Stephen Brand (Chair)
Stephen is a professional social worker who worked for many years in the NSW mental health services in Sydney and rural NSW. Although a manager, his clinical work with people who have mental illness, and their families is where his focus remained. More recently, Stephen was Senior Manager for Policy and Advocacy for the Australian Association of Social Workers. He was on the board of Neami National for 12 years (four years as Chair). Neami is a large national NGO providing mental health services in five states. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Paula is a lawyer with almost 20 years’ experience in the public sector in regulatory, compliance and policy development roles. She brings her expertise in dispute resolution, governance, risk and organisational change to the Board. She is passionate about developing leadership, especially for women working in the not-for-profit and community sectors. She is strong believer in the power of community to combat social isolation and build a sense of belonging. Paula joined the Board in 2016 to contribute to Northside’s mission of building better and more connected communities. A keen dragon-boater, when she is not at work she paddles on Lake Burley Griffin, and spends time binge-watching TV shows with her teenage daughters.
Matt is an experienced client-focused and dedicated health professional with over 30 years’ experience in the aged care industry. Matt has a wealth of experience in community, retirement communities and care centres and has developed his clinical and business management expertise in providing effective executive leadership for a number of aged care organisations. Matt is currently CEO of a not for profit aged care organisation and delivers quality operational leadership on aged care issues affecting the industry. Matt is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Cristina Giusti is an experienced policy professional having worked in national roles in policy directorship for aged care and disability advocacy organisations. Cristina has worked on various aged care and disability Federal Government policy committees advising on the formation of policy reform agendas in regards to Australians from diverse backgrounds, including the Aged Care Sector Committee’s Diversity Sub Group. She has also held a number of directorships within multicultural organisations.
Ram joined the Board in early 2020 and brings a wealth of financial management and accounting experience to Northside. He has almost 20 years experience in the accounting and finance field including leadership and management roles. His experience comes from national and international companies, government departments and not-for-profit organisations. He currently serves as Director of Finance and ICT at Directions Health Services in Canberra.
Dr Sandie Wong
Dr Sandie Wong is an Associate Professor in Early Childhood at the Macquarie School of Education, Macquarie University and currently holds a four-and- half-year Senior Research Fellowship with Goodstart Early Learning. Sandie has worked as an academic, manager, researcher, evaluator, educator, consultant and nurse, within a range of early childhood, academic and health organisations. She is committed to working in collaborative, strengths-based ways, with academics from a range of disciplines, early childhood organisations and practitioners, and governments, to lead and support high quality research, evaluation and practitioner enquiry, that contributes to best practice in early childhood.
Cathy has more than 25 years’ experience across the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors as a non-executive Director and Senior Executive working across a range of areas including environment protection, affordable housing, and workplace health and safety. Cathy is a strategic thinker, principled and value driven. As a successful Executive Consultant, Cathy provides advice and training in governance, strategy, business and change management, risk management, safety leadership, stakeholder engagement, organisational culture and performance.