Our Board

Associate Professor David Rosenbaum SFHEA - Chair

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

David is an Associate Professor in Management at the Australian National Institute of Management and Commerce where he is responsible for a number of postgraduate and undergraduate units in their Master and Bachelor’s Degree programs.

He is actively involved in ongoing research with his current focus being the implications of the National Disability Insurance Scheme on non-profit disability service providers from a change management perspective.

He has been a management consultant for 10 years focusing on Change Management, Leadership Development, Strategic Planning and Risk Management in the non-profit sector.

David has worked in senior and executive management positions in a broad range of industries over a 35-year career including the private hospital sector; investment banking; funds management; local government; federal government; manufacturing, and high-tech start-ups, as well as public accounting.

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.

Dr Mariya Yesseleva-Pionka – Treasurer

Mariya completed a Bachelor of Business Studies and Doctor of Philosophy (Finance) degrees at Charles Sturt University, earned a Master of Business in Finance degree from the University of Technology Sydney. She also completed The Management Development Program for senior academics at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Mariya is currently a Senior Lecturer in Finance at the Australian National Institute of Management and Commerce. Mariya held teaching and senior academic management positions in Central Asia (Kazakhstan) and Australia.

Before joining the higher education sector Mariya specialised in general investments, personal and corporate superannuation investments while working for BT Financial Group. Mariya is actively involved in research projects and her research interests include entrepreneurial finance, traditional and alternative ways to finance small and medium enterprises (SMEs), corporate finance, policies for the small business sector, innovation and SMEs, FinTechs.

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.

Sarah Brown – Director

Sarah is an executive with over 20 years’ experience in banking and consulting. She is currently a General Manager at the Commonwealth Bank, working in Regulatory Engagement and Quality across a large risk program.

Sarah was also an Executive Mentor in the Inaugural Growth Project, working with the Sids and Kids charity.

Brian Cheney- Director

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.

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