Our Team

In 2019 Dr Bernie Curran AM was appointed MSN Patron

Dr Curran played a central role in The University of Newcastle’s community for over 40 years. He’s been a student, rugby player, academic and teacher, community leader, mentor, donor and researcher. A boy from the bush, he established Evatt House, a residential college for country students. Dr Curran was appointed Member of the Order of Australia in 2018 for significant service to tertiary education, particularly through higher learning opportunities for young people in rural areas. On being appointed Dr Curran said: “Scholarships for disadvantaged students and support for refugees, these are things that need financial support as well as moral support and genuine interest, and my job is to lead from the front.”

Management Team


Shayne Connell, Chair - Shayne is a community leader with a strong repertoire of experience. He is the Chief Executive of LivingWorks, a leading suicide intervention training company, and has previous experience working for the Cancer Council NSW and the City of Newcastle. Shayne holds an MBA and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from the University of Newcastle and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

 

Chris Cull, Treasurer - Chris has worked in rural communities and run projects with Indigenous communities and has been a long-time member of Amnesty International. He also has a strong background in leadership, mediation and corporate governance. Prior to coming to Newcastle Chris lived in Armidale where he practiced as a business consultant and was a director on several boards.

 

Jane Kift, Scholarships - Jane has mentored in all her roles (Child Care Centre Director, Dental Specialist Practice Manager and Palliative Care Volunteer). She mentored at Rutherford High School with the Planet-Youth Program from 2015 to 2017.

Robyn White, Secretary - Robyn's career in health spans 45 years; beginning with Mental Health Nursing Certificate progressing through to senior positions in Health Service Management. Robyn has Master of Health Science and numerous other qualifications and retired from her Service Manager position in 2017. Currently Robyn is a casual academic at University of Newcastle and participates in the MSN Refugee Mentoring program. 

 

Helen Doust - For 37 years Helen worked in NSW beginning as a teacher in a small rural school to outdoor education schools to appointment as Assistant Principal. With school leadership came the opportunities of consultancy positions across the Hunter providing professional learning and mentoring to schools, principals and staff. After retirement, Helen worked part time basis as a teacher mentor/ instructional leader until 2016. Her work mentoring students at a local high school led to her involvement with MSN.


Pat O’Flaherty - After a career as a chemist, Pat completed doctoral studies in education and has also been Learning and Development Manager for Thales Australia. He mentored for two years with the Smith Family, and currently provides advice to small manufacturing operations and start-up companies.

 

Keith Powell, Communication - Keith’s career started in journalism and developed into a wide range of experience in corporate affairs for both private companies and government instrumentalities. He has been involved with many community organisations and volunteer groups and is a member of the communication team for Mentor Support Network.


Gail Hamer, Membership - Gail has worked in catering, clerical and human resources positions. Now retired, her last career was as a teacher in a small rural school for over 20 years. She has been involved with the committees of a number of sporting and cultural community groups over the years.

   
Caroline Dando, Communication - After spending a decade managing the marketing and communications function for regional and national organisations, Caroline is currently employed as the Client Service Manager at a local marketing agency. Before making the decision to specialise in marketing she worked on advertising campaigns for local, national, and international brands as a commercial production director at a local television station. 
 

Annual Reports

Our 2019 Annual Report outlines our performance highlights for the last financial year.