The Board

​The Mercy Health Foundation board is governed by eight directors. The Board oversees policies, strategic direction and the distribution of funds in accordance with public ancillary funds guidelines.

Mr Julien O’Connell AO

  • Title: Executive Chairman

Julien was appointed as a Director to the Mercy Health Board and the Board’s Finance, Audit and Risk Committee in 2005. He was subsequently appointed Chairman of Mercy Health in 2008 and served in the role for 10 years. He has a diverse and varied background in accounting, insurance, risk management and marketing, and holds a number of qualifications in those disciplines. He is currently Pro-Chancellor at the Australian Catholic University and Chairman of their PM Glynn Institute (think-tank research unit) as well as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He also holds positions as either Chairman/Director of a number of boards including the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne Finance Council, Director Catholic Health Australia, Chairman of Villa Maria Catholic Homes and is Honorary Trade Attaché of Enterprise Ireland. Julien was appointed a Director of Mercy Health Foundation in 2008 and was subsequently appointed Executive Chairman of the Foundation in 2018.

Mr Stephen Elder

  • Title: Board Member

Stephen Elder has had a distinguished career in politics, local government and educational administration. He was a member of the Victorian Parliament from 1988-99, serving as Parliamentary Secretary for Education from 1993-99. Stephen went on to serve as the Executive Director of Catholic Education Melbourne and the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria until 2019.

Stephen has also served in a wide variety of governance roles, including the Deakin University Council, the Board of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority, Director/Company Secretary of Catholic Capital Grants, the Board of Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership and Member of the Ministerial Deregulation Advisory Council. In 2018 he was recognised in the Australian Financial Review as the most influential person in education in Australia. He is a life member of Sovereign Hill Museum and in 2017 was made a Knight Commander in the order of St Sylvester by Pope Francis. He was a member of the Truth Justice and Healing Council, The National Catholic Education Commission and the Victorian Government School Policy and Funding Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Barwon Health Board.

In 2016, Stephen was awarded an Order of Australia for services to the Victorian community.

Ms Kate McCormack (FAHRI)

  • Title: Board Member

Kate has more than 20 years’ experience in human resources and holds a Master of Business in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management from RMIT University/Grenoble Ecole de Management France. Kate has also undertaken study at the London Business School and Harvard University.

Until early 2020, Kate was responsible for the development and implementation of the Group Human Resources strategy at Mercy Health and provided strategic advice to the Group Chief Executive Officer and wider Executive Group.

Kate has been instrumental in developing and overseeing Mercy Health’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency Employer of Choice for Gender Equality strategy, a citation the organisation has been awarded since 2008. Kate was recognised in various industry award programs in 2017 for initiatives including Mercy Health’s Leadership Capability Framework and Thrive @ Mercy. Previously, Kate has also been the recipient of the HR Partners Award for Best HR Leader, HR Leaders Compass Awards, and the Diversity Leader for the Advancement of Women, EOWA Business Awards. Under Kate’s leadership, Mercy Health has won the Australian Business Awards Employer of Choice Award and 7th Asia Best Employer Brand Awards Best Use of Technology for Recruiting Award.

A regular speaker at national HR conferences, Kate is a member of the Australian Human Resources Institute Presidents forum and a Fellow of the Australian Human Resources Institute. Kate has previously served as a Board member of the Diversity Council Australia and simultaneously served on their Board HR committee and IT committee.

Sr Helen Monkivitch RSM AO

  • Title: Board Member

Helen brings a wealth of experience in health and aged care, mission and ethics. She played a key role in the development of Mercy Health and is the keeper of the history of Mercy Health and its predecessors.

Helen was the Chief Executive Officer and Sister Administrator of Mercy Hospital for women from 1984 – 1995 and Chief Executive Officer from 1986 – 1988.

Her qualifications include a Master of Health Planning from the University of New South Wales, Bachelor of Arts from Swinburne Institue of Technology and Diploma of Nursing administration at Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences.

Helen was a member of the congregational leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy, Melbourne from 1994 – 2000 and a member of several Boards of Governance. She has been a member of a number of professional associations and was the President of Catholic Health Australia and the Australian College of Health Services Executives (Vic Branch).

Helen was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to the community, particularly through the establishment of major health, aged and palliative care facilities in Victoria and to the Catholic Church.

Helen was recognised for a lifetime of leadership, generosity and innovation by being named on the 2014 Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

Ms Tara Piazza

  • Title: Board Member

Tara joined the Mercy Health Foundation Board in 2019. She is also a board member for the Institute for Breathing and Sleep, based at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. Tara is an experienced corporate executive, having worked in global top tier airline, financial services and management consulting organisations in addition to senior and executive roles in the Victorian public sector.

Tara specialises in strategy, transformation and digital, and is currently the owner and Principal Consultant for TSquared Advisory which provides coaching and consulting services to executives and boards on transformation, digital and innovation.

Tara’s qualifications include a Masters of Business Information Technology, RMIT; a Graduate Diploma in Applied Information Systems, RMIT; completion of the Company Director’s Course, the Australian Institute of Company Directors; Driving Performance for Professional Service firms, Australian Graduate School of Management; and Leadership for Senior Executives Residential Program from Harvard Business School in Boston.

“I am passionate about providing the best of health care to all who need it, especially in the provision of high-quality, accessible mental health and wellbeing services”.

Mr Doug Sumner

  • Title: Board Member

Doug is the owner and Principal of DCS Financial Services Consulting, which provides consulting services to Boards and organisations in Australia, Asia-Pacific and Africa about investment governance and management, business and strategic planning, and brand and organisational growth. Doug has over 30 years’ experience in strategy, marketing, product development, wealth management and financial planning. Doug is also the Chair of Red Pear Insurance. Doug joined the Foundation Committee in 2011 and was appointed Director in 2013.

Ms Alexandra Tighe

  • Title: Board Member

Alexandra (Alex) is a partner of the large national law firm, Holding Redlich. Alex has over 15 years’ experience practicing as a senior lawyer, specialising in commercial law and regulatory investigations and inquiries.

Alex has supported the work of the Foundation through her own fundraising initiatives and is passionate about advancing research into women’s health, particularly the prevention of premature and stillbirth following the loss of her own son who was unexpectedly born prematurely and died at birth.

Alex has a Bachelor of Arts (RMIT) and Bachelor of Laws (Monash University).

Alex was appointed to the Mercy Health Foundation Board in 2019.

Ms Lucy Warner

  • Title: Board Member

Lucy joined the Mercy Health Foundation board in May 2019. She has 15 years' experience in investment markets and wealth strategies. She joined JBWere in 2006 where she advised high-net-worth clients and philanthropic organisations in the education, health and religious sectors.

She has chaired the Mercy Health Foundation’s Finance, Audit and Risk Committee since December 2019.

Lucy has a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University and a Graduate Diploma in Finance and Investment.

Last reviewed July 16, 2018.