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Our national team of advocates is available Monday to Friday 8am–8pm and Saturday 10am-4pm 

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Our board

Our Board of Directors comprises representatives from each network member organisation, and each brings a unique set of expertise and experiences to deliver effective governance.

The Board of Directors can be contacted here.

Board members

Ara Cresswell, Non-executive Chairperson

Ara Cresswell is OPAN’s first Independent, Non-Executive Chairperson.  Ara is an experienced board director, executive manager and policy adviser in the not-for-profit sector. Senior management roles include CEO Carers Australia, for over  Acting CEO and Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Reconciliation Australia, CEO of Homelessness Australia and CEO of the ACT Council of Social Service. 

She has a passion for securing a better future for older people.

Paul Bull, Non-executive Director

Paul is a Non-Executive Director with deep finance, audit, risk and governance experience. He is a Chartered Accountant (FCA) and Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

He was a  partner of BDO Chartered Accountants and its antecedent firms for over 30 years. Over his professional career Paul was involved in the audit of many not-for-profit entities in the health, aged care and social services sector.

Susan Barrera, Director

Susan is the chair of Advocare WA. Susan has worked for over 30 years in a number of senior management and policy positions in the Western Australian public sector. Her last position was Director General, Department for Communities. Prior to that she was Executive Director, Labour Relations. She also held senior policy and management positions in the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Corrective Services. She currently works as a consultant specialising in training, human resource, organisational development and evaluation.

Anne Burgess, Director

Anne has invaluable and extensive experience at an executive level in government with previous roles as Director of Mental Health at the Dept. of Human Services, Director of the Office for Women and Acting Commissioner at the Equal Opportunity Commission. She is Chair of South’s Australia’s Aged Rights Advocacy Service, Vice-President of COTA SA and Chair of its Policy Council, and Chair of the Community Visitor Scheme’s Advisory Committee.

Judy Davis, Director

Judy is an experienced Board Director and Executive Manager with demonstrated success in government and not for profit organisations across health, community and social service sectors. With postgraduate academic qualifications in Public Health, Governance, Company Directorship and Strategic Management, Judy is skilled in leading management teams to plan, deliver and assess programs to address identified needs, deliver quality services and make a difference in people’s lives. She brings these skills to her governance role with OPAN.

Liz Kearins, Director

Liz is an experienced senior executive, board director and consultant, with expertise in strategy, culture change, engagement, and communication. Her diverse background spans the management consultancy, utilities, healthcare, local government, environment, tourism, and media sectors.  She also chairs the board of Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia.

Helen McDevitt, Director

Helen was appointed as Chair of the ADACAS Board in December 2019 after retiring from a senior Australian public servant career. She has a passion for supporting and improving the lives of people living with a disability and young people by promoting social inclusion, education and workforce participation. Helen has contributed to national reforms in the health, education and social services sectors and played a vital role in transitioning to the NDIS.

Janis (Jan) Porter, Director

Jan joined the OPAN Board in June 2023. She is the President of Elder Rights Advocacy (ERA) and has been a Director of ERA since April 2021 .She has a background the Federal and Northern Territory Public service, the mining industry and merchant banking, consultancy and tourism.  Jan is a strong believer in human rights and equity, particularly for those whose voice is not always heard.