Trust Members

The strategic direction of the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT) is overseen by a board of appointed Trust Members.
This board is responsible to the Minister for Health & Ageing and must ensure good governance of the cemeteries entrusted to its care. Members of the Trust are recruited through a publicly advertised process and are appointed by the Governor in Council for a three-year term. Members may seek to be reappointed after their first term.

2016 - Trust - _0001_Sue Renkin - Trust Chair

Sue Renkin - Trust Chairman

BBS, MBA, Grad.Dip.Corp.Gov., MAICD, FCDA.
Chair of the Executive Remuneration and Appointment Committee

Sue Renkin is Director of General Practice Victoria and GMHBA Health Insurance.

Sue’s board experience includes:

  • Chairman Victorian Centre for Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing
  • Chairman Green Chemical Futures
  • Chairman Monash Biomedical Imaging Institute Director GMHBA Health Insurance Director GPV
  • Chair of Monash Centre for Biomedical Imaging and Research
  • Chair of Monash Centre for Green Chemicals Future
  • Prime Minister’s representative on the Australian Bravery Decorations Council, since 1999
  • Member Australian Private Hospitals Association committee
  • Member St John Ambulance committee
  • Member Shelford Anglican Girls’ School committee.

Sue was CEO (Vic) and National Policy Development Manager for Ramsay Health Care for 11 years. She has also held CEO roles with Open Family Australia, St John Ambulance and Mercy Private Hospital.

Sue holds an MBA Monash Uni, Grad Dip Corporate Governance UNE and Grad Cert Competition & Strategy Harvard Business School RN

2016 - Trust - _0005_Julie Busch

Julie Busch

B.A.(Journalism/Psych.),  Grad.Cert.Shop.Cen.Mgmt., Grad. Dip. Business,  GAICD
Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee

Julie Busch is Chairman of Dandenong Market and Director of Western Leisure Services for City of Wyndham.
Julie’s board experience also includes:

  • Deputy Chairman Dianella Community Health
  • Director of Interact Australia

Julie has worked extensively in private and publicly owned retail property, local government and community sectors.
Julie has previously held senior management roles at:

  • Prahran Market
  • Melbourne Central Shopping Centre
  • Coles Myer Properties in Victoria and South Australia.

In addition to the above, Julie is also Chair of Judging Panel for the Victorian Tourism Awards; National Judge for Australian Tourism Awards; former Chair of Retail Committee for Property Council of Victoria; Vice President of Caulfield South Community House, and a Fellow of the Australian Property Institute.

2016 - Trust - _0008_Leigh Mackay, LLB

Leigh Mackay, LLB, GAICD

Chair of the Infrastructure Planning Committee

Leigh Mackay works as a governance consultant, advising on boards on governance and strategic planning. She is a member of the Victorian Heritage Council, the Risk Audit & Finance Committee of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and Director of Philanthropy at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Leigh spent 15 years in the legal profession, held management positions with CSR Limited, Port of Geelong Authority, Port of Melbourne Authority and the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne and was corporate secretary of two major Victorian statutory authorities – the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and the National Gallery of Victoria.

2016 - Trust - _0000_Brian Oates, JP

Brian Oates, JP, GAICD

Brian Oates is the current Chair of the Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre (SMRC) and has been a long serving member of the SMRC Board for 18 years.

He has previously been Chair of the Southern Health Consumer Advisory Committee, and a member of a number of other boards. Brian was elected to the Casey Council in 1997, was Mayor of Casey in 2003 and Deputy Mayor in 2004. He is recently retired from the Australian Workers' Union.

2016 - Trust - _0002_Sam Afra, JP

Sam Afra, JP

Sam Afra studied law and banking in Beirut where he worked in the Banking sector before migrating to Australia where he worked for the Victorian government for over 20 years; Sam is currently self-employed as a consultant.

As a dedicated advocate for cultural diversity, Sam is heavily involved across the community sector.  In 2003 Sam was elected as the inaugural Chairperson of the Ethnic Communities Council of the South East (ECCOSE).  

He also served as Chairman of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria from 2007 to 2011 and is currently a Board member.  

Sam is Vice President and director of ERHMA where he has been a director since 2003. 

He is also a former elected Councillor for the City of Casey from 1997 – 2000 and was appointed as a White Ribbon Ambassador in 2011.

Phillip Davies

BA (Hons), LLB (Hons), LLM, GAICD.
Chair of the Finance & Investment Committee
Phil is an experienced corporate lawyer having been Senior Tax Partner at King Wood Mallesons for 13 years.  Phil is currently the Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of Advanced Paediatric Life Support which promotes excellence in emergency care of ill and injured children through the provision of high quality contemporary education programs for health care professionals including specialist doctors, general practitioners, nurses and Paramedics.

Phil’s current and past Board experience includes Box Hill Institute of TAFE, Working Heritage, the Queen Elizabeth Centre, Kew East Financial Services Ltd (which runs the Bendigo Community Bank branches of Kew and Kew East.), Building Appeals Board, Greyhound Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board and Gymnastics Australia.

Roger Chao - New Trust Member 2017 - Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust

Roger Chao

B.A. (Politics/Philosophy), B.Ec, Grad.Dip.Bus, MBA, GAICD, FGIA, FAIM, BJ
Chair of the Community Advisory Committee

Roger is an experienced Director having been Chair of and a member of numerous Boards and Committees. He has a strong background in social research, consulting, policy development, operations management, business development, governance, risk management and strategic planning. He has also held CEO and General Management positions in the health, human services and education sectors. Roger brings strong governance experience, commercial acumen, risk management and strategy skills combined with a passion for innovation and business development.
Roger currently sits on the Board of the Australian Institute of Technical Training and the Merit Protection Board.
Roger’s board experience includes:

  • Director of Annecto and member of the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee;
  • Deputy Chair of the Southern Metropolitan Region Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Regional Council;
  • Chair of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Community Recovery Committee;
  • Director of Arts Access Victoria and member of the Finance Committee;
  • Director of Headway Gippsland;
  • Chair of ANZEC;
  • Member of the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee;
  • Member of the Australian College of Optometry – Human Research Ethics Committee;
  • Member of the Latrobe Valley Tourism Advisory Board.
Sandhya Chakravarty - New Trust Member 2017 - Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust

Sandhya Chakravarty


Sandy is a strategic leader with an executive career of more than 25 years spanning Australian and international organisations including Australian Red Cross, Boston Consulting Group, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ingersoll-Rand.  Sandy is the current Chief Financial Officer of State Trustees.

Sandy currently serves as a director of Link Community Transport where she is also Chair of their Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, and is also a Board member of the International Women’s Development Agency.  Sandy’s previous Board experience also includes Eating Disorders (Vic), the National Association of Women in Operations and Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

The Trust has also appointed an independent member, Liz Grainger, to its Finance & Investment and Audit & Risk Committees

Liz Grainger, Bsc. (Econ) Hons, FCA, GAICD

Independent Member of the Audit & Risk and Finance & Investment Committees

Liz Grainger has held senior positions in professional practice, including 10 years with Deloitte (London), the Federal Government and the Victorian public sector.

Her executive responsibilities have included finance, human resources, information technology, and asset and facility management. She has also served as a non-executive director on several not-for-profit and commercial boards.  Liz has considerable experience of the work of audit committees, and currently is an external member on the audit and risk committees of Victoria Police and Film Victoria.