Key personnel

Board of Directors

James E. Walsh

James E. Walsh - Chairman

  • B.Com, MBA, FCA, MAICD.
  • Director since August 2005
  • Chairman Remuneration & Capability Committee
  • Member Risk and Compliance Committee
  • Member Investment Committee
  • Director – A.G. Coombs Group Pty Ltd
  • Director - Placer Property Ltd
  • Director - Secos Group Limited
  • Chartered Accountant

 

Sue Renkin

Sue Renkin

  • RN, MBA, FCDA, GradDip Corp Gov, MAICD.
  • Director since July 2009
  • Chairman Health Services Committee
  • Member Remuneration & Capability Committee
  • Managing Director – Intuitively Focussed Pty Ltd
  • Chairman – Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust
  • Director – National Imaging Facilites Goverance Board 
  • Member – Global Leadership Board International Women’s Forum
  • Director - Eureka Group Holdings Ltd
  • Strategic Advisor to McKenzie Aged Care Serivces 

Brian Benger

Brian Benger

  • B.Ec (Hons), AdvDip Fin Services (Superannuation), FAICD.
  • Director since February 2011
  • Chairman Investment Committee
  • Member Risk and Compliance Committee
  • Chairman - Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd
  • Director - Mercer Superannuation (Australia) Ltd
  • Director – Enginsure Pty Ltd
  • Director - Lendex Group Ltd
  • Director - National Vineyard Fund of Australia Ltd
  • Director - Karinga Vineyard Limited

Vicky Papachristos

Vicky Papachristos

  • BE, MBA, GAICD.
  • Director since November 2011
  • Chairman Risk and Compliance Committee
  • Member Audit Committee
  • Director - Big River Industries Ltd

Marie Bismark

Marie M. Bismark

  • MBChB, LLB, MBHL, MPH, FAFPHM, FAICD.
  • Director since March 2013
  • Member Investment Committee
  • Member Health Services Committee
  • Director – Summerset Group Holdings Limited

Dr. Denis Napthine

Dr. Denis Napthine

  • BVSc. MVS MBA
  • Director since August 2016
  • Member Audit Committee
  • Member Health Services Committee
  • Chairman - Federal Expert Regional Education Advisory Group

Mike Hirst

Mike Hirst

  • B. Com, SF Fin, MAICD
  • Director since July 2018
  • Member Audit Committee
  • Member Remuneration and Capability Committee
  • Deputy Chairman, Racing Victoria Limited
  • Director - AMCIL Limited 
  • Honorary Member, Business Council of Australia
  • Member, Grow Strategic Directions Group

Claire Higgins

  • B. Comm, CPA, Fellow AICD, Fellow Institute of Public Administration Australia
  • Director since September 2019
  • Chairman Audit Committee
  • Member Risk & Compliance Committee
  • Chair, REI Superannuation Pty Ltd
  • Director, Ryman Healthcare Limited
  • Trustee, Helen McPherson Smith Trust

GMHBA Executive Team

 

Mark Valena

Mark Valena

Chief Executive

Mark is an experienced Business Executive. He came to the helm at GMHBA in early 2008 following seven years as the CEO of Medical Defence Association Victoria. MDAV was Victoria’s largest medical professional indemnity insurer (with an 18% national market share) and as a not-for- profit organisation, in a highly regulated insurance market operating in the health sector, provided a sound experience base for his current role at GMHBA. Mark has significant experience in the negotiation and implementation of mergers and business transitions at MDAV, NRMA and Fortis Insurance. Through these transitions Mark was able to create an environment of goodwill and navigate through many complex agendas leading to retention of members and employees. Mark is an Australian Chartered Accountant who has a Bachelor of Business and a Graduate Certificate in Innovation & Service Management.

Dr. Sarah Leach

Dr Sarah Leach

General Manager Health Services

Sarah is responsible for leading GMHBA’s health related business services team.

Sarah is a highly-respected and experienced leader in the health services industry. Her experience in management and consultancy in healthcare, community and welfare services has spanned over 30 years across Victoria, and particularly in the Barwon South-Western region in Victoria.

She has held senior roles in nursing, health and community sector service management and service development, health and business consultancy, and health sector education. She has also held extensive board and committee membership positions in both the health and community sectors. Currently, Sarah is a Board Director of Western Alliance, the Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre, and Active Geelong Limited.

With strong networks in health and community sector agencies, local, state and federal governments, and tertiary education institutions across Victoria, Sarah is a key part of GMHBA’s executive management team.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Nursing with Honours, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Office of the Faculty of Health, at Deakin University.

Tony Hall

Tony Hall

General Manager Private Health Insurance

Tony is responsible for leading GMHBA’s Private Health Insurance team which includes GMHBA Health Insurance, Frank Health Insurance and Health.com.au.

With an extensive 15 year health insurance background and more than 18 years in corporate executive positions, Tony has gained experience and capability across a number of key functional areas including sales, marketing, product, provider relations and customer service delivery.

Tony holds a Bachelor of Business and has experience leading the development of corporate strategy, major strategic projects, productivity improvements and customer value proposition redesign.

Paul Chow

Paul Chow

Chief Risk Officer

Paul is an experienced executive with a strong background in start-ups and transformation. Paul and his team are expanding the services and value that members and our communities derive from GMHBA. Paul commenced his career with Ernst and Young and then established his own project management practice and change management practice. After selling his business to Oracle Corporation, he was recruited to join the executive team of an eBusiness consultancy start-up out of MIT in Boston. Paul was a member of the executive team that listed this company on the NASDAQ after expanding the business globally.

Since then, Paul started consulting in the areas of organisational achievement and performance in Australia. His major clients included ANZ, Australia Post, NAB, Medibank Private, Fosters and TABcorp. Paul’s consulting and coaching background will ensure that the diversification team is focused on delivering significant value to members and the communities that we operate in. Paul was appointed as Chief Risk Officer of GMHBA in 2017.

Paul Hulett

Paul Hulett

Chief Information Officer

Paul is responsible for leading the overall GMHBA digital strategy.

With a risk based approach, Paul has delivered transformational change to GMHBA digital business while maintaining the traditional trusted IT organisation. Paul holds a Bachelor of Computer Systems Engineering from RMIT and has proven success with over 20 years’ experience in IT leadership, IT delivery, business innovation, digital business and complex financial management.

 

Wes Self

Wes Self

Chief Financial Officer

Wes is the Chief Financial Officer at GMHBA Limited. Wes was previously the Commercial Manager of Digital Business, responsible for running the health.com.au and Frank Health Insurance businesses. Prior to this he was Group Financial Controller, overseeing a team managing financial reporting, payroll, compliance, commercial analysis, due diligence and acquisitions.

Wes is a Chartered Accountant with over 8 years’ experience at KPMG working in Private Enterprise, with a focus on privately-owned client groups, incorporation and establishment of Australian subsidiaries of multi-nationals, financial reporting, taxation and audit. Wes enjoys working with people and enjoys applying his broad financial experience and commercial acumen to business problems and opportunities.

Matthew Vagg

Matthew Vagg

Chief Marketing & Customer Officer

Matt is a strategic marketing professional with extensive experience at leading consumer, sports and leisure organisations including St Kilda Football Club, Intrepid Travel, Golf Australia and Mt Buller Ski Resort.

With a successful track record in building marketing strategies and plans to meet brand and sales targets, Matt has lead teams to deliver superior results, often within tight time frames and limited budgets.

Matt joined GMHBA in 2011 and led the re-brand of GMHBA to refresh and revise the brand to what you see today.

 

Andrew Wooley

Andrew Woolley

Chief Productivity Officer

Andrew is responsible for the delivery of GMHBA's Productivity Strategy, which aims to deliver long term sustainable customer value across the business. This strategy includes driving an organisation-wide program of continuous improvement through Lean Six Sigma, optimising existing platforms as well as leveraging emerging technologies to deliver business transformation.

Having joined GMHBA in 2010, Andrew has spent the majority of his time leading our Private Health Insurance sales and operations teams and has a deep understanding of our core business processes. He is passionate about business improvement and process efficiency and has a wealth of experience in developing and delivering best practice continuous improvement initiatives across a wide variety of areas.