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Our board

Heather Watson, Chairperson

Heather Watson has shoulder length dark brown hair and wears a pin stripe jacket over a white shirt Heather is a Consultant and former Partner with McCullough Robertson, Lawyers. She is a specialist charity lawyer with broad experience across the non-profit sector, having acted for and been a member of many community and charitable organisations. Her expertise includes aged care, health and community services, affordable housing and Indigenous communities.

Heather served the maximum nine-year term as a board member of UnitingCare Queensland - seven years as Chairperson. She also holds directorships with: Community Services Industry Alliance Ltd (Chairperson); Epic Good Foundation (Chairperson); Uniting in Vic.Tas; Australian Regional and Remote Community Services, a subsidiary of UnitingCare Qld and service provider in the Northern Territory; National Affordable Housing Consortium Ltd and SEFA Partnerships Ltd. She is also a member of the Advisory Council to the Queensland Family and Child Commission.

Heather joined the Uniting Board in July 2015 and was appointed Chairperson in October 2016.

Gillian Coutts, Deputy Chair

Gillian Coutts has light brown hair cut in a bob and wears a blue and read dress with a silver necklaceGillian is a change and business management professional. Her career began with Shell Australia Limited before moving into executive roles in Sales and Operations at David Jones and Pacific Brands. She now consults in change management and leadership development.

Gillian is a partner in The Potential Project Australia, which has a charter for bringing mindfulness-based contemplative practices to the workplace to improve employee wellbeing, capacity and wisdom, and create a more sustainable world.

Gillian is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and her community work includes supporting women post-breast cancer, following her own treatment and recovery.

Gillian joined Uniting’s predecessor Service Board in 2005 and the Uniting Board in March 2014 upon its establishment. Gillian is Chairperson of the Board’s Customer and People Transformation Committee (formerly People and Systems Committee).

Dr Andrew John Young

Andrew Young has short brown hair and is wearing a blue jacket and a pale blue checked shirtAndrew is the Chief Executive Officer of mental health charity Aftercare. He is dedicated to improving the effectiveness of social impact across sectors. He brings a systems approach and is passionate about having a strong outcomes focus, evidence and measurement, collaboration and leadership development.

Andrew is an engineer with background in business strategy with Andersen Consulting. His first not-for-profit role was head of marketing for The Smith Family from 2000; he then served as CanTeen Australia's CEO for eight years, winning Equity Trustees’ Not-for-profit CEO First Year Achiever Award in 2005. He was the CEO of the multi-University partnership the Centre for Social Impact from 2012 until 2016.

Andrew joined the Uniting Board in July 2015 and is Chairperson of the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee.

Anne Carroll

Anne Carroll has short ginger hair and wears an electric blue dress with a necklace of fire orangeAnne has an extensive background working in senior management roles within private hospitals. She is a registered nurse with a postgraduate degree in Public Health, majoring in Health Services Management.

Anne has served on Uniting Boards since 2009. Her other board roles include Chair of the University of Technology Academic Advisory Committees for the Enrolled Nurses/Graduate Entry Accelerated Course (2010), Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Arts in International Studies Curriculum Review (2009), and Bachelor of Nursing Curriculum Review (2009). She is Chair of the Private Hospital Benchmarking Group and the Day Surgery Benchmarking Group and is Board Treasurer for Family Drug Support.

Anne joined Uniting’s predecessor Service Board in 2010 and the Uniting Board in March 2014 upon its establishment. Upon retirement of Tony Stephenson from the Board, Anne was appointed Chairperson of the Board’s Care and Clinical Governance Committee.

Bronwyn Pike

Bronwyn Pike has short brown hair with signs of grey and wears a white jacket over a floral dressFollowing an early teaching career, Bronwyn joined the Victorian Uniting Church as Director of Justice and Social Responsibility. She managed the delivery of a broad range of health, social and educational services through more than 100 UnitingCare agencies.

Bronwyn was elected to the Victorian Parliament in 1999 and held the portfolios of Housing, Aged Care, Community Services, Health and Education.

Bronwyn is also Chair of Western Health; Chair of Uniting in Vic/Tas; and Chair of UnitingCare Australia. Bronwyn is also president of the Australian College of Educators.

Bronwyn joined the Uniting Board in July 2015 and is Chairperson of the Board’s Governance and Church Collaboration Committee.

Rev Jane Fry

Jane Fry has very short grey hair and wears a black jacket over a colourful dressRev Jane Fry is the General Secretary of the Uniting Church of Australia Synod of New South Wales and the ACT and has more than 20 years’ experience in pastoral ministry and church leadership. She is a pastoral supervisor, an experienced mentor and a mediator and conflict coach.

Jane has had considerable experience in ministry and leading the church in times of change, including helping the UCA Sydney North Presbytery understand the necessities and challenges of transitional ministry.

Jane joined the Uniting Board in November 2016, upon her appointment to the role of Acting General Secretary.

Jane Thornton

Jane Thornton has short blond hair and wears a black jacket and dress with a pearl necklaceJane has 30 years’ experience in senior executive roles with global IT companies and S&P/ASX50 corporations. Her enduring interest in social justice started with volunteer work with Melbourne’s Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Jane holds a Master of Business Administration and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2006, she joined the Sydney Region UnitingCare Ageing Board and she went on to chair that Board. Jane has also served in several executive committee positions for Uniting in NSW.ACT. Jane is Chair of the War Memorial Hospital Board, and a member of the Board of BoardConnect, a service providing support to Australian not-for-profit boards.

Jane joined Uniting’s predecessor Service Board in 2010 and the Uniting Board in March 2014 upon its establishment. Upon retirement of Arthur Psaltis from the Board, Jane was appointed Chairperson of the Board’s Capital Advancement Committee.

Liz Nicol

Liz Nicol has shoulder length black hair and wears a white jacket over a dark dress with a single pearl necklaceLiz is an experienced leadership consultant with specialist expertise in organisational behaviour and culture change. She is an Executive Director of SafetyWorks Group, working with leading Australian companies to develop strategic approaches to managing health and safety effectively and influencing organisational culture change. She has experience across a wide range of sectors bringing skills in leadership and collaborative approaches to engage people toward achieving organisational vision.

Liz is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an experienced non-executive director. She has recently concluded her role as Chair of Leapfrog Ability, a disability support organisation and is a member of the Hunter Region Committee of the AICD. She has previously sat on the Board of St Philips Education Foundation as well as the Hunter/Central Coast/New England Regional Board of Uniting Care.

Liz has held senior management roles leading teams across a range of industries including Water Utilities and Steelmaking. She holds qualifications in Nursing and Occupational Health and Safety and has lectured (sessional) in the bachelor and post-graduate degrees in Health and Safety at University of Newcastle.

Michael Talbot

Michael Talbot has short curly grey hair and wears a darl blue suit with a white shirt and pale blue tieMichael is an experienced non-executive director and senior consultant particularly in the area of establishing services with a client centric design that creates customer value and enhances an organisation’s brand. He has had direct experience in managing a portfolio of assets worth over $1.5 billion both in his role as a senior executive in the retail operations of Australia Post and the NSW Department of Justice. This included realising on under-utilised assets and reinvesting in new developments that aligned with the organisations’ contemporary goals enabling it to meet the changing needs of the communities they serve. This included the many challenges associated with treatment of heritage assets and those with which the local community has a strong affinity.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Majoring in Finance, Accounting and Systems (UNSW), is a Fellow of the Australian Certified Practicing Accountants, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Peter Wells

Peter Wells has short cropped brown hair and wears a dark blue striped suit with a white shirt and a maroon tiePeter has extensive professional experience with Governments, the Community and Industry at many levels across roles covering service delivery, governance, compliance and regulation, complaints management, management structures and controls, purchasing, customer service, and conducting major reforms. This is complemented with the ability to both develop and implement policies to ensure strong governance and ethical conduct.

He has a passion for excellence in service delivery, regulatory compliance and in seeking large and important outcomes for the community in NSW and Australia.

Peter has worked as Executive Director at NSW Roads & Maritime Services, and in senior roles at NSW Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources and NSW Environment Protection Authority. Peter has Bachelors and Masters Degrees and advanced management qualifications from numerous vocational studies and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors graduate course for Directors.

Robyn Brown

Robyn Brown has short brown hair and wears a dark blue jacket over a white shirt with pearl necklaceRobyn’s corporate career spans 25 years as a business and IT consultant, working on a wide variety of business improvement projects for global clients. With Accenture, she held senior partner level responsibilities for the change management and ERP practices, and was a founding partner in the discipline of change management. She has also developed expertise in senior executive recruitment with a global search organisation.

Robyn is Chair of the Uniting Council Sydney North and was previously a board member of Uniting Mission and Education. She brings to her roles deep knowledge and skills in program and project management, governance and risk, people and HR systems.

Robyn is active in the community through the Uniting Church and also volunteers her time to projects in Asia with Habitat for Humanity.

Robyn joined the Uniting Board in April 2016.