New board appointments strengthen oversight and health project delivery
The addition of five new directors to the board of East Timor Hearts Fund will help support the ongoing expansion of the organisation’s work in areas such as preventative health and community and heath practitioner education. The new directors have skills in clinical practice and research, business strategy, marketing and law. They were elected at a meeting this month, following a rigorous recruitment and selection process. Board chair Ingrid Svendsen said the appointments came at a pivotal time, as the organisation continued its transition from its origins as a small-scale charity focussed on providing surgery in Australia. “As we build on our proud foundation work of providing surgery for individual patients, in the coming years we will continue to expand our role in supporting systemic public health solutions and the growth of in-country capacity to tackle local health challenges in Timor-Leste,” Ms Svendsen said. “This will include offering more surgery in Timor-Leste, including for the first time, open heart surgery. This is a more cost-effective option, and also allows us to support the development of the local systems and skills that Timor-Leste needs. “Our board is now better placed than ever to provide governance oversight to manage risk and support the effective delivery of these more complex projects and services.” The new appointees are: Professor Andrea Driscoll Andrea is a heart failure nurse practitioner at Austin Health, a heart failure nurse consultant to the Alfred Hospital and a Professor of Nursing and Midwifery at Deakin University. She has received an Excellence in Clinical Practice lifetime achievement award from the American Heart Association. Belinda McDonald Belinda is a change management professional with ANZ bank and is a member of the Victorian Government’s Cardiac Clinical Network. Dr Ari Horton Ari is a clinician researcher at Monash Heart, Monash Children’s Hospital and Royal Darwin Hospital. Ari is an active volunteer with East Timor Hearts Fund and an educator at Monash University. David Mayne David is the former board chair of a major community banking organisation. He has an extensive association with Timor-Leste and has competed in the gruelling Tour de Timor mountain bike event and the Trans-Timor Trek. David Thomas David is a lawyer and experienced company secretary with a publicly listed company. He has expertise in corporate governance, risk management and commercial strategy. Other volunteer board members are co-founder and board chair Ingrid Svendsen, Katrina Thurston (finance and audit committee chair), Vijaya Joshi (development committee chair), Nicki Patten (nomination and remuneration committee chair and company secretary), Nick Oats and Bill Appleby. Professor Driscoll will become the new chair of the board clinical governance committee. Ms Svendsen thanked all applicants and said that the high calibre of candidates made the selection task very challenging.