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Our Board

Nick Ryan

Nick Ryan

Chair

Nick Ryan is an experienced CEO, board member and senior executive with 30 years’ experience in a range of human services industries including aged care, government, youth services and education.

He has led and advised a variety of organisations from government departments, industry representative bodies, not for profit service providers and charities.

In May 2019 Mr Ryan joined Lutheran Services from an interim position of CEO at Southern Cross Care Queensland.  Prior to this he was CEO of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and CEO of Aged Care Queensland (now a part of Leading Age Services Australia).  He has also served on the Boards of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority and the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland.

Mr Ryan is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand School of Government and a graduate of the Yarra Theological Union and the University of Canberra.

Jennifer O'Connell

Jennifer O'Connell

Board Member

Jennifer offers a rare combination of hands on clinical experience combined with high level business acumen. As the Director of Quality and Education with Hall & Prior Health & Aged Care Group NSW, Jennifer’s focus is on the wellbeing and expert clinical care of people through systems and staff development.

As a Registered Nurse, Jennifer worked in regional and metropolitan NSW in clinical, educational and management roles within the public hospital system, before dedicating her professional life to the care of the older Australians in residential environments.

Throughout her working life, Jennifer has enhanced her experience with corporate roles in private aged care whilst continuing to achieve educational milestones adding to her Bachelor of Education (Nursing) with a Master of Health Administration and Grad. Cert. in Business Excellence.

With a passion for integrating governance with operational activities, Jennifer has a personal mission to deliver improvements in care delivery and advocacy for Australia’s Elderly.

Through working as a manager in residential aged care, Jennifer has witnessed first-hand the experiences of older people no longer being able to be independent. She has seen many times that for the person, their family and friends, this can be an isolating event that requires skilled knowledgeable staff to support them. The first works of Meaningful Ageing Australia came along at the right time –  the resources have given Jennifer the structure to convert these experiences into meaningful actions for the comprehensive care of  a broad range of older people.

Sonya Smart

Sonya Smart

Board Member

Sonya is Chief Executive Officer of Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH) in Victoria. Prior to joining VMCH in February 2017, Sonya was Chief Executive of Catholic Homes Incorporated in WA, a position she held for over six years.  She has also held leadership roles in residential and community care at Southern Cross Care WA.

A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (2016), Sonya holds a Master of Business Administration from Curtin University of Technology (2010) and a post graduate qualification in Clinical Psychology from Edith Cowan University (2002).  Sonya’s entrepreneurship and business acumen was recognized in 2008 when she received a ‘40under40’ award: an honour which recognizes excellence and innovation amongst WA’s young leaders.

With a passion for residential aged care, disability and community services, and a strong commitment to high quality pastoral and spiritual care, Sonya has been a long-time advocate for delivering exceptional care to marginalised people in the community.

Raad Richards

Raad Richards

Board Treasurer

Raad has had over 42 years’ experience in health and aged care services in New South Wales. Prior to joining Carrington as Chief Executive in February 2004, Raad has occupied a number of senior executive positions in the NSW Health system for 29 years.

Raad has extensive involvement at Board level in various professional and community organisations, including:

  1. Past President and life member of the Australasian College of Health Service Management (NSW Branch);
  2. Board Member of Unity Bank and Member of the Audit Committee and Member of the Remuneration Committee;
  3. Chairman, Creating Links Community Services;
  4. Chairman, Leigh Place Aged Care and Chair of the Property and Development Committee
  5. Winner in the Business Leader category of the 2014 South Western Sydney Business Awards

Raad holds qualifications of Bachelor of Business Administration (B Bus), Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations and Human Resources and Master of Health Planning (MHP)

Adam McIntosh

Adam McIntosh

Board Member

Adam’s current role is the Associate Director of Mission for UnitingCare Qld. This includes oversight of chaplaincy services, integration of spiritual care across aged care and hospitals across 47 aged care facilities, community aged care and 4 hospitals in Qld.
Adam sits on the Uniting Church Synod Chaplaincy Commission which oversees spiritual care across Queensland including aged care, public hospitals, police, military and schools. He is on the Executive Leadership Team of the Aged Care and Community Services at UnitingCare Qld.

Adam is passionate about raising the awareness of, supporting and resourcing spiritual care in aged care across Australia. He works within the largest aged care provider in Qld, UnitingCare, and has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing spiritual care in the aged care sector. A recent graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), Adam works as part of the Executive Leadership Team for Aged Care and Community Services, and also oversees the pastoral and spiritual care across over 47 aged care facilities, community aged care and four hospitals.

Adam has obtained GAICD, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Theology, Doctor of Theology, Graduate Certificate in Education, Graduate Certificate in Management, Graduate Certificate in Organisation Coaching.

Kellie Whelan

Kellie Whelan

Board Secretary

With almost 20 years’ experience within the aged care industry, Kellie has broad and deep experience from the ‘ground-up’ to an executive management level. She has served in senior leadership and management positions for over 15 years, including concurrently working with the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency for over 11 years as a Quality Assessor. Kellie’s current role requires a high acuity of governance to monitor and deliver care and service quality outcomes for the consumer that are evidenced based, compliant with aged care standards and aligned with the individual consumers goals. She has recently developed and implemented a philosophy of care for RSL Care SA which values the individual consumer’s life experience and identifies the life they wish to live while they are in care. Kellie joined the board of Meaningful Ageing in November 2018.

Kellie has a Bachelor of Nursing (University of SA), Graduate Certificate Health Administration (Flinders University), Certificate IV – Training and Assessment and has completed Prince 2 – Foundational Certification (Project Management).

John Ireland AM

John Ireland AM

Board Member

John has four decades of experience and active involvement in aged care leadership roles ranging from chairman of the UPA Board for ten years to CEO Southern Cross Care NSW/ACT for 23 years.

John has been actively involved in sector leadership as NSW President of ACS for ten years, national president of ACSA for three years and on the Board of the International Association of Housing and Services for the Ageing for six years. He has a passion for quality accommodation care and support for those in our society who are vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged. John has an enduring passion for pastoral and spiritual care. John has also been a member of the task group that led to the establishment of Meaningful Ageing Australia and has continued as a Board member since its formation as an association in 2013. John continues to be actively involved in aged care by mentoring leaders in the sector and regularly visiting residents in three aged care facilities. In the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours, John was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia for his services to the community particularly through Aged Care Australia and through social welfare, youth and church groups.