Our board.

The Board is responsible for our strategic direction, organisational performance, and overseeing governance and risk requirements.
Two eight week old puppies, one yellow and one carmel, sitting outside next to each other on a path. They are both looking at the camera.

Our board

The Guide Dogs Victoria Board.

The Guide Dogs Victoria Board consists of nine directors. The Board is responsible for our strategic direction, organisational performance, and overseeing governance and risk requirements. The Board operates four subcommittees:

  • Audit and Risk Management
  • Membership and Remuneration
  • Marketing and Fundraising
  • Social Reform

Guide Dogs Victoria uses BoardOutlook to conduct an annual board evaluation on the performance of the board. We have benefited from a grant from BoardOutlook as part of their not-for-profit program.

Chair - Iain Edwards

Iain Edwards

Appointed to the Board in June 2011 and elected Vice President in 2015, Iain is a physiotherapist who has twenty years’ experience in the public health system across both rural and metropolitan health services. Iain is the current Director of Integrated Care and Dental with Peninsula Health.

Iain has been involved with Guide Dogs Victoria since early 1993 and completed his Orientation and Mobility instruction, training with his first Guide Dog in 1995. Iain is currently partnered with his forth Guide Dog, ‘Olympia’.

Iain’s extended family is also very involved with Guide Dogs Victoria. His brother is partnered with a Guide Dog and the Edwards family have been involved in several fundraising initiatives, including sponsoring Guide Dog puppies. During 22 years of association with Guide Dogs Victoria, Iain has assisted with a number of Public Relations, fundraising and promotional events.

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victoria's Board Chair, Iain Edwards. Iain is looking at the camera smiling.

Vice Chair - Dr. David Cochrane

Dr. David Cochrane

David joined the Board in March 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Economics, Master of Business Administration, and a Doctor of Business Administration.

David is the Director of Cloudstreet Economics, a recently established consulting company. Prior this this he spent nine years at Ernst & Young, where he was a partner and the inaugural national leader for the Economics, Regulation and Policy practice.  He has also spent over 30 years at PWC in various roles including audit, business management and strategy, corporate finance and economics. 

David is an economist and accountant with over 35 year’s practical experience in both disciplines with extensive experience in: advising Government and the private sector on commercial, economic and financial policy.  He also has extensive experience in public land management, water, environment and natural resources, tourism and infrastructure.

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victoria's Board Vice Chair, David Cochrane. David is looking at the camera smiling.

Board member - Lisa Tepper

Lisa Tepper

Lisa joined the board in April 2020. She is currently Executive Director of the Digital Strategy and Transformation branch within the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet. In this role Lisa leads the whole of Victorian Government IT Strategy, Cyber Security Unit, ICT Dashboard and associated digital capability uplift programs. Lisa brings a wealth of experience in digital strategy and delivery, after an 18 year international career at Accenture where she led strategy development, business and digital transformations, and most recently the innovation program. Lisa is passionate about inclusion and diversity in driving digital transformation.

Lisa holds Bachelors of Engineering and Science, and a Master of Public Policy and Management from the University of Melbourne, and is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victoria's Board Director, Lisa Tepper. Lisa is looking at the camera smiling.

Board member - Bruce Brook

Bruce Brook

Appointed to the GDV Board in 2018, Bruce is currently a Non-executive Director of CSL Limited, Incitec Pivot Limited and Newmont Mining Corporation.

Mr. Brook has previously been Chairman of Programmed Maintenance Services Limited, Chairman of Energy Developments Limited and a Non-executive Director of Boart Longyear, Lihir Gold, Snowy Hydro, EFIC and Consolidated Minerals Limited. During his executive career, he was Chief Financial Officer of WMC Resources Limited and prior to that the Deputy Chief Financial Officer of the ANZ Banking Group.

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victoria's Board Director, Bruce Brook. Bruce is looking at the camera smiling and holding a yellow eight week old labrador puppy.

Board member - Anthony Kearns

Anthony Kearns

Anthony Kearns is the Managing Consultant, Strategy Performance and Leadership at global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. He works within the firm and with the firm’s strategic clients to design and implement strategy, develop leadership capability and unlock performance.

Anthony commenced his career as a lawyer working in large multinational firms for 6 years. Since then he has held executive leadership roles and had the opportunity to develop expertise across a number of different disciplines and industries. In the last 15 years, Anthony has focused his career on developing deep expertise in strategy facilitation, adult learning and executive coaching and is now an acclaimed keynote speaker and lecturer throughout the world. He has completed a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, is studying a Doctor of Philosophy, Education and Positive Psychology, is trained in facilitating design thinking and has worked with a number of universities including Harvard Law School to develop innovative programs.

Anthony has had a long association with Guide Dogs Victoria having fostered guide dogs, provided pro-bono services and as the father of Gabriel, a client of Child Mobility Services.

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victoria's Board Director, Anthony Kearns. Anthony is looking at the camera smiling.

Board member - Charles Thompson

Charles Thompson

Charles joined the Board in November 2014. He has a Bachelor of Economics and Laws (Honours) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Charles is a senior executive with Australia Post, which he joined in late 2010 as its Head of Corporate Finance. He is now head of Australia Post’s International business and a Director of its China Post JV.

Previously, Charles was a senior executive with Toll Holdings Limited, where he played a key role in Toll’s growth throughout Asia. Charles also holds experience as a management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group and a Senior Associate Lawyer in Mergers & Acquisitions with Herbert Smith Freehills and Clayton Utz.

Charles has extensive not-for-profit experience. Outside of work he enjoys time with his partner, young son and daughter, and their dog Frankie.

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victoria's Board Director, Charles Thompson. Charles is looking at the camera smiling.

Board member - Jenna Watts

Jenna Watts

Jenna joined the Board in February 2020. Her career started out in the Australian Army. After soldier training, Jenna specialised in logistics.

Jenna has over ten years of experience working throughout Australia and overseas in commercial marketing for organisations including the Brisbane Lions, Channel Nine, Tennis Australia, Melbourne Racing Club and new media platforms including Esports.

Jenna has had extensive experience working for companies of all sizes as well as heading up her own business. Outside of the corporate world, Jenna has represented Australia around the world as an accomplished triathlete and has successfully developed and launched her own Podcast ‘21st Century Women’ on which she has conducted insightful and moving interviews with over 100 incredible, inspiring women. In 2019 Jenna became a mum, which everyone tells her is the biggest challenge of all.
Headshot of Guide Dogs Victoria's Board Director, Jenna Watts. Jenna is looking at the camera smiling.

Board member - Harish Rao

Harish Rao

Harish was born in Chennai, India but grew up in Melbourne, where he attended Melbourne Grammar School before completing higher studies at the Australian National University and Monash University. He has an MBA (Finance) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Professionally, Harish is the face of the Sundaram Finance Group, a US$4billion financial services conglomerate, based in Chennai, India. In Australia, the group is involved with Financial and Business Process Outsourcing through its subsidiary, Sundaram Business Services Limited.

Harish is currently the Chair of the Australian World Orchestra and currently sits on the Board of the Australian Friends of ASHA, the India Australia Business & Community Awards and the Advisory Board of the Australia India Institute. He was also past National Chair of the Australia India Business Council. He was appointed to the Board of Guide Dogs Victoria in November 2018.

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victoria's Board Director, Harish Rao. Harish is looking at the camera smiling and holding a yellow eight week old labrador puppy.

Board member - Nick Mescher

Nick Mescher

Joining the Guide Dogs Victoria board in early 2019, Nick has been an Executive in the Technology and Services industries for startups, ASX-listed companies and multinational corporations with national and global leadership roles.

With more than 30 years of consulting experience, Nick is passionate about innovation and the impact of digital transformation across all sectors to help grow organisations whilst ensuring that clients needs are at the forefront of strategy.

Nick has a Bachelor of Applied Science from Monash University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  Nick enjoys an active lifestyle with his adult family, including endless walks on the beach with his golden retriever, Monty.

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victoria's Board Director, Nick Mescher. Nick is looking at the camera smiling.

Board member - Vale Betty Amsden

Vale Betty Amsden (AO DSJ. 1926–2017)

The Guide Dogs Victoria Board of Management, staff and volunteers mourn the loss and celebrate the life of the remarkable Betty Amsden AO DSJ. Vice Patron, Board member and generous benefactor of Guide Dogs Victoria.
Betty has been an inspiration to us all. Her immeasurable kindness, searing intellect and pioneering spirit made the world a better place.

Betty’s legacy will live on in the thousands of Victorians who now live independently as a result of her exceptional generosity.

Betty, we will always cherish and salute you. May you rest in peace.

the Late Betty Amsden standing outside holding a black eight week old labrador puppy. The puppy is licking Betty's cheek and Betty is smiling.

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