Burrinja Board



Holly DeMaria


Years on Board: 4

I have worked in the arts and cultural, events and youth (welfare/alternative education) industries (in various roles) for over 15 years. I have a Masters Degree and Post-Graduate Diploma in Community Cultural Development, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Management and Advanced Diploma in Music. I have a great deal of networks both locally, state wide and broader within the arts industry. This has been developed through my studies, roles as part of NACA (National Arts and Culture Alliance), many volunteer and participation opportunities and my current role as Cultural Development Officer for Cardinia Shire Council. Earlier in 2015, I initiated and partnered with six municipalities to run an unconference event called Fusion – which focused on strengthening the networking, sharing of skills, expertise and knowledge of local artists, creative and community focused people. This was deemed a great success and is set to run again in 2016 as a bi-annual event. I have utilised my skills and worked with a range of artists and art groups to develop strategic directions, marketing and promotional advice to assist them in moving forward with their practice, change of direction or event just to clarify what they do and why.




Simon Mahony


Years on Board: 1st year

Simon is a very experienced business and finance professional with over 30 years’ experience in senior/executive management. He has been the Chief Financial Officer for a number of large Victorian statutory authorities over the last decade and has been working with Boards for over 20 years. His career has spanned both the private sector and public sector and has crossed many diverse industries.


He has served Boards operating in Art and Cultural, Recreation and environment and is an Independent member on some Council’s Audit and Risk Committees.


Simon has extensive expertise in corporate governance, financial and business management, strategic thinking and risk management. He is Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Fellow member of CPA Australia.


Simon and his family have been frequent visitors to the Dandenong Ranges for over 30 years and have always enjoyed the strong sense of community in the ‘Hills’ and are now local residents.




Paul O'Halloran

Board of Management

Years on Board: 20

Paul O'Halloran is a trained secondary teacher and also has post graduate qualifications in audiology and ergonomics. Paul has publications on a range of organisational health and risk management issues. He is a member of the Association of Risk and Insurance Managers of Australasia, and is a Board Member of the Deafness Foundation. Paul has had a life-long interest in the visual and performing arts and works both in 2D and 3D media.




Aunty Janet Turpie-Johnstone

Board of Management

Years on Board: 5

Aboriginal Equity Pathways part of Jim Baa Yer Indigenous Unit - Australian Catholic University.


Board Member Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place (2005-Current)


Board Member Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service (Current) .




Tanja Kovac

Board of Management

Years on Board: 3

Tanja is a writer and director at communications, leadership and justice consultancy, Kovac & Co.


After a decade of student activism at school and university, Tanja commenced work as a solicitor at Slater & Gordon, working in the firm’s Public Interest Unit, where she was responsible for a number of high profile human rights cases, including the Richmond Secondary College police “baton charge” and for Amnesty International in the case concerning refugees aboard the MV Tampa. Tanja also volunteered in community legal centres providing legal support to victims of the Black Saturday Bushfires.


Tanja has managed several small non-profit organisations in the faith, women’s and human rights sectors, where she was responsible for all aspects of strategic and operational leadership, managing fundraising and advocacy, cause-related marginal seat campaigns and volunteer engagement.


Most recently she was Chief of Staff to the late Fiona Richardson MP, Australia’s first family violence prevention minister where she was responsible for overseeing Victoria’s strategic family violence prevention and gender equality agenda, including creating Victoria’s first Gender Equality Strategy.


Tanja has extensive experience with print, radio, TV and online media. Her writing has featured in The Age, Daily Telegraph, Crikey, MammaMia, New Matilda and more.




Dr Elizabeth Dax

Board of Management

Years on Board: 2nd Year

Elizabeth Dax retired from her career in medicine and science in 2009. She is a director on three not-for-profit boards, including Chair of the Dax Centre Ltd. Her last appointments (1990-2009) were as director of the National Serology Reference Laboratory, Australia and the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on diagnostics of blood born viruses.




Jake Berthelot

Board of Management

Years on Board: 2nd Year

Jake is a Potawurutj Padthaway man raised in Melbourne, and current strategic advisor for Indigenous Business Australia within Organisational Reporting and Social Impact. BA Finance and Banking




Cr Catherine Burnett Wake

Yarra Ranges Council Representative

Streeton Ward Councillor

Streeton Ward includes Upwey, Tremont, Ferny Creek, Sassafras and Mount Dandenong and parts of Olinda, Upper Ferntree Gully, Kilsyth and Montrose.



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