Northside

Our Board

Our board provides expert, skills-based governance for Northside and the Leadership Team.

Our Board

Cathy Skippington

Cathy Skippington – Chair

Cathy has more than 25 years’ experience across the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors as a non-executive Director and Senior Executive. Cathy has worked across a range of areas including environment protection, affordable housing and workplace health and safety. Cathy is a strategic thinker, principled and value driven. As a successful Executive Consultant, Cathy provides advice and training in governance, strategy, business and change management, risk management, safety leadership, stakeholder engagement, organisational culture and performance.


Dr Leanne Gibbs

Dr Leanne Gibbs – Deputy Chair

Leanne joined Charles Sturt University, in 2022, as a Senior Lecturer, after a rich and extensive career within the early childhood education field. Her scope of experience encompasses teaching, directing, and managing the operations of early childhood settings and leading state and national professional development programs, peak organisations, and public policy programs. Leanne’s diverse career has also included advocacy through publications, podcasting, writing, and speaking and remains focused upon child and educator rights and the improvement of community and society outcomes. Leanne is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Stephen Brand

Stephen Brand

Stephen is a professional social worker who has spent most of his career working across mental health services in Sydney and rural NSW. Stephen has extensive managerial experience, although his clinical work with people who have mental illnesses and their families is where his focus lies.

A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Stephen was Senior Manager for policy and advocacy for the Australian Association of Social Workers. For 12 years he held a position on the board of Neami National, a national NGO providing mental health services across five states, four of those years as Chair.


Matt Sierp

Matt Sierp

Matt is an experienced, client focused and dedicated health professional with over 30 years’ experience in the aged care industry. Matt has a wealth of experience in community, retirement communities and care centres and has developed his clinical and business management expertise while providing effective executive leadership for a number of aged care organisations.

Matt is currently CEO of a not-for-profit aged care organisation and delivers quality operational leadership on aged care issues affecting the industry. Matt is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Ram Naik

Ram Naik

Ram joined the Board in early 2020 and brings a wealth of financial management and accounting experience to Northside. He has almost 20 years experience in the accounting and finance field. He has held leadership and management roles across national and international companies, government departments and not-for-profit organisations. He currently serves as Director of Finance and ICT at Directions Health Services in Canberra.


Dr Sandie Wong

Dr Sandie Wong

Sandie is a Professor in Early Childhood at the Macquarie School of Education, Macquarie University and currently holds a four-and-a-half year Senior Research Fellowship with Goodstart Early Learning. Sandie has worked as an academic, manager, researcher, evaluator, educator, consultant and nurse, within a range of early childhood, academic and health organisations. She is committed to working in collaborative, strengths-based ways, to lead and support high quality research, evaluation and practitioner enquiry that contributes to best practice in early childhood.


Graeme Cartwright

Graeme Cartwright

Graeme has over thirty years’ experience in funds management, not for profit companies and the resources industry. He has well developed skills in finance, governance, compliance and audit. He has previously been a Responsible Manager for an AFSL.

Graeme is also chair of not for profit Hurstville and Rockdale Friendly Society and a director of Parkinson’s NSW. He has a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Graduate Diplomas in Applied Investment and Finance from Securities Institute of Australia and in Business Administration from Deakin University. He is also a Graduate of the AICD’s Company Directors Course.


James Tonkin

James has 25+ years’ experience in the corporate sector where his work in corporate real estate markets has seen him focus on building strong leadership, corporate governance and best practice financial and risk management approaches. He also has experience supporting indigenous businesses strengthen their business systems to support success. Through his work, he has seen the importance of teams developing effective business practices to ensure success. James joined the Board in 2022 as an opportunity to give back to the community in which he lives. As an inner northside resident, he sees the direct impact of the diverse range of services that Northside Community Service delivers to create a fair and inclusive community. James is a keen cyclist and can be found on the inner north netball courts and rugby fields supporting his teenage kids on Saturdays.


Dr Robert Tanton

Dr Robert Tanton

Robert is a Professor in Economics at the University of Canberra and was Director of the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling from 2015 to 2020. He has advised State, Federal, Local Government and NGO’s on housing; poverty; inequality; and disadvantage. He has been involved in work on the impact of communities on early childhood development through the Kids in Communities collaboration; has led the development of child social exclusion indexes for NATSEM; and indexes of wellbeing for older Australians for The Benevolent Society. He has advised the ACT Government on their Wellbeing framework, and continues to work with the ACT Government on their affordable housing strategy.


Share this page: