Douglas Snedden AO - Chairman
Douglas has been the Chairman of Odyssey House since October 2011. Formerly Managing Director of Accenture, he is Chairman of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, a director of OFX Ltd and a member of the National Library of Australia Council. Douglas joined the Board in 2011.
Julie has held leadership positions in the health and community services sectors in both Australia and Canada. She has a wealth of experience in policy, planning and strategy as well as an extensive knowledge of the health needs of populations in need. For seven years Julie was the CEO NSW Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network, which serves a diverse and vulnerable population. While CEO, Julie led substantial reforms at JH&FMHN that saw the expansion of services to courts, community and adolescent settings while promoting a patient centred approach. All the roles Julie has held have involved addressing a myriad of health issues, including drug and alcohol addiction and mental health issues. Julie is also an advisory council member of NSW Ambulance and a non-executive director of Variety NSW, the Children’s Charity. Julie has also been a regular volunteer providing personal support to people experiencing mental illness and the disadvantaged. She joined the Odyssey House Board in 2019.
Christine joined the Board in 2011. She spent 25 years in legal practice, then eight years with the Dept of Juvenile Justice as a Psychologist specialising in alcohol and other drug issues with young people. She has an interest in pathways to recovery that balance medical, legal and social issues so that clients leave treatment with skills leading to pro-social and productive lives. Christine is a member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Sydney Symphony Council and has served on several not for profit Boards.
John Coughlan (B.Ec. Dip. Rur.Acc. FCA) enjoyed a 25 year career in the Racing Industry occupying Chief Executive positions in the Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound Industries in NSW and Queensland, after an 8 year career in Chartered Accounting. He is Chairman of Sire Custodians Ltd and has been a Director of Odyssey House since 2006, being Chairman of the Finance and Risk Management Committee since that time. John joined the Board in 2006.
Professor Michael Farrell
Professor Michael Farrell is the Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW and Faculty Theme Lead of Mental Health, Neuroscience, Ageing and Addictions, UNSW Medicine. Prior to his appointment at UNSW, Professor Farrell was a Professor of Addiction Psychiatry at Kings College London.
His extensive research interests include evidence-based practice and treatment evaluation, in tobacco, alcohol and other drug dependence, psychiatric comorbidity, translation of new evidence into practice. He was Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. He is an editor with the Cochrane Drug and Alcohol Group. He is a member of the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Drug and Alcohol Dependence. He is current President of APSAD. He has published over 300 scientific papers and a number of books. He has been a board member or director of many different Alcohol and other Drug NGO Community Groups over the past thirty years He has been a consultant on National Drug Policy to many national Governments. He is a strong advocate for better investment and support for prevention, treatment and research.
Stewart Hindmarsh is a director of diversified property business, Hindmarsh. Stewart most recently was Chief Executive Officer of World Nomads Group, a leading global provider of travel insurance now owned by private health insurer, nib. Prior to his role with World Nomads Group, Stewart was a Director of boutique corporate advisory group, Grant Samuel. It was here that Stewart advised on a wide range of corporate advisory transactions across a broad range of industries. Stewart has been a long term supporter of Odyssey House NSW and joined the Board in 2016.
Valerie Hoogstad has lectured at several universities in Communication studies and International education. She has written sixteen textbooks and several papers on Intercultural Education and Communication studies. She was the Director for International Education at Australian Catholic University. She is currently working at Sydney University and is also Chair of the Centre for Volunteering NSW. Valerie is also on the board of the National Volunteering Body, together for humanity and AIM overseas. She has been a director of Odyssey House NSW for 21 years.
Peter Johnstone is the President of the Children’s Court of New South Wales, a position he has held since 2012. The Children’s Court is comprised of the President and 13 specialist Children’s Magistrates and 10 Children’s Registrars, located at Parramatta, Surry Hills, Lismore, Broadmeadow, Wyong, Port Kembla and Campbelltown. Its jurisdiction consists of the care and protection of children and young persons, and youth crime (ages 10 -18), across NSW.
Previously, Peter worked for 35 years at the national law firm, Blake Dawson Waldron (now known as Ashurst), predominantly in the insurance and litigation fields. Prior to his appointment as a District Court Judge in 2006, he served as the firm’s National Chief Operating Partner from 2002.
Peter is dedicated to the welfare of children in NSW, with particular interest in assisting disadvantaged families, early intervention, diversion and the rehabilitation of children and young people.
Debra Kelliher has had a career in education for over twenty-five years. She has a Doctorate in Education from the University of New England and a Master of Arts with First Class Honours from Auckland University. Debra’s doctorate examines effective ways to increase girls’ leadership capacity in schools. She began her teaching career as an English teacher and has been a Head of English, Director of Studies, Head of Senior School and Principal of two independent girls’ schools in Australia, one regional and one urban. She has had experience in schools in Vietnam, China and Japan.
Debra is a trained mediator and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has a keen interest in girls’ education, leadership and student voice. She is currently an Associate of the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute (NESLI) facilitating programs in Advanced Women’s Leadership.
David McGrath runs his own independent consultancy business providing advice to government on areas of social policy. He was previously the Director of Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Programs at NSW Health and held that role for 9 years. With a background in psychology, research, operational management, 15 years clinical experience, and a masters degree in business, he has a mix of skills that are of considerable value to Odyssey House.
David is a technical advisor to the World Health Organisation on Mental Health and Human Rights. He has previously been on the NSW Psychologists Registration Board, the board of the Institute of Psychiatry, and the board of the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre. Additionally he was previously the Chair of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs, and has represented Australia on four occasions at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs. David joined the Board in 2014.
Susanne Taylor (BSc, MComms) has over twenty-five years’ experience as a communication specialist in Australia, south east Asia and the UK. Her communication expertise spans social impact assessment, organisational communication, stakeholder and community engagement, public affairs and communication policy, planning and strategy. She has held senior communication and public affairs roles at various state agencies in Queensland and NSW.
Susanne provides technical expert advice on international development projects in south-east Asia and is a communications advisor to local Councils in northern Sydney. She has worked extensively with community groups to develop policy for the Climate Change Fund and Resilient Sydney Framework.
Susanne holds an honorary research position with Bond University, guest lectures at Bond and Griffith University, Gold Coast and publishes on topics including community engagement, land use planning, regional communities and governance models. She is passionate about the value of community-based initiatives in solving social issues. She joined the Odyssey House Board in 2018.
Garry is a Chartered Accountant. He graduated from the University of NSW with a Bachelor in Commerce in Accounting Finance and Systems. Garry’s professional experience includes more than 35 years in accounting and business leadership. He was an Audit Partner at Arthur Anderson and then Ernst & Young Australia. Garry currently is an Independent Director at ASX listed OneVue Limited and ASX listed Inabox Group Limited. He holds other private company directorships and is an ex-officio member of the Audit and Risk Committee of Mission Australia. Garry has been a director at Odyssey House NSW for four years and a member of the Finance and Risk Management Committee of Odyssey House NSW since 2013.