Aged Care Sector Committee members – biographies

Page last updated: 16 January 2018

Chair: Mr David Tune AO PSM – Independent

David Tune AO PSM

Mr David Tune was Secretary of the Department of Finance from August 2009 to June 2014. In this role, he provided advice to the government on all Budget issues, as well as whole-of-government ICT policy, government property management and financial management.

Mr Tune has held many senior positions in the Australian Public Service, including Associate Secretary, Domestic Policy Group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, where he was responsible for providing advice on a diverse range of domestic policy issues, including industry policy, infrastructure policy, social policy, health policy, environment policy, economic policy and fiscal policy. He was also the Australian Sherpa for the first two G20 meetings in 2008 and 2009.

He began his career in the Australian Public Service in 1976 and worked in the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department of Social Security/Family and Community Services and the Treasury at Senior Executive Service levels on a range of policy matters and program management. From 1986 to 1988 he was seconded to the British Cabinet Office working in the UK Efficiency Unit.

Other senior positions have included Deputy Secretary of Treasury’s Fiscal Policy Group with responsibility for providing policy advice to the Government on all issues involving expenditure. In this role, as well as in Finance and PM&C, David provided direct advice to government and the Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet over a long period and had a leading role in the preparation of countless Budgets and other Economic Statement.

Mr Tune’s more recent roles include Chair of the Government's Aged Care Sector Committee (since early 2015), Chair of the Aged Care Legislated Review 2017, and Co-Chair of the Independent Review of Parliamentary Entitlements for the Commonwealth Government that reported in early 2016.

Mr Tunes was awarded the Public Service Medal in the 2009 Australia Day Honours List and in January 2015 became an officer in the general division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to public administration through leadership of finance, budget and social policy initiatives, as an adviser to government, and through disaster recovery co-ordination and liaison.

Mr Gary Barnier – Opal Aged Care

Gary Barnier

Mr Gary Barnier was appointed Managing Director of Opal Aged Care (formerly Domain Principal Group) in 2011 and prior to this was Chief Financial Officer for the group.

Before joining Domain Principal Group in January 2010, Mr Barnier held the role of Chief Executive Officer of the I-MED Network, an $800 million healthcare company employing 4,500 clinicians and other staff across 250 sites in Australia and the UK.

Mr Barnier has also held the role of Chief Financial Officer of I-MED’s parent company DCA Group Limited. Additionally, Mr Barnier has held several senior finance, strategy and operational roles with George Weston Foods and Boral Limited including stints as General Manager Finance for Weston Biscuits, General Manager Marketing for Boral Timber and Corporate Development Manager for Boral Limited.

Opal Aged Care

Opal Aged Care is one of Australia’s largest privately operated aged care providers and was created in February 2008 via the merger of Domain Aged Care and Principal Aged Care.

Opal Aged Care offers residential care, specialist dementia care and respite services.

Ms Ara Cresswell – Carers Australia

Ara Cresswell

Ms Ara Cresswell has a lengthy history as an executive in the not-for-profit sector both at the state and territory, and national levels. Before joining Carers Australia in September 2011, Ms Cresswell held senior positions at Reconciliation Australia, the ACT Council of Social Service, the Australian Federation of Homelessness Organisations (now Homelessness Australia), and Toora Women Incorporated.

A current member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Ms Cresswell has served in a broad range of advisory groups in the sector including two terms as a Commissioner with the ACT Legal Aid Commission, as a member of the Gambling and Racing Commission Advisory Committee, member of the Australian Federal Police Consultative Board, member of the Australian Bankers Association Community consultative group, as an elected member of the Australian Council of Social Service Board, and as a member of the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Homelessness. Ms Cresswell is a member on the Minister’s Dementia Advisory Group.

Carers Australia

Carers Australia is the national peak body representing Australia’s carers. It takes a leadership role and responds to carers’ needs and those of the people they care for, being mindful of their financial challenges and in many cases a lack of social inclusion. Carers Australia advocates on behalf of Australia’s carers to influence policies and services at a national level. It works collaboratively with partners and its member organisations, the network of state and territory Carers Associations, to deliver a range of essential national carer services.

Ms Samantha Edmonds –National LGBTI Health Alliance

Samantha Edmonds

Ms Edmonds joined the National LGBTI Health Alliance in July 2014. Prior to that Ms Edmonds worked predominantly in the health and human rights fields and was part of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Team that conducted the Same-Sex: Same Entitlements Inquiry. Ms Edmonds has worked at the NSW Council of Social Services as the Health Policy Officer and then as the Deputy Director of Policy and Communications.

Ms Edmonds has also worked in the disability sector, mental health employment, early childhood education and care and across a variety of policy portfolio areas including transport, domestic violence and criminal-justice. In addition to her work at the Alliance and her involvement in a number of national ageing and aged care forums she has been appointed to the Lay Members Panel of the Health Professionals Council Authority, is a member of the Alzheimer’s Australia NSW Consumer Advisory Group and a palliative care volunteer.

Ms Edmonds holds a Bachelor of Arts from Macquarie University, Master of Social Administration (University of Western Sydney), Master of Politics and Public Policy (Macquarie University) and Master of International Relations (Macquarie University). She also completed the Macquarie University Global Leadership Program. 

Ms Edmonds is currently a member of the Departmental Working Group for the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Ageing and Aged Care Strategy; the Aged Care Standards Technical Advisory Group; the ACSC Communication and Engagement Advisory Group and numerous NACA advisory groups.

Ms Judy Gregurke – Representative from the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA)

Judy Gregurke

Ms Judy Gregurke started with COTA in April 2014 and is currently responsible for Aged Care Policy at COTA and providing Secretariat functions to the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA) in relation to aged care reforms. In this role Ms Gregurke attends and works with all NACA Aged Care Reform Advisory Groups and is well positioned to share perspectives of the current and proposed aged care reforms and the implications for consumers, families and providers of care. She has experience in working with a variety of designated special needs groups, and expertise with governance and boards.

Ms Gregurke came to the aged care sector in August 2011 and has extensive experience in community sector management roles, most recently as General Manager – Policy, Community Living and Rural Health at LASA Victoria. Prior to that, Ms Gregurke was Regional General Manager for Victoria at Multiple Sclerosis Australia – ACT/NSW/VIC. As a qualified Speech Pathologist, Ms Gregurke has worked in acute hospital, primary care and education settings and she has a Master’s Degree in Health Administration and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

National Aged Care Alliance

The National Aged Care Alliance (NACA) is a representative body of peak national organisations in aged care, including consumer groups, providers, unions, and health professionals. NACA was formed in April 2000. Representatives attending the inaugural meeting resolved to recommend to their organisations that a united policy agenda be developed to achieve better outcomes for the care of older Australians, particularly in the areas of consumer rights, quality of care, workforce planning, and short and long term financing of aged care.

Dr Stephen Judd BA PhD FAICD – HammondCare

Stephen Judd

Dr Judd has more than 25 years’ experience in the health care and information technology industries. Dr Judd has been the Chief Executive of HammondCare since 1995 and in that time he has overseen the growth and development of the organisation’s services. When he began, HammondCare served fewer than 250 clients and had annual revenue of $8 million. Today, it provides care and services to more than 3,800 clients and its revenue for the 2015 financial year was $187 million.

Dr Judd has written, edited and contributed to books on dementia care, aged care design and the role of charities in contemporary Australian society. He has served on numerous government and industry committees and is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and the Aged Care Standards Technical Advisory Group.

Ms Claerwen Little – UnitingCare Australia

Claerwen Little

Ms Claerwen Little commenced as National Director of UnitingCare Australia in February 2017.

Ms Little brings to the role more than 35 years of experience in the community services sector, including most recently 25 years with Uniting (NSW/ACT).  For much of this time Ms Little has also been a member of UnitingCare Australia’s National Committee.

Ms Little has held a number of senior executive roles in service delivery, advocacy and innovation.  She was responsible for establishing the research and advocacy functions of Uniting and led a large and complex suite of programs for children, families, young people, communities and people with disability.

Ms Little was the driving force and vision in establishing Jaanimili, the Aboriginal services and development arm of Uniting, to ensure their commitment to our First People.  More recently, she established the role of Uniting Children’s Advocate, promoting the rights of vulnerable children and young people at state, territory and national level.

Ms Little’s commitment to innovation led to the development of the highly successful Newpin Social Benefit Bond, returning children in care to their families of origin.  This was the first program of its type internationally.

Ms Little holds a Masters of Policy (Social Policy), is a Stanford Graduate of the Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has sat on Boards.  She is a former Chair of the UnitingCare Australia Children, Young People and Families Network.

Ms Maree McCabe – Dementia Australia

Maree McCabe

Ms Maree McCabe commenced as the National CEO in February 2017.

Ms McCabe, RN, Post Grad Dip Adv MHN, PMHN, MBA, MAICD has a background in senior executive positions across the mental health and aged care sectors.

Since Ms McCabe’s appointment as CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia Vic in 2010, she has successfully overseen an 84% increase in staff and driven the development of the Perc Walkley Dementia Learning Centre, including the Virtual Dementia Experience – a world first multisensory environment for experiential learning in dementia care. This technology has won the state, national and international iAwards, the Microsoft Imagine Cup in the category of Global Citizenship and the Minister for Health Public Healthcare award in 2015.

Ms McCabe has also overseen the expansion of dementia support services in regional Victoria, including the establishment of multidisciplinary regional hubs in a number of rural areas.

Dementia Australia

Dementia Australia is the charity for people with dementia and their families and carers. As the peak body, it provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 413,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than 1.1 million in 40 years. 

Mr Nick Mersiades – Catholic Health Australia

Nicolas Mersiades

Mr Nick Mersiades is Director of Aged Care, Catholic Health Australia, the peak body for Catholic health, hospital and aged care service providers. He is also a member of the Aged Care Financing Authority.

He has extensive experience in health and aged care, and public policy more generally, gained from working at senior levels for the Australian Government and in the not for profit sector.

In the former Department of Health and Ageing, he was head of the Ageing and Aged Care Division which was responsible for policy advice on ageing and for administering the government’s residential and community aged care programs. He has also served as State Manager of the Department’s Queensland and New South Wales offices. 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.

Prior to joining Catholic Health Australia, Nick was General Manager, Strategic Policy and Communications for Catholic Healthcare Limited, a large provider of health and aged care services based in New South Wales.

Catholic Health Australia

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) is the largest non-government provider grouping of health, community and aged care services in Australia, nationally representing Catholic health care sponsors, systems, facilities and related organisations and services.

Mr Cameron O’Reilly – Aged Care Guild

Cameron O'Reilly

Cameron O’Reilly is the Chief Executive of the Aged Care Guild, an association of nine of the largest residential aged care for profit providers in the industry. The Aged Care Guild advocates the development of sustainable aged care sector that delivers consumer choice.

Prior to assuming the role at the Guild, Cameron was for nine years the Chief Executive of the Energy Retailers Association of Australia (ERAA), the peak industry body for retailers of electricity and gas in Australia’s national energy markets. While at ERAA Cameron successfully advocated for the deregulation of the retail energy markets in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.

Cameron holds a Bachelor of Economics from Sydney University and a Master of Management and Public Policy from Monash University. He is a graduate of the Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and in 2008 was awarded the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Australia-US Alliance studies.

Aside from being the CEO of the Aged Care Guild, Cameron is a Non-Executive Director of energy retailer, Aurora Energy, and a member of the Advisory Board of Infradebt Pty Ltd.

Aged Care Guild

The Aged Care Guild is an association of the nine largest Residential Aged Care for profit providers in the industry.

The Aged Care Guild’s purpose is to support ongoing investment in the industry to meet future demand. They control circa 18% of the industry beds or 35,500 places and they hold $5bn of the circa $20bn bond pool. Collectively they have been the largest builders or acquirers of beds in the industry over the last six years.

Ms Dagmar Parsons – National Seniors Australia (NSA)

Dagmar Partons

Ms Dagmar Parsons is the Chief Executive Officer of National Seniors Australia. She commenced this position in June 2016.

In a career spanning 20+ years, Ms Parsons has gained considerable experience in transforming and growing complex businesses across diverse corporate, operational and entrepreneurial roles in Australia, Asia and Europe.

She has worked with major national and multinational entities to drive critical market success by providing strategic direction, visionary leadership and innovative thinking.

Ms Parsons started out as a project engineer in the German petrochemical industry prior to coming to Australia in 1991 on an eight months assignment. She immigrated permanently to Australia in 1992 but spent the following three years mostly overseas commissioning oil and gas plants in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Italy.

Since then, she held senior executive positions with companies across a range of industries, including construction, manufacturing and engineering in the resources, power, paper and steel sectors.

In addition to her executive career, Ms Parsons holds a portfolio of Non Executive Director / Board roles in a range of organisations including both, ASX listed and Not-For-Profit. She is currently a Director of the Camerata of St John's - Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra.

Ms Parsons holds a Master of Mechanical Engineering with Rhineland Westfalia Technical University, Aachen in Germany, a Master of Business Administration with Deakin University and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

National Seniors Australia

National Seniors Australia (NSA) was established in Queensland in 1976. With over 200,000 members, 140 branches, and 70 employees, NSA is a not-for-profit consumer lobby for older Australians.

Mr Sean Rooney – Leading Age Services Australia (LASA)

Sean Rooney

Mr Sean Rooney joined LASA as its inaugural national CEO in June 2016. He has held several Chief Executive/Senior Executive roles in public, private, and not-for-profit sector organisations including the CSIRO, Medicare Local Alliance and in the ACT Government.

Mr Rooney has led membership based organisations and represented the interests of members on the local, national and international stage, including influencing public policies and, programs, and the development and delivery of a range of value-adding services for members.

Mr Rooney’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce from the ANU, a Masters of Business Administration from Melbourne University and Post Graduate qualifications in Cross Sector Collaboration from Cambridge University.

Mr Rooney has been recognised as a finalist in the Australian Institute of Management’s Not-For-Profit Manager of the Year awards (2014) and a Future Summit Future Leader award in 2006. He has also been an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Business School at Griffith University.

Leading Age Services Australia

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) is the national peak body representing all providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living. LASA represent our Members by advocating their views on issues of importance and we support our Members by providing information, services and events that improve their performance and sustainability. LASA vision is to create a high performing, respected, sustainable aged services industry delivering affordable, accessible, quality care and services for older Australians.

Pat Sparrow – Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA)

Pat Sparrow

Ms Pat Sparrow is a social policy leader and innovator with expertise in stakeholder engagement and management. She has specific and detailed expertise in ageing policy and aged care, having worked as, and with, a diverse range of stakeholders including consumers, service providers, workforce, health professionals, corporate organisations and Government. This unique ‘360 degree’ perspective ensures that Ms Sparrow’s leadership approach is strategic and nuanced, inclusive and collaborative.

Ms Sparrow is currently leading Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) toward a new era, as a recently-transitioned national organisation and with the challenges it faces in an increasingly competitive, consumer-driven environment. She is focused on ensuring the organisation has genuine respect and influence among key stakeholders through the establishment of a strong national voice. Ms Sparrow’s breadth of knowledge, depth of experience and constructive approach enable her to achieve results that benefit ACSA members and contribute to the best possible outcomes for older Australians.

Aged and Community Services Australia

Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) is the leading peak body supporting over 700 church, charitable and community-based not-for-profit organisations that provide accommodation and care services to older Australians. ACSA is a national entity representing providers across Australia in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote regions, through sector leadership, support and advocacy.

Mr Ian Yates AM – COTA Australia

Ian Yates AM

Mr Ian Yates is Chief Executive of COTA Australia the national peak body for COTAs in each state and territory of Australia. He has played national leadership roles in COTA since 2002.

Mr Yates serves as COTA’s representative on a wide variety of federal government and aged sector national bodies. Mr Yates represents COTA on the consumer advisory committees to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the National Forum on Mature Age Participation, and the National Aged Care Alliance. Mr Yates is also a member of the Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) and numerous other aged care reform implementation advisory groups.

Mr Yates holds a Bachelor of Arts from Flinders University. He is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and was awarded Membership in the Order of Australia (AM) in 2005.

COTA Australia

COTA Australia is the national policy and advocacy arm of the COTA Federation which comprises COTAs in each state and territory, which collectively have thousands of organisational members representing over 500,000 seniors plus 45,000 individual members. COTA Australia focuses on policy issues from the perspective of older people as citizens and consumers.

Ex-officio Members

Ms Andrea Coote – Chair of the Aged Care Quality Advisory Council

Andrea Coote

Ms Andrea Coote is the inaugural Chair of the Aged Care Quality Advisory Council (Advisory Council). Appointed in February 2015, the Advisory Council is responsible for providing advice to the Australian Government and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency on its functions and operations.

Ms Coote was a Victorian Member of Parliament from 1999 until she resigned in 2015, serving as Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Community Services between 2010 and 2014. She has also served as Shadow Minister for Ageing and Carers, and was a member of the Victorian Parliament’s inquiry into child abuse. Ms Coote brings a wealth of government experience and insight into community services policy to her roles as Chair of the Advisory Council and as a member of the Aged Care Sector Committee.

 

Ms Lynda O’Grady – Aged Care Financing Authority

Lynda O’Grady

Ms Lynda O’Grady is currently the Chairman of the Aged Care Financing Authority, a statutory committee established to provide independent advice to government on pricing, funding and financing issues in aged care.

Ms O’Grady is the Principal of the management consultancy firm, Advanced Management Services, which provides consultancy and business advisory services to clients across a wide range of industries and sectors. Ms O’Grady most recently held several roles at the Executive/Managing Director level at Telstra, including as Chief of Product. Prior to this, she was Commercial Director of Australian Consolidated Press, the publishing subsidiary of PBL and General Manager of the Business Systems Division of Alcatel Australia.

Ms O’Grady is a corporate advisor and director of a number of government, academic, professional and commercial organisations. She is currently a member of the Council of Bond University and director of National Electronic Health Transition Authority (NEHTA). She has also served on the boards of Screen Queensland and TAB Queensland prior to its listing and on the IT&T Board of Advisors to the New South Wales Treasurer.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) degree from the University of Queensland and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Margot McCarthy – Department of Health

Margot McCarthy

Ms Margot McCarthy joined the Department of Health in August 2015 as Deputy Secretary of Ageing and Aged Care, taking responsibility for overseeing the management and regulation of the current ageing and aged care system, through to policy development and reform implementation.

Ms McCarthy has held a number of senior positions in the Department of Defence and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C). In February 2013, she was appointed as an Associate Secretary in PM&C, leading the National Security and International Policy Group which provided advice to the Prime Minister, and whole-of-government coordination, on national security matters.

Ms McCarthy is a graduate of Oxford University (Doctor of Philosophy in English Literature) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (MSc in Management). She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of New England in Armidale, Australia.