The VicHealth Executive team is made up of experienced, dedicated individuals, working collaboratively to lead the organisation. They are passionate about the people and the mission of VicHealth – working hard to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians.
VicHealth is governed by a Board whose members include those with expertise in health and prevention, sports, business management, communications or law, and the arts.
The membership composition is governed by the requirements of the Tobacco Act.
Eleven members are appointed by the Minister for Health, while three are elected by the Victorian Parliament from the major political parties.
The current board members are:
Board of Directors
The Hon Nicola Roxon
The Honourable Nicola Roxon is an experienced Chair and non-executive director who has served in various board roles for the last seven years. Currently she is Chair of HESTA, a large health and community sector superannuation fund, and a non-executive director of listed companies, Dexus and Lifestyle Communities, and the charity Health Justice Australia. Ms Roxon served as a member of the Australian Parliament for 15 years, representing the Western suburbs Melbourne seat of Gellibrand.
Elected at 31, she served as Australia’s Health Minister for four years from 2007 and oversaw major reforms to Australia’s public hospital, primary care and preventative health systems.
In 2011 Ms Roxon became Australia’s first female Attorney-General, and the Minister for Emergency Management in 2012. She has received national and international awards in recognition of her public health work, particularly in tobacco control.
With Ms Roxon’s leadership Australia successfully introduced a world first: all tobacco sold must now be in plain packaging with large, graphic health warnings. Trained as a lawyer, protecting the dignity of workers and promoting the standing of women has been a hallmark of Ms Roxon’s career.
Prior to entering parliament, Ms Roxon worked as an industrial lawyer, union organiser and an Associate to High Court Judge Mary Gaudron. Ms Roxon resigned her ministerial positions February 2013 and finished her period in Parliament in August 2013.
Dr Sally Fawkes
Dr Sally Fawkes has served on VicHealth’s Board since 2016, including as Chair (Acting) for periods in 2019 and 2020. A senior academic at La Trobe University, she directs and teaches into the Doctor of Public Health and masters and doctoral subjects. Dr Fawkes brings extensive international and Australian governance, policy and practice experience, as well as academic expertise, to Board activities.
Following roles at World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe in Denmark, Dr Fawkes has been a WHO technical advisor for 25 years in Asia and Pacific, Europe and Middle East. This work has involved thought leadership, projects and research across diverse areas including transdisciplinary approaches applied to public health (policy foresight, futures studies, systems thinking), capacity building on leadership for health promotion (WHO ProLEAD), national health promotion/prevention systems assessment, people-centred health care, urban health/Healthy Cities and health literacy. In 2020, Dr Fawkes completed a fourth term as elected member of the International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals & Health Services (HPH) Governance Board, one as Vice Chair. She led development of the Network’s Global HPH Strategy 2021-2025, and chairs the Governance & Policy Working Group.
In Australia, Dr Fawkes has held frontier positions in health promotion at Alfred Health, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Eastern Health, Victorian Healthcare Association and Deakin University. Board and executive committee appointments have included Council of Academic Public Health Institutions Australasia, Women’s Health Victoria and Victorian community health services. Dr Fawkes holds a Bachelor of Science, Graduate Diploma in Health Education, Master of Business Administration and PhD (health policy). She is a published researcher, journal editor and reviewer, and co-author of Public Health Practice in Australia: The Organised Effort.
Ms Sarah Connolly MP
Ms Connolly is a member of the Parliament of Victoria in the Legislative Assembly. She represents the multicultural district of Tarneit, located in Melbourne’s outer west. Her Electorate of Tarneit sits within one of Australia’s largest growth corridors.
Ms Connolly is a highly qualified policy and regulatory expert, community advocate and engagement specialist. Prior to entering politics, she worked for over a decade across the country on Australia’s energy future. She has worked at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Australian Energy Regulator and across public and privately owned energy networks.
Prior to that, she worked in various areas of the criminal justice system. Ms Connolly holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland and Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Queensland University of Technology.
Mr Nick Green OAM
Nick Green is an experienced leader who has worked in senior roles across global corporations, national sport and public-sector organisations. He is currently a senior Director and Industry Practice Leader at Aon, a global provider of risk management, insurance and professional services. Previous to this role, Nick was the Chief Executive Officer of Cycling Australia.
Nick has served as President of the Victorian Olympic Council from 2005-2016, an Executive Board Member of the Australian Olympic Committee (2005-2017), a Fellow and Director of Leadership Victoria (2014-2016) with further studies (science & governance) at Melbourne University (VCAH Burnley) and Melbourne Business School.
Nick has attended eight Olympic Games and was the Chef de Mission for the 2012 Australian Olympic Team. He was awarded the Order of Australia Medal and inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in recognition of his sporting achievements as a World and Olympic rowing champion, and founder partner of the Oarsome Foursome. Nick has been awarded life memberships of Victorian Olympic Council and Rowing Australia in recognition of his contribution.
Nick joined the Board of VicHealth in July 2014. He also serves on the the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee.
Ms Catherine Harding
Ms Harding is a qualified lawyer who has spent over 15 years working in social policy across the government, non-profit and corporate sectors across Australia. Her work has encompassed policy areas including justice, health, education, family violence, sport and human rights as a Director at KPMG and in prior roles with the Victorian and Australian Governments.
Ms Harding is driven to find creative and innovative solutions to complex problems, and is experienced in setting organisational strategies to drive the growth and performance of organisations. She is also a passionate public health advocate, and has worked on healthy eating campaigns with The Good Foundation and Jamie Oliver.
Ms Harding has served as a non-Executive Director of Vicsport since 2018 and of Women’s Health West since 2014.
Mr Andy Meddick MP
Mr Meddick is a social justice and animal rights campaigner and has dedicated many years to achieving positive change for animals. After standing as a candidate in Council, State and Federal elections, Andy was successfully elected as a Member of the Legislative Council for Western Victoria in the 2018 Victorian State Election.
Before being elected he spent many years working in the construction industry as a scaffolder, working on some of Melbourne’s largest buildings.
Mr Meddick is passionate about healthy eating and the wellbeing of Victorians.
Ms Peggy O'Neal AO
Peggy O’Neal has specialised in superannuation and financial services law for more than 25 years, is presently a consultant to Lander and Rogers and was previously a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills from 1995-2009.
Ms O’Neal has been president of the Richmond Football Club since October 2013, having served on the Club's board since 2005. She is the first woman to be president of an AFL club.
In 2014 she was appointed to chair the Victorian Minister for Sport's year-long Inquiry into 'Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation' and until 2018 was convenor of the Minister's Change Our Game Champions program.
From 2017 to 2020, Ms O’Neal was a member of Victoria's Ministerial Council on Women's Equality.
In 2019, she was appointed to the Australian Institute of Sport Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement Advisory Committee, as well as the AFL’s Mental Health Steering Committee.
Ms O’Neal holds senior board and advisory roles within the financial services sector and is on the board of Women's Housing Limited and on the investment advisory panel of Home for Homes (an initiative of the Big Issue). Ms O’Neal also serves on the board of Dementia Australia Network and the Fulbright Australia Commission.
She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is also a member of Chief Executive Women and the Melbourne Forum. In 2019, Ms O’Neal was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for her services to Australian rules football, financial services law and women in leadership roles. She has an honorary Doctor of Laws from Swinburne University.
Ms Veronica Pardo
Veronica Pardo is the CEO of Multicultural Arts Victoria, the state’s leading organisation on diversity in the arts, having spent 10 years leading Arts Access Victoria with a focus on cultural participation by people with disability and those experiencing mental health issues.
Ms Pardo is an experienced leader who has led an ambitious agenda of social and artistic transformation in the creative industries. She has spearheaded campaigns relating to social justice, equity and the inclusion of all people in arts and culture, as audiences and cultural innovators.
Ms Pardo has held senior roles in the non-government sector and academia, leading significant research projects aimed at embedding meaningful and lasting change, towards equality.
Professor Anna Peeters
Professor Peeters is Director of the Institute for Health Transformation and Professor of Epidemiology and Equity in Public Health at Deakin University. She is Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society and sits on national and international advisory boards and steering committees. In 2014 she was awarded the World Obesity Federation Andre Mayer Award for research excellence in obesity and a Churchill Award for innovative work in equity and population prevention.
Professor Peeters leads the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence into Healthy Food Retail (RE-FRESH, 2018-2022) and is the recipient of an NHMRC Investigator Grant (2020-2025).
Div Pillay is an experienced and respected diversity and inclusion practitioner, leader and advocate, for over 20 years. She is an entrepreneur, leading award-winning consultancy, MindTribes and social enterprise, Culturally Diverse Women. Prior to founding MindTribes in 2012, Ms Pillay held senior human resource (HR) leader roles in public and private sectors, working across Australia, Malaysia, India, the Philippines and South Africa (where she was born and raised). She utilises all of these diverse experiences to take a human centric approach to addressing equity and equality. Her work is backed by her education in behavioural psychology, economics and business. She holds a Masters in Human Resource Management.
Ms Pillay is award winning and recognized for her impact, being named as one of the 100 Women of Influence (AFR & Qantas), 2018 and in 2021, she was named as one of two Australians in a Global List of 25 Influential leaders, by the (AACSB), the world’s largest business education alliance. Ms Pillay has been a Board Director at STREAT since 2018 and Chair of Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce, since 2019. She is passionate about health equity; specifically the impact on mental health from exclusionary acts and behaviours, like racism, bullying, harassment and gender inequality.
Ms Stella Smith
Stella Smith is the Chief Executive of Crime Stoppers Victoria and has previously held senior executive roles with Melbourne Victory Football Club and ‘Life. Be in it’ Australia. Ms Smith is also a Director of Blue Light Victoria and a ‘Change Our Game’ Ambassador through the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation.
Ms Smith has broad experience in community, government and stakeholder engagement, advertising and health promotion. Her experience spans commercial, sport and the not-for-profit sectors. Ms Smith has also previously held board positions with Women’s Health East and the Melbourne Victory FC Academy and has considerable experience in community sporting organisations.
Ms Smith holds a Master of Marketing and Graduate Diploma of Business and is passionate about promoting gender equality, encouraging social inclusion and using sport to create greater opportunities for community engagement.
Ms Bridget Vallence MPBridget Vallence was elected as the Member for Evelyn in the Victorian Parliament in November 2018 and was immediately appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Cabinet Secretary and Shadow Assistant Minister for Industry. In March 2020 Ms Vallence was promoted to the roles of Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change and Shadow Minister for Youth, portfolios she believes are critical to our community and future prosperity. In March 2021, Ms Vallence was additionally appointed the role of Shadow Minister for Equality.
Ms Vallence served on the Parliament’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC), which examines expenditure of public money to improve outcomes for the Victorian community and was recently appointed to the Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee.
Ms Vallence is passionate about helping people, volunteer groups and businesses in her local community and across Victoria to thrive. Ms Vallence lives in the Yarra Valley with her husband and two sons and is also a Director of Mont De Lancey Historical Museum in Wandin, a member of the Lilydale RSL, and patron at Seville Community House.
Prior to entering Parliament, Ms Vallence worked for 16 years in the automotive industry as a procurement executive in both the manufacturing and retail sectors in Australian, Asian and global markets, and is also experienced with organisational change and business transformation.
Ms Vallence holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Melbourne. In 2016, Ms Vallence was an inaugural fellow of the Melbourne School of Government Pathway to Politics Program for Women. Ms Vallence is a Trustee of the Alfred Deakin Lecture Trust.