A Board of appointed Trust Members oversees the strategic direction of the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT).
This Board is responsible to the Minister for Health and must ensure good governance of the cemeteries entrusted under its care. Members of the Trust are appointed by the Governor in Council for a three-year term. Members may seek reappointment after their first term.
Current SMCT Trust Members:
Dr Vanda Fortunato - Trust Chairperson
PhD, MA, BA
Vanda Fortunato has spent the last 20 years in executive and strategic leadership roles in Australia and overseas, with significant experience in public health, primary care, not-for-profits, medical training, academia, pharmaceuticals, health insurance and consulting. Vanda has been a CEO of two not-for-profits, and has held senior executive roles with Medibank, a clinical research organisation and Accenture. She has also worked for the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
Vanda is currently on the Board of BreastScreen Victoria, Vasey RSL Care, The Queen Victoria Market Trust and was previously the chair of a private aged care company New Aged Care.
BA, GradDip Organisational Psychology, GAICD
Vicki is a trained psychologist and has worked in education in clinical counselling and guidance services as well as organisational review. Vicki had a distinguished career in in the Victorian Department of Human Services including as Director, Portfolio Services. Vicki was CEO of the Cheltenham & Regional Cemeteries Trust for 3 years and most recently Vicki served as the CEO of BreastScreen Victoria for 12 years.
Vicki's extensive executive career and successes are characterized by an approach which encompasses inclusivity, evidence energy creativity and relationships to establish best practice effective cultures.
Chair of the Community Advisory Committee
Sam Afra studied law and banking in Beirut where he worked in the Banking sector before migrating to Australia where he worked for the Victorian government for over 20 years; Sam is currently self-employed as a consultant.
As a dedicated advocate for cultural diversity, Sam is heavily involved across the community sector. In 2003 Sam was elected as the inaugural Chairperson of the Ethnic Communities Council of the South East (ECCOSE).
He also served as Chairman of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria from 2007 to 2011 and is currently a Board member.
Sam is Vice President and director of ERHMA where he has been a director since 2003.
He is also a former elected Councillor for the City of Casey from 1997 – 2000 and was appointed as a White Ribbon Ambassador in 2011.
BA (Hons), LLB (Hons), LLM, GAICD.
Phil is an experienced corporate lawyer having been Senior Tax Partner at King Wood Mallesons for 13 years. Phil is currently the Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of Advanced Paediatric Life Support which promotes excellence in emergency care of ill and injured children through the provision of high-quality contemporary education programs for health care professionals including specialist doctors, general practitioners, nurses and Paramedics.
Phil’s current and past Board experience includes Box Hill Institute of TAFE, Working Heritage, the Queen Elizabeth Centre, Kew East Financial Services, Building Appeals Board, Greyhound Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board and Gymnastics Australia.
B.App Sci (Landscape Architecture), GAICD
Chair of the Governance Committee
Philip Eggleston joins the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust with a varied career across government private offices; the Victorian State Government working on the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003; and in Public Health and Disability Services. Philip has also worked in Local Government at the City of Melbourne and in the private sector.
Philip‘s career includes the education sector at RMIT University and Box Hill Institute of TAFE and is currently a Director on the Goulburn Ovens TAFE Board. Philip has a history in the design sector in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design and in the funeral industry. Philip is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and brings experience in governance, strategy, masterplanning, disability services, human resource management and staff development.
BEc, MBA, MEc CPA, GAICD.
Chair of the Finance, Audit, Investment and Risk Committee
Sandy is a strategic leader with an executive career of more than 25 years spanning Australian and international organisations including Australian Red Cross, Boston Consulting Group, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ingersoll-Rand. Sandy is the current Chief Financial Officer of State Trustees.
Sandy currently serves as a director of Link Community Transport where she is also Chair of their Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, and is also a Board member of the International Women’s Development Agency. Sandy’s previous Board experience also includes Eating Disorders (Vic), the National Association of Women in Operations and Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
BA, DipEd, MCom (Mktg), GAICD
Chair of the Infrastructure and Transformation Committee
Robin has had a varied career across the commercial and academic sectors. Most recently, Robin has been an interim executive, with executive roles at Bendigo Kangan TAFE, and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Robin is currently an active Board member, with roles including the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians. She was CEO of Family Business Australia, a Not-For-Profit Association dedicated to sustaining and growing family businesses, and has her own consultancy practice following her substantive role as Deakin University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor International and Development with responsibility for international and domestic marketing.
Early in her career she worked for 15 years with Australian steel manufacturer and distributor Tubemakers. She had a variety of roles around Australia with the company and was Manager Oil & Gas Pipelines, managing a $200 million steel pipe mill when she left. She was then Director Marketing, Recruitment & Partnerships at the University of Wollongong, where she managed the international and domestic student recruitment functions and alumni, community and fundraising portfolios. She had a senior executive role in the University’s commercial arm and was a member of the TAFE Illawarra Advisory Council, and a Director of the Port Kembla Port Corporation.
Rosemary is the Acting Deputy Public Advocate responsible for program strategic planning to meet legislative and government priorities and operational service demands aimed at protecting people with a disability.
Rosemary has extensive Executive and Board experience including as an independent Committee Chair, Board member and Executive support to Boards. Rosemary has specific experience in the areas of strategic planning, governance, human resources and organisational development.
GAICD, BA, Mayor Emeritus
Bernadene has a strong passion for building collaborative and trusted relationships and an outstanding track record of advocacy, dealing with media and public speaking. She has a deep understanding of Government at all levels, with specific Local Government experience. She combines strategic leadership, strong political acumen with solid policy experience to deliver objectives.
Bernadene was the co-founder and executive director of a successful Loyalty Marketing and IT services company in Australia and USA. Growing the business from a start-up to raising venture capital and selling the entity to a NASDAQ listed company in 2007 has led to a thorough understanding of business at many stages of their life cycle.
For the last eight years Bernadene has been an elected Councillor for the City of Port Phillip, Victoria’s densest and fast-growing municipality, incorporating Fishermans Bend, Port Melbourne, St Kilda and Elwood. For four of these eight years, Bernadene has held the role of Mayor. Bernadene has strong interest in community, social improvement, education, governance, and the urban environment.