Allan is a chartered accountant who commenced his working life with a medium sized accounting firm, prior to moving into commerce. Since moving into commerce Allan has worked for large corporates (Caltex/Huhtamaki) to small-medium, family owned businesses. The highlight being two years working for SOCOG on the Sydney Olympic games.
During this time Allan has gained experience in all aspects of financial control, business planning & forecasting, software selection & implementation, and training.
Christian GergisHead of Policy, Advocacy
Christian is responsible for providing strategic leadership of the AICD public policy agenda and policy team, engaging with members, government, industry and other stakeholders across a wide range of issues. Prior to joining the AICD, Christian held senior roles at financial services industry bodies including most recently as the Head of Policy & Research at the Australian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (AVCAL).
Christian commenced his career at Herbert Smith Freehills where he practiced in the Corporate and Litigation areas, working on matters including the Cole Royal Commission into alleged abuses of the UN Oil-For-Food Program and actions against the former directors and auditors of collapsed gold mining firm, Sons of Gwalia. After leaving HSF, Christian provided strategic policy and legal advice at the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade in Canberra, before serving for three years in the Middle East as an Australian diplomat reporting on political, strategic and economic issues. Christian holds a combined Bachelor of Economics (Social Sciences)/Law (First Class Honours) degree from the University of Sydney, and a Master of Laws from the Australian National University.
Dianne Azoor HughesStrategic Minds
Dianne has more than 30 years of business experience and currently operates as an independent consultant for governance, risk and audit. Dianne promotes corporate governance practices that are ‘fit for purpose’. Growing businesses need to adapt their governance and risk processes as they transform from small closely held entities into larger businesses with a wider stakeholder group. Dianne has a balanced, considered perspective and is a strong supporter of informed decision-making.
Dianne is an independent audit committee member for the Victorian Legal Services Board and the Victorian Building Authority and a board member for a not-for-profit organisation. She is chair of Monash University Department of Accounting Advisory Committee.
Previously, Dianne was a board member of the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and Technical Standards Partner at Pitcher Partners.
Dianne’s expertise includes:
Corporate governance and risk; financial management; financial reporting; audit; professional ethics; development of policies and procedures
Dianne is a Fellow of ICAANZ and holds a Master of Business Law and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Advanced Accounting. She is a member of AICD and was been a member of the AICD Reporting Committee for the past ten years, retiring in September 2018.
Dianne is author of the AICD Publication: “Financial Fundamentals for Directors”
Dr Meg BrodieDirector, KPMG Banarra, Human Rights and Social Impact Services
Meg is a human rights specialist with deep experience across the corporate, government and community sectors. Meg has particular expertise in transformative human rights change processes and complex stakeholder dynamics and specialises in working with corporate clients to translate human rights commitments into practical action plans.
Meg is a recognised expert in corporate responses to modern slavery reporting requirements, working with clients in property, financial services, retail and other sectors on leading practical solutions to human rights risk. Meg leads KPMG Banarra’s human rights service line and manages KPMG’s Global Human Rights Network, coordinating human rights and sustainability experts from across KPMG.
Prior to joining KPMG, Meg worked on a significant statutory human rights independent review and has extensive field experience, including across Asia and Africa. Meg has a PhD in human rights law and has also published on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. Meg understands the importance of organisational readiness and works with clients to design and deliver capacity building to effectively navigate the human rights landscape.
Dr Simon Longstaff AOExecutive Director
The Ethics Centre
Simon’s distinguished career includes being named as one of AFR Boss’ True Leaders for the 21st century, with Carol Schwartz noting; "I don’t know one CEO or chairman in corporate Australia who has not worked with Simon Longstaff". Simon Longstaff began his working life on Groote Eylandt (Anindilyakwa) in the Northern Territory where he worked in the Safety Department of the then BHP subsidiary, GEMCO. He is proud of his kinship ties with members of the island’s Indigenous community. Following a period studying law in Sydney and a brief career teaching in Tasmania, Simon undertook postgraduate studies in philosophy as a Member of Magdalene College, Cambridge. Simon commenced his work as the first Executive Director of The Ethics Centre in 1991. Simon is a Fellow of CPA Australia and in June 2016, was appointed an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University – based at the National Centre for Indigenous Studies. Formerly serving as the inaugural President of The Australian Association for Professional & Applied Ethics, Simon serves on a number of boards and committees across a broad spectrum of activities. He was formerly a Fellow of the World Economic Forum.
Graham Bradley AM FAICD
Graham Bradley is a professional company director and is currently Non-Executive Chairman of GrainCorp, HSBC Bank Australia and EnergyAustralia Holdings. He is a director of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, GI Dynamics and Chairman of Infrastructure NSW. He is a director of Tennis Australia and chairs Virgin Australia International Holdings.
Graham’s former board roles included Stockland Corporation (Chairman 2005–2016), Anglo American Australian Advisory Board (Chairman 2004–2016), Queensland Investment Corporation (Director 2004–2010), Singapore Telecommunications (Director 2004–2011), Boart Longyear (Chairman 2006–2010) and MBF (Bupa) (Director 2004–2010).
Graham was Managing Director of Perpetual Limited from 1995–2003. Under his leadership, Perpetual grew to become one of Australia's leading listed funds management and financial services groups.
Prior to joining Perpetual, Graham was National Managing Partner of national law firm, Blake Dawson (now Ashurst). Before this, Graham was a partner of McKinsey & Company, a leading international firm of management consultants.
Graham was President of the Business Council of Australia from 2009–2011 and Deputy President of the Takeovers Panel. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Australian School of Business at UNSW. Graham also devotes time to a range of non-profit organisations, including the State Library of NSW Foundation.
Graham was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2009 in recognition of his contribution to business, medical research and the arts. He was Australian Institute of Company Directors Distinguished Fellow for 2012.
Jennifer Robertson FAICDSenior Consultant
After more than ten years in private legal practice, Jennifer made the strategic career move to become a corporate governance consultant at Board Matters. Throughout her private practice, Jennifer had sat on boards of many organisations, so she undertook business studies at QUT and decided to make the leap into the world of corporate governance consulting.
Today, Jennifer is still a practising lawyer, governance consultant and company director. Over the past 15 years, she has sat on or chaired a number of boards. Her board appointments include statutory bodies, public authorities, an APRA regulated superannuation fund, an ASIC regulated financial planning entity and several not-for-profit organisations.
Jennifer is currently Chair of the Defence Reserves Support Council Queensland and Deputy Chair of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission. She is also the first non-pilot director on the board of Brisbane Marine Pilots in its 28-year history and she chairs the Audit and Compliance Committee for Queensland Independent Schools Block Grant Authority.
Jennifer also consults with many corporate clients. She is a Fellow of The Australian Institute of Company Directors and facilitates their Company Director Course.
Jonathan is a transactional lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience in both international and domestic areas and is widely recognised by his peers for his expertise and technical ability. He leads the national Business, Corporate and Commercial group and the Not-For-Profit group for Holman Webb.
Jonathan advises clients from both the private and public sector including associations and charities in respect of governance and compliance, off-market M&A, structuring business activities, advising on corporate constitutional and strategic and member issues, commercial contracts, competition and consumer law, and intellectual property.
Jonathan is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is also a member of local law associations, the American Bar Association and the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association amongst others, and sits on the ACNC Professional users group. He presents at the Governance Institute of Australia and has completed their corporate governance and risk offerings.
Jonathan is a guest presenter at industry conferences and seminars and regularly invited to contribute to a number of business law and not-for-profit and charity sector publications. in Sydney.
Louise joined the AICD in July 2015 with responsibility for public policy, government affairs, media and the Governance Leadership Centre.
Louise was previously the CEO of the Customer Owned Banking Association, the peak body for Australia’s $100 billion mutual banking sector. She has also held roles in consumer advocacy, government and banking. Louise is chair of the NFP HADIA Foundation and was previously a director of Settlement Services International and the World Council of Credit Unions.
Malcolm Simister is a chartered accountant and experienced finance professional with a background in a ‘big 4’ accounting firm in England and Australia, in senior finance positions in large companies and in consulting to CFOs.
Malcolm now runs his own business training company directors and business managers in finance, and accountants in commercial and analysis skills. He also consults to businesses on business performance management. In addition to writing numerous articles and papers on finance and business topics, in 2016 he published his new book Accountants’ New World – the Essential Guide to being a Valued Business Partner.
Malcolm has held board and audit committee positions in the education, health care, social services, professional services and government sectors.
Mike ChristensenManaging Director
Mike is a respected and experienced company director, board advisor, capital and risk expert and business consultant. In addition to his current board and committee roles (including President and Chair of the Finance and Treasury Association), Mike is a Senior Consultant at Stellar Business Consulting, helping SME businesses scale and grow their business asset. Through his own company, Truro Partners, Mike also provides strategic treasury advise, primarily to property asset and fund management companies.
Prior to this, Mike had a very successful, 25 year, finance and treasury career, spanning US, UK and Australia, including 16 years working in the commercial property sector for top 50 ASX companies DEXUS and Westfield. His executive roles include GM Head of Treasury, Head of Finance Transformation and Head of Strategic Planning.
Mike understands, and has lived, the many complexities and challenges involved in managing risk and scaling businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Padma RamanChief Executive, Australian Human Rights Commission
Australian Human Rights Commission
Padma Raman PSM has a long-established career committed to protecting and advancing human rights.She is the Chief Executive of Australia’s national human rights institution, the Australian Human Rights Commission, and came to the position after establishing the Victorian Law
Reform Commission. During that time, Ms Raman was also a member of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC). She was instrumental in assisting the Victorian Government develop and implement the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.
In 2018, Ms Raman was awarded a Public Service Medal, which recognises outstanding service by employees of the federal, state, territory and local governments. Ms Raman was singled out for leading significant cultural, technological and governance change at the Commission and for her contributions as CEO of the Victorian Law Reform Commission.
Paul TraversDirector, Treasury Services
Paul has over 30 years experience in treasury, risk management and banking working from buy, sell and advisory perspectives. As a director at KPMG, leading their Sydney Treasury Services team, he helps clients manage their key treasury risks and providing an ongoing treasury service. He is also active in the industry through the Finance and Treasury Association as a past president, board member and chair of the Technical and Congress committee and FINSIA as the current chair of their Institutional Markets Industry Council.
Penny KnightManaging Director, Baxter Lawley Research
Penny Knight is Managing Director, BaxterLawley and has conducted the NFP Governance and Performance study on behalf of AICD for the last 5 years. Penny specialises in providing strategic planning, change management, performance management, research and evaluation advice for the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. She undertakes national projects in the NFP sector and is a member of the board of Nulsen Disability Services and Therapy Focus.
Phil Butler GAICDSector Leader, NFP AICD
Phil Butler is Sector Leader, NFP with the AICD and in this role engages closely with boards, CEO’s and directors of NFP and public organisations across Australia to assist in the ongoing development of their governance. He is a Graduate of the Company Directors Course and a member of CPA Australia, and has been on a range of NFP and Government boards and currently is a director of Alzheimer’s Australia ACT.
Professor Rajesh VasaHead of Translational Research & Development, Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute, Deakin University
Rajesh Vasa, Head of Translational Research & Development, Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute, Deakin University.
Rajesh Vasa is an innovator and entrepreneur with over two decades of experience spanning both industry and academia with a specialisation in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and complex software systems design. His career spans roles in technology engineering, operations and executive leadership with an international work profile. He is currently a tenured Professor at Deakin University with multiple successful start-ups and spin-outs from his lab some of which are now mature organisations spanning the globe.
Rob Newman BA, PG PSYCH, MAPSOrganisational Psychologist | Specialist Advisor
Rob is an organisational psychologist specialising in board, director and executive dynamics, leadership coaching and change management. He contributes and facilitates AICD’s advanced courses in director behavior and managing dynamics in the boardroom.
Rob also works as an executive advisor and coach to senior executives and directors helping them deal with problems such as: leader performance, board and executive conflict, failures in organisational cultural and people risk. In all his work Rob’s primary goal is to create alignment and synergy between people and organisational systems, such that high performance can emerge and be sustained.
In his practice, Rob integrates his deep understanding of organisational and human behavior, with the corporate systems of governance, strategy, structure and operations. The result is a combination of incisive analysis of critical issues, and pragmatic solutions that move people and systems to higher levels of capability and performance.
Rob is a managing partner with Change Focus Group, an advisory and consultancy firm providing organisational psychology services in the areas of human and organisational assessment, group facilitation, team development and organisational change
Rob also holds directorship roles in Schuhfried Australia, an international supplier of clinical assessment tools to the medical and neuroscience markets, and Veedre, a psychometric testing firm servicing mining and transport industries.
Robert WebsterSenior Client Partner and head of Board Services
Robert Webster is a senior client partner based in Korn Ferry's Sydney office, where he heads the Board Services practice in Australasia and the Asia Pacific region. He also works in the Financial Services practice and the Professional Services practice.
Before joining Korn Ferry in 2001 Robert spent five years as Executive Director of the International Banks and Securities Association of Australia.
Prior to his financial sector experience, Robert spent over a decade in politics. He was an elected MP for Goulburn in 1984 and became a Minister in the Greiner government in January 1989. In May 1991, he was elected to the Legislative Council of New South Wales (NSW).
His ministerial portfolios included Planning, Housing and Property Services, Family and Community Services, Energy, State Development, Tourism, Administrative Services and Transport. Some of Robert’s ministerial achievements include the redevelopment of Homebush Bay for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the commercialisation of electricity authorities in NSW and corporatisation of the Sydney Water Board into the Sydney Water Corporation.
Robert Webster holds various directorships. He is a Director of Brickworks Ltd and the Greater Sydney Local Land Services board. He is also a Justice of the Peace.
Rose Bryant-SmithDirector and Co-founder
Rose is co-author of Workplace Investigations (CCH Wolters Kluver, 2018) and Fix Your Team (Wiley, 2018). She is a past Vincent Fairfax Fellow in Ethics and Leadership (2009) and Human Rights Law Fellow with Mercy Global Action at the United Nations (2016). With a legal background at major corporate law firms, she has worked in Melbourne, New York and London.
Rose has held various board positions since 2007 in the health care, housing, social services, professional services and government sectors. She is currently a director of Queen Elizabeth Centre (appointed by the Minister for Health) and Australian Home Care Services, and a committee member of Homeward Bound and the Australian Association of Workplace Investigators.
Rose Bryant-Smith is a founding partner and non-executive director of workplace advisory firm, Worklogic. Worklogic consults with employers and boards to minimise the risk of unethical employee behaviour, addressing conflict and improving company culture. Rose’s team investigates integrity breaches, mediates conflict, reviews dysfunctional teams, and designs conflict management systems.
Rose is a graduate of the Company DirectorsCourse.
Sally LinwoodSenior Policy Adviser
Sally is a senior policy adviser at the AICD and is responsible for developing, researching and advocating public policy positions related to corporate governance regulation and practice.
Prior to joining the AICD, Sally was a senior associate in the corporate advisory team at Herbert Smith Freehills where she provided advice to the corporate head offices and General Counsel of ASX-listed companies on a range of corporate governance, Corporations Act and ASX Listing Rule issues.
Sally holds Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Sydney.
Sarah Cobb GAICDManaging Director
Sarah has had extensive experience in business management and strategic growth and development in the private, franchise, not-for-profit and government sectors.
Currently Sarah is:
- Managing Director of Cariblue, a management and franchise consultancy company delivering services nationally;
- Director of BforB– Australia, Australian franchisor of an international referral marketing company;
- A member of the Franchise Council of Australia’s Queensland Committee; and is an experienced board member.
Prior to establishing Cariblue, Sarah was a board member of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and CEO of Australia’s largest bookkeeping franchise, First Class Accounts. Here she led the repositioning, re-branding and introduction of professional management into this national franchise.
Sarah's other former directorships include Director of Lantern Ghost Tours – Gold Coast franchise.
Sarah has an MBA, a Bachelor of Arts in Accountancy and Finance, and is a Certified Developer of Enterprise.
Silvia de RidderEngineer of Human Excellence
Silvia de Ridder is managing director of Unconscious Potential. She describes herself as an engineer of human excellence. She works with organisations in the areas of leadership and people development. Her clients include business owners, C-level executives, senior and mid-level managers across public, private and not-for-profit organisations.
Silvia has an insatiable appetite and passion for learning and sharing knowledge. It can be guaranteed that she will always be undertaking some form of learning.
Silvia has partnered with AICD since 2017 supporting the Chair’s Mentoring Program.