Uniting Annual Report 2020-2021

Meet our Board.


In FY21, the Board Members of Uniting NSW.ACT collectively leveraged their 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 with broad experience across the non-profit sector, having acted for and been a member of many community and charitable organisations. Her areas of expertise include aged care, health and community services, affordable housing and Aboriginal communities.


Heather served the maximum 9-year term as a board member of UnitingCare Queensland, with 7 years as Chairperson. She also holds directorships with: Community Services Industry Alliance Ltd (Chairperson); Epic Good Foundation (Chairperson); Uniting Vic.Tas; Australian Regional and Remote Community Services, a subsidiary of UnitingCare Qld and service provider in the Northern Territory; National Affordable Housing Consortium Ltd; and SEFA Partnerships Ltd. She is also a member of the Advisory Council to the Queensland Family and Child Commission.


Heather joined the Uniting Board in July 2015 and was appointed Chairperson in October 2016.  She is a lifelong member of the Uniting Church.

Dr Andrew Young

Board Member

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


Andrew is an engineer with a background in business strategy with Andersen Consulting. His first not-for-profit role was head of marketing for The Smith Family from 2000; he then served as CanTeen Australia’s CEO for 8 years, winning Equity Trustees’ Not-for-profit CEO First Year Achiever Award in 2005. He was the CEO of the multi-university partnership, the Centre for Social Impact, from 2012 until 2016, and CEO of mental health charity Stride from 2017 until 2021.  He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Andrew joined the Uniting Board in July 2015 and is also a Director of the Uniting Church in Australia, NSW and ACT Synod Board. Andrew was Chair of the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee during the financial year until 31 January 2021.

Rev. Dr Elenie Poulos

Board Member

Elenie has more than 20 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, working in public policy, advocacy and government relations, and as a non-executive director.


Ordained in the Uniting Church in Australia, Elenie served for 15 years as the National Director of Uniting Justice Australia, the Church’s national justice policy and advocacy unit, offering leadership on matters of social and economic justice, human rights, peacemaking and the environment. She is an independent researcher and provides consultancy services to not-for-profit organisations and civil society groups.


Elenie is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has served on committees and boards for the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches in Australia (including as Chair of Act for Peace) and the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). Elenie is also a non-executive director of a start-up project to develop a wellbeing index for Australia. She has a PhD in politics, specialising in religion and politics.


Elenie joined the Uniting Board in July 2019.

Rev. Jane Fry

Board Member

Reverend Jane Fry commenced as General Secretary of the Synod of NSW and the ACT on 1 September 2017. This followed 5 years as Associate Secretary of the Synod.


Jane was ordained as a Minister of the Word on 28 November 1995 and since then has worked in several ministry settings, including congregational ministry, police chaplaincy and presbytery leadership. Her ministry experience has given her a very broad perspective on the opportunities and realities facing the Uniting Church today.


Jane believes that the vision and call of the Uniting Church, as stated in the Basis of Union, remains as compelling as when it was first presented. The current challenge of telling and living the story of God’s reconciling love within and beyond our gathered communities, is an essential witness in a divided and dividing world. Bringing together disciples with a passionate imagination, creativity and commitment to changing the world in God’s image is core business for the Church today.

Kristal Kinsela

Board Member

Kristal is a proud Aboriginal woman, a descendant of both the Jawoyn and Wiradjuri nations.  Kristal has more than 16 years’ experience in education and training, organisational and workforce development, and supplier diversity working across government, corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Kristal is passionate about creating lasting pathways and growing the capabilities of Indigenous businesses and individuals.


Kristal is a well-known Aboriginal businesswoman and entrepreneur, a multiple award winner, and has worked across Australia. She is highly regarded as a skilled facilitator, an expert in stakeholder engagement, and as a project manager. She is recognised as a national expert in supplier diversity, having authored the first and only book in Australia on Indigenous business procurement: ‘Supplier Diversity How.’



Kristal is a Director of the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA), a Director of Many Rivers, and a board member of Woolworths Group First Nations Board.



Kristal joined the Uniting Board in November 2020.

Dr Leanne Morton

Board Member

Leanne is a leading health professional whose career highlights encompass both clinical and professional achievements. She has worked in the private and not-for-profit sectors, in senior management and at the director level. Leanne has worked extensively in the aged care, primary heath and acute healthcare sectors, and her doctorate in Health Services Management looks at public policy and change.


Her governance experience spans committee and non-executive roles including Chair. Leanne has maintained a consultancy in change management since 2011, providing advice on changing ways of working and adapting to new infrastructure in the public and education sectors.


Leanne joined the Uniting Board in November 2020.

Liz Nicol

Board Member

Liz is an experienced leadership consultant with expertise in organisational behaviour and culture change. She is co-founder and former Executive Director of SafetyWorks Group, working across a wide range of sectors and bringing skills in leadership and collaborative approaches to engage people toward achieving organisational vision, particularly around culture change, risk and assurance.


Liz is a Fellow of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Governance Institute of Australia. She holds several Board and Advisory Board directorships across health, education and governance.  She has a Master of Business Administration, as well as qualifications in occupational health and safety, and nursing.


Liz is interested in creating cultures that enhance the lives of the people who are served by organisations, as well as the people who work within organisations.


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

David Pigott

Board Member

David has worked in senior levels across the charity and government sectors. He has been a member of Mission Australia’s executive team, private secretary to NSW premiers, and served as an adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Federal Treasurer.


He is a member of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Advisory Board and the NSW Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing, and was a former board member of ChildFund Australia and Chair of the Ella Centre. David is also an Elder of St David’s Uniting Church in Haberfield.


David joined the Uniting Board in November 2020.

Michael Talbot

Board Member

Michael is an experienced non-executive director and senior consultant advising on business development and strategy, organisation design, digital transformation and executive coaching.  He has previously led client service operations in major public-sector organisations, including as National Group Manager for retail operations of Australia Post, and as Deputy Secretary, Courts and Tribunals in the NSW Department of Justice. This included the reform and digital transformation of services in multibillion-dollar operations supporting millions of client service transactions each year, and the repurposing and effective utilisation of a portfolio of assets worth over $1.5 billion.


Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Majoring in Finance, Accounting and Systems (UNSW), is a Fellow of CPA Australia 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. He is also a Director of the Uniting Church in Australia, NSW and ACT Synod Board. 

Peter Wells

Board Member

Peter has extensive professional experience with governments, communities and industries at many levels across roles covering service delivery, governance, compliance and regulation, complaints management, management structures and controls, purchasing, customer service, and conducting major reforms. He has over 10 years’ experience as a non-executive board director with boards in government, not-for-profit and ASX-listed companies.



He has a passion for excellence in service delivery, regulatory compliance, and in seeking large and important community outcomes in NSW and Australia.


Peter has worked 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. Peter has Bachelor and Master degrees, and advanced management qualifications from numerous vocational studies. He has also completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ graduate course.



Peter joined the Uniting Board in October 2017 and is Chairperson of the Board’s Care and Safety Committee.

Sara Watts

Board Member

Sara is a non-executive director and audit and risk committee chairperson with more than 20 years of financial and operational experience in a range of sectors including technology, education, government, and mineral resources. Sara is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of CPA Australia.


Sara’s previous executive experience includes 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 and New Zealand.  Sara continues to mentor emerging and transitioning leaders, and teaches ethics at a local primary school.


Sara joined the Uniting Board in November 2019 and commenced as Chairperson of the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee from 1 February 2021.

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 joined Uniting’s predecessor Service Board in 2009 and the Uniting NSW.ACT Board in March 2014, upon its establishment. 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 retired from the Uniting Board in October 2020.

Gillian Coutts

Board Member

Gillian’s career began with Shell Australia Limited before moving into executive roles in sales and operations at David Jones and Pacific Brands. She now consults in change management and leadership development.

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 NSW.ACT Board in March 2014, upon its establishment.

Gillian retired from the Uniting Board in October 2020.