Aged Care Sector Committee members – biographies

Page last updated: 22 October 2019

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.

Dr Nicole Brooke – The Salvation Army

Dr Nicole Brooke

Dr Nicole Brooke is a passionate clinician and academic who is committed to improving the quality of care and service delivery to the elderly and vulnerable in our community. Her speciality in practice is in Clinical and Corporate Governance.

Clinical Associate Professor Dr Brooke was appointed as Executive Manager of Care Services and Governance at The Salvation Army. She is responsible for clinical governance, evidenced based care, clinical supervision, compliance, safety, policy, funding and international relations. Dr. Brooke represents the aged care sector nationally and internationally in areas such as medication management, clinical leadership, cultural diversity, case management, and community care.

Prior to her appointment, Dr Brooke has held roles such as Chief Executive Officer at Cabrini, Director of Clinical Practice at University of Technology, Head of Clinical Care at KinCare, and Company Director of Aged Care Consultancy Australia.

Apart from her University Degree in Nursing, she holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Aged Care, Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation and Masters of Adult Education. She additionally holds qualifications in aged care auditing, workplace health and safety, food safety, training, and immunisation. She holds board director positions in a number of organisations including a passion with the Lisa Harnum Foundation who supports domestic violence victims and social agendas.

Mr Mike Callaghan AM PSM - Aged Care Financing Authority

Mike Callaghan

Mike Callaghan AM PSM is an economic consultant, chair of the Aged Care Financing Authority, 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.

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

Andrea Coote

Ms Andrea Coote is the inaugural Chair of the Aged Care Quality and Safety 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 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 Jodie Currie – Representative, National Advisory Group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aged Care

Jody Currie

Queensland-born, Ms Jody Currie is a Mununjahli Yugambeh woman with traditional ties to the country between the Logan and Tweed Rivers. In 2015, Ms Currie was appointed as our CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Brisbane, one of the largest Aboriginal community health and human services organisations in Queensland. Ms Currie’s vision is for ATSICHS to be world leaders in Indigenous health and social support services being provided in an urban setting.

Previous to her position as CEO, Ms Currie was a member of the ATSICHS board over a six year period, two of these as Chair. She is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and currently serves as a Director on various Non-Government and Government Boards.

Ms Currie has a lengthy history in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, housing, early childhood education and human service delivery and is a strong advocate for improving the service accessibility to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She has experience and focus on health, children youth and vulnerable families and has held a variety of roles in both the community and government sectors. Before joining ATSICHS, Ms Currie held senior positions at the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Human Services Coalition and her most recent position before joining ATSICHS was the Director of Human Services at the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH).

Ms Currie strongly believes in the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to develop and manage their own service and their right to exist and grow as service providers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She has expertise in the special needs of senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia’s aged care system and played a pivotal role in the ongoing management of Jimbelunga Nursing Centre.

Ms Currie is pleased to have been appointed to the Aged Care Sector Committee as an ex-officio member, representing the National Advisory Group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aged Care.

Ms Samantha Edmonds –Ageing with Pride

Samantha Edmonds

Ms Samantha Edmonds has a long history working in health and human rights, being an advocate for vulnerable people and for people with diverse life experiences and characteristics. She was part of the team at the Australian Human Rights Commission that developed the Same Sex: Same Entitlements Report. For the last five years she was the Silver Rainbow – National Project Manager at the National LGBTI Health Alliance. During that time she developed Silver Rainbow into the leading national project on inclusive practice in ageing and aged care for LGBTI elders and older people.

Ms Edmonds has recently established her own consultancy Ageing with Pride, which is actively working to make aged, palliative and health care culturally safe & inclusive of all LGBTI elders and older people. Ageing with Pride works in partnership with organisations to develop, deliver and evaluate projects, programs and services that are respectful and inclusive of all and helps organisations engage respectfully with consumers and communities.

Ms Edmonds is also contracted with Elder Abuse Action Australia as a Project Coordinator, working on stakeholder engagement, policy advice and strategic planning.

Ms Edmonds is a co-author on numerous research papers on the experiences of LGBTI elders and older people and has presented internationally on inclusive aged care for LGBTI elders and older people.

Ms Edmonds is on the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Ageing and Chairs the Aged Care Sector Committee Diversity Sub-Group.

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.

Mr David Hallinan – Department of Health

Mr David Hallinan

Mr David Hallinan is the newly appointed Acting Deputy Secretary, Ageing and Aged Care Group of the Australian Government Department of Health.

Mr Hallinan’s role from 2016 to April 2019 was as the First Assistant Secretary responsible for leading the Health Workforce Division. The Division is responsible for the Australian Government’s involvement in the regulation, training, supply and distribution of the Health Workforce, including the implementation of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy and the Murray Darling Medical School Network.

Mr Hallinan worked in the Department of Health for the 10 years to 2011, in areas spanning primary care, Medicare benefits, population health and portfolio review functions. From 2011 to 2016, Mr Hallinan worked in the Department of Finance in policy advisory roles across a wide range of portfolios before returning to the Department of Health in January 2016.

Mr Hallinan graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Economics.

Dr Stephen Judd – HammondCare

Stephen Judd

Dr Stephen 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. 

Professor John McCallum - National Seniors Australia

John McCallum

Prof John McCallum is an academic leader widely published in peer-reviewed publications, books and monographs; NHMRC evidence statements and Guidelines; National Seniors reports. He had teaching and research roles at: Griffith University; Andrus Gerontology Center University of Southern California; Nanzan University Nagoya; Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology; Renmin University Beijing; ESCAP Bangkok; Ageing Family Project; National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health ANU from where he ran the Dubbo Study of the Health of the Elderly.

He was Executive Dean Health and Social Sciences University of Western (received Campbelltown Council Community Service Award), Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor and Director TAFE Victoria University; Senior Executive NHMRC Research Translation Group; Director NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research; Research Director National Seniors Australia and CEO from 2018.

Some of his major projects were: Dubbo Longitudinal Study of Ageing, Australia-Japan Collaboration in Aged Care, Asset and Health Dynamics of the ‘Old’ Old (AHEAD), Vietnam Veterans Mortality Study and he received the Federation Medal in 2003 ‘for outstanding service as a researcher to ageing and aged care issues’.

National Seniors Australia

National Seniors is a large, independent, national membership organisation, representing the views and sentiments of older Australians to government, business and the broader community. Our research-driven advocacy plays a pivotal role in bridging the gap between research and reflection on ageing and the actions of the community and policy-makers. Our focus is on improving the quality of life for all older Australians though self-reliance and maintaining independence with help when needed.

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, Mr Mersiades 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.

Ms Julie Reeves - Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

Ms Julie Reeves

As a Registered Nurse Ms Julie Reeves is the Federal Professional Officer for the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), national office. In this role Ms Reeves represents the professional interests of the Federations members on national committees and varying consultations on a range of nursing, midwifery, health policy, regulation and social justice issues. Ms Reeves has a decade of experience in nursing and midwifery policy and regulation at the national level, preceded by extensive clinical nursing experience and education for the professions. 

Ms Reeves has a Bachelor of Nursing, Post Graduate Diploma in Nursing Education, Diploma in Government (Policy Development) and a Masters in Nursing Research. Building on this, Ms Reeves has established expertise in providing high-level advice on an extensive range of health and aged care national issues, strategic policy development, analysis and communication. Ms Reeves works collaboratively with stakeholders and colleagues to negotiate and achieve quality health outcomes for the Australian population, across all age levels. This breadth of experience gives her a critical ‘big picture’ edge for contextualising her policy work in the aged care sector.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is the largest professional and industrial organisation representing registered nurses, enrolled nurses, midwives, and assistants in nursing working in every state and territory throughout Australia. Established in 1924, the ANMF has over 270,000 members working in every area of health and aged care.

Mr Matthew Richter – Aged Care Guild

Matthew Richter

Mr Matthew Richter is a dynamic results oriented strategist with significant corporate and social policy experience across the public and private arenas. Operating as an agent of change, Mr Richter works successfully across professional and industrial boundaries to influence outcomes. Mr Richter has recently been appointed as the CEO of the Aged Care Guild.

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.

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.

Ms 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.