Leadership Champions

Our Leadership Champions are committed ambassadors for Tasmanian Leaders who support our strategic mission,  and cultivate leadership and connectivity across Tasmania.

Gaining access to this exclusive network of supporters and advisers is one of the many benefits offered by Tasmanian Leaders to our program participants.

Drawn from all sectors across Tasmania, our Leadership Champions bring an inspiring array of skills and experiences across the corporate, government and community sectors.

They are all impressive leaders in their own right, including senior professionals, high-profile political leaders, innovative business leaders and well-known change-makers.

Melanie Bartlett

Melanie has a background in law. She runs a law firm in Burnie with her husband and is a Magistrate. She was President of the Council of the Law Society of Tasmania and has sat on numerous other Boards, Tribunals and Commissions.

Jane Bennett

Jane Bennett is the Managing Director and CEO of ASX listed company TasFoods Ltd which owns a stable of premium Tasmanian food brands across a range of food categories that include Nichols Poultry, Betta Milk, Pyengana Dairy, Meander Valley Dairy and Shima Wasabi. Jane has served as a Non Executive Director on a number of boards including the ABC, CSIRO, Tasports, Brand Tasmania Council and served as Chair of the Tasmanian Food Industry Council.

Bob Campbell

Bob is a director of facilitation company Groupwork. He career includes human resource management and general management across retailing, property management and forestry. A former General Manager of Launceston City Council, Bob is also Chair of the Tasmania Together Progress Board and was a founding Board member of Tasmanian Leaders.

Neroli Ellis

Neroli is the Deputy President of the Tasmanian Industrial Commission. For 15 years Neroli, a Registered Nurse, was Tasmanian State Secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation for fifteen years. She served as a Director on boards including Tasplan Super, Connect Credit Union, Mystate Foundation and the Retirement Benefit Fund Board.

Michael Field AC

Michael was a Member of Parliament, a Minister and Premier of Tasmania and Leader of the Opposition from 1976 and 1997. Since then he has sat on several Boards and been Chairman of the Tasmanian Innovation’s Board and the Australian Innovation Centre. Michael has also been an advisor to the Northern Territory Opposition and the Northern Territory Government.

Lara Giddings

Lara was the youngest woman ever elected to an Australian Parliament in 1996 at the age of 23. Since then she has served as Minister for Economic Development and the Arts, Minister for Health and Human Services, Deputy Premier, Attorney General and Minister for Justice before becoming Tasmania’s first female Premier from 2011 to 2014.

Peter Gutwein

Peter grew up in Northern Tasmania and worked as a senior manager in insurance and investment in Australia and Europe. A qualified financial advisor with post graduate qualifications in Business Administration, Peter was elected to the State Parliament in 2002 and has served as Treasurer, Minister for Local Government, and Minister for State Growth.

Nicholas Heyward

Nicholas served as Managing Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra for seventeen years. He held management roles at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Victoria State Opera and Musica Viva Australia, before becoming CEO of the Brisbane Biennial International Festival of Music and CEO of the Adelaide Festival of Arts. He has served on the numerous boards.

Liz Jack

Liz is Executive Director Safeguarding Children and Young People in the Department of Education. She has over 20 years' experience representing the Tasmanian Government in leadership roles across a range of sectors, including small business, community development and sport and recreation. Liz competed for Australia in diving at the Montreal Olympics. She then became one of Canada’s most successful national team coaches and later served as Director of the Tasmanian Institute of Sport.

Mark Kelleher

Mark is CEO at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-operative Research Centre. He is an experienced senior executive with expertise in investment and trade, energy, agriculture, resources, information technology, tourism and arts sectors. Mark has served on many Boards including the Committee for Economic Development of Australia and Tourism Tasmania.

Norm McIlfatrick

Norm is an independent Company Director and Advisor. He was Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (DIER) and Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) as well as CEO of the Tasmanian Development Board and Managing Director of Aurora Energy. He is a founding Board member of Tasmanian Leaders.

Christine Mucha

Christine spent over fourteen years in the Tasmanian water industry, including as CEO of Onstream. She now focuses on non-executive director/chair positions and consulting drawing on her knowledge of stakeholder management and governance frameworks in regulatory (utilities) and non-regulatory environments, commercial and not-for-profit organisations.

Dr Dan Norton AO

Dan is an experienced Chairman and CEO. He has worked in the electricity industry, central government agencies and international commodity marketing. He has experience in transport, privatisation and corporatisation, public policy, financial management reform, education, water, health, medical research, information and communications technology.

David O'Byrne MP

David was elected to the Tasmanian Parliament as the Labor member for Franklin in 2010. He held numerous portfolios including Workplace Relations, Economic Development and Infrastructure as well as Police and Emergency Management. Previously he was the National Secretary of one of Australia’s largest unions, United Voice. He has served on numerous Boards.

Tom O’Meara

Tom has held senior management roles in media including General Manager of The Canberra Times, The Examiner and the Ballarat Courier. He now runs his own business, Tom O’Meara and Associates which specialises in media, government affairs and business strategies. He has served on Boards and Trusts as well as the Launceston Chamber of Commerce.

Anthea Pritchard

Anthea, Producer and Director of Silver Spoon Ice Cream and General Manager of Salamanca Wharf Hotel, a boutique apartment hotel in Hobart, owned and developed with her husband in partnership with the Giameoses. Previous roles include Group Marketing and Sales Executive for Blundstone and Director Antarctic Tasmania, Science and Research. Anthea was a founding Board member of Tasmanian Leaders and a previous Chair.

Martin Rees

Martin is Managing Partner of KPMG in Launceston. He has served Chairman of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Director of St Giles Society. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and a Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia, Member of the Institute of Management Consultants and a Registered Company Auditor.

Heather Rose

Heather is an award-winning author of seven novel and a successful business woman. She was the Telstra Tasmanian Business Woman of the Year in 2004. Heather co-founded Coo'ee Tasmania which became Tasmania's most highly awarded advertising agency. She was Chair of Festival of Voices (FoV) and she co-created the award-winning accommodation, Library House.

Kim Seagram

Kim has extensive experience in the food and wine sectors including founding partner and former marketing manager for Stillwater Restaurant and Black Cow Bistro. She managed marketing and communications for Vineyards Association of Tasmania and helped establish Harvest Market Launceston. She has served on many Boards and Councils.

Judy Tierney

Judy was an award winning journalist with ABC radio and television for over thirty years. She was national correspondent for 7.30 Report and a producer on Australian Story. She has extensive voluntary experience including with The Tasmanian Ballet Company and Theatre Royal. She has served as Ambassador for Second Bite, which provides fresh nutritious food to people in need.

Kathryn Thomas

With a global career of more than 20 years as a strategic Management Consultant and Global Learning Leader, Kathryn specializes in supporting organisations and their people to thrive. She has worked locally, nationally and globally as an HR leader. In 2018 she launched her own consultancy. She was a member of the Tasmanian Leaders Board.

Mark Thomas

Mark is the Director and Media Consultant at M&M Communications, a media and public relations firm working with Tasmanian and national organisations. He was the media advisor to the Bacon Labor Government in Tasmania and also worked as a journalist/presenter at TasTV and WIN Television and as a journalist at The Examiner newspaper.

Albert van Zetten

Albert van Zetten has been Mayor of Launceston since 2007. He was formerly CEO of City Mission Launceston. Albert has been a key contributor on a range of Local Government policy committees including Launceston Flood Authority and Northern Tasmania Cricket Association Ground Management Committee. He has served on numerous Boards.

Malcolm White

Malcolm has worked as CEO of TAFE Tasmania, the Tasmanian Skills Institute and A/CEO of TAFE Directors Australia. Previously he was a Specialist Engineer with Hamersley Iron and co-founded Tasmanian start-ups Professional Computer Maintenance and Whitlock Pty Ltd. He has helped numerous governance roles and and is currently Chair of the Royal Flying Doctor Service Tasmania.

Dr Mike Vertigan AC

Mike has extensive experience in the public, higher education, philanthropy and business sectors. He is the former Chair of the AGEST Superannuation Fund and former Secretary of the Victorian and Tasmanian Departments of Treasury and Finance. Previously Chancellor of UTAS, he has also served on numerous government and private sector bodies

Don Wing AM

Don was an independent member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council for almost 30 years, representing Launceston. During that time he also served as President of the Legislative Council and as Mayor of Launceston. He was previously President of the Liberal Party in Tasmania for seven years.