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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.

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.

Matthew Cleary

Board Director

Matthew has extensive management and not for profit governance experience across a range of sectors including Health, Social and Disability. Within the Age Care space, he has worked as a Senior Project Manager for the Older Persons Advocacy Network. Matthew has also worked extensively overseas in humanitarian management roles supporting people and communities in need. Additionally, he has worked for St Vincent de Paul as Executive Officer based at the Matthew Talbot Hostel and as a consultant at PwC on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care.

Matthew is currently the CEO for the Mater Dei Organisation, who work together with families and carers to provide innovative and contemporary education and therapy services to babies, children and young adults with an Intellectual Disability or developmental delay. Matthew has a Masters in Health Services Management (Health MBA), a Bachelor of Nursing as well as being a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Nitika Bhala

Board Director

Nitika’s educational qualifications includes a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Economics, and a Bachelor of Commerce. Additionally, she is an associate member of CPA Australia.

With over a decade of diverse experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors, Nitika now works as the Senior Finance Manager at YWCA Australia. Nitika leads financial operations for three entities, managing a $30M revenue portfolio.

Nitika has over six years of experience in leading the external audit process, including financial statement mapping and preparation of year-end statutory and other reporting.

Hakan Harman

Chairperson

Hakan has a Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Commerce qualifications. He is highly regarded in his field, being acknowledged as a Fellow of CPA Australia, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.
Hakan’s profound understanding of the importance of public institutions and his unwavering dedication to effective governance, leadership, and operational management have equipped him with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve social, economic, and cultural outcomes.
Currently, Hakan is the Chief Operating Officer of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In addition to this role, he assumes the responsibilities of Chair of Seniors Rights Services Limited and serves as a member of the Macquarie Street East steering committee. Furthermore, Hakan takes on the role of executive sponsor for the Art Gallery Sustainability and Diversity and Inclusion steering committees, highlighting his extensive knowledge of and commitment to promoting sustainability and diversity.
Throughout his career, Hakan has held significant positions, including Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Multicultural NSW, Chief Operating Officer of the State Library of New South Wales, Chair of the NSW Settlement Immigration Planning Committee, and NSW Government representative on both the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters and the Commonwealth Senior Officials Settlement Outcomes group.
Hakan’s expertise extends beyond a single sector, as he has cultivated partnerships with a strong emphasis on human rights, social cohesion and equitable access. His profound understanding of demographic and socio-economic indicators has enabled him to identify gaps and advocate for resources to address social inequity. Moreover, Hakan’s extensive experience in governance, commercial, strategic, and operational leadership has equipped him with the skills necessary to oversee significant state assets and manage substantial operating and capital budgets, including the recent successful expansion of the Art Gallery of New South Wales through the Sydney Modern Project.

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. 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.

Jane Saphin

Board Director

Jane holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Biomedical Science and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Jane has over 30 years’ experience in the Health Care industry, including 12 years in global product management for 2 Australian medical device manufacturers, ResMed and Cochlear and 13 years in senior leadership roles with 3M Australia and New Zealand. Jane was an Executive Director for 3M Australia and New Zealand and Director and General Manager of 3M Health Care.
Jane is currently the Business Manager, Supportive Care and Integrative Oncology, at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. Jane is also a volunteer coach for the Harding Miller Education Foundation, an Australian charity that supports high potential but socio-economically disadvantaged girls across Australia.
Her passion for seniors’ rights was influenced by her parents who were both strong contributors to the community throughout their lives and were both impacted by multiple cancers towards the end of their lives. This significantly impacted their quality of life and a variety of experiences with home care services and residential aged care.

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