Fiona Webster, CEO
MBA, MPH, BSc, Grad Dip App Psych
Fiona has more than 10 years of public and private hospital executive leadership experience and has also held senior roles within the Victorian Health Department and English National Health Service.
Her extensive experience includes partnerships with clinicians to develop new service models, quality and risk management systems and streamlined services, executive leadership in the implementation of significant clinical IT projects and leadership of building projects, including Chair of Project Control Group for the Austin Health Surgery Centre, ICU and Emergency Department expansions and membership of the Olivia Newton John Cancer and Wellness Centre PCG.
Fiona also has significant skills in health service planning, strategic planning and health policy, including leading, developing, consulting and writing strategic plans for a number of health services.
Lort Smith has grown and prospered because of the strong vision of its founders and the determination of Board members, past and present.
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.’
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.’
Barbara Hammon, Director
Barbara joined the Board in August 2014.
Barbara graduated from the University of Melbourne 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 Lort Smith provides such a wonderful service to animals, their carers and the wider community that I wanted to become involved and contribute to the Hospital.’
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.’
Rohan Singh, Company Secretary
Rohan commenced his role in January 2017.
Rohan is an experienced lawyer and company secretary, having commenced his career at leading law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. He has since held leadership roles across a range of leading Australian organisations in law, corporate governance, strategy, and corporate affairs and communications.
In addition to his legal background, Rohan holds a Masters degree in Applied Finance and is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course (CDC) and international CDC in Shanghai.
Elouise Holmes, Director
Elouise joined the Board in October 2017.
Elouise is a philanthropy professional with over 20 years of experience in fundraising, communications, public relations, marketing and stakeholder engagement. She has worked in international education, hospitality and tourism, peak bodies, membership organisations, the not-for-profit and charitable sector in volunteering, health, the performing arts and medical research. Her more recent roles have been as Head of Private Giving and Memberships at Arts Centre Melbourne and Head of Major Gifts and Philanthropy at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. She is currently Director of Philanthropy at Yooralla, one of Victoria’s oldest and largest not-for-profit disability providers.
‘As a keen animal lover, I appreciate Lort Smith’s understanding of the bond between people and animals and how members of the community, from all walks of life, benefit from the Hospital’s expertise and care. I am particularly inspired by its service to people of lesser means and how this honours the vision of its founder, Louisa Lort Smith. As a not-for-profit organisation that receives no ongoing government funding, donations from the community are critical to the Hospital’s ability to deliver its services. I aim to help Lort Smith achieve its purpose through my experience in engaging with donors and gaining their support for the Hospital.’
Richard Rose, Director
Richard joined the Board in September 2018.
Richard brings over 20-years of financial, investment banking and strategy experience to Lort Smith. Professionally, he is Head of Strategy, Risk Services and Analytics at Guild Insurance. Richard holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Finance from Melbourne University and is a Certified Practicing Accountant.
‘Lort Smith is entering an exciting growth phase. I would like to use my experience to help guide and challenge Lort Smith to continue to provide sustainable world-class animal healthcare and wellbeing – regardless of the carer’s financial circumstances.’
David Diviny, Director
David joined the Board in February 2019.
David is a Principal at Nous Group, the largest Australian-founded management consulting firm. He is the leader of Nous Analytics and works across business and digital strategy and organisational performance. He has experience as a director, an executive and a background as a lawyer. He has an MBA from Melbourne Business School and a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Melbourne.
‘I joined the Board of Lort Smith because of their unique commitment to the human-animal bond. I wanted to contribute my skills and time to the next exciting phase of this important institution in Melbourne.’
Sally Haynes, Director
Sally joined the Board in February 2019.
Sally is a specialist in animal behaviour, learning and welfare science with a particular passion for companion animals. After completing an Animal Science and Management (Hons) degree at the University of Melbourne, she went on to complete her Honours thesis on the welfare of cats in shelters. This led to a PhD program on human–dog relationships in shelters, which was temporarily put on hold when she was engaged by Agersens, an agricultural technology company, as Chief Scientist (Animal Behaviour Innovation and Welfare). Sally also delivers lectures at the University of Melbourne on dog and cat behaviour, physiology and welfare.
Sally spends as much time as possible with her own cats and dogs, training the latter for competition as well as the occasional starring role.
‘I live and breathe animal behaviour and welfare – in my work, hobbies, day-to-day life and now on the Lort Smith Board. I have admired the philosophy of Lort Smith for many years and it is an honour to be part of an organisation that recognises and supports people and animals in need.’