Meet the leadership team shaping Stride

Whether we’ve come to Stride with a history in the sector, or are introducing new ideas and skills from another field – we’re here because we care about mental health.

Our Board

John (JT) Thomas

John (JT) Thomas

Diploma Banking & Finance, KSS, FIFS, FAICD Chair
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JT has over 44 years’ experience in banking, finance and funds management activities. From 1987-2003, he managed the Howard Mortgage Trust – growing its assets to $2.6 billion, the largest in Australia.

JT currently Chairs 6 boards both in the Funds Management and the NFP sectors where he shares his expertise in property, finance, governance, planning and strategy. He is a former honorary Treasurer of the National Council of Churches in Australia and was awarded a Papal Knighthood in 2011 for his services to the community.

Gillian McFee

Gillian McFee

BSocStud (Hons), Executive MBA, Diploma Urban & Regional Studies, FAICD Director
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Gillian has held CEO and senior executive leadership roles in large, complex and highly regulated government agencies and for purpose organisations. For six years, Gillian was Director of UnitingCare Ageing NSW/ACT when transformational changes to its strategy and governance commenced.

As Managing Director of Gillian McFee & Associates, Gillian established a non-executive career advising on health and human services. This included providing consulting and advisory services to other consulting firms and to government and non-government organisations. More recently, Gillian has worked with the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals and the NRMA. This experience enabled Gillian to reflect on how to empower consumers and staff as Members and the suitability of this to market-based sectors such as aged care and the NDIS. This has enabled Gillian to understand the benefits of achieving corporate diversity in human service marketplaces, especially through employee ownership. Curious to learn more, Gillian was recently elected to the board of Kudos Services, Australia’s first employee-owned mutual to form from the public sector.

Always committed to transfer skills and knowledge to others, Gillian is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a mentor for Women on Boards.

Dean Blomson

Dr Dean Blomson

PhD, B. Business Sci. (Hons), LLB, Adv. Co. Law Director
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Dean joined the Stride board in July 2012. Dean is a seasoned corporate strategy and transformation practitioner. He is best known for providing corporate strategy advice to large and mid-size corporates embarking on significant growth and change; his expertise in guiding executives on transformation journeys; and his extensive work on complicated mergers and integrations.

CE David Crompton

Professor David Crompton

MBBS (Queensland), Grad. Dip. Soc. Sci. (Psych), University of New England, FRANZCP, FRAChAM (RACP) Faculty Addiction Medicine (RANZCP) Director
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David worked in private practice as a rural general practitioner and has 12 years in private psychiatry practice. David is a Professor, Mental Health Research within the School of Applied Psychology (Griffith University) and Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology. He has held leadership roles in QLD Health and NSW Health. He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for development of community based mental health services for veterans, development of community post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety and substance abuse treatment.

Karen Dado

Karen Dado

MBA, BSc, Cert. Governance and Risk Mngt, MAICD Director
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As a management consultant with three decades’ experience, mostly with PwC, Karen has helped many organisations transform to a high-performance culture, including numerous health and medical research organisations.

At Health Direct Australia, she served on the Board at a time when the company grew rapidly and expanded its digital platform capability and offerings, including to mental health. Karen is currently the NSW Director of a national corporate advisory practice.

Peter Emery

BA, LLB, GradDipMg, FAICD, FGIA, FCIS, FFin, FIML Director
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Peter has forty years’ experience in managing businesses as a lawyer, investment banker, general manager, CEO, company director and consultant.

Peter is chairman of TransitCare Limited and two Managed Investment Compliance Committees. He’s also a senior facilitator for education programs at the Australian Institute of Company Directors – including the Company Directors and not-for-profit courses.

Lynne Fishwick

Lynne Fishwick

BBusSC(Hons), CA(SAI), GAICD, LCF Director
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Lynne brings over 30 years’ experience in business management, strategy, corporate governance, operational management, customer experience, change management, lean thinking, systems and process redesign. Having started as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte, she then worked as a consultant before spending 8 years as CEO of a private mental health service and 9 years in a broad range of executive roles with St Vincents Health Australia.

Lynne has held previous Board positions in both the for profit and not for profit sectors, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and currently holds a full time executive position as the CEO of South Pacific Private Hospital, a treatment centre specialising in the treatment of addictions, trauma, depression and anxiety.

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Marianne Karam

BBus (Acctg) FCPA, FAICD, FCIS, FGIA Director
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Non-Executive Director, Company Secretary, consultant and former C suite executive (CEO, COO, CFO). Marianne has over 30 years’ experience leading finance, business operations, governance, risk management, ICT and transformation.  Marianne is passionate about start-ups having managed several technology start-ups and mergers and acquisitions in international and local technology organisations. Marianne also brings significant not-for-profit sector expertise through health and non-formal education organisations.

Sue Klose

MBA (Hons) BSc Director
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Passionate about growth and innovation, Sue Klose is an experienced executive, board director and team leader, with a background in digital business growth, corporate development, partnerships and change management. Currently the COO at 12WBT, she’s in charge of both strategy and the business’ daily operations.

Sue is Board Chair for 10thousandgirl, a social enterprise focused on financial literacy for young women, and an Advisory Board Member of the Australian Businesswomen’s Network.

Dr Lorna Moxham

Dr Lorna Moxham

RN, MHN, PhD(CQU), MEd(UNSW), BHSc(UWS), DASc(MIHE), Cert OH&S(CQU), Cert Qual Mngmt(CQU), Cert IV Training & Assessment(CQIT), FACMHN, FACN, MAICD Director
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Lorna has 40 years’ experience as a nurse, 38 of which have been in mental health. She is currently the Professor of Mental Health Nursing at the University of Wollongong. Lorna is a prolific author with over 100 publications and has extensive research, clinical and governance expertise where she brings a person centred, trauma informed approach.

Martin Baird

BBus, Grad Dip CSP, FGIA, FCIS, FCPA, FAICD Company Secretary
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Martin is a Certified Practicing Accountant, a Chartered Company Secretary and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is a practicing Company Secretary, Non-executive Director and Chairs Finance, Audit and Risk Committees in the not-for-profit sector.

Our Executive Team

Dr Andrew Young

Dr Andrew Young

PhD, B.Eng (Mech, Hons), GAICD CEO
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After completing a PhD in engineering and a corporate strategy consulting career, Andrew sought to use his skills for social outcomes, becoming head of marketing and fundraising for The Smith Family.

In 2004 he became Chief Executive Officer of youth cancer charity CanTeen, winning Equity Trustees’ Not-for-profit CEO First Year Achiever Award in that role. He was then CEO of the Centre for Social Impact where he was recognised as one of Australia’s inaugural “Impact 25” influencers in the social sector.

Andrew has been the CEO of Australia’s oldest mental health charity Aftercare (now Stride) since June 2017. Andrew is passionate about improving outcomes for people with mental illness. He brings a vision for systems change enabling whole-of-community and whole-of-person approaches, encouraging collaboration and empowerment as the keys to a more effective future.

Juliet Middleton

Juliet Middleton

BPharm (Hons) PGDipBus MBA GAICD General Manager – Service Delivery (Community and Residential)
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Recognised for significant transformation of operational efficiency and innovative business development in healthcare and mental health, Juliet’s background is in strategic leadership and operational transformation. Juliet has significant experience in service design and management, and health and social service consulting.

Juliet is passionate about using system design-thinking to improve mental health.

Nicci Dickson

B Nurs M MHN M AppSc (Research) General Manager – Service Delivery (Integrated Services)
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Nicci’s background lies in youth mental health with extensive experience in clinical and leadership roles in acute care, psychiatric emergency, school-based programs, community, outreach and youth detention.

Before moving into the community sector Nicci held a joint position at Queensland University of Technology and Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital as the Clinical Academic Fellow tasked with building research that drew modern evidence-based practices into both the clinical and academic setting.

Ben McAlpine

BCom (LiberalStudies) MPaCS General Manager – Strategy, Innovation & Growth
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Ben has worked in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors for 15 years.

Starting his career at PwC, he supported organisations to manage their business and technology risks. After seven years, Ben sought a career that fulfilled his passion for social justice and joined Social Ventures Australia as a member of the Consulting team. There he worked with not-for-profits, philanthropists and government in strategic planning and social impact evaluation.

He was previously a Director on the Board of Holdsworth Community, chairing the Social Impact Committee.

Drikus van der Merwe

Drikus van der Merwe

B.Com Grad Dip ACG General Manager – Corporate Services
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With a passion for bettering people’s lives, Drikus brings 23 years of project, financial and general management experience across five countries to Stride to continue this passion.

Focussing on human centric design to ultimately improve the efficiency of businesses, he has worked in the finance, IT and education sectors helping companies change and grow to achieve their goals.

Jacqui Franchi

Jacqui Franchi

Dip Human Resources Mgmt General Manager – People & Culture
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An experienced people leader who thrives on bringing out the best in people, Jacqui has over two decades leading HR teams across Australia and Asia Pacific, driving cultural change, employee engagement and building performance within culturally diverse organisations. She has worked in a cross section of sectors including telecommunications, aviation, logistics and retail, and has experienced the people challenges associated with start-ups, growth, down-sizing and transformation.

Jacqui operated her own consulting firm before joining Stride in November 2018 and is passionate about applying the learnings from her corporate days to our sector.

Helen Boropolous

Helen Bouropoulos

BBus Grad Dip Comm Mgmt (PR) CPM National Manager – Marketing & Communications
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Helen has specialised in commercialisation and product development strategies aimed at helping organisations to achieve revenue diversification and growth.

With a background in marketing in the not-for-profit, telecommunications and IT industries, she has a passion for innovative product design and the customer experience.

Helen is Board Chair of the Western Sydney Community Legal Centre and a Board Director of The Junction Works.

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