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Board & Management

Carers NT is grateful for the ongoing support of our Patron, Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory and the guidance of our Board.

Meet the Carers NT Board

Gail Marsh, Chair / Director

Gail has lived in the Northern Territory for over 35 years including Alice Springs, Katherine, Jabiru and Darwin. Working in the Aged and Disability sector, Gail’s current role is as the Senior Advocate/Team Leader for the Seniors and Disability Rights Service (SDRS). SDRS is part of Darwin community Legal Service. Her experience in this field is broad, having also managed Alzheimer’s Australia (now Dementia Australia) during her time in Alice Springs.

Gail has an excellent understanding of the sector and includes visits to regional and remote centres providing aged, disability and NDIS advocacy support as part of her role. Having provided a caring role to her husband, Gail has an excellent understanding of how challenging it can be to be a carer to your loved one. She looks forward to be able to offer her insight and knowledge to the Board of Carers NT.

Stephen Balch, Secretary / Director

Stephen Balch has been a private business consultant for more than 10 years and is a former partner in MDS Partners.

He is an accomplished executive manager with around 30 years of senior management experience, and through his consultancy work has advised clients on strategy, corporate governance, financial management, internal auditing and risk management issues.

Stephen holds a Bachelor of Business degree, with majors in Accounting and Marketing, and has worked as an academic, teacher/trainer, auditor, accountant, general manager, chief executive officer, company public officer, secretary and director. He also holds a Cert IV in training and assessment.

Since 2016, Stephen has been Treasurer and Non-Executive Board Member of Carers NT. He was appointed Treasurer of the Carers Australia Board in March 2017.

Lynne Strathie, Director (Life Member)

Lynne has always been a family carer. Firstly, her Mum, who needed daily treatment for lung disease and in her own family, her daughter, who was born with multiple disabilities. Managing her critical incidences has contributed to chronic anxiety and mental health hiccups in the rest of the family.

To escape from stress, Lynne has focused her attention towards academic study. Lynne has nine plus years of tertiary qualifications including Education, Applied Linguistics and Rehabilitation Counseling with lots of governance training.

Community engagement has always been significant to Lynne. In 1970 she tutored immigrants in English, and has served for decades on boards and councils. Currently Lynne holds appointments to the National Rural Health Alliance, Carers NT, and City of Darwin Disability Advisory. Consumer health, carer and disability advocacy remain her major focus.

Sandy Byard, Director

Sandy is a Registered Nurse and is married with three children. Originally from Tasmania, she and her husband Tony moved to the Territory for work five years ago. Sandy spent three years working as a lecturer in Aged Care at Charles Darwin University, spending most of her time delivering Aged Care training to various Indigenous communities in East Arnhem Land.

Prior to her move to Darwin, Sandy had spent over 20 years working in Aged and Community Care. Her last role was Team Leader for Home and Community Care Services for North and North West Tasmania. Her current position is with the Aged Care Unit as a Clinical Assessor for the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

When she is not at work, Sandy spends time working in her garden and attending art workshops. Sandy has been a Board member with Carers NT for three years.

Greg McMahon, Director

Greg has been involved in the Community Services Sector for over 20 years. Since 2000 he has been Chief Executive officer for two disability organisations, one of which was Carpentaria Disability Services. In 2017, family commitments meant a move back to Bundaberg where he is CEO of YMCA Bundaberg. I am heavily motivated to build capacity into the wider community.

Marie-Louise Pearson, Director

Marie-Louise Pearson has worked in the ICT, Telecommunications and Energy sectors for over 32 years in sales and management roles and is passionate about using her skills and experiences to help organisations deliver value and strong governance. Currently she is the Manager, Commercial & Industrial at Jacana Energy. Marie-Louise has a strong history of leadership in community organisations. She is currently on the Board of the Institute of Managers and Leaders (AIM Group Ltd) and has formerly been Chairman of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, and the Anchorage Sister Cities committee of the City of Darwin amongst others.

Marie-Louise and her sister were prime carers for both her father and mother over an 8 year period. They are 4th generation Territorians.

Marie-Louise is a Life Member and Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Sciences.

Professor Greg Shaw

Professor Greg Shaw, Director

Greg has worked at Charles Darwin University since 1989 and has lived in the Territory since 1988.

Greg is Dean of Education at Charles Darwin University, Adjunct Prof of Rural Education UNESCO-INRULED (China), Adjunct Prof of Education at Xinjiang Normal University (China) and a member of the Australian Council of Deans of Education Board.

Greg was a full-time carer for his mother for seven years, and in 2014 was awarded NT Carer of the Year. He has extensive international consultancy experience including work in China, Indonesia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Much of his research and consulting activity is focused on rural development, and working to improve the lives of people in rural and isolated communities through access to education. He is the author of seven books and over 60 international academic publications.

Steve Vitone, CEO

As CEO of Carers NT for four years, Steve Vitone has extensive experience in community services and has worked in leadership roles across public and not for profit sector for approximately three decades. Steve strongly supports a carer friendly community in which carers are valued and recognised for the very important role they play in our community. Steve believes unpaid carers are the backbone of the aged, disability and mental health sectors and that it is critical that carers are provided the appropriate supports and tools that will assist them in their caring journey. Committed to providing effective, cost efficient supports and extending the reach of the organisation, Steve sits on several boards and committees and is also a member of the National Disability and Carer Advisory Council.

Steve understands the caring role having travelled back to Canada to care for his own father, which he found very rewarding but also very challenging.

When not at work, Steve enjoys helping out and watching his boys play Rugby Union and camping in the outback of the NT and WA with family.

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