Seton Villa is an incorporated work of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. It is a Company limited by guarantee incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001. The Board is responsible for the governance and strategic direction of Seton Villa. As non-executive Directors, the Board members are not remunerated for the work that they do to ensure that Seton Villa continues to pursue its mission providing support to women with intellectual disabilities.
Responsibility for the day-to-day management of the organisation is delegated to the Executive Management Team.
Mr Marco Colli – Chair
BSc, BE (Hons 1), MBA, GAICD
Marco was appointed to the Board in April 2016. He has been the Chair of the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee and was appointed Board Chair in August 2018.
He runs his own consultancy firm specialising in interim and contract management services. Before starting this business, he was a senior executive with Schneider Electric, managing a local business unit involved in providing operational technology solutions and turnkey projects for infrastructure customers. Marco has many years of corporate and financial management experience and applies these extensive skills in assisting the management of Seton Villa.
Sr Debra McCarthy – Provincial Delegate, Provincial Councillor and Director
Sr Debra entered the Daughters of Charity in 1982 after graduation as a speech pathologist and six years working in the field of children with multiple disabilities including the deaf and visually impaired. Sr Debra also has a degree in Theology and Clinical Pastoral Education.
As a Daughter of Charity, Sr Debra has extensive experience in residential care, pastoral care in acute health as well as many years in various roles in disability services. Her leadership experience includes seven years as CEO of Marillac [disability service], Provincial Treasurer [six years] and Director of Pastoral Care at Calvary Health Care ACT [eight years].
Sr Debra has been on a number of Boards within the services of the Daughters of Charity and in other not-for-profit agencies. These include St Mary’s House of Welcome, Marillac and Seton Villa [2000-2006, 2018-]. Sr Debra has twice been a Trustee/Provincial Councillor of the Daughters of Charity, 1999-2006, 2015- and is currently the Delegate of the Provincial on the Board of Seton and St Mary’s House of Welcome.
Ms Shauna Jarrett – Director
BA (Hons), LLB
Shauna is an experienced senior executive and Non-Executive Director with a background in strategic design and implementation, governance and fund-raising strategy. She is accomplished in the education, legal, arts and community sectors and public policy.
With over 20 years’ experience at board level, Shauna is currently a Trustee of the Australian Museum, Non-Executive Director of Force Majeure Dance Theatre and runs a governance/legal consultancy.
Mr Craig Heinjus – Director
Grad Dip Planning, BArch, MAICD
Craig has over 20 years of property management and development related experience in the public and private sectors. Craig’s experience predominantly resides in the human service environment, working with Community Housing Providers and the Disability and Aboriginal sectors.
Craig currently holds a senior management role in Government responsible for managing complex capital works at program and project management levels. Craig was instrumental in the delivery of new disability housing and refurbishment of group homes across NSW in readiness of the NDIS.
Craig holds a degree in architecture and post graduate qualifications in town planning. He is passionate about his contribution of his property skills in support of Seton Villa’s work.
Mr John Cassimatis – Director
BBus, Grad Dip App Fin, FFin
Mr John Cassimatis was appointed to the Board of Seton Villa on 16 February 2018. John is an experienced project development and finance executive with a proven track record in delivering major property and infrastructure projects for Government and large corporations.
He has led high performing teams delivering greenfield developments and refurbishment projects for organisations including NSW Police, Fire & Rescue NSW and Stockland Corporation Ltd.
John’s previous work in facilities and asset management services along with his funds management experience will be valuable in our mission to deliver a caring and empowering community for Seton Villa’s clients.
Mr Wallace Fan – Director
B.A Econ, MBA, CFA, GAICD
Wallace is a strategic finance and investment specialist with a deep interest in social impact, social enterprises and disruptive innovations. He brings over 20 years of commercial and financial management experience in helping corporates in various capital and strategic funding initiatives. In addition to his commercial interests, he is also an adjunct faculty of the School of Banking & Finance at UNSW Business School.
Wallace joined the Board of Seton Villa in February 2019 and will Chair the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee.
Suzanne Brown – Director
Suzanne Brown was appointed to the Board of Seton Villa on 9 August 2021. Suzanne is an experienced business development and fundraising executive with over 25 years in not for profit and corporate industries.
Suzanne is passionate about helping people in the community and making a difference. She is committed to help Seton Villa achieve the goal of empowering the lives of women with intellectual disabilities.
Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Science, an MBA, a Diploma of Nutrition and a Certificate in Fundraising.
John has over 35 years of management experience in diverse businesses in the private and public sectors. John has been involved with the disability sector since the initial roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Western Sydney and has a good understanding of the opportunities and challenges that the NDIS presents to people living with disability.
As an Aboriginal man of the Wiradjuri people, John has a keen interest in social justice and has been involved with various ‘for purpose’ organisations particularly in the areas of strategy, leadership and governance. His interest in continuous improvement helps organisations develop systems and processes that contribute to providing value for money businesses.
John is also a Director of Wentworth Healthcare that supports the delivery of primary health care services in the Nepean, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury regions.
Ms Judi Higgin – Deputy Chair
BA. Social Sciences, EMBA, Grad Dip Community Sector Management
Judi has been actively and passionately employed in the human services sector for over 30 years, including senior executive roles.
Judi is committed to the principles of recovery, empowering individuals to achieve their potential by exercising their rights to choice and control over their own lives. Judi sees the biggest challenge facing the sector as achieving a balance between the changing nature of government funding and the importance of strategic partnerships, technology and sustainability – for both the sector and individual organisations.
Judi has strong skills, capabilities and experience in governance, strategy, finance and risk management as well as comprehensive board experience given her tenure as a Director of MHCC and Ostara Australia.
Our Executive Management Team
Peter Gardiner – CEO
BSW MBA GAICD FIML
Peter has over 40 years of professional social work and management experience in the human services sector, with a focus around social inclusion and citizenship for people with disability in both government and not for profit organisations.
Prior to Seton Villa, Peter was the CEO of Samaritans Foundation, Diocese of Newcastle responsible for 730+ employees serving people with disabilities including 20 group homes, day projects, community participation and support coordination. Peter has a special interest in clinical governance as part of the Quality Improvement Framework.
Peter has held senior management position with CatholicCare Sydney as Senior Manager Organisational Development, Regional Director of NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care, and Executive Director Large Residence DADHC.
Peter’s collaborative leadership is driven by values of faith, courage, integrity, justice and wisdom.
Chandra Sharma – Business Manager
CPA (Australia), CA (India)
Chandra brings over 25 years of finance, accounting and management expertise working with both commercial and Not for Profit organisations in Australia and overseas. He also has extensive experience in process and systems improvements.
Prior to Seton Villa, Chandra was CFO of Holdsworth Community Ltd, organisation providing services to people with disability, Home Care and Community Transport. He also worked with Habitat for Humanity Australia for 7 years as Head of Finance.
Chandra is passionate about working with people to achieve common outcomes.
Jessica Dunlop – Human Resources Manager
A dedicated Human Resources professional with over 13 years’ experience across major corporate and Non-Profit Organisations.
Passionate about people and making a difference in the lives of others, she has previously worked within the Indigenous sector and organisations for the deaf and hearing impaired. Expertise in relationship building, she is focused on developing organisational capability within the current team with a combined emphasis on future needs.
Loretta Downie – Head of Operations
An innovative and perceptive manager with extensive operational management experience in the disability, aged, and community sectors.
Drawn to opportunities that open themselves to growth and development, Loretta has initiated multiple programs within the disability sector that have received global recognition, winning the Roger Pysden Excellence in Innovation Award, the NSW Business Chamber Award for Innovation, and the MAA’s Project of the Year. The success of these programs highlight Loretta’s visionary approach to service delivery which have led to remarkable life enrichment and empowerment for the people she supports.
She has consistently demonstrated strong team leadership through organisational change, with a focus on improving processes, quality, and efficiency, particularly within residential settings.
Loretta leads Seton Villa’s dedicated team of House Managers across our seven homes, and oversees our relationship with the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission.
National Redress Scheme
Seton Villa has joined the National Redress Scheme – a scheme run by the Australian Government to support people who have experienced institutional childhood sexual abuse.
The National Redress Scheme provides acknowledgement and support to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse. It was created in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which estimated that 60,000 people experienced institutional child sexual abuse in Australia. The Scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years.
We acknowledge the pain and suffering of people who experienced abuse. Our hope is that our participation will offer financial and pastoral assistance to people who, to our deepest regret, were sexually abused while in care.
By participating in the scheme, we hope to contribute toward healing for people who have been impacted by the traumatic experience of childhood sexual abuse. Seton Villa is committed to ensuring that wherever we minister we provide places of safety for children and vulnerable adults.
For more information on the National Redress Scheme, visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or call the National Redress Information Line on 1800 737 377.