Siusan MacKenzie

Chief Executive Officer

Siusan is the ESFs inaugural CEO. She comes into the role with a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience developed through a career including roles in secondary teaching, senior public sector management and leadership in OHS and emergency services, and organisational development consulting with a focus on workplace health. She was responsible for driving Victoria’s formative Workplace Health and Safety campaigns and that led to a secondment with the UK government. On her return she began Workplace Health and Safety Week in Australia.

It was her drive and creative thinking that drew her to the attention of the emergency services where she established CFAs highly successful communications unit. In that role she established the important relationship with the ABC and the need for training and accreditation for media on the fireground, two initiatives with national significance. Siusan was central to CFAs response to the Linton tragedy which saw the death of five volunteers. From this her interest shifted to wellbeing in an organisational context and that resulted in various awards for her work in the construction sector.

Siusan is a change agent whose strength is her ability to quickly grasp a situation and apply sound strategic thinking to problem solve. She always looks for innovative solutions and likes nothing better than to lead sustainable best practice initiatives. She looks forward to leading a collaborative sector wide improvement in the area of mental health and wellbeing.

Tony Pearce

Director - Board Chair

It gives me a great deal of pleasure to assume the position of Chair of the Emergency Services Foundation as it continues to assist Victoria’s emergency management sector to identify ways in which to address the occurrence and health impacts of mental injury. In taking over this role I want to acknowledge the leadership provided by Patrick Kidd OBE OAM since he commenced in the position of Chair in September 2019 following a change of Constitution that saw the ESF appoint a new skills-based Board and establish a new strategic direction for the organisation. Patrick will continue as a Board member with the foundation, something that I personally appreciate him agreeing to do.

I have had an association with the Foundation since 1999 and have seen the outcomes of the good work done by the former Emergency Services Foundation and its Board. My intention is to assist the new organisation to take the next step in its journey to achieve its new strategic focus with an emphasis on becoming even more inclusive than we are now. The emergency management sector in Victoria is large and complex, made up of consummate professional and dedicated volunteers and paid staff that come from emergency service organisations, state and local government departments, non-government organisations and others. It is evident that increasingly, the members of these organisations that give so much to the Victorian community are at increasing risk of suffering a mental injury due to the type of work that they do, we are seeing larger and longer duration emergencies affecting our communities. And whilst organisations themselves have an obligation to provide as safe as is practicable a workplace that reduces the risk of all types of injury, the inherently stressful nature of the work that we all do means that there are potentially opportunities to do more in the mental health and wellbeing space through the formation of strategic partnerships to bring people together, drive research, and foster innovation.

I look forward, along with the ESF Board to continuing to work with our CEO Siusan MacKenzie, the ESF Stakeholder Council, individual organisations, and sector volunteers and paid staff to take the work of the Foundation forward.

Catherine Dunlop

Director - Deputy Chair

Catherine Dunlop is the Deputy Chair of the ESF. She is a Partner at Maddocks Lawyers assisting a range of clients with inquests, inquiries, and health and safety.

Catherine has worked with Australian emergency service and law enforcement clients in major inquiries for over 20 years. Through her work she has seen the very real toll that emergency response (and subsequent inquiries) have on emergency personnel and their families. She has a particular interest in mental health and job design, prevention of bullying and harassment and how flexible work can be designed to benefit all in the workplace.

Catherine is also a Board Director at OzChild and President of the Health Complaints Commission Advisory Council.

Andrew Carman

Director - Treasurer

Andrew is the Chief Financial Officer of BankVic. He has also previously served as Head of Finance – Strategy & Performance with BankVic.

Andrew is ESF’s Treasurer, Corporate Secretary and Public Officer. He brings 17 years of experience in the private and public sectors, including finance and commercial positions at the Victorian Government Department of Treasury & Finance, Independent Review of the State Finances, National Broadband Network, and the Commonwealth Government Industry Innovation Network. In addition, Andrew has had significant experience consulting to an ASX listed multinational corporation, and more recently, has held the position of Chief Financial Officer to one of Australia’s largest national providers of retail supplier services.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Business in Accounting, Economics & Finance and is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA).

He is motivated by results and outcomes that contribute to enhancing operational performance, and favourable financial and social outcomes.

Patrick J Kidd OBE OAM


Patrick was a Principal Consultant at Deloitte since leaving the Australian Army in early 2015.  In December 2016, he was seconded from Deloitte to serve as CEO of the Invictus Games Sydney after winning the bid to host the Games. He led the planning and delivery of the Games, building a team of over 140 full time staff and 1000 volunteers. Patrick is now Principal Consultant at Synergy 360.

Before joining Deloitte Patrick had a 30-year career in the British and Australian defence forces during which he had the privilege to work alongside people from many different nation’s leading teams in dynamic and challenging environments; his operational service has included extended service in the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia. He actively supports initiatives and organisations which enhance the health and well-being of veterans and their families and will use this experience to support Victoria’s first responders.

Patrick is now CEO of Digital Skills Organisation.

Prof. Tony Walker ASM


Tony Walker is Chief Executive Officer of Ambulance Victoria. He is a Registered Paramedic with over three decades experience working in a range of senior clinical, operational and leadership roles within the ambulance sector.

Tony holds an adjunct appointment as Associate Professor in the College of Health and Biomedicine at Victoria University and is a Fellow of Paramedics Australasia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Managers and Leaders.

In addition to his role as Board Director of the Emergency Services Foundation, Tony also holds positions as Board Director of Australasian Council of Ambulance Authorities and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

Tony is a recipient of the Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) for his contribution to the development of ambulance services at a state and national level and has also been awarded the National Heart Foundation President’s Award and the Australian Resuscitation Council Medal for his significant contributions to improving cardiovascular health and resuscitation practice and outcomes.

Tony is also an ESF Strategic Stakeholder Council member, and Council nominee on the ESF Board.

Nicole Sadler


Nicole Sadler holds the position of Senior Specialist, Military and High Risk Organisations at Phoenix Australia. Nicole came to that role from the most senior psychology position in the Australian Army, Director Strategic and Operational Mental Health/Head of Corps of the Australian Army Psychology Corps. At Phoenix Australia she initiates and leads projects and activities to reduce the burden of mental health problems associated with working in high risk organisations such as the military, the emergency services, and first responder agencies.

Nicole has worked in recruitment, assessment, counselling, mental health promotion, training, research, strategic personnel planning, and policy development. She also deployed to support ADF personnel during peace monitoring operations in Bougainville, peacekeeping operations in East Timor, humanitarian assistance following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami in South East Asia, and combat operations in the Middle East Area of Operations. Prior to joining the ESF Board Nicole contributed her mental health expertise to the ESF Learning Network.

Ian Forsyth


Ian has extensive experience in successfully developing and leading teams across complex, high profile and transitioning organisations.

Originally a journalist with the ABC, Ian moved into a range of senior executive positions across the private and public sectors, including Executive Director, Marketing & Communications with Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission; Managing Director, Norwich Union Life Australia; and Deputy Chief Executive, WorkSafe Victoria.

For the past six years he has been assisting a range of organisations inspire change for the better, in his continuing role as Managing Partner with behaviour change communications specialists, The Shannon Company.

Ian is also on the Boards of Ambulance Victoria and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).

Deb Martindale


Deb owns an independent management consultancy working with public value and not-for-profit organisations. She has worked within and for emergency services over a twenty-year period including in leadership roles with CFA, Victoria Police and the Victorian Bushfires Reconstruction and Recovery Authority.

With a focus on strategic planning and organisation development Deb uses a systems psychodynamic lens to inform her practice, helping organisations to collaborate and operate effectively. She is regularly engaged to support organisations facing challenging scenarios and has a particular interest in inter-organisation dynamics.

Deb has seen and experienced the impacts that work (and life) in the emergency management sector can have on mental health and wellbeing. She is committed to seeing evidence-based programs provided to build enduring personal and organisational resilience across the sector.

Debbie Shiell


Graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce (Sport Management) Debbie has traversed sectors throughout her career in various research, business and marketing capacities.  In a career-defining act in May 2006, Debbie walked across the Simpson Desert and raised funds for breast cancer research. For more than a decade now she has dedicated her career to healthcare philanthropy.

Debbie’s management experience includes positions at Interplast ANZ, the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, and at Monash Health raising funds for the Monash Children’s Hospital. She is currently Director of Fundraising at Austin Health and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre.

Debbie is a passionate advocate for the vital role that emergency services play in our community and proud to have joined the ESF to support and make a difference to our emergency service communities.

Mental Health Advisory Group

ESF is currently reviewing applications for its new Mental Health Advisory Group (MHAG). We are delighted to have received numerous high calibre applications.

The purpose of the MHAG is to provide the CEO with a range of expertise and perspectives concerning the development of ESFs strategy and program of work to improve mental health outcomes across the Victorian emergency management sector.

Stakeholder Council
Shane PattonVictoria Police
Tony WalkerAmbulance Victoria
Michelle YoungFire Rescue Victoria
Natalie MacDonaldCountry Fire Authority
Stephen GriffinVicSES
Chris HardmanDELWP Forrest Fire
Tony PearceIGEM
Marty SmythESTA
Andrew CrispEmergency Management Victoria
Catherine GreavesLife Saving Victoria
Sue CunninghamRed Cross Emergency Services
Carmel FlynnBushfire Recovery Victoria
Gordon BotwrightSt John Ambulance
Kellie ShewringVictorian Council of Churches Emergency Ministry
Andrew CarmanFinance & Risk Management
Craig ShepherdScholarship
Mark SwineyEMC Conference
Faye BendrupsAlumni Leaders
Michelle MurphyAlumni Leaders
Life Members
Neil Bibby
Peter Akers
Mary Barry
Doug Kimberley
Peter Lester
Rhys Maggs (Deceased)
Christine Nixon
Greg Sassella
John Warburton
Laurie Lavelle