The Board

Our board members contribute sound governance and strategic advice, guiding OC Connections to deliver on its brand promise. 

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.

“I am delighted to be joining the OC Connections Board as Chairman at a pivotal time in the organisation’s history. The NDIS has presented to us real challenges and great opportunities to enable development of the individuals we support. I’d like to acknowledge the leadership of Peter Willcocks, the outgoing Chairman, with the support of the Board and team lead by CEO Therese Desmond, in bringing the organization to such a strong position today.”

T.Baxter

Sara Brentnall

Deputy Chair

Sara is an allied health professional with significant experience across health and human services sectors. She currently works at Austin Health in a senior management role, managing a large community-based program.  

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

With more than 30 years’ experience in public and private healthcare, Sara is currently a manager at Austin Health in Heidelberg, where she manages a number of multidisciplinary teams that support people with complex healthcare needs to be engaged in their own community, and lessen the need for presentation to hospital.

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.

Tony McAvaney

Director

Tony has contributed as a non-executive director at OC Connections for the past 10 years and brings a wealth of knowledge and guidance in general governance and more specifically in regards to Business Management.

A qualified engineer and economist with diverse corporate experience, Tony has a long and personal history with OC Connections, originally joining as a volunteer (his late sister-in-law was supported by the organisation).

With proven commercial and business acumen, Tony’s experience includes project management, business re-engineering, acquisitions and mergers, de-mergers, change management and leadership. Tony is a Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors and currently holds directorships with First Option Credit Union Ltd and the Gus Theobald Foundation.

Alan Bergman

Director

Alan brings more than 50 years’ experience in the automotive sector as well as broad experience in finance, human resources, occupational health and safety, IT, recruitment and training. As a parent of an intellectually disabled supported adult who attends OC Connections, Alan also brings a personal perspective to the Board.

Alan possesses a good working knowledge and understanding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), as well as solid understanding of DHS standards and audit compliance obligations and the Victorian Disability and Privacy acts.

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.

For the past two years, she has owned and operated a successful General Practice and consulting 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.

“I am excited to be joining the OC Connections Board, I am passionate about the disability sector and being involved with organisations that are innovative and focus on positive outcomes for the people they support. I look forward to working with the Board and OC Connections Management team.”

K.Payne