Our Board & Executive Team

The OC Connections Board steers our organisation through the ever-evolving landscape of the NDIS. They are committed to ensuring that corporate governance remains strong, building an environment of trust and transparency so that our vision and purpose can be achieved.

The executive management team at OC Connections guides our organisation to enact the strategic plan and operate to a high standard. Our general managers motivate and lead the teams within OC Connections to ensure that we deliver on our vision and purpose.

our board

Tom Baxter

Chair

Tom Baxter is a successful senior executive with Board, CEO and Divisional Head experience across the not-for-profit disability, payments, postal and health insurance sectors.

For the past three years, he has established a strategic advisory practice in the disability and technology sectors, providing support to boards and executives as they transition their organisations under the National Disability Insurance Scheme and new Disability Employment Services Framework.

Prior to that, Tom was CEO of Ostara Australia, Australia’s largest mental health specialist disability employment services provider, and Divisional Head of the Business Enterprises group at Scope Australia, a major not-for-profit service provider in the disability sector.

Tom came to the disability sector after a long career as CEO of BPAY operator, Cardlink, and senior executive at Australia Post. Tom and his wife Ulli lived for 20 years in the Monash area bringing up their two daughters and now live in Rye on the Mornington Peninsula.

Sara Brentnall

Deputy Chair

Sara is an allied health professional with significant clinical and leadership experience across health and human services sectors. 

Sara is passionate about the empowerment of individuals to make decisions in areas that affect their lives.

As a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and an experienced healthcare leader, Sara has strong skills in strategic thinking, governance, and quality and safety.

Michael Dillon

Treasurer

Michael joins the board of OC Connections as a highly experienced Executive Manager with expertise in strategic planning, finance, property management and development, information technology, procurement and fleet management.

He is a qualified accountant with a strong understanding of the key drivers and challenges affecting a values-based community services (not-for-profit) organisation.

Michael has had a long career in the not for profit sector with executive roles at Southern Cross Care and Villa Maria Catholic Homes. He is currently employed as the Chief Financial Officer with Arcare Pty Ltd, a family owned private company, providing aged care accommodation and services to over 4,500 clients throughout Eastern Australia.

Michael is passionate about delivering effective and efficient outcomes that empower and enrich the lives of those we serve.

Kaitlyn Gulle

Director

Kaitlyn Gulle is a Partner at Lander & Rogers with particular expertise in all areas of workplace relations. Kaitlyn has extensive experience advising and representing clients in the non-profit and for-cause sector.

Kaitlyn assists her clients (both public and private) throughout the various stages of the employment relationship, from providing initial advice through to negotiations and litigation.

Kaitlyn has strong analytical and communication skills and enjoys solving issues.  She is skilled in governance and compliance, particularly in the areas of human resources and occupational health and safety, and strategic planning.

Kaitlyn has a strong desire to contribute her skills and experience to achieve positive outcomes for all members of our community.

Kaitlyn holds a Bachelor of Law (Hons), Bachelor of Science and Masters of Law from the University of Melbourne and is a Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations.

Kylie Payne

Director

Kylie Payne is a senior executive with Board, CEO and General Management experience across the not-for-profit disability, primary health, community health and corporate sectors.

Kylie currently owns and operates a successful health care organisation.

Prior to that, Kylie was CEO of Avalon River, a primary health organisation that included a GP Practice with 32 GP’s, and before that 6 years as General Manager West Division at Scope Australia, a major not-for-profit service provider in the disability sector, including 3 years in the National Disability Insurance Scheme launch site in Barwon, Geelong.

Kylie has a strong understanding of the disability sector through several lenses. She has experience being part of a provider organisation as well as experience being the parent of a teenage boy with a disability.

Before commencing in the disability sector Kylie spent 16 years in marketing, advertising and media at some of the largest agencies in Australia including Ogilivy, JWT, McCann-Erickson and 5 years’ experience in accounting roles within insurance and hotels.

our executive team

Therese Desmond

Chief Executive Officer

Therese Desmond is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of OC Connections Limited, reporting directly, and accountable, to the Board of Directors. 

Therese has held senior executive roles in disability, community health, acute hospital settings, as well as child and family and aged care environments in not-for-profit and for-profit organisations across metropolitan and rural regions for more than 30 years.  Therese had also worked for State Government and in health and human services consulting with KPMG. 

Since commencing with OC Connections in 2014, Therese has navigated the organisation through the successful housing redevelopment and subsequent closure of the Allen Street congregate care facility; the complex transition to the NDIS, and the challenges brought on by COVID-19, while implementing and achieving the strategic goals set by the board. 

Therese is proud of the fact that during her tenure, OC Connections has more than doubled in revenue in the past six years, has financial sustainability, provided quality outcomes and grown its leaders, while continuing to support and safeguard participants – maximising choice and control wherever possible.

Therese is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the National Disability Services National Committee on Housing and Support, the CEO Institute and a number of sector collaboration and advocacy organisations and until recently was a board member of Banksia Palliative Care Service.

Greg Patterson

General Manager, Corporate and Commercial Services

Greg is a chartered accountant with a rich and varied career including roles within professional services and more recently, heading finance and corporate services teams within health and community services. 

A passion for social justice led Greg to work in the not-for-profit sector and he thrives on the dedication and commitment typical of his colleagues in the sector. 

Greg joined OC Connections in 2017 and sees his role as an exciting opportunity to directly contribute towards the stated strategic aspiration to be a sustainable organisation recognised for business excellence.

Jane Ludtke

General Manager, Independence & Community

Jane Ludtke has a passion for advocacy and co-design with a focus on inclusion for people with disability.  This passion has guided her study and work in the field of disability, with a career spanning 28 years across various areas including: respite, recreation, housing, day services and home and community support and at all levels. 

Jane holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Disability Studies and Graduate Diploma in Counselling and has extensive training and experience in consumer and community engagement.

“All my work involves building the capacity of people to be inclusive and support the participation and voice of people with a disability in their community. I have developed strong leadership skills and work collaboratively with customers and staff to create change in services so they are responsive to what customers want.”

Steve Betinsky

General Manager, Employment & Enterprises

Steve’s career in senior leadership spans for-purpose and for-profit organisations across a diverse range of sectors. Prior to joining OC Connections, Steve was the General Manager of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) before taking on the role of Director, Social Enterprises at the ASRC to lead the social enterprise growth strategy.

Prior to joining the ASRC, Steve was the CEO of Child Wise; a charity which works to prevent the abuse and exploitation of children. During this time Steve was also a sitting member of the Federal Government’s Online Safety Consultative Working Group, the Asia Pacific Financial Coalition against Child Pornography and a Director of the ECPAT International Board of Trustees, representing Australia and the Pacific Region.

Before moving into the not-for-profit sector, Steve held senior leadership roles within the corporate sector including, General Manager Transaction Banking at National Australia Bank, Head of Payments Solutions at NAB, and Operations Manager, Telstra National Activations Centre.

Steve holds a Masters of Business Administration with high distinctions, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Sharon Roxby

General Manager, Innovation & Customer Experience

Sharon brings extensive experience in corporate governance, policy, risk, and compliance from the Disability and Insurance sectors. She has worked in both the Northern Territory and Victorian NDIS jurisdictions.

Sharon has a Masters in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia. She has Quality Audit qualifications and has Level 3 Executive Coaching qualifications through the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership. This training, coupled with her experience in Executive roles, leadership, change management and project management brings a holistic leadership and strategic approach to OC Connections.

A former Chair for a number of non-profit organisations, Sharon was also appointed to several government advisory committees focusing on scheme performance and policy.

Sharon is passionate about participant safeguarding and the health and safety of employees. 

Angelique Smit

General Manager - People, Learning and Culture

Angelique brings an impressive 20-year track record in human resources and recruitment to her professional journey. Her career has encompassed diverse sectors, including aged care, allied health, audiology, and language services, with a notable recent focus on the not-for-profit sector.

Beyond her corporate roles, Angelique has also made a meaningful impact as a Trauma Counsellor, extending support to individuals who have experienced the aftermath of crime. This underscores her unwavering dedication to improving the lives of others.

Angelique’s career commenced in recruitment, but she swiftly pivoted to the field of HR upon immigrating to Australia in 2006. She contributed her expertise to various organisations such as Primelife Aged Care, VIVIR Healthcare and NAB followed by a significant role at All Graduates Interpreting & Translating, where she adeptly managed the transition of over 100 contractors to employee status while overseeing a team of 15.

Today, Angelique lends her talents to OC Connections, driven by a genuine desire to create a positive impact and make a real difference in the lives of others.

Interested in joining us?

If you’d like to join an organisation that is committed to its vision and purpose, holds strong values, and supports its employees, then check out our current vacancies or get in touch with us. 

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