Northside

Our Board

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

Our Board

Stephen Brand

Stephen Brand – Chair

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.


Paula Gonzalez

Paula Gonzalez

Paula is a lawyer with almost 20 years experience in the public sector in regulatory, compliance and policy development roles. She brings expertise in dispute resolution, governance, risk and organisational change to the Board. She is passionate about developing leadership, especially for women working in the not-for-profit and community sectors. She believes strongly in the power of community to combat social isolation and build a sense of belonging.

Paula joined the Board in 2016 to contribute to Northside’s mission of building better and more connected communities. A keen dragon-boater when she is not at work, Paula paddles on Lake Burley Griffin and spends time binge-watching TV shows with her teenage daughters.


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.


Cathy Skippington

Cathy Skippington

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.

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