Uniting Annual Report 2019-2020

Meet our Board.


The Board members of Uniting NSW.ACT bring together a broad range of disciplines and skills across decades of experience in both commercial and not-for-profit enterprises.”

Heather Watson


Heather is a specialist charity lawyer and governance consultant. She brings more than 30 years of legal and industry experience in aged care, health and community services, affordable housing and philanthropy.


Heather has previously been Chair and a Board member of UnitingCare Queensland, and is an active member of the Uniting Church. She holds directorships with Uniting Vic.Tas, Australian Regional and Remote Community Services, the National Affordable Housing Consortium Ltd, Queensland Rail, and Children’s Health Queensland.

She is also a member of the Advisory Council to the Queensland Family and Child Commission and the Advisory Board to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

Robyn Brown

Board Member

Robyn’s diverse 25-year business consultancy career has included championing enterprise resource planning practices and pioneering the discipline of change management at Accenture, as senior partner. She also has expertise in senior executive recruitment with a global search organisation.

Previously Chair of the Uniting Council Sydney North and a Board member of Uniting Mission and Education, Robyn brings deep knowledge and skills in program and project management, governance and risk, people and HR systems.


Robyn is also active in the community through the Uniting Church and volunteers in Asia with Habitat for Humanity.

Robyn retired from the Uniting NSW.ACT Board in September 2019.

Anne Carroll

Board Member

Anne has an extensive background working in senior management roles within private hospitals. She is a registered nurse with a postgraduate degree in Public Health, majoring in Health Services Management. 


Anne has served on Uniting Boards since 2009. In addition to her roles with Uniting, Anne is Chair of the Private Hospital Benchmarking Group and the Day Surgery Benchmarking Group, Non-executive Director/Treasurer for Family Drug Support, and Non-executive Director for Arthritis NSW. 


Anne joined Uniting’s predecessor Service Board in 2010 and the Uniting Board in March 2014, upon its establishment. Anne is Chairperson of the Board’s Care and Safety Committee. 

Gillian Coutts

Board Member

Gillian is a partner in The Potential Project Australia, which has a charter for bringing mindfulness-based contemplative practices to the workplace, to improve employee wellbeing, capacity and wisdom, and create a more sustainable world.


A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Gillian’s community work includes supporting women post-breast cancer, following her own treatment and recovery.

Gillian joined Uniting’s predecessor Service Board in 2005 and the Uniting Board in March 2014, upon its establishment. Gillian is the Chairperson of the Uniting War Memorial Hospital Board.

Rev. Jane Fry

Board Member

Following 5 years as Associate Secretary of the Synod of NSW and the ACT, Reverend Jane Fry commenced as General Secretary in 2017.  


Ordained as a Minister of the Word in 1995, Jane has since worked in various ministry settings, including congregational ministry, police chaplaincy and presbytery leadership. Her experience provides a broad perspective on the opportunities and realities facing the Uniting Church.


Jane has served on Uniting’s Board since 2017, as an ex-officio member in her capacity as the General Secretary of The Uniting Church Synod of NSW and the ACT.

Liz Nicol

Board Member

Liz is a leadership consultant with expertise in organisational behaviour, culture change, risk and governance. She is Executive Director of SafetyWorks Group, working with leading Australian companies to develop strategic approaches to managing health and safety effectively, and influencing organisational culture change. Liz’s experience spans a wide range of sectors and she brings her leadership skills and collaborative approaches to engage people towards achieving organisational vision.


A member of the Hunter Committee of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Liz has held previous Board and Chair roles in both commercial and not-for-profit organisations. She is a Fellow of the AICD and the Governance Institute of Australia, and holds a Master of Business Administration and qualifications in nursing and occupational health and safety.


Liz joined the Uniting Board in October 2017 and is the Chairperson of the Board’s Mission Governance and Collaboration Committee.

Bronwyn Pike

Board Member

Following an early teaching career, Bronwyn joined the Victorian Uniting Church as Director of Justice and Social Responsibility. She managed the delivery of a broad range of health, social and educational services through more than 100 UnitingCare agencies.


Elected to the Victorian Parliament in 1999, Bronwyn held the portfolios of Housing, Aged Care, Community Services, Health and Education.


Bronwyn joined the Uniting Board in July 2015 and retired from the Board in September 2019, to take up the role of Executive Director for Uniting Vic.Tas.

Rev. Elenie Poulos

Board Member

Reverend Elenie Poulos has more than 20 years’ experience in public policy, advocacy and government relations in the not-for-profit sector.  Elenie is an ordained minister in the Uniting Church.


From 2002-2017, Elenie was National Director of Uniting Justice Australia, responsible for the Church’s national public policy program on issues of social and economic justice, human rights, peace, and the environment. She has extensive experience representing the Church and ecumenical bodies in the public sphere, including in the media and in civil society coalitions, both nationally and internationally.


A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Elenie’s board and committee experience includes the Commission of the Churches for International Affairs (World Council of Churches), Act for Peace (the international development agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia), the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, and the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). She is currently a non-executive director of a start-up national project to develop a wellbeing index for Australia, and is a doctoral candidate in politics at Macquarie University, working in the field of religion and politics.


Elenie joined the Uniting Board in July 2019 and also sits on the Uniting War Memorial Hospital Board.

Michael Talbot

Board Member

Michael is a non-executive director with experience as Chair of the Law Courts Limited and the Australian Disputes Centre. He is a skilled senior executive and leadership consultant in the services industry, with expertise in client service design and digital transformation that creates customer value, brand recognition and financial sustainability. 


In his roles at Australia Post and the NSW Department of Justice, he managed asset portfolios worth more than $1.5 billion, capitalising on under-utilised assets and reinvesting in developments aligned with contemporary goals and community stakeholders.


Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Majoring in Finance, Accounting and Systems (UNSW) is a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants, and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Michael joined the Uniting Board in October 2017 and is Chairperson of the Board’s Finance, Investment and Capital Committee.

Sara Watts

Board Member

Sara is a non-executive director with experience in a range of sectors including government, disability, technology, and mineral resources. She has strong finance, governance and technology skills and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of CPA Australia.


Sara’s former executive roles included CEO (Interim) of City West Housing, Vice-Principal Operations at The University of Sydney, and Chief Financial Officer and Executive Sponsor Corporate Responsibility, IBM Australia/New Zealand.  Sara is an active mentor of emerging finance leaders and received the ARN Women in ICT Achievement Award (WIICTA) in 2013 for her leadership skills and commitment to women in the Australian technology industry. 


Sara joined the Uniting Board in November 2019 and is Chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Peter Wells

Board Member

Peter has extensive experience working with governments, communities and industry, and has a passion for excellence in service delivery, governance, and regulatory compliance.

Peter has served as Executive Director at NSW Roads and Maritime Services, and in senior roles at the NSW Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, and the NSW Environment Protection Authority. 


Holding Bachelor and Master degrees, Peter is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Peter joined the Uniting Board in October 2017.

Dr Andrew Young

Board Member

Andrew is the Chief Executive Officer of Stride Mental Health (formerly known as Aftercare), Australia’s oldest specialist mental health charity, providing support services for children, youth and adults with complex mental health needs since 1907. Stride has 750 staff supporting 17,500 service users in over 50 locations.


Dedicated to improving the effectiveness of social impact across sectors, Andrew brings a systems approach and is passionate about having a strong outcomes focus, evidence and measurement, collaboration and leadership development.


A trained engineer with a background in business strategy consulting for Andersen Consulting, Andrew’s first not-for-profit role was head of marketing for The Smith Family. He was CEO of CanTeen Australia from 2004 to 2011, winning Equity Trustee’s Not-for-profit CEO First Year Achiever Award in 2005. He was also the CEO of multi-university partnership, the Centre for Social Impact, from 2012 to 2016.


Andrew joined the Uniting Board in July 2015 and is Chairperson of the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee.