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.

Cathy Mead – President  

Cathy was elected to the Board in 2013 and elected President in 2014. 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.

Lynette Moore – Deputy President

Lynette brings 25 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, asthe 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 volunteer mentor for Moreland’s L2P Program – 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 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 with Rotary Youth Exchange; health, commercial and service industries; banking; retail; and has personal interest in corporate development and small business success.

Mike Lescai – Chair Business Development

Mike was appointed to the Board in 2014 and has taken on the role Chairing the Mike LescaiBusiness development Group. Mike runs his own business consultancy practice focussing 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 capitalisation 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.

Gary Henry

Gary joined the Board in 2012 and was elected Treasurer in 2013 and served one year. He is a company director and  management consultant providing strategic and operational advice to not-for-profit organisations including health services, research teams and institutes, universities and aged care providers.

He has worked extensively in health care, including in regional and metro health services and hospitals in Australia, and in New Zealand. He is a former Chief Executive of the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne and of the National Women’s Hospital in New Zealand.

Gary holds a Bachelor of Health Administration from the University of New South Wales and is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He has served on a number of boards including the Australian Healthcare Association, the Victorian Healthcare Association, the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association, Centre Against Sexual Assault, Palm Lodge Rehabilitation Centre, Wimmera TAFE Board, and Wimmera Wool Factory.

He brings wide experience and expertise in management and governance in health in regional and metro areas, in aged care and not-for profits.

Sue Harris


Sue is a Partner at Madgwicks Lawyers and a member of Madgwicks’ Property Law team. Sue’s broad ranging property practice, which includes retirement living, extends to acting on behalf of operators and sometimes for residents in relation to retirement villages, lifestyle parks and aged care facilities. She is also currently the Committee Secretary of the Western Victorian Region of the Australian Alpaca Association.

Sue has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, and was a member of the Law Institute of Victoria’s Elder Law Committee for approximately four years. She has also been a part-time lecturer and tutor at Melbourne University, an instructor at Leo Cussen Centre for Law, a steward at the Royal Melbourne Show, Secretary of the Traralgon Arts Council and Deputy Chair, and later Secretary, of the Victorian Arts Council.

Sylvia J Geddes


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.

Jenny Alvin


Jenny is an experienced people management, and organisational change / organisational management consultant, working predominantly in the public, not for profit and education sectors.  She has consulted to and worked with a range of boards and management committees on governance, organisational effectiveness and people management issues.  She has been a member of a not for profit board (Footscray Community Arts Centre), and an advisory council (Seniors Rights Victoria), and is a professional volunteer in the Leadership Victoria Great Connections program.

Marilyn King
Marilyn-King-smallMarilyn King is the cofounder and president W.O.W! (Willing Older Workers Incorporated) and passionate advocate and activist for mature aged unemployed people in her local area. She runs a weekly free food program to help ease the strain on their budgets, negotiates on their behalf with government agencies, banks and finance companies and organises 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.

Comments are closed.