Our Team

Therese Desmond

Chief Executive Officer

When Therese commenced as CEO of OC Connections in 2014, she brought with her an outstanding background in the disability, aged care and health services sectors.

Her passion for consumer participation and engagement, choice and control, and capacity building to enhance peoples’ lives is at the heart of everything she does.

Therese has held a range of executive and senior management roles. She understands that engaging the right staff and providing an enabling environment is the key to the quality of support provided and believes that leadership development is integral to the success of any organisation.

Therese is a registered nurse with tertiary qualifications in community health and management. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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.

Laurelle Edwards

General Manager Independence and Community

Laurelle has strong experience in working with people to enhance their lives. Her 25-year career reflects her commitment to social justice and human rights, with roles ranging from operational direct support to operational management.

She has been actively involved in services such as accommodation, respite, in-home support, employment, advocacy, justice, case management, planning and positive behavioural support.

Laurelle is a passionate professional with comprehensive skills in managing service and supports, and people. She displays keen attention to detail and takes a thorough approach, being mindful of calculated risk and opportunity.

As a multi-skilled strategic thinker she offers excellent leadership acumen and a demonstrated ability to motivate and lead people and manages the My Home and My Life areas at OC Connections.

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).

Equality is a core value for me. We all have the right to live equally in society. The common thread in all of my not-for-profit roles – and what drew me to the sector – is being able to help make this a reality for disadvantaged or vulnerable members of our community. I see the potential and contributions people with disability can make to our society and I want to be part of helping to break down the barriers to employment for people with a disability. Steve Betinsky


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, a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, 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 Not-For-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. Her role as General Manager Innovation and Customer Experience will see her bring her wealth of experience to the portfolio of Quality and Risk, Support Coordination and Marketing and Communications for OC Connections.