PATRON – The Honourable Mike Ahern AO

The Honourable Mike Ahern AO is a former Queensland Premier and over time held the Ministries of Primary Industries, Industry and Technology, and Health and Environment.

Since retiring from politics, Mike has undertaken consulting work with technology companies. He is Chairman of the Australian Liver Foundation and Chairman of the consultative Committee of the Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies.

Mike is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.  He is also a Fellow of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.


Chris Barnard

B. Bus, MBA, Grad Dip Fin Plan, GAICD

Chris Barnard is Executive Director at the Brisbane office of JBWere.  He has been with JBWere for twenty years and previously worked for the Public Trustee of Queensland.  In 2015, Chris was the Executive in Residence at the QUT School of Business.  Chris has had a long history on Not-For-Profit Boards; having served on a number of  boards and Committees over the last twenty-five years.  As part of his MBA thesis, Chris conducted research into Charitable Bequests that provided an estimate of the annual fund flow from bequest giving.


Helen Besly

Helen Besly oversees the company-wide management of Rowland’s strategic offering, including the growth and management of the full breadth of their communication services. With more than 30 years’ experience in providing strategic council in communication, issues management and organisational change Helen is widely regarded as one of the leading minds in Australia’s communication industry. Noted by clients and associates for having an insightful and candid approach to business and communication challenges, Helen continues to be nvolved in client business and is a corporate coach to many of Australia’s senior business and community leaders. Her extensive experience spans the public, Government and private sectors including the utilities, energy and resources and education sectors, as well as pharmaceutical, healthcare and technology. An active member of the Queensland business community, among her many accolades Helen has won a Telstra Business Women’s Award, a Centenary Medal for her services to Australian society in business leadership and is also an Executive Advisor to QUT’s Executive MBA Program and is Queensland Chair and Council representative of Chief Executive Women. Helen joined Rowland in 1996, having previously been Vice President and Deputy Managing Director of Burson-Marsteller, Hong Kong.

The Honourable Leneen Forde AC

LLB Qld DipMed Tech Ottawa DUniv Griff DUniv QUT DLitt Qld DUniv ACU DUniv USC

Leneen Forde served as the first female Governor of the State of Queensland. She was world President of Zonta International and was the Founding President of Queensland Women Lawyers’ Association and Queensland Representative of the Australian Women Lawyers’ Forum. She also served as President of Scouts Australia and was awarded Queenslander of the Year in 1991.

She is Patron of Rosies, Karuna Hospice Service, National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame (Alice Springs), Alzheimer’s Association of Australia (Darling Downs and South West Inc) the Duchesne College Foundation and the Forde Foundation. She recently retired as Chancellor of Griffith University.

Damien Frawley

Damien was appointed Chief Executive Officer of QIC in 2012. With over 26 years’ experience in the financial services sector, Damien has a strong focus on developing and executing strategy, particularly around growth and sales. Before joining QIC, Damien was the country head of BlackRock Australia, responsible for managing $45 billion of assets on behalf of clients. Prior to this, Damien was BlackRock’s Head of Account Management, overseeing sales, marketing and product efforts across institutional and retail channels. Damien’s career has also included roles at Merrill Lynch Investment Management, Barclays Global Investors and Citibank. Damien is a Queenslander and prior to his career in financial services he represented Australia in rugby union.

Dr John de Groot


Dr John de Groot is a leading specialist in Wills and Estate Law and author of a number of definitive publications on the subject. These include Wills Probate & Administration Practice (Queensland) and Family Provision in Australia (an estate litigation text), of which he is co-author with Mr Bruce Nickel.

John is Chairman of the Queensland Law Society’s Succession Law Committee and of its Advisory Committee on Specialist Accreditation (Succession Law), Adjunct Professor at the T. C. Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland and a regular presenter at seminars dealing with Succession Law issues.

George Higgs

George Higgs has been a builder and property developer on the Gold Coast since 1967. George and his late wife, Jean, have an established sub fund with Queensland Community Foundation.

George is the former International Director of Lions Clubs International, representing Lions Clubs of Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and the Islands of the South Pacific. In 2004, George was inducted into the Australian Lions Foundation Hall of Fame and has received the highest award in Lionism, Ambassador of Goodwill.

Glenn Poole

BEc, Grad Dip Bus Admin, DUniv QUT, FCPA, FCA, FAICD

Glenn is an Executive in Residence at the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at the QUT Business School.  He was the Auditor-General of Queensland from 2004 to 2011.  He had previously been a senior executive in the Queensland Treasury Department for over fifteen years.

Glenn is the chair of the ACPNS Advisory Board and a member of the Governance, Nomination and Remuneration Committee of the Queensland Synod of the Uniting Church.  He is a member of the Local Government Association of Queensland Audit and Compliance Committee and the Public Trustee Audit and Risk Management Committee. He has previously served on the Boards of several not for profit organisations.

Dr Margaret Steinberg AM

PhD (Child Health and Education), MPhty (Research), BPhty (Hons), Dip Phty, University of Queensland

Dr Margaret Steinberg AM sits on a number of professional Tribunals and Boards.

A former Commissioner of the Criminal Justice (CJC) and Crime and Misconduct (CMC) Commissions and a Police Services Review Commissioner in Queensland, Margaret chaired the Audit Committees and Governance areas of both and took a strategic role in research and prevention activities.

She was formerly Assistant Commissioner (Community) of the Health Quality and Complaints Commission and Chair of its Consumer Advisory Committee; Deputy-President of the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal; and Research Professor in population health.

Margaret holds a PhD in Health and Education and has undertaken innovative work in complex contemporary matters including decision-making integrity, disability, HIV, telecommunications and population ageing at international and national levels, as a clinician, academic, public servant and community advocate.

Margaret Sugden


Margaret’s experience includes executive and senior management positions including Managing Director, General Manager and Senior Manager in the Funds Management, Print media, and both public and private companies. She has extensive experience in strategic and tactical planning, relationship and change management, advocacy and support, and direction of operations and marketing strategies and execution.

Margaret has a Masters of Applied Finance in addition to being an Associate Fellow with the Australian Institute of Management, Member of the Finance & Treasury Association, and Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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