Board and Committees

Board Members

Neil Guard (Board Chair)

Independent Non-Executive Director

Neil was appointed to the Activ Board in 2011 and was re-appointed in 2013 and 2015.  Neil is the current Chief Executive Officer of Richmond Wellbeing, an organisation that operates in the area of mental health recovery services. 

His career includes 25 years in executive roles in both the corporate sector in the UK and public sector in Western Australia. Until July 2015 Neil was the Executive Director of the Drug and Alcohol Office, a position he held for 7 years. During this period he was seconded by the Minister for Mental Health for 6 months in 2010 to lead the establishment of the WA Mental Health Commission.

Before joining the Drug and Alcohol Office in 2008, he held the position of Executive Director of Healthway for 5 years, with previous senior roles including 4 years as Director of Accommodation Services in the Disability Services Commission. 

Throughout his career Neil has focused significantly on improving wellbeing outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged populations. He is highly experienced in change and program management and has an extensive record in planning and successfully managing organisational reforms.

Neil is the Board Chair, and also a member of the Activ Council, Governance & Nominations Committee, Service Advisory Committee and Audit & Risk Committee.

  Neil Guard  
     

Craig Knox Lyttle (Joint Deputy Chair)

Independent Non-Executive Director

Craig was appointed to the Board in June 2014 to fill a casual vacancy and was reappointed in 2016. Craig is a Principal with Nous Group, a leading Australian management consultancy. He focuses on helping highly regulated organisations such as universities, utilities providers and purpose-driven organisations transform their operating models to become more commercial and customer-focused. He has also worked in mining, mining and oil and gas services, telecommunications, consumer goods, healthcare and government.

Craig’s expertise includes growth strategy, infrastructure planning, customer-led transformation, commercial due diligence, enterprise performance management and sales and marketing.

 

Prior to moving to Nous, Craig was a partner at PwC and led PwC's strategy consulting practice in Western Australia. Craig was previously a strategy consultant with A.T. Kearney in North America, and led strategic planning and transformation functions at Telstra in Sydney. He began his career in the federal government as a policy advisor in the human services sector. 

 

Craig is also Joint Deputy Board Chair and deputy Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee.

  Craig Knoxlyttle 
     

Dale Calhoun (Joint Deputy Chair)

Independent Non-Executive Director

Dale was appointed to the Board in September 2016.   Dale is currently Director of Tower Human Capital, a Strategic Human Resources consulting practice she established in 2008. Tower works with management teams and boards on Strategic Human Resources, Organisation Development and Career Management initiatives. Tower consults to a large cross section of WA organisations across all market sectors.

Coupled with her consulting background, Dale has extensive senior executive experience across a wide range of sectors including resources, FMCG, building materials, industrial products and automotive components, retail and health. During this time Dale worked for a number of large listed organisations with an Australian and International footprint.

Dale is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Human Resources Institute and served on the Board of Lifeline WA from 2010-2014.  Dale has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Melbourne University and a Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations.

Dale is also Joint Deputy Board Chair, the Chair of the Governance & Nominations Committee and also a member of the Activ Council.

 

 

Dale Calhoun
     

Andrew Lefroy 

Independent Non-Executive Director

Andrew was appointed to the Board in July 2015.

Andrew has an Honours Degree in Philosophy from Murdoch University. Andrew has worked for many years as a stockman in his family business and has volunteered in a drug rehabilitation centre. Andrew is legally blind/vision impaired and uses technology and his positive attitude to assist him in his university studies and life in general.

Andrew is a member of the Governance and Nominations Committee and Deputy Chair of the Service Advisory Committee.

  Andrew Lefroy
     

Ian Brown 

Independent Non-Executive Director

Ian was appointed to the Board in March 2013 and was re-appointed in 2015.  Ian is a professional non executive director, an innovation consultant and an entrepreneur with global commercial experience across industries.  Ian has taken various Science-Technology (Sci-Tech) inventions and business models and turned them into successful businesses.  Ian is currently Chairman of Omni Innovation (nutrition technology) and REX Ortho (orthopaedic surgical device), a Non Executive Director of InterGrain (grain technology), Chairman of Perth Angels (NFP Investor Group) and a Strategic Advisor to the Energy Pipelines Collaborative Research Centre (pipeline technology).

Ian is a member of the Governance & Nominations Committee.

  Ian Brown 
     

Matt Wisniewski

Non Independent Non-Executive Director

Matt was appointed to the Board in September 2016. 

Matt is inspired by those that live with disabilities and passionate about assisting them to achieve their dreams. He has gained relevant sector experience by living with, and advocating for, two family members with disabilities.   Matt has contributed to the external service delivery network supporting these family members by working with numerous providers in planning individualised programs, including tailoring risk management plans that address their specific challenges and needs.

Matt has worked as the Service Manager (WA) for Airmaster Australia Pty Ltd since 2009, and has a proven ability to drive results through the retention and performance development of key senior personnel. Locally, he has lead the development of Quality, WHS and performance initiatives that support best practice and build a compliance culture. Matt is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Matt is a member and Chair of the Service Advisory Committee and also a member of the Activ Council.

  Matt Wisniewski 
     

Lisa Palmer

Independent Non-Executive Director

Lisa was appointed to the Board in September 2018 as a Casual Vacancy and reappointed in October 2018.

Lisa brings to the Board over 20 years of experience from executive management positions in finance, strategy, risk and compliance, governance, internal and external audit and corporate finance advisory at BHP, Woodside, Deloitte and PwC in Australia and the UK.

Lisa’s experience covers mining, oil and gas, health, superannuation, government, heavy manufacturing and FMCG. She has led finance and analysis teams internally and on transactions, governance oversight of major capital projects and management system implementations and leading investigations into risk management failings. Her current executive role is as Co-founder and Director of a Perth based private engineering company as well as providing consultancy services in strategy, risk and company secretarial.

Ms Palmer holds an honours degree in mathematics and business. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and the UK, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Company Secretaries and a Senior Associate of the Financial Services Institute in Australia.

Lisa is a Director to HBF Health Limited, a member of the HBF Group Audit Committee, and Group Risk Committee. Ms Palmer is currently a Board Member and Treasurer at North Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club.

Lisa is also a member and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee. 

   
     

Bevan Smith

Independent Non-Executive Director

Bevan was appointed to the Activ Board in October 2018.

Bevan is a Senior Investment Adviser with over 30 years’ experience in the banking, finance and investment sectors. He currently manages investment portfolios for a range of retail, wholesale and institutional clients. Bevan has qualifications in both Psychology and Finance and has tutored at Edith Cowan University and the Australian Stock Exchange in finance and stock market education. He has also presented market updates, commentary and interactive discussion on stock market issues for the ABC, Sky Business News and 91.3SportFM. Bevan was a Non-Executive Director of St Bartholomew’s House and Chair of the St Bartholomew’s Foundation for the years 2008 to 2018.

Bevan is also a member of the Audit & Risk Committee.

   
     

Danielle Newport - Chief Executive Officer

Executive Director – Non-Independent

Danielle is a qualified accountant (CPA) and Chartered Secretary (ACIS) and has over 15 years’ experience working in senior finance and corporate roles, with more than five of these years at senior executive level within the disability sector.

Danielle joined Activ in November 2011 and was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director in April 2016. She strongly aligns with the customer perspective and Activ’s purpose of enabling people living with a disability to pursue a better life. Prior to taking on the role of CEO Danielle led the development of Activ’s Strategy. 

Danielle is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee, Governance & Nomination Committee and Service Advisory Committee.

Danielle brings a wealth of experience in strategic governance gained from 10 years of serving on voluntary Boards across education, community services and the arts. Danielle is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Danielle is an elected director of the National Disability Services National Board.

  Danielle Newport 

Committees

The Board has established standing and ad hoc Committees which assist in carrying out its responsibilities. Each Committee has board-approved Terms of Reference setting out its role, composition, powers responsibilities, structure, resourcing and administration.

Audit and Risk Committee (Chair: Lisa Palmer / Deputy Chair: Craig Knox Lyttle)

The Committee assists the Board in the effective discharge of its fiduciary, stewardship, leadership and control responsibilities by reviewing and monitoring internal control, risk management and compliance and ensuring the delivery of an effective and efficient audit function within Activ.

Governance and Nomination Committee (Chair: Dale Calhoun)

The Committee provides advice and assistance to the Board in relation to maintenance and continuous improvement of governance processes and the Board.

Service Advisory Committee (Chair: Matt Wisniewski / Deputy Chair: Andrew Lefroy)

The Committee, established in 2011, assists the Board in its understanding of the expectations of customers and families and their relationships with Activ; current service levels and issues; the potential need for change in service requirements and the impact of policies and strategic directions on customers and families.

Activ Grant's Committee (Chair: Murray Blanchard, AM JP (Past President 1993 – 2001, Past Board Member 1986 - 1993))

The Committee is comprised of the Honorary Life Governors of Activ and administer the Activ Special Assistance Grants.

Council Members

John Francks (Chair)
John has been involved with Activ since 1996, and was an Activ Board member from 1998 until 2008. John has been involved with the Finance Industry for many years involved with large international corporations at Senior Management levels. In more recent times John has been involved in running his own finance company.  John was appointed an Honorary Life Governor in October 2013. John is a founding member of the Activ Council.

Laurence Iffla B. Juris., LL.B (Deputy Chair)
Laurence (Larry) is a partner in the legal firm of Iffla Wade. Through his family Laurence has had a long association with Activ Foundation.  Laurence’s brother Harold attended Activ Industries and has been a long term recipient of Activ services.  His father Mel Iffla was on the Activ Foundation Board and his mother Quentin was very involved in Activ branch activities.   Laurence was until 2015 the Chairman of Future Living Trust Inc, an allied organisation supported by Activ that works in the area of future planning for families with a member with a disability, and he remains a Board member. He is married to Nicola and has three adult children.  Laurence is Chairman of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and is the non-executive Deputy Chairman of the Perron Group.

Dale Calhoun
Dale was appointed to the Board in September 2016. Dale is currently Director of Tower Human Capital, a Strategic Human Resources consulting practice she established in 2008. Tower works with management teams and boards on Strategic Human Resources, Organisation Development and Career Management initiatives. Tower consults to a large cross section of WA organisations across all market sectors.

Coupled with her consulting background, Dale has extensive senior executive experience across a wide range of sectors including resources, FMCG, building materials, industrial products and automotive components, retail and health. During this time Dale worked for a number of large listed organisations with an Australian and International footprint.

Dale is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Human Resources Institute and served on the Board of Lifeline WA from 2010-2014.  Dale has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Melbourne University and a Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations.

Dale is also the Chair of the Governance & Nominations Committee.

Murray Blanchard 
Murray is a parent of a daughter with Intellectual Disability and was appointed to the Board of Activ Foundation in 1986, serving as Treasurer and Senior Vice President. He was appointed President in 1993 and remained until his retirement from the Board in 2001.  Murray was made a Life Member of Activ in 1997 and was appointed  an Honorary Life Governor in 1999. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2000 Queen’s Birthday honours and was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 for his services to the community. Murray is a founding member of the Activ Council.

Ken Booth
Ken has been a member of Activ since 1991.  His family was associated with the Fremantle Branch from the early 1960s onwards.  Ken has served on the Board of the Future Living Trust (Inc.) [formerly the Hawkevale Trust] since 1995.  He served on the Board of Activ in 1999 – 2002. He was made a Life Member of Activ in 2005 and Honorary Life Governor in 2013.  Ken is a Civil Celebrant, who had a 35 year career in education in WA.  His brother David lives in an Activ group home.  Ken is a founding member of the Activ Council.

Matthew Battrick 
Matthew was a member of the Activ Board from 2001 to 2011 and he has an adult daughter with intellectual disability.  Matthew is a petroleum geologist who has 36 years of experience working internationally for a range of oil & gas companies, including as Managing Director of Sun Resources NL, an ASX-listed oil and gas company with assets in the USA, from 2008 to 2013.  His passions are his family, the intellectually disabled people of Western Australia and the field of geology. Matthew is a founding member of the Activ Council.

John Groves
John was the Executive Director of Activ Foundation from June 1995 until his retirement in May 2007.  John has more than 20 years’ experience in executive management and in chairing the Board of various organisations. He has maintained his interest in people with disability and the policy settings affecting them through his ongoing interest in the activities of the National Disability Services (NDS, formerly ACROD.)  John has served on the State Committee and the National Board of NDS, and has been its National President. John is a founding member of the Activ Council.

Neil Guard
Neil was appointed to the Activ Board in 2011 and was re-appointed in 2013 and 2015.  Neil is the current Chief Executive Officer of Richmond Wellbeing, an organisation that operates in the area of mental health recovery services. 

His career includes 25 years in executive roles in both the corporate sector in the UK and public sector in Western Australia. Until July 2015 Neil was the Executive Director of the Drug and Alcohol Office, a position he held for 7 years. During this period he was seconded by the Minister for Mental Health for 6 months in 2010 to lead the establishment of the WA Mental Health Commission.

Before joining the Drug and Alcohol Office in 2008, he held the position of Executive Director of Healthway for 5 years, with previous senior roles including 4 years as Director of Accommodation Services in the Disability Services Commission. 

Throughout his career Neil has focused significantly on improving wellbeing outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged populations. He is highly experienced in change and program management and has an extensive record in planning and successfully managing organisational reforms.

Neil is the Board Chair, and also a member of the Activ Council, Governance & Nominations Committee, Service Advisory Committee and Audit & Risk Committee.

Matt Wisniewski
Matt was appointed to the Board in September 2016. 

Matt is inspired by those that live with disabilities and passionate about assisting them to achieve their dreams. He has gained relevant sector experience by living with, and advocating for, two family members with disabilities.   Matt has contributed to the external service delivery network supporting these family members by working with numerous providers in planning individualised programs, including tailoring risk management plans that address their specific challenges and needs.

Matt has worked as the Service Manager (WA) for Airmaster Australia Pty Ltd since 2009, and has a proven ability to drive results through the retention and performance development of key senior personnel. Locally, he has lead the development of Quality, WHS and performance initiatives that support best practice and build a compliance culture. Matt is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Matt is a member and Chair of the Service Advisory Committee and also a member of the Activ Council.

Leonie Walker OAM 
Leonie was a former Board Member, serving on the Activ Board from 2006 to 2016.  Leonie joined Activ in 1975.  She has two adult sons with Intellectual Disability. Living on a farm in Wongan Hills, Leonie was active in establishing homes for special needs children. She now resides in Dunsborough with her husband and has a long association with local support groups in the area. Leonie was awarded the Centenary Medal for Community Services in 2001 and received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday honours.  Leonie is an elected member of the Future Living Trust Board.  Leonie is an Honorary Life Governor, Trustee and Council member of Activ.  Leonie is a founding member of the Activ Council.

Penelope Willems
Penelope was a former Board Member serving on the Activ Board from 2011 to 2013. She is the guardian to her brother who works at Activ Business Services and lives in Activ supported accommodation. Penelope hopes to use her role on the Council as an opportunity to further connect Activ’s services with the customers and families they support. Penelope is also a member of the Service Advisory Committee and has strong connections with Activ as her husband has worked for Activ since 2000. Her personal time is spent with family and travelling, a passion she shares with her brother.

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