Our Board of Directors

Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury is one of the NSW Lifeline centres accredited by Lifeline Australia and accountable to Lifeline Australia for the governance of its operations.

Carel Bothma – President

Carel Bothma joined the Board of Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury in July 2012. He commenced his career by specialising in Recruitment, Industrial Relations, and Organisational Development for 10 years before joining an executive leadership team leading the Human Resources function. Carel has gained his international HR experience from working in South Africa, Asia, New Zealand and project work in Europe. He relocated to Australia from South Africa in 1998 with Sara Lee Corporation as HR Director to establish HR functions for Nutrimetics in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand. As a business partner, he has introduced a number of organisational effectiveness initiatives such as continuous improvement, high performing culture and culture change initiatives to achieve business results. Carel’s entry into healthcare came when he joined Australian Hearing as HR Director and then St Vincent’s Health for an assignment. He then joined The Salvation Army Aged Care Plus in May 2015 as head of HR and later acting CEO and is currently General Manager HR Services.


He holds an honours degree majoring in Business Economics and Organisational Psychology, postgraduate diploma in Industrial Relations, a Masters Degree in Human Resources.




David Scott – Deputy President

David joined the Board of Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury in September 2013. He is also Chair of the Retail and Property Committee. David has degrees in science, business and policy and is presently undertaking a PhD in social policy at UNSW.

Most recently David was a senior executive at Commonwealth Bank where he had responsibility for group mergers and acquisitions in the group strategy division. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.



.Mark Hedges – Treasurer

Mark joined the Board of Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury in 2016, and has been a member of our Finance Audit and Risk Committee since then. He became Treasurer and chair of the Finance Audit and Risk Committee in March 2017. His career spans more than 40 years in commercial and financial roles in the listed corporates.

He has been associated with community works for many years, having experience on the board of a community hospital in South Australia and an appointment to a community trust established to assist people affected by the closure of a significant industry in regional NSW. He is a member of Turramurra Rotary and was President in 2016-17.

Mark has a bachelor’s degree in Business Studies, masters degrees in business administration and also applied finance. He is a CPA, a Fellow of the Finance and Treasurers Association and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is a Director and Deputy Chair of Hunter United Employees Credit Union and Newcastle Anglican Church Corporation.



Mike Thomas – Secretary

Mike joined the Board in September 2018. He is also a Volunteer Telephone Crisis Supporter with Lifeline.

Mike has a Bachelor Degree in Economics and Social Development, an MBA, a post-graduate Diploma in Property and Finance, and a Diploma in HR.

Prior to coming to Australia, Mike worked with an international development organisation in Wales, managing their training and development, including a number of projects in Eastern Europe. Following this, he advised some of Wales’ fastest growing companies, mainly in the food industry, to develop growth strategies and seek capital to realise these.

Mike came to Australia in 2002 to join the NSW Department of State and Regional Development, where he worked for 5 years developing and managing programs to support high growth food and biotech companies. He subsequently went on to spearhead Economic Development at Parramatta City Council, facilitating some of the growth seen in the City of Parramatta over the last 15 years or so. He’s currently the Head of Economic Development at Blacktown City Council.

Mike has also spent a period of time in the not-for-profit sector. This included the establishment of national youth charity Whitelion in NSW, and the role of the CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Greater Western Sydney.

Mike is married and has 3 boys. His interests outside of work include motorbikes, climbing and the outdoors, and DIY.



Barbara Ward – Board MemberICC_BarbaraWard_web

Barbara joined the board of Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury in March 2017.

Barbara is the Managing Director of Impact 1 and has a held a variety of senior commercial, customer, strategic alliance and finance roles across the industry, both onshore and overseas. Barbara has a career that spans Government, Corporate, Not for Profit and the Charity sector and is known as a ‘change agent’.  Barbara is the current President of Rotary Club of Sydney, Lupus Australia, SHARE (SMR) Inc, Nutrition Australia NSW, and; Immediate past President of the Australia India Business Council NSW.

Barbara holds non-executive positions on several boards including the World Lupus Federation, the Royal Rehabilitation NSW Agency for Clinical Excellence. Barbara is the former President of the Fundraising Institute of Australia and is a Fellow.

In 2019 she was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship, Leadership in International Mental Health, Excellence in Community Service on Australia Day, and is Nominee for the AFR 100 Women of Influence. Barbara was awarded “Ku-ring-gai Local Woman of the Year 2017”, amongst many other awards for her leadership in business and the community.

Barbara’s passion for good public policy stems from her experience that a strong economy is the basis of a just society and she works tirelessly at every level to make life better for those less fortunate. She has a strong commitment to helping others and building stronger communities with a focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing.



Doreen Kirby – Board Member

Doreen joined the Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury Board in December 2017 and has been a member of the Gala Ball Fundraising Committee since August 2016.

She is passionate about volunteering and has supported youth focused education and sports programs in management and fundraising roles over many years.

Doreen is head of marketing for Royal Bank of Canada’s Capital Markets arm in Australia.  Her career in institutional banking includes roles in Sydney with Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie Bank and County NatWest and in London with Salomon Smith Barney.  Doreen has a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing, a Certificate in Financial Markets from FINSIA, and published an academic paper ‘Ethical decision making for Marketers’.



Chris Kinsella – Board MemberCHRIS KINSELLA

Chris joined the Board of Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury in August 2013 and is a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee.

Chris is also an Ambassador for the Vinnies CEO Sleepout and has participated in 9 CEO Sleepouts to raise awareness and funding for homelessness.

Chris is a lawyer and chartered accountant with a focus on taxation law. Chris has over 30 years professional experience and has practised in Sydney, London and Singapore. He is a partner in the law firm Minter Ellison.

Chris has a Masters of Law from Cambridge University, a Masters of Economics from Macquarie University and undergraduate law and economics degrees from Sydney University. He also holds a diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute (now known as Finsia).



Peter Tuchin – Board Member 

Dr Peter Tuchin has worked at Macquarie University for over 27 years and is currently an Associate Professor. Peter’s areas of research include the relationship of posture with neck pain, headaches and migraine, chronic pain syndromes, and the relationship of vertebral artery dissection stroke with chiropractic.

Peter has been President of the Chiropractic & Osteopathic College of Australia (COCA) and was recently made a Life Member of COCA. Peter is also a member of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) Disability and Rehabilitation committee and has had over 30 papers accepted for WFC Congresses, where he received several international research awards. Peter also conducted one of the largest RCT’s on chiropractic and migraine to date.

Peter has had a long relationship with Lifeline through his wife (Tessa Marshall) and is also currently a member of the Gala Ball committee