The Board

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

Mr Julien O’Connell AM

  • 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. Julien served as Chairman of Mercy Health 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 a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He also holds positions as director or chairman of a number of boards including the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne Finance Council and he is a Member of the State Government Council of Board Chairs. Julien was appointed a Director of Mercy Health Foundation in 2008 and was subsequently appointed Executive Chairman of the Foundation in 2018.

Ms Margaret Bounader

  • Title: Board Member

Margaret has over 20 years’ experience working in international trade and investment. She spent 10 years living and working overseas as part of the Australian Diplomatic Service, holding Trade Commissioner positions in South Africa and Singapore. Margaret is a co-founder of the Women in Global Business program — a joint Australian, state and territory government initiative. She is also involved in community interests, such as the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival. Margaret joined the Foundation Committee in 2012 and was appointed Director in 2013. She was also appointed Interim Chair for a period of six months in 2018.

Ms Vanessa Desloires

  • Title: Board Member

Vanessa Desloires is a highly experienced digital and print journalist and editor. Prior to joining PwC Australia where she is a managing editor for its technology-focused publication, Vanessa was a reporter at The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, covering markets and business. She has Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business from the Australian Catholic University and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from RMIT University.

Mr Stephen Elder

  • Title: Board Member

Stephen is the Executive Director of Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Stephen served as the Member for Ballarat North and Ripon from 1988–1999. Stephen also served as the Parliamentary Secretary for Education in the Victorian Government from 1992–1999. Prior to serving as a parliamentarian, Stephen was a respected teacher and community worker with the Broadmeadows Youth Services and held management positions with the Community Services Departments of the Manly Municipal Council and Ballarat City Council. Stephen holds numerous board positions across Catholic education. Stephen joined the Foundation Committee in 2010 and was appointed Director in 2013.

Mr Tom Hennessey

  • Title: Board Member

Tom has been Commercial Manager, Morobe Mining JV, Newcrest Mining Ltd since 2013, responsible for governance and planning processes, and group business analysis. Prior to this, Tom held other senior roles at Newcrest, including Manager Group Business Planning and Manager Mergers and Acquisitions. He has also worked in Indonesia as Finance Manager for PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals. Tom has a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University and Postgraduate Finance Honours, having completed semesters on international exchange programs at Uppsala University, Sweden and the University of Miami, USA. Tom is based in Western Australia and was appointed to the Mercy Health Foundation Board in March 2017.

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

Sr Helen, Executive Director of Leadership and Mission, is responsible for Mercy Health’s leadership development and mission. She played a key role in the development of Mercy Health and is the keeper of our history and the history of the Sisters of Mercy. Sr Helen was the Chief Executive Officer and Sister Administrator of Mercy Hospital for Women. She was a member of the congregational leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy, Melbourne Congregation, and President of Catholic Health Australia and the Australian College of Health Service Executives (Victorian branch). Sr Helen was appointed as a Director to the Mercy Health Foundation in 2010.

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 around investment governance and management, as well as business and strategic planning, brand and organisational growth. Doug has over 20 years’ experience in marketing, product development, wealth management and financial planning, most recently with State Trustees. 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.