Our Board

East Timor Hearts Fund is registered charity and has tax concessions and Deductible Gift Recipient endorsements from the Australian Taxation Office.

 

We are a company limited by guarantee. 

 

Our board is:

Ingrid Svendsen (chair and communications adviser)
Philip Fitzpatrick (company secretary and finance director)
Ana Saldanha (patient support coordinator)

Professor Andrew Cochrane

Bill Appleby (development committee chair)

Nicki Patten (clinical governance committee chair)

Sarah Danne

Sophie Clarkson

Ingrid Svendsen

Chair and communications adviser

Ingrid Svendsen

How and why did you become involved in East Timor Hearts Fund?

I’d long been seeking an opportunity to get active with an East Timor cause, as I have great admiration for our “next door neighbours” and know we Australians owe them in so many ways.

In 2010 I had just returned from a holiday to East Timor when I read a story in the Australian newspapers about a cardiologist who undertook pro bono work in East Timor and the plight of two teenage girls whose lives were at risk because of a lack of funds to bring them to Australia for heart surgery. It seemed to be unconscionable that a kid the same age as my own son could die from an eminently fixable heart condition, so I tracked down Dr Noel Bayley to send him money. We got chatting and it emerged that I wasn’t the only one who sent money. Noel was overwhelmed, with $13,000 flowing in in the first week alone. With my background in media and communications, it became clear that my skills would be worth more than my money. Along with Glyn Palmer, the then CEO of St John of God Warrnambool, Noel and I established East Timor Hearts Fund.

 

What does your role entail?

It’s changed over time as the organisation has grown and moved to a more professional footing. In the early days I was involved in recruiting sponsors to assist with travel and other costs and communications activities such as creating a website and social media properties, and securing media attention for our patients. Now, I am the inaugural board chair, so my role is a broad one of oversight of the governance of the organisation. It’s quite a busy role as we are growing rapidly and have a board of eight as well as a CEO and team of volunteer workers.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

Sadly, my paid and unpaid work involves too much sitting in front of a computer, so my therapy is doing anything active. I’ve done seven Oxfam Trailwalkers (100 k fundraising hike), several Murray Marathons (as part of a K4 kayak relay team) and lots of bike events like the Otway Classic and the ATB 250. I enjoy voluntary work, and I’m also a member and a past president of the Darebin Parklands Association, a United Nations Association of Australia award-winning environment group.

 

Philip Fitzpatrick

Company secretary and finance director

Philip Fitzpatrick

How and why did you become involved in East Timor Hearts Fund?

Through a colleague I heard that a small organisation with big plans was looking for a finance director to steer the financial ship and put in place policies and procedures around the financial management of the organisation. I did some research and found this to be a very unique organisation with a clear and compelling mission – to provide life-saving heart surgery for young Timorese. This role allows me to put something back into the community and help the people of Timor-Leste.

 

What does your role entail?

I work for Deloitte in their Deloitte Private division. I have many clients in the community and not for profit sector and hence I am using my skills and experience for East Timor Hearts Fund. As finance director I am responsible for ensuring that the financial transactions of the company are properly recorded and reported on and that appropriate systems and processes are in place. I also liaise with the company auditors and monitor the finances on an ongoing basis.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

I have a beautiful wife and young son so my weekends are spent with them enjoying all the good things Melbourne has to offer. Plenty of trips to the park! I also follow Carlton in the AFL and like to cycle, cook and if I can stay awake watch some live English Premier League action on a Saturday night/Sunday morning. I am also a member of Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce and get along to their events when possible.  

 

Ana Saldanha

Director and patient support coordinator

How and why did you become involved in East Timor Hearts Fund?

I’ve always dedicated myself to community volunteering work. So back in 2011, a friend of mine had mentioned to me all about the wonderful work that East Timor Hearts Fund is doing to save lives of Timorese people suffering from untreated cardiac disease.

The patients that come to Melbourne don’t have any family or relatives; they also don’t speak English; the only way they can communicate is through the interpreter. So they face culture shock whilst here in Australia. As a Timorese, I know how important it is to have your loved ones and friends by your side when you are in these difficult circumstances.

It is a privilege to work with the ETHF as patient support coordinator. The role gives me the opportunity to help others in need and also to learn new skills. It simply gives me the great joys and privileges of my life to help others in need!

 

What does your role entail?

I manage the relationships with ETHF’s volunteers and ensure that patients and the support staff from Bairo Pite Clinic in Dili who come with them receive social support while they are in Australia.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

Outside my professional life, I delightfully enjoy time with my family and friends.

I am a keen explore of new places/towns and learn about their history and culture. I also enjoy photography, reading and watching good documentaries.

 

Professor Andrew Cochrane AM

Director

How and why did you become involved in East Timor Hearts Fund?

In 2014 I was invited to join the board of East Timor Hearts Fund. I have operated on a number of ETHF patients as part of my work in Timor-Leste, which began in 2003, when I was asked to join a Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) paediatric cardiac team to East Timor. I visited East Timor for several years as team leader for the small cardiac team (doing a small range of operations without open heart bypass support).

My surgical work exposed me to the broader situation in East Timor. Since 2009 I have become involved in financially supporting the Bairo Pite Clinic and become a member of their board. I visit Dili twice a year for a Board meetings there at which we have a chance to meet staff and look at the infrastructure needs for the clinic. I help to run a fund-raising concert for the clinic.

I also raise funds for the Dili National Hospital through a fund established in conjunction with the RACS.

 

What does your role entail?

Since I have just joined the ETHF Board in late 2014, I will be feeling my way, but I think that it will be to help advise the board on the basis of my knowledge and contact with East Timor, and to help progress the future plans.

I am also helping Noel Bayley and the board with negotiations and meetings to help achieve the first visiting open heart team to East Timor. This is by far the most effective way of providing cardiac surgery for those needing it, and more cost-effective than bringing patients to Australia.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

Distance running including Veterans' competition; kayaking, including the annual Murray Marathon; swimming and a range of other philanthropic activities.

I am also completing part-time university studies for a dual degree  MBA/Master of Health Services at Monash Uni and a B. Commerce at Melbourne. 

 

Bill Appleby

Director, development committee chair

Bill Appleby

How and why did you become involved in East Timor Hearts Fund?

Following discussions with the inaugural chairperson, Ingrid Svendsen, I was inspired to offer my services to this organisation for three mains reasons: the compelling charter to improve the health outcomes of the people of Timor-Leste; the challenges and opportunities presented in working across international borders; and lastly the opportunity to assist a relatively embryonic organisation with a mountain of goodwill and terrific aspirations to become the organisation it wishes to become. 

I am driven by a personal objective to care more than others think is wise, to risk more than others think is safe, to dream more than others think is practical, and to expect more than others think is possible. I believe organisations can create enormous value through change and I am passionate about value based leadership and how to influence a “good society.”

 

What does your role entail?

I have joined East Timor Hearts Fund to assist the organisation to grow and deliver on its vision for the future under a framework of Good Governance Principles for an organisation of this reputational standing.

I am a capable executive leader with extensive experience and a 27 year career in health, aged, disability and community services sectors. I have a deep commitment to community welfare and believe healthy individuals and families build stronger,  more capable communities.

My current role is Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Care Victoria, a diverse not-for-profit organisation that supports the vulnerable, provides aid in times of hardship and crisis, and creates opportunities to strengthen the wellbeing and resilience of the Melbourne Jewish community. Originally I trained as a Division 1 Registered Nurse; I hold a Master of Business Administration (MBA); a Graduate Diploma Industrial Relations/Human Resource Management; and an Associate Diploma Occupational Health & Safety. Currently I am a Board Member of Leading Age Services Australia - Victoria and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). Previously I served as a Director on the Tweddle Child & Family Health Service Board (VIC) for six years.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

With the spare time I do have, I like to spend it with my family and friends.  I am blessed to have a loving wife and four great kids.  We are a typical busy, growing family, like most families these days, heavily engaged in school life, various sports and general local communal life.

I have many interests and have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed good health and been able to be actively involved in various coaching and sports administrator roles with my children’s sports clubs.  Currently, I am a lifesaver and volunteer my summers to Angelsea Surf Life Saving Club doing water safety for the extensive Nippers program they run.  My whole family is involved in this endeavour and I believe as parents we create a very good roadmap for our kids by volunteering our time and expertise to various organisations.

Whilst I do not get a lot of spare time, I personally enjoy rowing, golf, motor bike riding, skiing, fishing, cooking, gardening and watching the mighty North Melbourne Football Club play footy during the Melbourne winter months. 

Read more about Bill in this profile in Third Sector.

 

Nicki Patten

Director, clinical governance committee chair

How and why did you become involved in East Timor Hearts Fund?

I had been thinking about using my legal skills and foreign aid experience in an organisation like East Timor Hearts Fund, and then heard about East Timor Hearts fund from a colleague. Always struck by the random quirk of fate allowing me to be born in a country of means with opportunities abounding, I have always been aware of the surplus of riches in some countries and the appalling deficits in others. In a small way, the ethos of East Timor Hearts Fund seeks to address this imbalance.

 

What does your role entail?

I was elected to the board in April 2016, and would like to use my role to develop our understanding of clinical governance over our operations, work to increase capability in East Timor to build medical services and knowhow and continue to build a sense of reciprocity in what we do – hearing and acting on the desires of our East Timorese counterparts.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I love to travel, particularly exploring the concert halls and art galleries of foreign cities. I also love the alpine and wilderness areas of Australia and New Zealand and am in training (well, mentally preparing anyway) for the Queen Charlotte Sound trek in New Zealand. I have a recent and unexpected passion for life drawing (but it is early days yet!) and have a background in piano performance, so I also have music on wherever I am.  My children keep me pretty busy too as they wend their way through high school, and I have a day job at a community services organisation advising on legal and governance issues.

 

Sarah Danne

Director

How and why did you become involved in the East Timor Hearts Fund?

When an opportunity came up with the board of East Timor Hearts Fund, I was particularly attracted to the combination of tangible, life-changing outcomes for our neighbours in East Timor and East Timor Hearts Fund’s outward-looking philosophy and ability to harness the altruism of capable individuals. Combined with the exciting potential and growth phase of the organisation I found it altogether compelling.

As a teenager I toured the hospitals of a developing nation with local and visiting surgeons and the impact still resonates with me. I know that East Timor Hearts Fund’s work helps overcome some of the hurdles I saw on this trip. I think I can make a valuable contribution to East Timor Hearts Fund as it seeks to expand its reach, and I am highly motivated to do so.

  

What does your role entail?

I am a general director with a background in corporate law and particularly finance, and I currently work at Macquarie Bank.  My role with East Timor Hearts Fund involves contributing to the strategic decision-making of the board and the governance of the organisation as a whole, leveraging off my corporate experience and with the benefit of having completed with merit the directors course through the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

 

What do you do in your spare time?

I travel regularly between New South Wales and Victoria and relish having favourite places and spare time pursuits in each state. 

I run a beef cattle operation in the Macedon Ranges Shire and enjoy that as a practical outlet to temper the intangible nature of otherwise working in an office job.

I love exploring the national parks close to Sydney and escaping to do some laps up at the beautiful Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool on a sunny day. Tucked between the Sydney Botanical Gardens, Mrs Macquarie’s Point and Woolloomooloo Bay with its visiting navy ships at the wharf, it is a wonderfully unique Australian place named after one of our sporting heroes.  

 

Sophie Clarkson

Director

How and why did you become involved in East Timor Hearts Fund?

I had heard of East Timor Heart Fund's life-saving work, and when I learned it was looking for a new director with a legal background, I expressed my interest in getting involved. I have been working in East Timor's law and justice sector and, prior to that, worked as a government lawyer in Canberra, where I managed a program of legal cooperation with Indonesia. After two years living in East Timor, I'm keen to use my skills and experience to support East Timor Hearts Fund on the ground, and to continue contributing on my return to Australia at the end of 2016.

 

What does your role entail?

It's early days, as I was elected to the board in April 2016, but as well as contributing my experience to board decision making and the strategic direction of East Timor Hearts Fund, I am happy to assist with activities that require a local presence and Tetum language skills, such as helping with media liaison and events. I also hope to use my background in international agreements to help formalise our relationships with key partners, and help with funding proposals, using my experience doing this in the government and NGO sectors. 

 

What do you do in your spare time?

As a new mum, I don't have much spare time but I'm endeavoring to study Indonesian at a local language institute and to keep my Tetum up to scratch. I also love travelling, cooking, and reading for as long as I can stay awake!

 

'It seemed to be unconscionable that a kid the same age as my own son could die from an eminently fixable heart condition…’

 

‘It’s a unique organisation with a clear and compelling mission – to provide life-saving heart surgery for young Timorese.’

 

'As a Timorese, I know how important it is to have your loved ones and friends by your side when you are in these difficult circumstances.'

 

‘My surgical work exposed me to the broader situation in East Timor…’

‘I am driven by a personal objective to care more than others think is wise, to risk more than others think is safe, to dream more than others think is practical, and to expect more than others think is possible.’

‘I have always been aware of the surplus of riches in some countries and the appalling deficits in others.

‘I am compelled by the combination of tangible, life-changing outcomes for our neighbours in East Timor and an outward-looking philosophy and ability to harness the altruism of capable individuals. '

‘After two years living in East Timor, I'm keen to use my skills and experience to support East Timor Hearts Fund on the ground.'