Aged Care Financing Authority Member Biographies

Page last updated: 15 February 2019

Mr Mike Callaghan


Mr Mike Callaghan AM PSM is the Chairman of the Aged Care Financing Authority an economic consultant, on the Board of the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation, and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Lowy Institute.

In 2017 he chaired the Government’s review of the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax and the review of the Economic Impact of the Government’s Regulation Agenda. He also chaired the Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce.

From 2013 to 2014 he was Director of the G 20 Studies Centre at the Lowy Institute. Mike spent 38 years in the Australian Treasury. From 2008 to 2012 he was Deputy Secretary, Macroeconomic Group, Australia’s G-20 Finance Deputy, and the Prime Ministers Special Envoy, International Economy.

From 2005-2007 he was Deputy Secretary, Revenue Group. He spent four years on the IMF Executive Board in Washington DC and has served as Chief of Staff to the Australian Treasurer, the Hon Peter Costello.

Mr Nick Mersiades

Deputy Chair

Nick Mersiades is Director, Aged Care, in Catholic Health Australia and a member of the Australian Government’s Aged Care Sector Committee.  Nick has extensive experience in government and health and aged care gained from working at senior levels in the Australian Government and in the not-for-profit sector.

Nick is the former head of the Ageing and Aged Care Division in the Department of Health and Ageing. The Division was responsible for developing policy advice for the Minister and for administering the Australian Government’s residential and community aged care programs. Nick has also served as State Manager of the Department’s Queensland and New South Wales offices and headed the Department’s Budget Management Branch. Prior to joining the Department of Health and Ageing, he held senior executive service positions in the  Department of Finance where he was involved in public policy issues across a number of portfolios.

Nick left the Department of Health and Ageing in 2006 to become the General Manager of Strategic Policy for Catholic Healthcare Limited, a large provider of health and aged care services based in New South Wales.

Mr Ian Yates AM 

Ian Yates is Chief Executive of COTA Australia, the national peak body for COTAs (Councils on the Ageing) in each State and Territory of Australia. Ian was appointed CE of COTA SA in June 1989 and has played national leadership roles in COTA since 2002.

COTAs are the peak aged consumer organisation in each state and territory and nationally, with over a thousand organisational members representing over 500,000 seniors, plus 30,000 individual members.

Ian serves on a wide variety of federal government and aged care sector national bodies. He is a member of the Federal Government's Aged Care Financing Authority; the Aged Care Sector Committee,the Aged Care Quality Advisory Council of the Aged Care Quality Agency and the Aged Care Workforce Taskforce. Ian is the COTA representative on the National Aged Care Alliance and its Sponsors Group. He is a Board member of the Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS) in SA.

Beyond aged care Ian is a member of the Consumer Advisory Panel to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), a Director of Livable Housing Australia, and a member of the Advisory Board of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR).

Ian is Chair of the Management Committee of the Australasian Journal on Ageing (AJA) and serves as a Director of COTA's Insurance and Membership Services Ltd (IMS).

Ian has previously been a Director of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency and has served on the Consumer Consultative Committee to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), the National Forum on Mature Age Participation, and the former Ageing Consultative Committee to the Federal Minister for Ageing.

Over the last decade Ian has been Deputy Chancellor of Flinders University and Chair of its Strategic Resources Committee and various other Committees; Chair of the Cancer Council SA and a Director of the Cancer Council Australia; Deputy Chair of the Repatriation General Hospital in SA; Deputy Chair of the SA Council of Social Service; Board Member of the Southern Adelaide Health Service; Board Member of the Flinders Medical Centre; and a member of the SA Government's Health Performance Council.

Ian holds a BA from Flinders University;; is an Honorary Doctor and Emeritus Deputy Chancellor of Flinders University; an Honorary Life Member of the SA Council of Social Service; and was awarded Membership in the Order of Australia (AM) in June 2005.

Mr Gary Barnier

Gary Barnier is a Partner of Cooperage Capital where he is helping high quality providers of health and aged care continue to succeed and grow through the provision of debt and equity solutions.

Most recently Gary was Managing Director of Opal Aged Care, the largest privately owned provider of residential aged care in Australia, a role he held for over 7 years.  Opal employs nearly 7,000 staff across its 73 locations. Previously,  Gary held roles as Chief Financial Officer of DCA Group Limited (an ASX 100 listed company) and Chief Executive Officer of the I-Med Network Limited.

Gary’s career includes senior management roles in marketing and strategy with companies such as Boral and George Weston Foods.

Gary is a fellow of CPA Australia and holds an MBA from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

Gary is a member of the Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA), the Aged Care Sector Committee and is a Board member of the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research.

Dr Mike Rungie

Dr Rungie has specialised in understanding how people live well in their 70s, 80s, 90s, undertaking a variety of studies, research projects and service trials.

He has led ACH Group in trialling service models that enable older people to not only receive high care-quality, but in a way that enables high life-quality.

Dr Rungie currently works with a number of organisations and networks developing scalable strategies that have citizenship and productivity for older people at the centre of what they do.

He currently sits on various boards and expert panels and is a founding director of the Global Centre for Modern Ageing.

Ms Louise Biti

Ms Biti is the co-founder and director of Aged Care Steps, which is a leader in the provision of aged care training and support to advice professionals - including financial planners, lawyers and accountants. This support includes the analysis of aged care legislation, creation of funding solutions for consumers and scenario modelling tools.

With over 20 years’ experience in financial services, her focus has been on providing technical and strategic support on all legislative impacting personal financial planning decisions. This includes taxation, superannuation, insurance, estate planning, social security and aged care. She has held previous executive roles at ING and Asteron.

Ms Biti holds a Masters of Taxation, a Bachelor of Economics, a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) and a Diploma of Financial Services. She has achieved Certified Financial PlannerTM status, is an SMSF Specialist AdvisorTM, and a Chartered Tax Adviser.

Ms Susan Emerson

Susan Emerson is an experienced aged care nurse and thought leader working in an innovative role in the aged care setting.  Susan works in clinical and managerial leadership, undertakes design and project coordination for the construction of new aged care facilities, and has made a sustained contribution to service and policy thinking in the wider aged care sector – informed by significant international aged care engagement.

Susan is a Member of the Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) and of the National Aged Care Alliance and is a former Chair of the Australian College of Nursing Expert Advisory Committee on Ageing.  Susan is a Senior Clinical Reference Lead (CRL) with the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA). Prior to joining the ADHA she was a Clinical Governance Lead with the National eHealth Transitional Authority (NeHTA) since 2011.