Meet our directors
Chief Executive Officer
Michael has held senior management and leadership roles with five major non-profit organisations in the aged and community sector, including as Chief Executive Officer of Tasmania’s largest aged care provider.
An experienced business leader, his success lies in developing growth strategies for organisations as they move towards greater client engagement, involvement and empowerment in all aspects of service delivery.
A qualified accountant, he is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants and Australian Institute of Management, and Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has also held a range of directorships with community and charitable organisations.
General Manager, Member and Client Services
After beginning her nursing career in a Brisbane hospital’s spinal unit, Frances decided to move into a community-based job, which is how she began work with Spinal Life Australia in 1988.
Frances oversees four services within the organisation: the Spinal Allied Health Service, Employment Options, Peer Support and the Information Service. Frances describes the client relationships and the positive and supportive culture of the organisation as the best things about her job.
General Manager, People, Learning and Culture
As an experienced HR Professional, Paula has developed her career in a variety of industries in both the public and private sector. Before joining Spinal Life Australia, Paula has worked in many facets of HR, across a diverse range of sectors including mining, not-for-profit, consulting and manufacturing.
Concurrently with her role as General Manager, she also holds Office as State Council Member on the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI). In her General Manager role, Paula leads the team that oversees the areas of HR, Recruitment, Safety, and Learning and Development at the organisation.
Paula remains dedicated to best practice and sound leadership of people which contributes to optimal performance of the greater business.
General Manager, Personal Support and Home Care Services
Pauline has extensive experience in human service delivery agencies including child safety, youth justice and most recently disability services. Most recently, Pauline has managed her own consulting business and undertaken work for government and non-government agencies.
Pauline has had significant experience in implementing major change agendas and in guiding and managing staff through difficult organisational change processes. Pauline has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Queensland.
General Manager, Community Development
An experienced marketing and media practitioner for 30 years, John joined Spinal Life Australia in 1994, advocating for services for people with a spinal cord injury and their families by seeking to work cooperatively with government, business and the community.
John leads the organisation’s Inclusive Communities program aimed at maximising the social and economic performance of venues and regions.
General Manager, Finance and Quality
Jo joined Spinal Life Australia in 2005 as an experienced Accountant from the not-for-profit sector. Having worked in both for-profit and not-for-profit organisations, she prefers to apply her skills in an altruistic environment.
Jo was subsequently appointed to the position of Finance Manager before being appointed General Manager Finance and Quality. Jo is committed to quality principles and the pursuit of business excellence across the organisation.
She has a Bachelor of Business (Major in Professional Accounting) and is a Member of the Institute of Public Accountants.
General Manager, Commercial Opportunities
Mark has a broad commercial background incorporating senior management roles in public companies, privately-owned enterprises, government and semi-government organisations as well as in consulting.
He comes to Spinal Life Australia with a successful record in developing new markets both in Australia and overseas, guiding companies through growth phases and enhancing asset values. He is a CPA and also a member of Chartered Secretaries Australia.
Until recently, Mark was Group General Manager of the family-owned Longhurst Group – a substantial set of businesses operating in the retail, property, accommodation and marine industries. His role is to develop existing commercial business activities and identify and establish new business ventures, leading to commercial returns for the organisation.
General Manager, Marketing and Fundraising
Liliana Montague was appointed General Manager of Marketing and Fundraising in June 2014. Her former positions include National Marketing Manager for Endeavour Foundation; Executive Director for the Departments of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and Premier and Cabinet; Chief Executive Officer of Surfers Paradise Alliance; Director of Marketing City/Fortitude Valley for Brisbane Marketing; General Manager of Brisbane City Heart Business Association: Retail and Marketing Manager for CB Richard Ellis; Marketing Manager of Wintergarden Shopping Centre; Divisional Accountant for Kern Corporation Ltd and an accountant with Ernst and Young.
Liliana has qualifications in marketing, accounting, music and languages and has been awarded international and national awards for marketing initiatives and campaigns.
Regional Manager, North Queensland
Graeme Kerkin has worked in the Human Services area both in State Government and the not-for-profit sector, in services that have included Youth, Families and Homelessness and Disability programs.
For the past six years Graeme has worked in a management role within the Disability Services area in South Australia, most recently as General Manager – Client Services and primarily in services that provide support to people who have a physical and intellectual disability, in the areas of supported accommodation, day options, in-home support, supported employment and recreational activities.