The Board at The Housing Connection

The Housing Connection's Board

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Associate Professor David Rosenbaum SFHEA - Chair

PhD; MBA, GAICD, ALFA, Cert IV ( Training & Assessment)

David is a senior academic who has been involved in the Higher Education Sector for over 13 years, following a successful and extensive career in industry. In 2019 he was admitted as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

David holds formal qualifications in Accounting and Management and has practiced in these areas for many years prior to commencing his career in academia. He is also an internationally accredited Action Learning Facilitator, having attained this recognition from Middlesex University.

He holds a PhD from Macquarie University with his thesis entitled “The enduring challenge of change management – new perspectives from nonprofit healthcare and practice”

He is currently the Honorary Research Fellow at Excelsia College in Sydney Australia

Patricia McKenzie – Secretary

Director of AGL Energy Limited. Former Chair Essential Energy and Director APA

Patricia McKenzie is an experienced Chair and non-executive director in the energy, health, government and not for profit sectors. She was the CEO of Gas Market Company Limited, which introduced competition into the retail gas markets in NSW and the ACT, and prior to that led the AGL Group’s legal department. She is a director of the APA Group, Australia’s leading energy infrastructure group, Chair of Essential Energy, a State owned corporation operating Australia’s largest energy distribution business, and Chair of Healthdirect Australia, a COAG company providing a range of digital health and telehealth services. She was previously Chair of Diabetes Australia.

In the disability sector, Patricia has been Secretary of the NSW Down Syndrome Association, President of the Early Education Clinics, director and Chair of Sunnyfield, and Chair of the Cromehurst Foundation. She was an advocate for women with disabilities on the NSW Premiers Council for Women, a member of the Disability Standards Review Panel, and Executive Director of the 7th World Down Syndrome Congress. Patricia’s daughter Kate is supported in her accommodation and social interactions by The Housing Connection.

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Sarah Abood - Treasurer

Sarah Abood is the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Advice Association of Australia (FAAA), the peak body representing financial advisers and planners in Australia. Formed in April 2023 from the merger of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), the FAAA aims to foster and maintain high professional standards in financial advice, and ensure Australian consumers can benefit from high quality financial advice to help them achieve a better financial future.

Previously Sarah was the Chief Operating Officer of HOPE Housing Fund Management. HOPE is a not-for-profit Fund Manager that helps essential workers own their own home, close to their place of work and the communities they serve.

Before this, Sarah was Chief Executive Officer of Profile Financial Services, a private wealth management firm advising high net worth investors. Prior to that, Sarah led the marketing function at Fidelity Australia, after holding senior leadership roles at Colonial First State, BT, Westpac and Rothschild. Sarah holds a BA from the University of Sydney, an MBA from MGSM, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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David Jarjoura - Director

David Jarjoura has over 25 years of executive and board level experience in the public, commercial and not for profit sectors with particular experience across retail, manufacturing, legal and education industries. David currently runs his own consultancy service and is currently active on several boards in support of service for people with disability, including as a Non-Executive Director on the board of Challenge North Shore and for the Intellectual Disability Rights Service. He also holds Non-Executive roles on the Board of the Combined Dispensaries Friendly Society and Rosebank College.

David is a graduate of the AICD’s Company Directors Course.

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Elizabeth [Libby] Stuart - Director

BA LLB AMusA GAICD

Libby Stuart is a non-executive director with experience in the education, arts and not for profit sectors. She served on the board of Frensham Schools for 13 years, including 5 years as Chair, and is currently on the board of the Sydney International Piano Competition.

Prior to becoming a non-executive director, Libby practised as a lawyer for 15 years advising corporate clients on a wide range of commercial matters and specialising in intellectual property law. She worked in private practice at Allens in Sydney and Herbert Smith in London and Singapore, and as Assistant General Counsel at Fox Sports in Singapore and George Weston foods in Sydney.

Glenda Hewitt is The Housing Connection's non-executive director

Glenda Hewitt

M.Mgt, B.Ed(St) DipT, JP

Glenda Hewitt is a non-executive director who has worked in services marketing, corporate communications and journalism. She has a board background in industry associations and community groups.

Prior to joining the THC Board, Glenda worked for John Holland, HP and Westpac in addition to undertaking consulting work. Solutions based, she is a champion for community resilience and integrated communities and currently serves on multiple community committees.

Stephane is THC's Board Member

Stephane Marouani

Stéphane is the Managing Director at MathWorks Australia. MathWorks provides software to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, development, and learning in engineering and science. He is responsible for the general management of the business and the strategic direction in the Pacific region.

Before joining MathWorks in 2012, Stéphane held senior leadership positions at IBM both in France and in Australia.

Stéphane has an engineering degree in computer science from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. He also has a Masters in robotics with research at the University of Southern California.

Thomas McKenzie, THC's Board Member

Thomas McKenzie

Bachelor of Business (Finance) / Bachelor of Law (First Class Honours); Diploma of Legal Practice.

Thomas’ sister lives with an intellectual disability and is supported to live independently by the Housing Connection. 

Thomas is a real estate and development lawyer at Allens Linklaters supporting property developers, fund managers and real estate investors on real estate matters including co-living and social and affordable housing projects.

Thomas previously worked at Ernst & Young where he was a Disability Network Committee Member & the Communications Assistant for 3.5 years helping the organisation improve their workplace adjustments policies to focus and embrace the lives of people with disabilities that work with them, including establishing a yearly celebration of the International Day for People with Disabilities in the organisation. Thomas also completed an internship at the Australian Human Rights Commission on the Willing to Work Inquiry into Employment Discrimination for Older Australians and Australians with disability. 

Li Xin

Li Xin

Li Xin is the Financial Controller for APAC at Songtradr, where she oversees financial operations and strategic direction across the region. Songtradr is a leading music licensing platform that facilitates music discovery, innovation, and development.

Before joining Songtradr, Li Xin held senior finance leadership positions across a wide range of industries, from multinational, publicly listed companies to large local family enterprises. She also played a crucial role in helping an Australian technology start-up undertake a global expansion.

Li Xin is a member of CPA and brings over 20 years of versatile and commercially minded financial expertise to her role.

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Brian Cheney- Director

Brian joined as a Director in February 2020. Brian formally retired in 2016 following a career that started in the energy sector with the predecessors to Energy Australia in accounting and finance roles. This was followed by a role as the Finance Manager for the newly established Pittwater Council in 1992 and then various Director roles in NSW Treasury from 1999 advising on the funding implications for Government reforms and initiatives. Brian’s daughter Kelsey is an NDIS participant and is supported by The Housing Connection. Kelsey is also a Housing Connection employee providing administration support one day per week and leading peer based social and recreational activities in the evenings and weekends.

Mary Ellen Burke – Director

Master of Psychology, Master of Arts ( Special Education), BA ( Hons)

Mary Ellen Burke has been a non-executive Director since October 2016 and is also chair of the support and monitoring sub-committee. Mary Ellen has over 40 years’ experience as a Clinical Psychologist in the public sector and as a consultant providing clinical services to support individuals and families, support systems and agencies to effectively address the needs of people with complex needs and challenging behaviours. Mary Ellen has been recognised as a strong advocate for establishing and using effective monitoring practices to ensure outcomes for people with disabilities and carers; has significant experience in supported accommodation and community support services.

Mary Ellen uses her strong foundation in the direct provision of sound individually focussed supports coming from an evidence based approach, to inform her work in review of service provision, quality improvement systems, and staff development and education.

Mary Ellen has been a Professional member of the NSW Guardianship Tribunal since 1995.

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Louise Cummins - Director

BA,AFAMI CPM, Cert IV (Training&Assessment)

Louise is currently the Marketing and Digital Innovations Director at H&R Block Australia, and has over two decades of experience working across a range of industries including finance, technology, entertainment, healthcare and telecommunications.

As an award-winning industry leader, she now shares her knowledge and expertise by acting as a mentor, coach, and trainer. She has also extended her successes in the corporate world with consultative and governance roles for not-for-profit organisations.

Louise is passionate about supporting disability services as she has a son on the autism spectrum. She wrote a children’s book dedicated to her son called “A Different Kind of Brilliant” and produced a short movie called “Brilliant” focusing on autism acceptance – both the book and film have had global success.

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