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 (board chair)
Professor Andrew Cochrane

Bill Appleby (development committee chair)

Dr Brett Sutton

Julianne Scenna

Nick Oats

Nicki Patten (clinical governance committee chair)

Sarah Danne

Sophie Clarkson

Dr Vijaya Joshi

 

Ingrid Svendsen

Board chair

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.

 

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. 

 

Dr Brett Sutton

Director

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

I became involved in East Timor Hearts Fund because I had worked on a child health project in East Timor (the TAIS project) from 2008 to 2010 and found the country and people fascinating and delightful. The needs in the country were clearly significant but the desire to improve the health status was great. With my expertise in infectious disease and my experience working closely with the Timorese government and health services, I felt that I was well placed to respond to rheumatic heart disease as a public health issue with the power to transform lives.

After work in Ethiopia, Afghanistan and elsewhere, I knew that fragile countries provided unique challenges but I became convinced through my work in East Timor that anything was possible by supporting Timorese to lead the way in creating the future they desire.

 

What does your role entail?

I hope my skills and experience will bring to the board and clinical governance committee a public health perspective. I’d like to play a part in further strengthening East Timor Hearts Fund’s capacity to continue to explore ways of reaching more Timorese to prevent rheumatic fever and to help protect those who have already suffered from the infection and who need close follow-up to remain healthy. I also hope to act as a useful point of contact with key partners in the Timor-Leste Ministry of Health and in the regions.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

My three children under seven occupy most of my 'spare time', usually involving reading or trampolining or coloured pencils! I do also ensure that I make the most of living in the hills outside Melbourne by exploring the beautiful countryside around our home by immersing myself in the temperate rainforest of the Dandenongs, either on walking tracks or in pruning my back yard!

 

 

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.

 

Julianne Scenna

Director

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

I’ve previously had the opportunity to fund and support a number of health and natural resource management programs in Timor-Leste. These gave me a window to learn more about the diversity, opportunities, and challenges in this emerging and growing nation. The knowledge and friendships built through these programs were definitely part of the motivation for joining East Timor Hearts Fund.

There’s also something quite compelling about joining an organisation with such clarity of purpose. A clear need. A clear opportunity.

 

What does your role entail?

Directorship in any organisation is always evolving, and perhaps even more so in a relatively small yet ambitious organisation. I joined the board in May 2017; one of my first challenges is going to be learning to run, to take on Run Melbourne and help raise $20,000 for another life-saving surgery!

Professionally, I run a social impact consultancy, and a lot of the lessons I’ve learned together with our purpose-led clients are readily applicable to East Timor Hearts Fund. I’m particularly looking forward to supporting our existing and potential partnerships, and expanding what’s possible in the treatment and prevention of heart disease in Timor-Leste.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

 

My time away from work seems to divide between opportunities to keep learning, exploring, and expanding, and finding the quiet time to restore myself and recharge. I treasure time together as a family, whether that’s sitting together to share a noisy meal, huddled in the cold watching another soccer training session or escaping Melbourne to travel together. I take time for myself by walking, typically somewhere along the Yarra Trail, accompanied by a dog or two (or a podcast).  I’m currently trying to convert my walking habit into hiking, to explore trails a little further afield.  Books are my greatest indulgence, with my bookshelves and Kindle memory both bursting, and my library card perpetually at its borrowing limit.

 

Nick Oats

Director

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

I’ve been involved in programs with the government of Timor-Leste over recent years, through which I’ve met many wonderful Timorese people, and seen a small part of the country. There are so many services we take for granted here in Australia, that are inaccessible to our near neighbours. Getting involved in the fund allows me to contribute to work that truly changes the lives of deserving people.

 

What does your role entail?

I joined the board in May 2017. As a director I plan to chip in on a few areas that could use a little extra support. I’m particularly keen to explore opportunities for the fund to connect into Timorese and Australian government policies and programs.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

Lazy time with my wife, three-year-old son and our dogs is always a pleasure, and I love to jump on my skateboard as often as possible (though with decreasing frequency and increasing bodily pains!).

 

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!

 

Dr Vijaya Joshi

Director

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

I have had a long association with East Timor, since living there between 2001- 2003. Since returning to Australia I have travelled back to East Timor at least once a year, for both personal and professional reasons. I am passionate about building the capacity of the health system in East Timor, and contributing to better wellbeing outcomes for Timorese people. Through work on the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease in Indigenous communities, I realised how debilitating heart disease can be, especially in resource poor or remote environments. When an opportunity to join the ETHF board came up, I thought it would be a good way to support East Timorese people in a very constructive and tangible way.

 

What does your role entail?

I joined the board in May 2017, and my role is still emerging. Based on my professional and personal experience I am keen to assist in developing partnerships with the Timorese government, and to try and broaden the work of the fund. As my ‘day’ job involves business development, I am also keen to spread the work of the ETHF amongst colleagues and business associates. I love the fact that the ETHF has the Run Melbourne team and would been keen to work to get a similar event off the ground in East Timor.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

I have three children and I enjoy anything that keeps us active! I particularly like running and cycling, having run the Melbourne marathon (only once – to date!) and cycled in the Grand Fondo. I have taken part in the Katherine Ultra Challenge twice and this year will take on a 5-day hike called the Jatbula Trail from Katherine to Edith Falls, in the Northern Territory.

My children are all avid sailors and so I also volunteer on the committee for the State Minnow Association of Victoria. My whole family enjoys skiing and we try and get to the snow at least once a year. I am very conscious of how lucky we are to have access to such a beautiful natural environment, and with my family, we try to experience a different part of it every year.