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Richmond Fellowship Names Board Appointments

29 June 2005

Richmond Fellowship Names Board Appointments

The Board of Richmond Fellowship, the national provider of community-based support services, has confirmed two new appointments to complete a review of the organisation’s governance.

Linda Constable and Tony Ahern, both of Christchurch, have accepted invitations to join the Richmond Board as casual members ahead of Richmond’s AGM in October 2005.

Richmond’s acting chair, Meri Gibson, says the board is delighted to welcome the new members to complete a strong and highly professional line-up. “These appointments complete a process which began late last year to strengthen the board and add further expertise at the governance level,” she said. “We now have a board with very strong credentials, broad experience in senior governance roles and many direct links to Richmond’s work in mental health, youth justice and social services.”

Linda Constable is a resource management law specialist, professional director and consultant who holds a number of senior directorships, including the chair of electricity network company Orion New Zealand Ltd. She is a director of Ngai Tahu Development Corporation, the Canterbury Economic Development Fund and the Government’s railway infrastructure company, ONTRACK. In her early career, Linda Constable worked for or served on the boards of a number of social development agencies including Presbyterian Support Services and the Alcoholic Liquor Advisory Council. She is also a former three-term Christchurch City Councillor, and has served on a number of high profile Government advisory groups and inquiries, including the Local Government Commission and the Committee of Inquiry into Casinos.

Tony Ahern is a senior executive in the energy networks sector with experience in strategic management, risk management, systems development and change management. He is currently engaged as a business consultant for Meridian Energy subsidiary Arc Innovations working on the commercialisation of new technologies. He was previously head of marketing and commercial operations for CIC Global, a US-based technology development company which had its development and Australasian operations centre in Christchurch. …2 2

The Richmond board is now comprised of three senior legal professionals (including a District Court judge) a chartered accountant, a business consultant from one of New Zealand’s largest companies, and two professional directors. Their relevant associations with Richmond include: Mental Health Review Tribunals (convenor), the Health and Disability Commissioner (mediator), Youth Court (lawyer), regional mental health services (district inspector) and various community mental health, child health and support services (including Rainbow Children’s Health Trust, Te Aratu Trust, La Famia Foundation).

Meri Gibson says Richmond is now well placed to address a number of difficult issues, including the need to end the next financial year with an operating surplus, after recent deficits, and developing a strategic plan for the organisation’s high-risk services.

Richmond has a particularly full agenda this year, including the development of an industry-leading information technology platform, the trialling of an on-line alcohol support service, the further development of South Island intellectual disability operations and NZQH accreditation.

The Board will also begin a search for a successor to chief executive Gerry Walmisley, who has signalled his intention to retire when his contract expires.

About Richmond Fellowship Richmond Fellowship is a major provider of community health and support services throughout New Zealand. The Fellowship has developed specialist services for a range of purchasers including the Ministry of Health, Crown Public Health, Child Youth and Family Service and District Health Boards.

Services include support programmes for people with mental, psychiatric or psychological illness, respite and emergency support, consumer based drop-in services, specialist youth services and dual diagnosis services (including intellectual disability/mental illness).


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