing digital services to the not for profit sector. Sue is the Chair of ECH in South Australia.

Wendy Prowse – Chair, ACT Divisional Advisory Board

Wendy was appointed the Chair of the ACT Divisional Advisory Board in 2016 having held the Deputy Chair role for three years and has been a member of the DAB since 2012. She joined the National Red Cross Board in October 2016 and has since become a member of the Nominations and Remuneration Committee and Services Advisory Group.

With more than 25 years’ experience working in the not-for-profit sector within the health and community services industry, Wendy has an established track record in strategic and business development, corporate governance, marketing, people & culture, organisational change management, research and policy. Building on this expertise, Wendy now leads the community development division at Beyond Bank Australia in the ACT and south-east NSW and continues to have a keen interest in social impact and social innovation. Wendy holds a Graduate Certificate in Management with Charles Sturt University and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Colin Taylor – Chair, TAS Divisional Advisory Board

Appointed to the Tasmanian Divisional Advisory Board in May 2017, Colin was elected Chair of the Division in December 2017.

Col is an experienced Senior People and Business Manager skilled in Brand & Marketing Management, Digital Media and Production, Advertising, Human Resources, and Asset Management, Sales and Media Trainer, Compelling and Engaging Speaker and Culture Builder. 

GM of Hobart's leading Commercial Radio Station 7HOFM  and a small business owner, with experience working in most mediums including Radio, Television, Directories, Press and Outdoor - A Family man with 7 adult children and a network of key influencers in Tasmania, he provides a practical conduit for business and community not for profits to maximise their brand engagement.

He is passionate about making a positive difference in life and Red Cross provides a fantastic synergistic fit.

Voluntary roles and associations included Chair and Director of Hobart Chamber of Commerce, Director Launceston Chamber of Commerce, City Prom Launceston, member City of Learning, member of Athenaeum Club Hobart.

Jeni McDonough - Board Secretary

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

Jeni has more than 39 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 years’ Long Service Medal in September 2014.