NSW Board Members 2024
The National Trust of Australia (NSW) is governed by a Board comprised of elected members and the National Trust’s Chief Executive Officer.
Meet our Board:
Ms Kathryn Pitkin AM, President
In December 2022, Kathryn Pitkin was elected as President of the National Trust of Australia (NSW). In 2020 Kathryn joined the Board of the National Trust and became a member of the Finance and Risk Management Committee because of her appreciation of the work of volunteers in Trust Properties and Branches. Kathryn believes in the vision and objectives of the National Trust NSW, and is committed to the good governance of organisations, especially those handling public money.
Kathryn Pitkin was a teacher of English and History in NSW Secondary Schools for Department of Education. She then joined TAFENSW and was a teacher of Communication and English. She was a Head Teacher then Campus Manager of Bathurst, Walgett and Lightning Ridge campuses of the Western Institute of TAFENSW until her retirement and relocation to Newcastle in 2004.
From 2002 to 2010, Kathryn managed OzScot Australia, an Australia-wide company of Highland dancers, who performed at Military Tattoos in Edinburgh, Switzerland, Oman, Canada, USA, Korea and Australia.
Since 2016, Kathryn Pitkin has worked as a Program Leader with Odyssey Traveller and has led groups of Australian travellers to Ireland, Scotland & the Scottish Isles, Spain & Portugal, South Africa, Bhutan, Iceland & Greenland, Houses and Gardens of the Blue Mountains, and Wildflowers of WA. During COVID she wrote travel articles for the Odyssey Traveller website.
She previously held positions such as Deputy Chancellor of Charles Sturt University and Deputy Chair of the Council and Chair of the University’s Finance Committee.
She was Treasurer then Chair of National Trust’s Miss Porter’s House from 2009–2014.
In 2014 Kathryn was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Charles Sturt University and in 2016, she was awarded an AM.
For love, Kathryn plays the Celtic harp and is part of a harp trio which plays in Newcastle and the Hunter.
Ms Lisa Newell, Deputy President
Lisa Newell is a heritage specialist, heritage consultant, museum curator, archaeologist and town planner. She has worked for heritage conservation for over 30 years, and is currently a Principal Strategic Planner and heritage specialist with Hornsby Shire Council.
Lisa’s long association with the National Trust began as a member of the Industrial Archaeology Committee when she was the Curator, Engineering at the Powerhouse Museum from 1984 to 1991. The association continued when she moved to the Department of Planning (Heritage Branch) as an archaeologist, policy developer and senior planner.
As a new member of the Board of Directors for 2023, Lisa seeks to assist the National Trust in promoting heritage as a primary environmental
and social value in strategic land use and development planning, as well as attracting youth and diverse community participation in heritage conservation and advocacy through contemporary issues such as First Nations heritage, bushland and species loss and climate change.
Mr David Pratt, Treasurer
David Pratt was born in Sydney with a family line that goes back to the very early days of colonial settlement. This and his keen interest in Australian history, architecture and horticulture are what aligns him to the National Trust (NSW).
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants with a Masters of Economics degree from Macquarie University. His extensive career as a partner at PwC in management consultancy; specialising in restructuring, risk and financial management optimisation, are the skills and knowledge he brings to the leadership team of the National Trust.
David Pratt has been a member of the National Trust (NSW) FARM Committee since 2018, has been a Director and Treasurer of the Australasian Pioneers’ Club since 2015 and was previously a Director and Treasurer of the Arthritis Foundation of NSW for over 10 years.
Mr David Collingridge LVO, Board Director
David Collingridge has enjoyed two careers. His first, in the Royal Australian Navy from 1962-1990 was initially operational as an aviator and then ashore and at sea in both operational and training tasks. Later leadership roles were centred in Canberra on Naval Air Warfare policy and lastly as Director of Naval Personnel Planning.
His second career was a leadership role as Executive Director of a medium size management consultancy in Sydney, assisting clients in NSW Government agencies with business improvement services between 1990 and 2011, including an instrumental role in establishing the operations of the RTA’s new Transport Management Centre in Redfern, to meet the deadlines of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Having joined the National Trust in 1993, David’s interests in heritage matters were kindled by both the National Trust’s endeavours in Sydney and the properties of the NSW Historic Houses Trust (now Sydney Living Museums). David joined the Southern Highland Branch Committee in 2014 and was a member of the Golden Vale Management Committee before his current role as a volunteer with the Collections Team at Retford Park, since November 2017.
Ms Susan Hunt, Board Director
Currently Director of the State Library of New South Wales Foundation and an ex -officio Board member on the C. B. Alexander Foundation, Susan was a former member of Alumni Council, University of Sydney.
Throughout her career, Susan has held prominent roles in historic site management, arts administration and cultural programming including as the Deputy Director of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW (now Sydney Living Museums).
Ms Suzette Meade, Board Director
Suzette is a passionate heritage advocate with expertise in community engagement and campaigns. In addition to her career in construction project management, she is a dedicated volunteer, ensuring our built and natural heritage is preserved, through advocacy, education and tourism, for all to enjoy.
Suzette has been a strong voice for Greater Sydney heritage, in particular Parramatta. She is currently the Spokesperson for Alliance for Public Parklands, Heritage Advisory Committee Member for City of Parramatta and Stronger Communities Grant Selection Committee Member for Federal Government.
Ms Caroline Mackaness, Board Director
Caroline Mackaness is Director, NSW Government and her previous appointments include being a Committee Member, Hunters Hill Trust; and Member of the ANZAC House Trust. She is a sixth generation Sydney-sider who is passionate about Australian history, heritage and the natural environment.
Throughout her extensive career in NSW Government she has been responsible for some of the state’s most significant heritage places, delivering government policy and programs focused on community outcomes, including the development, management and operation of heritage and cultural facilities, delivery of major cultural projects, capital works and governance.
Ms Debbie Mills, CEO
Debbie Mills was appointed as Chief Executive Officer at the National Trust of Australia (NSW) in August 2017 following an extensive career as an executive leader at PwC and Caltex Australia. At Caltex Australia she took a lead role in the Climate Change team working on the strategy and implementation plan to ensure the business was ready to meet its obligations under any proposed and existing Climate Change legislation.
Prior to joining the National Trust (NSW), Debbie was the Executive Officer at Friends of the Botanic Gardens Inc. and became significantly involved in the merger of Friends with the Royal Botanic Gardens Foundation, and was appointed CEO of Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens Ltd in July 2012. This role gave Debbie exposure to many environment and heritage issues and importantly experience with members and volunteers.
Debbie Mills is a Chartered Accountant and has also been on the Board of Directors of a charity that looks after re-homing lost and abandoned animals. She brings her passion for conservation of heritage, culture and the arts, the environment and animal welfare to her role.
Mr William Oates, Board Director
Bill Oates is an archivist and until recently worked for 17 years as the University of New England’s Archivist. During this tenure he was also the Director of the University’s Heritage Centre and gained extensive experience in museums administration, volunteer programmes, community outreach, grant projects and supporting the conservation of one of the most prestigious State Heritage listed mansions in rural Australia.
Bill currently works for the Department of Regional NSW. After growing up in the Central West, he is acutely aware of the issues that confront regional and remote heritage sites and finding efficient and affordable solutions for the largely volunteer organisations responsible for protecting this heritage. As a new member of the Board of Directors for 2023, he sought election to provide a voice on the Board for country NSW.
Ms Alison Page, Board Director
Alison Page is a descendant of the Dharawal and Yuin people and an award-winning designer and film producer. She is currently Associate Dean (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) at UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building, and a member of several cultural boards including the National Australia Day Council, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, and the National Museum of Australia’s Indigenous Reference Group.
She is the founder of the National Aboriginal Design Agency and in 2015 she was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia Hall of Fame and in 2022 was the Interior Design Excellence Awards Gold Medal winner. Alison was a panelist for eight years on the ABC television program The New Inventors, which showcased Australian innovation and has previously served on numerous boards, including the Indigenous Land Corporation, the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, and the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Mr Bruce Pettman, Board Director
Bruce Pettman’s areas of expertise cover building and urban conservation, including the protection, repair, adaptation and adaptive reuse of culturally significant buildings and sites.
He is currently the Director Heritage, Environment & Planning for NSW Public Works, and has 47 years professional experience as an architect and heritage architect.
Since 1993 Bruce has also provided heritage conservation capacity building and the delivery of heritage projects in various parts of Asia for the World Bank, UNESCO, government agencies, NGOs and private sector. In 2003 he received a Centenary of Federation Medal for services to the conservation of historic buildings. In 2022 he received the National Trust’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
As a new member of the Board of Directors for 2023, he sought election to “continue in a voluntary capacity my involvement in built heritage. I am always pleased to contribute heritage advice and technical expertise across the state.”
Mr Mark Phibbs, Board Director
Mark Phibbs is currently Cisco Systems Vice President of Global Campaigns, Content and Industries. With a strong focus on customer centricity, Mark brings the customer to the center of everything. Mark has 30 years of international IT experience, having worked in Asia Pacific, Japan and China and held senior marketing executive roles with Adobe, Microsoft and IBM.
Mark is a passionate advocate of digital marketing and the increasingly important role the marketing function plays in digital disruption and customer experience. He also has a passion for heritage and the built environment and the vital role both play in our quality of life and our sense community.
Mark has a Bachelor of Business Degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has completed Business Management courses with the Kellogg School of Management, Wharton Business School and the Haas School of Business Berkeley in the United States. Mark is a Fellow of the Marketing Academy.
Mr Luton White, Board Director
Luton is a legal professional with a strong accounting background and substantial experience in banking and financial services. Admitted to practice as a solicitor by the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia, Luton works predominantly in commercial law, corporations law, banking and finance, and commercial disputes and litigation.
His wide experience in banking, investment banking, and consultancy, has given Luton an intuitive understanding of business processes, security arrangements, compliance and regulation, securities law, market licensing and taxation. Luton is uniquely placed to identify commercial drivers and risks.
Luton has a keen personal interest in conservation and heritage.