About us

Board Members

President

Neil Comrie AO, APM  

Neil was appointed President on 30 June 2010.

A career police officer, Neil joined Victoria Police in 1967 and, after serving initially in uniformed and then specialist roles, in 1990 was appointed Assistant Commissioner, Queensland Police Service. In 1993, Neil returned to Victoria when he was appointed as the 18th Chief Commissioner of the Victoria Police Force. He retired in 2001 after 8 years in this position.

Neil is currently the Independent Monitor for the implementation of the recommendations of the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission and he was also appointed as Chair, Review of the 2010-2011 Flood Warning and Response - Victoria Floods Review.

He has also undertaken a range of sensitive and significant inquiries and projects on behalf of the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments and internationally. As such, Neil brings to MFB significant emergency management experience.

 

Deputy President

Ken King

Ken was appointed to the Board in July 2008, and appointed Deputy President on 1 July 2011.   

Ken served as a member of the Country Fire Authority Board from 2003 to 2012, and retired recently from a long and very successful career in the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and its predecessor departments.

 

Ken has held senior positions in land management, forestry and bushfire management, including as the DSE’s Regional Manager for the northwest of Victoria, South Gippsland and the Port Phillip area which covers metropolitan Melbourne. Ken serves on the Boards of the Natural Resources Conservation League, the Bjarne K Dahl Trust and the Habitat Melbourne Trust.

Ken brings to the Board extensive experience gained from working within government and with statutory authorities.

 

Board Member

Jay Bonnington

Jay was appointed to the MFB Board in July 2006. Jay started her career as a Chartered Accountant and worked overseas and then with the Transfield Group in Australia.  Jay was then appointed as CFO/Finance Director of Yallourn Energy Ltd, and NEMMCO before moving into Financial Services and CEO of a NFP.

Jay now serves as a professional non-executive company director on a number of boards, including St. John of God Healthcare Group, HESTA Superannuation, Utilities Trust of Australia, and Port of Melbourne Corporation. She also serves on several community boards including Deakin University Council, the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, and the Audit Committee of the Salvation Army’s Southern Territory.

 

Board Member

John Lord AM 

John was appointed to the Board on 23 July 2011.

John has had high profile careers in the Australian Navy, the Commonwealth and State public sectors, and private enterprise. In recent years he has provided strategic planning advice and corporate governance to the commercial sector specialising in international relations, government business and the maritime industries.

He served with the Royal Australian Navy for over 36 years and retired with the rank of Rear Admiral. He is a former Chief Executive and Director of the Marine Board of Victoria where he initiated several State and National maritime programs, and a member of the Australian Maritime Group and the National Plan Committee for maritime emergency responses around Australia.

John is presently Chairman of DMS Maritime Services Pty Ltd and Huawei Technologies Australia, and is a member of the Victorian Government’s Defence Council and the Minister for Corrections’ Ministerial Community Advisory Committee.

 

Board Member

Stuart Alford

Stuart was appointed to the Board in September 2013.

Stuart joins MFB following a distinguished career as a chartered accountant having worked for international accounting firm Ernst & Young for 40 years including 27 years as a partner. 

Stuart retired form Ernst and Young at the end of 2008 and currently holds directorships at Eastern Health, Centre of Excellence in Intervention and Prevention Science Limited, Kilvington Grammar School Limited and Scoroband Pty Ltd and holds a range of audit committee roles including Chair, Australian Government - Australian Accounting Standards Board and Chair Australian Government -  Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.

Board Member

Therese Ryan

Therese Ryan was apointed to the Board in September 2013

Therese brings to the MFB more than 35 years experience as a business executive and commercial lawyer.  She has held senior roles in the General Motors Group in Australia, the Asia Pacific and International operations.  She was also previously General Counsel for Qenos Pty Ltd and practiced with Mahoneys Solicitors in Melbourne early in her career.


She currently holds directorships with Victorian Managed Insurance Authority, VicForests and Good Sheppard Microfinance and sits on a range of finance, audit and risk committees in the private, local government and not-for-profit sector.

Board Member

David Purchase OAM 

David Purchase joined the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) as Executive Director in 1997.

After graduating with a law degree from Melbourne University in 1972, he spent 15 years at the Victorian Employers Federation, eventually being appointed Deputy Executive Director.

In 1986 David was appointed as Executive Director of the Life Insurance Federation of Australia, the representative body for all the life insurance companies operating in Australia.

In 1994 he joined Norwich Union Financial Services Limited as Group Company Secretary and in 1995 became General Manager of Lifescreen Australia Pty Ltd (a subsidiary Company of the Norwich Group).

David also sits on the Boards of MotorTradeCard Pty Ltd, Motor Industry Holdings Limited, Motor Industry House Pty Limited, and is a Panel Member of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Committee.

 

 

 

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