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Lort Smith Animal Hospital has survived because of the strong vision of its founders and the determination of Board members, past and present, to maintain the strength of this vision.

Members of our Board include:

Barbara Pesel, President

Barbara joined the Board in September 2011

Barbara brings more than 30 years’ experience in corporate communication with a focus on issues, risk and crisis management, stakeholder engagement and strategic planning. Barbara established Pesel & Carr, an award-winning, independent communications firm in 1997 where she is Managing Director.  

“I love animals – they are such an important part of my life and often their voices are not heard. Lort Smith is a haven for all animals and the people that care for them and must be preserved. I want to be a voice for them and a part of Lort Smith’s future,” Barbara said.

Peter van Rompaey, Vice President

Peter joined the board in July 2008 and became Vice President in December 2011. 

Peter holds a law degree and a Master of Business Administration, is an accredited business law specialist and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in Victoria in 1976.  He has worked as a commercial and competition lawyer for over 35 years and has a keen interest in corporate governance. 

“I first worked at Lort Smith as a student in 1972.  Since then I have looked for opportunities to be involved and started providing both pro bono and paid legal advice to Lort Smith from about 1991”, Peter said.

Graham Cunningham, Director

Graham joined the Board in June 2011.

Graham has 35 years domestic and international investment banking experience specialising in mergers and acquisitions, project and property financings and major infrastructure projects. Graham is also the Chairman of Ronston International, an IT company in the health sector, an international education company and a major private fund manager and investment group.

“I wanted to use my experience to contribute towards ensuring that Lort Smith is financially stable and sustainable. There is so much gloom and doom in the world, pets help brighten our lives,” Graham said. 

Dr John Harte, Director
John joined the Board in December 2012.

John graduated with honours as a veterinarian from Dublin in 1989 and pursued further training in small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Minnesota. He has worked in small animal and equine practice.  John is a managing partner of Integrity Governance, a specialist governance consultancy working with boards and owners of businesses around Australia and overseas. He is also a fellow of the Australian, US and UK Institutes of Directors.

“I joined the Lort Smith Board to make a difference to the welfare, care and health of our clients and their pets. To leave Lort Smith in a stronger, more sustainable position. Animals make such a tremendous positive difference to the lives of people, crossing emotional, cultural and demographic barriers with their unconditional love,” John said.

Barbara Hammon, Director

Barbara joined the Board in August 2014.

Barbara graduated from Melbourne University with Arts/Law (Hons) degrees. Professionally she practised as a solicitor, and for the last 14 years has specialised in corporate governance with a major Australian bank.

“I joined the Lort Smith Board because the Lort Smith provides such a wonderful service to the animals and their owners and the wider community that I wanted to become involved and contribute to the hospital,” Barbara said.

Kate Hamond, Director

Kate joined the Board in February 2015

Kate Hamond is a Commissioner at the Victorian Commission for Gambling & Liquor Regulation, a Board member of Castlemaine Health, and a Member of the Queen Victoria Women's Centre Trust. Kate has led a community consumer protection body, established an aged care support agency, was Victoria's Legal Ombudsman and the CEO of the Australian Retirement Village Association.

"I am enthusiastic about developing relationships and exploring avenues for linking Lort Smith further with vulnerable people, their pets and the community agencies that serve them," Kate said.

Andrew Miles, Director
Andrew joined the Board in December 2016, having served as Company Secretary for circa six years, when on two occasions he was appointed Acting CEO.

Andrew is a (lapsed) Chartered Accountant, has a Master’s in Business Administration and post graduate qualifications in company secretarial practise and corporate governance.  Andrew is currently on the Board and is Treasurer of Rotary Club of Balwyn and a director of Vets for Compassion Inc which in conjunction with ACTAsia has provided contemporary veterinary training to over 1,000 veterinary scientists in China.  Andrew has many years’ experience in Africa and the United Kingdom and brings these international skills, plus Australian skills to the board.

“I would like to use my finance and governance skills and my absolute passion and energy to make a quantum difference for animals that are sick, surrendered, abandoned and injured; their care and welfare is my primary concern.” 

Fiona Webster, Director

Fiona joined the Board in March 2016.

Fiona has more than 20 years’ experience in the health sector in operational management, safety and quality, service planning and redesign. Fiona is currently General Manager of Health Operations at Telstra Health. Her previous roles have included Executive Director, Acute Operations, at Austin Health and Executive Director, Strategy, Quality and Service Redesign, at Austin Health. She has held senior management posts in the Victorian government as well as in Britain’s National Health Service. Fiona holds both a Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Health.

“I'm very pleased to be joining the Lort Smith Board. Our pets are family and deserve the very best care. I hope to use my skills in health care to assist in furthering Lort Smith's mission,” Fiona said. 






















































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