Board profiles

Dr Helen Nugent AO (Chair)

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Dr Helen Nugent AO brings significant expertise to her role as Chairman of the Board. She has a strong background in financial services, including in insurance, with her currently being a Non-Executive Director of IAG. Previously, she has been a Non-Executive Director of Macquarie Group and Mercantile Mutual, as well as Chairman of Swiss Re (Australia). She was also Director of Strategy at Westpac Banking Corporation, where she was part of the executive team responsible for a major turnaround in the bank.

She is also Chairman of Ausgrid, and a Non-Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

In 2004, Dr Nugent was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to business, the arts and the community and is currently the Chairman of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia. Previously, she has been Chairman of the Major Performing Arts Inquiry and the Opera Review, as well as Deputy Chairman of Opera Australia.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Queensland, as well and an MBA (with Distinction) from the Harvard Business School.

Dr Nugent is a member of the Board’s People and Remuneration Committee and ICT Committee. She routinely attends meeting of all other Committees.

Ms Sandra Birkensleigh

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Ms Sandra Birkensleigh is an experienced Non-Executive Director, bringing extensive experience in financial service and insurance industries to the Agency. She currently holds board positions with MLC Insurance Ltd, Auswide Bank Limited, Horizon Oil Limited, 7-11 Holdings Limited (and its subsidiaries) and Sunshine Coast Children's Therapy Centre. She chairs the Audit Committee for each of these organisations. Ms Birkensleigh is also a member of the Council for the University of the Sunshine Coast and an independent member of the Audit Committee of the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for the Public Trustee of Queensland. She was formerly a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers including their Governance, Risk and Compliance practice.

Ms Birkensleigh is Chairman of the Board's Audit Committee, People and Remuneration Committee and routinely attends the Risk Committee meetings.

Professor Jane Burns


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Professor Jane Burns has extensive experience advising government, industry, university and the social enterprise sectors.  She is Chair of Open Arms, Veterans Families Counselling Service, Chair of STREAT and Chair of the Centre for Mental Health at Swinburne University. In 2000 Professor Burns joined beyondblue: the national depression initiative to lead and manage the youth and public health agenda in its initial start-up. 

Professor Burns was the founder and CEO of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and Professor of Innovation and Industry at the University of Sydney. She is the Founder and Non-Executive Director of InnoWell and a Non-Executive Director with the Australian Positive Psychology Learning Institute and Mind Medicines Australia. She was a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy at the University of California, San Francisco, a VicHealth Fellow in Health Promotion at Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and an NHMRC Fellow in Suicide Prevention at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. She holds a PhD in Medicine from the University of Adelaide.

In recognition for her achievements in entrepreneurship she won the category of Social Enterprise for 2015’s Australian Financial Review and Westpac Group 100 Women of Influence, and was a Victorian Finalist in the 2017 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

Professor Burns is currently the Mental Health and Wellbeing Innovator at Bupa and Professor of Innovation and Chair of the Centre for Mental Health at Swinburne University.

Professor Burns is a member of the Board’s ICT Committee.

Mr Glenn Keys AO

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Mr Glenn Keys AO has been a member of the NDIS Board since the Scheme’s inception. He has long been involved in efforts to improve the lives of people with disability, including through his involvement in the Special Olympics, the Down Syndrome Association and the disability housing sector. He has a background in the health sector as the co-founder and co-executive Chairman of Aspen Medical, and the Founder and Chairman for Project Independence, an initiative offering home ownership to people with disability. He was awarded and Officer in the General Division (AO) in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his distinguished service to disability, business and commerce and as an advocate for corporate social responsibility. Mr Keys was named 2015 Australian Capital Territory Australian of the Year, and is also a board member of the organising committee for the Australian Invictus Games 2018. Mr Keys has a child with an intellectual disability.

Mr Keys is a member of the Board’s ICT Committee and People and Remuneration Committee.

Ms Robyn Kruk AO

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Ms Robyn Kruk AO has extensive experience as Chief Executive of national and state policy, regulatory and service delivery agencies, including NSW Health and Premier and Cabinet. She established and served as inaugural CEO/Commissioner of the National Mental Health Commission. Ms Kruk is currently Chair, Board Director or member of international, national and state statutory, non-government and private entities in healthcare and emergency services, quality and safety, governance and mental health.

Ms Kruk is a member of the Board’s Risk Committee and Chairman of the People and Remuneration Committee.

Mr John Langoulant AO

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Mr John Langoulant AO has extensive experience across many areas of public policy development and implementation from being the Western Australian Under Treasurer, Chairman of a number of government statutory authorities and from leading several government Inquiries. Mr Langoulant also chairs several private and not-for-profit organisations.

Mr Langoulant is a member of the Board’s Audit Committee, Risk Committee and Sustainability Committee.

Mr Jim Minto

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Mr Jim Minto is a Non-Executive Director of Singapore based Dai-ichi Life Asia Pacific, a Non-Executive Director of Equity Trustees Limited and Independent Chairman of New Zealand-based life insurer Partners Life Limited. He retired as Group CEO and Managing Director of life insurer TAL (formerly TOWER Australia) in March 2015. He had been in that role since November 2006, and prior to that was Group CEO of the Trans-Tasman TOWER Limited Group. Mr Minto has extensive experience in the financial services sector. A Chartered Accountant, Mr Minto retired in 2015 as Chair of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia and was a panel member of the Australian Government’s Review of Natural Disasters Insurance in 2011.

Mr Minto is Chairman of the Board’s Risk Committee and is a member of the Sustainability Committee. He also routinely attends the Audit Committee meetings.

Mr Paul O'Sullivan

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Mr Paul O’Sullivan has been Chairman of Optus since October 2014 and is a member of the Board of Commissioners of Telkomsel – Indonesia’s largest mobile communications company. He is a Director of Coca-Cola Amatil Limited; Healthscope, one of Australia’s leading private healthcare operations, HOOQ Pte Ltd, a joint venture between Singtel, Warner Bros and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Mr O’Sullivan is also a Board Member of the St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation. Mr O’Sullivan is Chairman of the Western Sydney Airport Corporation (WSA Co).

Mr O’Sullivan is Chairman of the Board’s ICT Committee and a member of the Risk Committee and People and Remuneration Committee.

Ms Estelle Pearson

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Ms Estelle Pearson has extensive experience in the insurance and injury compensation sector having worked as the Actuary and consultant in this sector since 1989. She is currently a Director of Finity Consulting Pty Limited, and was previously on the Council of Actuaries Institute, including a term as President in 2015.

Ms Pearson is Chairman of the Board’s Sustainability Committee and a member Audit Committee.

Mr John Walsh AM

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Mr John Walsh AM is one of Australia’s leading actuaries. He is a retired Partner of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, where he worked for over 20 years in the areas of social policy and funding across accident compensation, health and disability. He has personal experience of disability, having lived with quadriplegia following a rugby league accident in his early-twenties. Mr Walsh is also a Board member of the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Healthcare.

Mr Walsh is a member of the Board’s Sustainability Committee and ICT Committee and Principal Member of the Independent Advisory Council.

This page current as of
1 July 2020