Board of Management

The COTA Victoria Board of Management is responsible for the good governance of the organisation.  The Board consists of dedicated people with a diverse range of skills and backgrounds who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in areas important to COTA’s work and reputation.

Mike Lescai – President

Mike was appointed to the Board in 2014 and as President in November 2017. He has been Chair of the Business Development Committee, a member of the Executive and Audit and Risk Committee and in 2017 was one of the Board representatives on the Seniors Rights Victoria Advisory Committee. Mike runs his own business consultancy practice focusing on business improvement and is regarded as a specialist on strategy, particularly in regards to business development and managing risk.

In 2001 he relocated with his family to Singapore for five years to take up a Chief Operating Officer role (among others) for a publicly listed firm. In that time the company’s market capitalization grew fivefold. Previously Mike worked as an accountant and has Board experience with joint ventures and start-up companies.

While in Singapore he completed an MBA (International Management) from RMIT University and was awarded the outstanding student from his intake. On returning to Australia Mike was asked to rewrite the MBA course on International Trade and was the online Course Coordinator and lecturer for five years.

He is a past Victorian State President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) and was awarded an International JCI Senatorship. He has taken an active interest in the development of affinity within community groups. His personal interests include sports and reading biographies.

Lynette Moore – Deputy President

Lynette brings 30 years of experience in aged care and disability services to the Board.

She was CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia Vic from 1996-2010, giving her a thorough knowledge of aged care policy and practice generally, dementia-specific matters and, as the initiator of Australia’s first dementia risk reduction campaign, an understanding of healthy ageing.

Lynette’s earlier work as an occupational therapist, an academic and in management with Yooralla gave her opportunities to appreciate the importance of information and education for individuals wanting to make the most of their lives and independence – and to embrace empowerment of consumers.

Her experience with government liaison, partnerships and the media – as well as being part of a federated organisation and working with a Board – proves invaluable in her role as a Board member of COTA Vic.

Lynette now balances her life with part-time work as a fundraiser in a large children’s welfare organisation, being a community volunteer – and her wonderful family.

Graeme Bird – Treasurer

Graeme Bird Trasurer

Graeme was elected to the Board in 2014 and has taken up the role of Treasurer. Graeme is a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, A Fellow of Finsia (The Financial Services Institute of Australasia),  has extensive knowledge in the finance and banking sectors with experience in risk management, accounting, human and media relations areas, with roles as Company Director, Business Manager and Board member.

Graeme has been involved in Apex Clubs for over 18 years and is a past District Governor and Life member; a Rotary Club member for 24 years, particularly with Rotary Youth Exchange; health, commercial and service industries; banking; retail; and has personal interest in corporate development and small business success.

Cathy Mead (Immediate Past President)

Cathy was elected to the Board in 2013 and elected President in 2014.
She is also the Chair of COTA’s Policy Council. She has been a member of the Policy Council for three years.

Cathy has a medical degree from the University of Sydney and post graduate qualifications in public health. She worked as a Commonwealth public servant for more than 20 years in health policy, health promotion and international health. After coming to Melbourne in 2000, she was involved in coordinating public health policy across the Commonwealth and state governments and taught health policy at Latrobe University in the Masters of Public Health program.

Sylvia J Geddes

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Sylvia is a Trustee of Trust for Nature, Victoria’s statutory private land protection and conservation body.  She was reappointed in April 2013 for a second four year term.

In November 2014 Sylvia was appointed a board member of Scanlon Family Pty Ltd, the trustee of the Scanlon Foundation, a private charitable foundation with a strategic focus on social cohesion.

In 2009 Sylvia helped found and is a member of the Sounding Board of the Flinders Quartet, a Melbourne-based string quartet.

Sylvia retired as Chief Executive Officer of The RE Ross Trust in July 2008.  She had been CEO of this charitable trust, which aims to have a positive impact on people’s lives, since October 2000.

In the 1980s and 1970s, Sylvia held a number of senior policy and program management positions in the Victorian and Commonwealth Public Services in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

Sylvia has a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours), University of Sydney, 1974

Marilyn King
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Marilyn King is the cofounder and president W.O.W! (Willing Older Workers Incorporated) and passionate advocate and activist for mature aged unemployed people in across Melbourne. She runs a fortnightly food program to help ease the strain on their budgets, negotiates on their behalf with government agencies, banks and finance companies and organizes social events.

Marilyn is also a writer, performance poet, creative writing instructor, meditation and relaxation facilitator and chemical sensitivity advisor.

She is a member of various committees and advisories groups including:   Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) for the City of Maribyrnong (Volunteer position), Fair Go For Pensioners (FGFP) Steering Committee, Enhancing Job Services for Older Australians Advisory Group (Brotherhood of St Laurence) and HealthWest Community Advisory Group.

Ian Dunn

Ian Dunn is a lawyer, who was a partner in the Melbourne firm Wisewoulds for nearly 30 years. After election to the council of the Law Institute he served as President in 1987. In 1996 he became CEO of the Law Institute and served in that role until 2002.

Thereafter he was appointed as Chair of the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation 2005/2010, and subsequently Ombudsman, General Insurance, at Financial Ombudsman Service 2010/2013. He is a Nationally Accredited Mediator.

He is an adjunct professor in law at La Trobe Law School and is a Director at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Ron Burke

Ron holds a Bachelor of Arts, MBA Certificate of Clinical Counselling. He has worked as head of communications for major companies in Australia and overseas. Ron has also been an advisor for governments (Federal and State) and not-for-profit organisations on community/corporate partnerships.

Ron’s career has involved the promotion of the policies, views and needs of some of the largest companies globally and in Australia. He has also been a director of a number of not-for-profit Boards.

Ron has an interest in a broad range of issues relevant to the COTA membership including age discrimination, aged care reform, mature age employment and health promotion.

Gregg Nicholls

Gregg holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and Bachelor of Social Admin. He has extensive experience on Boards and Committees including roles as Treasurer and Chair. This included QICSA, Uniting Care Community Options and Bendigo Loddon and Inner East Primary Care Partnerships among others. He is currently Chair of Enliven Victoria and a member of the Mornington and District Historical Society.

Gregg has a strong passion for social justice and the rights of older people.  He understands the way government works and values the opportunity to contribute to enhancing the lives of older people. Gregg has extensive experience in the public sector in South Australia and Victoria including policy and planning roles and managing service delivery in health and community services.  He has lived and worked in regional NSW and Victoria for 17 years, managing a range of services for older people in a large regional health service.  Most recently Gregg was Chief Executive Officer of a community health service.

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