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Lort Smith 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.

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.” 

Elouise Holmes, Director
Elouise joined the Board in October 2017.

Elouise’s professional experience of over 20 years encompasses fundraising, communications, public relations, marketing and stakeholder engagement. She has worked in international education, hospitality and tourism, peak bodies, membership organisations, the health sector and the performing arts. She was, until recently, Head of Private Giving and Memberships at Arts Centre Melbourne and is, currently, Head of Major Gifts and Philanthropy at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

“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,” Elouise said. 

















































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