Our people

Our people are dedicated to our mission and ensuring that we deliver on our 2021-25 strategic plan.

Our people

Our people are dedicated to our mission and ensuring that we deliver on our 2021-25 strategic plan.

Our Board

Our board members live and breathe the ​​St John Values. Together, they continue to ensure that St John Ambulance NSW executes best practice within the organisation and wider community.

With strong leadership and expertise in health and medicine, volunteering practices, governance, change management, technology, finance, investment and business, the Board is committed to the success of St John Ambulance NSW.  

Sean McGuinness CStJ

Qualifications: BCom (Acc/Fin), FCA. FAICD

Sean has more than 25 years’ experience internationally as a CFO and finance leader spanning the domains of Energy and National Resources, Consumer Packaging, Health in the full profit, private equity and the profit for purpose sector. He has extensive M+A experience specialising in large scale domestic and international acquisition, integration, and divestment transactions creating value through collaboration and organisational level engagement. Professionally he focusses on working with businesses to transform their finance functions while assisting boards to realise greater potential through both governance and cultural reform.

Sean is a highly experienced profit for purpose sector leader having been a member of several innovative community focussed boards that created meaningful change and impact within the communities of NSW. Sean also service as Director on the St John Ambulance Australia National Board where he provides leadership for the development of the St John brand, mission and purpose within Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

A Commander with the Most Venerable Order of St John, Sean is also a Fellow of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Institute of the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.

Special Responsibilities
Chairman of the Board
Member of the Nomination and Awards Committee
Director St John Ambulance Australia National Board

Ilan Lowbeer CStJ

Qualifications: Bachelor Engineering Hons 1, Masters of Science, GAICD

A St John volunteer of 25yrs, Ilan currently serves as the Commissioner for St John NSW Ilan began volunteering with Hornsby Kur-ring-gai Division in 1998 and soon joined the State Operations Team as Deputy State Operations Officer serving for several years before moving to the State Support Services Portfolio and then returning to take on the role of Superintendent of the Major Events and Incidents Group.

Ilan served with St John in Singapore as a Zone Officer when he relocated with his family and built strong ties with the St John Singapore Responder Unit and wider worldwide St John network. Returning to Australia in 2018, Ilan took up the role of Deputy Commissioner, and in 2021 accepted the post of Commissioner for St John NSW.

Through his time with St John, Ilan has deployed in a clinical and leadership capacity to numerous natural disasters including the Brisbane Floods and Cyclone Yasi, the 2019-2020 bushfires and the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Ilan was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 for Service to St John Ambulance, and was Admitted to the Order of St John in 2010 and promoted to Commander in 2023. He was also awarded the National Emergency Medal for service contributed during the 2019-2020 Bushfires and also holds the Long Service Medal of the Order of St John awarded in 2010.

Outside of St John, Ilan has a career in commodity trading and supply chain having worked in the oil and gas industry for over two decades.

Special Responsibilities
Member of the Nominations & Awards Sub-Committee

Coretta Bessi

Non-Executive Director
Qualifications: BCom, MBA, GAICD

Coretta joined the Board in February 2018 and has since performed in the role of Chair for the Audit, Risk and Investment Committee and Chair of the People, Culture and Governance Committee in her first two terms. The expertise Coretta brings to the Board in complex negotiations, commercial deals, enterprise risk management and transformational change come from her corporate executive roles as Chief Operations Officer at RACGP, and Chief Procurement Officer at Westpac, nbn, BlueScope and Ausgrid.

Coretta’s earliest engagement with St John was volunteering as a cadet and she is a strong advocate of developing the youth of the organistion. Coretta is strongly committed to “profit for a purpose” enterprises that support our communities in health and education.

Special Responsibilities
Member of the Finance & Investment Committee

Mick Campbell

Deputy Chair
Qualifications: BSc, GAICD

Mick has more than 25 years’ experience as a Chief Information Officer spanning multiple industries such as manufacturing, education, not for profits, healthcare, professional services, banking and finance and technology. He has extensive skills in change management, process management, enterprise risk management and end-user engagement. He also thrives on coaching people and organisations, specifically in relation to endurance, resilience, adversity, survival, adaptation, attaining huge growth and successfully managing change.

He is the co-founder of the Krazy Kosci Klimb, an empowering event which has been running since 2013 and allows 20 teenagers with cerebral palsy, ably assisted with their respective support teams, to participate in a life-changing experience to summit Mt Kosciuszko (Australia’s highest peak). Since its inception, nearly 150 participants with cerebral palsy have summited Mt Kosciuszko, simultaneously fundraising A$3M to date (https://www.krazykosciklimb.com.au).

Special Responsibilities
Deputy Chair of Board Chair of the Audit & Investment Sub-Committee

Stephen Woodhill

Non-Executive Director
Qualifications: BA, MComm, AFAMI, MAICD, MPRIA, CPM

Stephen has extensive experience in Corporate Governance, Corporate Public Affairs and stakeholder management specialising in media, government affairs, stakeholder and crisis management, internal communication and marketing. He is currently the Chief Executive of an NFP industry association and advocacy group representing Chief Financial Officers. Stephen established the Annual Congress for CFOs and Finance Executives with The Australian Financial Review, as well as the annual political engagement session with key Federal politicians. Stephen sits on the Council (Board) for Shore School, is a former Ambassador for White Ribbon and former Rugby player, coach and referee.

Special Responsibilities
Chair of the Nominations & Awards Sub-Committee

Larissa Cook

Non-Executive Director
Qualifications: BA(Hons), LLB(Syd), FGIA, GAICD

Larissa brings to St John NSW nearly 30 years’ experience as a strategic commercial and legal advisor and Non-Executive Director with extensive and diverse experience in-house and in private practice both in Australia and internationally. Of particular relevance to St John is her specialisation in health and medical law as well as acting for emergency services and volunteer organisations.

As a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia (FGIA), a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and an experienced NED, Larissa has a comprehensive understanding of corporate governance and risk and compliance and has been involved in significant review and implementation processes in this area. Larissa previously Chaired the Board’s Clinical Governance Committee and is now the Chair of the Risk Committee.

St John’s long history and continuing mission to ensure that every person has access to healthcare and wellbeing support wherever needed resonates strongly with Larissa. She has had occasion to use her own St John First Aid training and is passionate that everyone should be empowered with the skills to assist others in their time of need.

Special Responsibilities
Chair of the Risk Committee

Dr Evelyne Tadros

Non-Executive Director
Qualifications: HScD., MBehSc, GAICD

With a Doctorate degree in Health Science and a deep history of improving health and wellbeing across community services and government, Evelyne’s career is underpinned by leading operations, strategic development, policy, advocacy and systemic improvements across a range of government and non-government programs.

Evelyne brings a wealth of governance, risk and compliance, experience and is currently employed as the CEO with the Mental Health Coordinating Council (NSW) and is a Board Director for St Vincent de Paul Society (NSW) and Mental Health Australia.

Special Responsibilities
Member of the Risk Sub-Committee

Peter Kaye AM ESM

Non-Executive Director
Qualifications: BEc, GradDipEd, FAICD, FRSA, JP

As an influential driver of social capital and philanthropy, Peter currently serves the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (Australia) as CEO and a member of its International Council.

Skilled in leadership, strategy, business planning and relationship management, coupled with significant experience with profit-for-purpose, Peter has been volunteering for over 47 years with NSW SES, including over 40 years as Chief Inspector/Inspector (Unit Commander) where he received the SES Commissioners Commendation for Service Medal and the Emergency Services Medal (ESM).

Peter co-founded an international consultancy specialising in corporate governance and has served on a number of company and charity boards including Chair of the Red Nose Foundation (SIDS & Kids), Deputy Chair of Community First Credit Union, Chair Australian Centre for Social & Ethical Accountability, Chair/MD of The Painting People, and Chair of FutureStaff. Peter is also a very active volunteer in establishing micro-finance in the South Pacific having established over 1000 in 11 South Pacific countries since 1992.

Peter has served on the emergency services front lines in response to the many natural disasters across Australia, and is a Member (General Division) of the Order of Australia (AM).

Special Responsibilities
Member of the Audit & Investment Sub-Committee

Louise Portelli

Non-Executive Director
Qualifications: MBA, GradDipHRM, BA, GAICD

As an educator for Sydney University since 2020, Louise’s passion for health services and education has been nurtured by a range of key career experiences, whilst developing curriculum and lecturing in strategy and leadership. For the Department of Human Services in Victoria, Louise gained a depth of experience in human resources and culture within health and community services.

In the UK, Louise served as a Non-Executive Board Director and Chair of Strategy with Ministry of Stories (MoS), founded by renowned author Nick Hornby, dedicated to building the confidence and literacy of under-privileged children.

Currently serving as a Non-Executive Board Director in the financial services sector specialising in asset finance, Louise drives organisational growth through strategy development, customer and digital experience, marketing and product development.

Special Responsibilities
Member of the Risk Sub-Committee

Our Executive
Management Team

The Executive Management Team supports the development of the organisation and plays a critical role in the strategic planning and direction of St John Ambulance NSW.

Dominic Teakle

Chief Executive Officer
Dominic has extensive executive management and leadership experience in both the private and public sectors. He brings a strong background in volunteer and purpose-based organisations, having been CEO of Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW, COO of Ticketing and Events Company TEG, and a GM at both Basketball Australia and IMG. Dominic has spent over a decade in the events sector and related roles. During that time he held a variety of national roles where he was responsible for commercial and customer operations, business development and major relationships across Government and private sectors. This followed a highly successful career as a senior Army officer, with diverse roles spanning everything from military advisor to the Deputy Chief of Army, operational experience in the Middle East, instruction, and preparedness and mobilisation. Dominic’s deep understanding of people-based organisations and strengths in strategy, leadership and relationship management will be critical in driving the mission and future success of St John Ambulance NSW.

Michael Churchman

Chief Finance Officer
Mike is a Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary with broad governance, commercial and strategic experience in both blue chip corporates and the not-for-profit sector. With over 20 years in senior finance roles, Mike has been the CFO at Northcott, Sunnyfield and Civic Disability Services following commercial roles with companies including Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola and Cadbury. His understanding of the health sector, FMCG and service delivery alongside his governance expertise in the not-for-profit sector bring valuable, broad expertise to St John.

Vanessa Lorford-Mills

General Manager - People, Performance and Culture
Vanessa is our People, Performance and Culture Leader with experience enabling people and cultures within organisations across the For Purpose, Retail, FMCG and Professional Services sectors in Australia and New Zealand. Vanessa has led several transformational cultural change initiatives to create sustainable organisational performance outcomes and improve the customer experience. Vanessa cultivates leadership, coaching and performance at all levels of talent management for people to perform to their highest potential and she works in partnership to create highly collaborative integrated organisational teams within complex and multi-dimensional environments.

Damon Quinn

General Manager - Operations and Program Delivery
Damon’s role covers the delivery of Event Health Services, Commercial Health Services, Emergency Services and Training. Damon has significant experience in leadership roles across Health Funds, Government and Financial Services. Recently, he was COO for CBHS Health Fund responsible for all member interactions post sales including setting up health and education solutions for significant clients such as CBA. As part of his work with CBHS, his team designed and implemented a Clinical Risk Management framework; a new workforce planning process and oversaw a strong shift to digital delivery of services. Prior to this he was the Acting CEO for NSW Trustee and Guardian looking after 14,000 clients, 19 branches and a multi-disciplinary team of 600 staff located across NSW from Broken Hill to Armidale. His early background is in banking, leading teams in retail operations and strategic planning.

Rebecca Skeete

General Manager - Sales and Service
Rebecca has extensive experience in sales and marketing and is a trusted organisational leader with expertise in customer experience, sales and marketing transformation, digital roadmaps, and marketing effectiveness. In her most recent role, Rebecca was Head of Sales & Occupancy for Only About Children – a private equity owned early learning enterprise employing over 2,500 people and caring for 11,000+ children and their families. As a key member of the senior leadership team Rebecca helped to successfully deliver a rapid expansion with 70% business growth over a two-year period. Rebecca’s skills and experience, her focus on customers first, will see St John’s sales and service offering grow and thrive.

Anita Truninger

General Manager - Engagement
Anita has deep experience across government and business sectors, with specific experience in health policy and a strong understanding of NSW health system operations. Her experience in intergovernmental relations for the NSW Government where she developed NSW positions on significant national issues, briefed the Premier and executives, and negotiated outcomes with other governments will enable her to increase St John NSW’s profile and influence, community impact, and non-commercial funding sources in her role as General Manager - Engagement. She will also help implement our recent Board approved Government Relations Strategy designed to help meet our 2025 strategic goals.

Benjamin McClure MStJ

Deputy Commissioner - Youth
In his role as Deputy Commissioner of Youth, Benjamin is deeply passionate about the opportunities that St John offers young people. His vision for the youth program is one that is safe and builds confident, capable, resourceful and resilient young people, that actively contribute to our mission of building community resilience and saving lives. In his professional life, Ben is also a leading Senior Constable with NSW Police. Ben joined St John in 1999 and has extensive experience across the Youth Program, having been a very active cadet, to running a cadet division, experience at the state youth level, as well as his recent experience mentoring and assisting divisional Officers-in-Charge as a Hub Leader. He strives for our Youth Program to give young people the tools, experience, training and safe environment they need to get set for success personally and professionally.

Marian Casey MStJ

Deputy Commissioner - Volunteering
Marian has been with St John Ambulance NSW since 2010 and has focused on enabling diversity and positive experiences for our Volunteers. She has taken on several different roles to support Divisions in logistics, member welfare, training, and event planning and has led Macquarie Division and been a Hub Leader in Sydney Metro during her time at St John Ambulance NSW. Marian continues to provide support and values-based leadership for our Volunteer Leaders, Volunteers and Youth.

Elliot Williams OStJ NP

Deputy Commissioner - Clinical Systems
Elliot provides leadership and support across the organisation to enhance patient safety and quality. This covers Clinical Practice, Clinical Governance, Clinical Education (non-accredited training), Advanced Care and Medical Centre Operations, and Virtual Care (Clinical Advice Line). Elliot's clinical role is as a Nurse Practitioner, Intensive Care at Royal North Shore Hospital, where he has worked since 2008. He holds appointments as a Casual Academic at the Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, and is an expert member of the NSW Ambulance Clinical Practice Committee. Elliot joined St John in 1999 as a Junior and has experience in a range of roles including Deputy Superintendent, Clinical Governance Officer, and most recently as Deputy Commissioner, Advisory. Elliot has led organisation wide strategy for St John relating to COVID-19, clinical workforce development, and clinical practice guidelines.

Our values
We are the ambassadors for St John Ambulance. We are respected for the work that we do and the way that we do it. We recognise our strength comes from our diversity. We have the courage to be authentic and true.
We do the right thing. We are honest and trustworthy. We are accountable for our actions and take ownership of our shared goals. We are there when you need us. You can depend on us.
We are the custodians of our future. We share ideas and listen to each other, our customers and our community. We are open and transparent in all that we do.
We work best when we work together. We care for our colleagues and our community. We take initiative, generate new ideas and embrace change. We share success. Together we make a difference.

We are sincere in our voice and actions. We share ideas and listen to each other, our customers and community. We are open and transparent in all that we do.