Governance

Shannon Wright

Chief Executive Officer

Shannon joined Seniors Rights Service in 2021 as our new chief executive officer.

Shannon has held senior leadership roles in both the government and non-government sectors for 30 years and has a strong commitment to social justice and a passionate interest in ageing, aged care and regional service delivery.

She has a background in policy and advocacy, including at the NSW Office of Ageing, with a focus on ageing, women’s health, housing and homelessness. She has managed multiple large federal, state and philanthropic grants with varying funding agreements, acquittal processes and evaluation methodologies, and is an outcomes and results focused leader.

Shannon comes to us from YWCA Australia, where she was Director, National Service Development and Delivery, working through the merging of diverse member associations into one national organisation.

She was previously Director, Community Health and Regional Services with ACON, NSW’s leading LGBTIQ+ organisation.

Shannon managed the development of a national face-to-face and online training program for the aged care sector and the implementation of the Aged Care Community Visitors Scheme for LGBTIQ people in NSW. At the NSW Office of Ageing, she advised the minister on ageing issues and managed the NSW Forum on Ageing at Parliament House, supported the production of the Older People NSW report in partnership with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, managed funded research projects and implemented state-wide research policy seminars.

Elaine Leong

Board Director, Vice President

Elaine is a career governance and legal professional to the for-purpose sector with a focus on establishing and maintaining responsible and ethical legal and governance organisational frameworks and a commitment to contributing and adding value to the for-purpose sector through advice, education, collaboration and advocacy.

Elaine is a trusted advisor to the sector and holds a portfolio of professional, pro bono and volunteer roles. Elaine is the General Counsel and Company Secretary of Australia’s oldest charity, The Benevolent Society and partner of a boutique law firm with a focus on making the law accessible to individuals, families and grassroots and emerging charities. Elaine is an advocate of adopting a rights-based approach to the practice of law.

Elaine’s passion lies in social inclusion and as well as being a Director and the Deputy Chair of the SRS Board, she is also Chair of SRS’s Inclusion and Priority Populations Committee.

Barbara Anderson

Board Director

Barbara’s professional background is in Health Information Management and she holds a Master of Arts Degree from the University of New South Wales. Barbara has a keen interest in the written word. She was Founding Editor of the Australian Medical Record Journal in 1970 (subsequently Health Information Management Journal). Her publications include co-authoring “Occupational therapy: Its place in Australia’s history”: NSW Association of Occupational Therapists (1988).

Barbara retired in late 2016 and, as primary carer, currently supports her 98 year old Mother continue to live independently in her own home.  She has held the position of Chair of the Strata Committee of a large strata complex in Sydney for many years and is also on the Strata Committee of another strata building designed for people aged 55 years and over. She has been on the Board of Mosman Bowling Club for the past four years, holding the position of Secretary for the past two years.

Barbara has longstanding interest and experience in ageing and the care of older people. After joining NSW Health in 2001, Barbara’s roles included Principal Policy Adviser in the Aged Care Unit, Health and Social Policy Branch. Her responsibilities included researching, evaluating and advising on best practice policies and programs relevant to aged care, aged health and other priority policy areas associated with ageing, disability and integrated care policy and strategic issues. Prior to this, Barbara ran her own business as a Quality Improvement, Accreditation and Medical Record Consultant. She worked across all areas of health service delivery, including hospitals, community health, residential aged care and general practice. Previous experience included managing the Education Service for the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) 1990-1993. She was a registered Aged Care Quality Assessor, 2000-2002.

Hakan Harman

Board Director, Chair Finance and Risk Committee

Hakan has over 30 years of experience as a senior executive across public, commercial, and not for profit sectors. He has a strong community focus, commitment to social and cultural justice, and a deep passion for sustainability, inclusive leadership, and social cohesion.

He has Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Commerce qualifications, is a Fellow of CPA Australia and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Hakan possesses a deep understanding of the value of public institutions and of the indicators of successful governance, leadership, and operational management to achieve social, economic, and cultural outcomes.

Currently he is the Chief Operating Officer of the Art Gallery of New South Wales overseeing a diverse portfolio including the transformation of the Gallery through the Sydney Modern Project. As the CEO of Multicultural NSW Hakan successfully led the major transformation of the former Community Relations Commission. He has extensive expertise in achieving high quality outcomes through the transformation of people, process, and technology leading to improved community outcomes and customer experiences.

As well as a deep understanding of and interest in demographic and socio-economic indicators that identify gaps and enable advocacy for resources to address social inequity, Hakan has extensive commercial, strategic, and operational leadership expertise, being responsible for state significant assets and substantial operating and capital budgets.

Barbara O’Neill

Board Director

Barbara is a Dunghutti woman born on the Gadigal Country of the Eora Nation.

She is an Indigenous Trauma and Recovery Practitioner and specialises in the support of care leavers from institutions and the Stolen Generations. Barbara is currently working as an Aboriginal Support Worker and Indigenous Trauma and Recovery Practitioner at the JNC in Maroubra.

‘Untold Stories’ her DVD and presentation at the 5th National Elder Abuse Conference, provided a unique perspective on the impacts of ageing on Aboriginal people. It draws on research undertaken through her recently completed Post-Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Trauma Recovery and Practice at Wollongong University. Barbara has completed a Bachelor of Indigenous Knowledges and is negotiating entry into a PhD in regards Indigenous Trauma.

Margaret Duckett

Board Director, President

Margaret has held various senior roles including as Director of the NSW Office of Ageing. Her career has been primarily in the health and social sectors, building on her science background in terms of health promotion, advocacy and policy development.

Margaret has extensive experience in government and political processes, and strategic policy development and implementation. She can point to a number of instances where her advocacy changed policy.

Additional attributes she brings to the Board include extensive management skills, and excellent networks and networking skills. She recently supported her mother to live alone in her own home until the end of her life.

Margaret has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ diploma program.

Andrew Byrnes

Board Director

Andrew is Emeritus Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, an associate of the Ageing Futures Institute and the Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and of the Australian Academy of Law. His publications address women’s human rights, human rights of older persons, gender and human rights, national human rights institutions, economic and social rights, peoples’ tribunals, and the incorporation of human rights in domestic law. He has served as President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law and Vice-President of the Asian Society of International Law, as well as external legal adviser to the Australian Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights and as a member of the Human Rights Committees of the NSW Bar Association and the Law Council of Australia. He has acted as pro bono adviser to the Asia Pacific Forum of NHRIs in the context of the United Nations General Assembly Open-ended Working Group on Ageing. He has also acted as a consultant to the UN on human rights on various human rights issues, including most recently on the human rights of older persons and the international human rights framework.

Ross Halfacree

Board Director

Ross has held senior roles in both Government and Corporate sectors, with the past 12 years working in large USA, Danish and Swedish Medical Device manufacturers. His primary roles have involved business strategy design, risk management, sales and marketing strategies, and management of key ANZ accounts including Ramsay Health, Healthscope and St Vincent’s Health Australia.

Ross is a member of the Fundraising and Marketing Sub-Committee of Odyssey House. He also supports his local community with pro-bono mentorship and coaching for small businesses and individuals.

Ross has a passion for advocating the rights of vulnerable and marginalised people.

Rob Lake

Board Director

Rob has worked and volunteered in the NSW community sector for over 30 years since arriving from New Zealand in 1987. He has worked in community development, service delivery as well as policy and advocacy. He currently manages the aged care (social support) programs at Newtown Neighbourhood Centre. He most recently was CEO at Great Community Transport in Penrith, Blue Mountains and before that worked as CEO at Positive Life NSW from 2007 and AFAO, the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations from 2011. Rob has a passion for advocacy and for the Home Care program and for services that support older people to live well at home and in their communities. Rob has been a Director of the AIDS Trust of Australia, NCOSS, Active Job Services, Parramatta and Marrickville Legal Centre.

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