Board of Directors

The Board of Directors has an overriding responsibility to ensure that Neami is appropriately managed for the benefit of all stakeholders.

The role of the Board of Directors is to oversee the governance, compliance, review and risk assessment of the company with a focus on the broader issues of organisational purpose and strategic positioning. Importantly, this includes setting and monitoring the strategic directions and the establishment and monitoring of Board and organisational policies. 

Our Directors are entrusted with the responsibility for securing the continued wellbeing, quality services and growth of the organisation.

Tony Nippard

Tony Nippard

Chair - Neami

Joined 2014

Committees: Member - Governance Review; Member - Finance, Audit and Risk Management; Member - Quality, Safety and Clinical Governance

Occupation: Senior Consultant at Thoughtpost Governance

Qualifications: MA; B Com (Hons); BA; FCHSM; FCSA; FGIA; GAICD

Rick Callaghan web2

Rick Callaghan

Joined 2022

Occupation: Managing Director, Yaran Management Accounting, and TQCSI-Yaran

Qualifications: B MGT, PostGradDip Gov

Leesa Chesser web2

Leesa Chesser

Joined 2022

Occupation: Non-executive director (non-member) Australian Physiotherapy Association, and Community Options Australia, Facilitator Workplace, Equality and Respect - Our Watch. 

Qualifications: B Bus, Health Eco/Admin, Health Mgt

Shaymaa Elkadi Web3

Dr Shaymaa Elkadi 

Joined 2022

Occupation: Managing Director, The Humble Mission of Melbourne

Qualifications: Exec Master PA, PhD Psychology

Ruth Faulkner

Ruth Faulkner

Joined 2017

Committees: Chair - Audit and Risk Committee

Occupation: Principal, Conus Business Consultancy Services

Qualifications: BSc (Hons), CA, GAICD, CA Risk Specialist

Fiona Nicholls

Fiona Nicholls

Vice Chair - Neami

Joined April 2016

Committees: Chair – Governance Review; Member – Quality, Safety and Clinical Governance

Occupation: Retired. Most recent appointment, Assistant Secretary, Mental Health Services Branch, Commonwealth Department of Health

Qualifications: BA (Welfare Studies); MA (Health Services Studies)

Lorraine Powell

Lorraine Powell

Joined 2014

Committees: Member - Governance Review; Member - Quality, Safety and Clinical Governance 

Occupation: Independent Mental Health Consumer Consultant

Qualifications: GAICD, CertIV Mental Health – Peer Work


Silvio Pontonio

Silvio Pontonio

Joined 2019

Committees: Chair - Quality, Safety and Clinical Governance

Occupation: Principal, Health Nexus Group/Pontonio Consulting Group

Qualifications: BA(Hons), BSW, MASc


The Board of Neami Limited is the legal authority of the company, limited by guarantee and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC).  

Board Membership Requirements

Directors are actively recruited from all sectors of society, including consumers, carers, service providers and community and private sector managers. They are recruited for their skill set, interest and involvement in mental health, dedication to Neami’s vision and mission and commitment to the organisation.

It is not expected that Directors represent the agency or group from which they are drawn but use the knowledge and experience this perspective brings to the whole Board, and therefore the organisation.

Neami Limited Board charter

The Board of Neami Limited is a strong advocate of good corporate governance. The Board is committed to providing an open and transparent platform for all interested parties of the organisation and fulfilling its corporate governance obligations as a charity and a company for the best interests of staff, stakeholders and consumers of Neami services.

The board is governed by a corporate governance framework and is committed to ensuring all statutory, regulatory and compliance duties are adhered to and we strive to provide exemplary mental health services as well as excel in the not for profit sector.

Further to the Board charter below, Neami provides organisational details on our two regulators websites – the ACNC Charities register and the ASIC register. Interested individuals can further access Neami’s governance documentation and company registration material at the above links.

Seeing positive outcomes

By working with other community and clinical services we can achieve a collective impact.

Making positive change