Dr Graeme Blackman AO – Chair
Dr Graeme Blackman AO is an experienced company director and trustee. He joined Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) as independent Chairman in Aug 2014. He is a former Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the Victorian College of Pharmacy and is a non-Executive Director of IDT Australia Limited, a publicly listed pharmaceutical development and manufacturing company. He is the Chancellor of the University of Divinity, a Director of the Australian Youth Orchestra, Chairman of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia, and a member of the Council of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne. He is the Chairman of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), a Director of the Australian Council of National Trusts, Chairman of Victoria’s Heritage Restoration Fund and a Trustee of numerous trusts including the Andrews Foundation, the Leith Trust and the Johnston Collection of Fine and Decorative Arts. He is a member of the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne and has been for several years a member of Archbishop in Council of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne and is Chairman of the Anglican Development Fund Committee. Dr Blackman was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2017 Australian Day honour’s list for distinguished service to the pharmaceutical industry, to scientific research and policy development, to theological education and the Anglican Church of Australia, and to aged care.
Robert Orie – Deputy Chair
Robert has been associated with the aged care industry in a senior management capacity for more than 30 years. During that time, he has managed leading organisations in both the private and not for profit sectors and has developed a broad insight and knowledge of the aged care industry, both at an operational and policy level. In his role as CEO, Robert has primary responsibility for overseeing the effective day to day management of the organisation’s aged care operations, which include four residential aged care campuses, accommodating more than 700 residents, adult day care centres and an extensive home and community outreach program. Robert also plays an active role in the organisation’s strategic planning and business development.
Saranne Cooke is a professional director currently serving on a number of boards across the education, health, sport and charity sectors. Her current appointments include directorships on the boards of Racing NSW, Western NSW PHN (Western Health Alliance), General Practice Registrars Australia and Charles Sturt University. She is also the inaugural Chair of the Western Region NSW Committee of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Prior to her career as a professional director, Ms Cooke also held a number of senior roles within energy, banking and manufacturing industries. Saranne holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Business (Marketing), and a Master of Commercial Law. She is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow Certified Practising Accountant, and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute. She is also currently undertaking a PhD in Board Governance.
Michelle De Ronchi
Michelle has over 18 years executive management experience in the health and aged care sectors. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer for St Ives Home Care (and HomeCare Options) leading national provider of at home care and support services and a Registered Training Organisation ATA Training, providing specialised aged care training. Michelle is a committed advocate for issues around ageing positively and planning for an ageing population. Under Michelle’s leadership, St Ives Home Care and HomeCare Options have grown to become one of the largest providers in Australia now offering an impressive scope of diverse services under the Home Care Package program, the Commonwealth Home Support Program, the Home Hospital Package and Transitional Care Program, Home and Community Care Program and Department of Veterans Affairs. She has also seen the diversification of services with the addition of services catering to special needs groups including ATSI, FSD, CALD, LGBTI, Dementia and Remote and Rural home care packages. Michelle is a Division 1 Registered Nurse with a Diploma of Frontline Management, Certificate IV Workplace Training and Assessment and a Graduate Certificate in Infection Control.
Kerri is Chief Executive Officer of Shepparton Retirement Villages, a position she has held for four years. Kerri has been working in the healthcare industry for nearly 35 years, including 20 years in senior management positions. Prior to her current role, Kerri held senior executive positions within both the public and non-for-profit health sectors including acute, subacute, residential care and mental health services. These roles have given her a comprehensive understanding of aged care from both a clinical and operational perspective, and in urban and rural settings. Currently working towards a Masters in Gerontology and Health Administration, Kerri’s specialties include service growth, service re-engineering, change management and budget realignment. Prior to the unification of LASA, Kerri was a Director of LASA Victoria from 2013 to 2016.
Nick is Chief Executive Officer of Seasons Aged Care, which currently owns and operates six aged care communities across South East Queensland. Nick has more than 35 years clinical and executive management experience in private hospitals, public hospitals, health insurance, retirement living and in-home community care, and was a Board Director of LASA Queensland from 2013-2016. Nick holds a Master of Health Administration, a Bachelor of Science Nursing and Post Graduate Qualifications in Trauma Management, Coronary Care, Hyperbaric Management and Midwifery. He believes passionately that at every stage and every age, each of us strive for ‘quality of life’ and he is determined that advanced age is no more a ‘disease’ than is youth – both have their challenges. His vision is that aged care, focused on quality of life and respect for the choices of our elders, can be delivered in any location.
David is Chief Executive Officer of profit-for-purpose ECH Inc, South Australia’s biggest provider of housing and support services for older people. He has worked within health and social care services for almost 40 years inthe UK and Australia, over half of which has been at Chief Executive level. From 2004 David spent 10 years within the SA public health system heading up Central Northern Adelaide Health Service, where he was responsible for leading reforms including the development of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital. Since 2015, he has transformed ECH from a ‘traditional’ aged care provider into one that has moved away from residential care to focus entirely on independent living and enabling people to have choice. David holds a BSc (Hons) in Experimental Psychology and a PhD in Developmental Psychology.
Sean Rooney – LASA CEO
Sean Rooney has held several Chief Executive/Senior Executive roles in public, private, and not-for-profit sector organisations. He has led membership based organisations and represented the interests of members on the local, national and international stage, including the development and delivery of a range of value-adding services for members. In addition, he has practical experience at the nexus of the health and aged care sector, having been the former Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Medicare Local Alliance. In this role he led and managed a national, member-based organisation with a large workforce and an annual turnover of more than $28 million, coordinating, supporting and meeting the individual and collective needs of all Medicare Local members. Previously, Mr Rooney was the Executive Director of Sustainability & Climate Change in the ACT Government. He has also held executive roles at Sinclair Knight Merz where he managed the sustainability capability and at the CSIRO, where he held a number of roles including Director of the Sustainable Communities Research Program and CSIRO’s Australian Government Business Manager. He has also held a range of other senior business management positions in other organisations. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce from the ANU, a Masters of Business Administration from Melbourne University and Post Graduate qualifications in Cross Sector Collaboration from Cambridge University.