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Our Board of Directors


Athina Georgiou


BApp Sci (SpPath), MEd (UniMelb), GradDip Bus Leadership, MBus Leadership (RMIT),FACHSM, GAICD

Chair of Board Performance Committee

Chair of Executive Remuneration Committee

Athina Georgiou has enjoyed over 20 years in Senior Executive roles, with the past eight years as a Chief Executive in public health and the not-for-profit arenas. She has an extensive background in policy formulation, organisational change management and professional mentoring, with a particular interest in the professional fields of Allied Health. In addition, she has extensive experience in working with governing boards and being accountable for key financial, clinical and human resource performance. She joined the Gippsland Southern Board in July 2017 and was a member of the Clinical Governance & Quality Improvement Committee until 2019. In 2019, she joined the Audit & Finance Committee and has since been apppointed Chair. Athina has a Masters Degree in Business Leadership (RMIT) and a Masters in Education (Uni of Melb). In 2008, she completed the Experience Bank Program through Leadership Victoria. In 2010 she was awarded her Fellowship with Australian College of Health Service Management. She became a graduate in the Australian Institute of Company Directors in April 2013.

Gwen was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in 1981 and has been in practice since that time. Gwen practised as a Solicitor with Melbourne law firms for 10 years and became an Accredited Specialist in Family Law in 1990.
Gwen conducted her own consulting practice for the next 20 years, consulting with small and large commercial organisations as a lawyer, change manager and advising on business development strategy.
Her past legal experience covers all areas of general legal practice (personal injuries, property, wills and deceased estates) with an emphasis on family law and related matters, Wills and Powers of Attorney. She moved to practice family law in South Gippsland in 2012. Gwen joined the GSHS Board in July 2020 and contributes also as a volunteer with the local Citizens Advice Bureau.


Gwendoline Scheffer

Deputy Chairperson

BA, LLB, MBA, Grad Dip Education, Cert IV in Workplace Training


Chris McLoughlin

Deputy Chairperson

With more than 30 years of management experience, Chris
specialises in Executive leadership, culture development, group facilitation, team coaching, leadership development, organisational development and strategic thinking. She has led teams in the manufacturing and consulting sectors following her early career as a social worker in several community agencies. Chris has been involved with public health for ten years and is currently the Executive Director of People and Culture at Monash Health with a focus on organisational transformation. Chris leads the following teams Human Resources, Organisation Development, Redesigning Care, Education & Innovation and Library Services to develop and support a positive and respectful culture and provide coaching and mentoring to teams and individuals.
Chris joined the GSHS Board in 2020. 

BSW  ( Bachelor of Social Work)

Jill has over 20 years of experience in delivering health services in senior leadership and clinical roles in both the public and private health sectors.
Jill is clinically active in private practice as a registered Podiatrist and has additional qualifications in business and law. Jill is a systems thinker who has strategically led significant re-design initiatives to improve the delivery of health services and workforce governance.
Jill joined the GSHS Board in 2019 and is a member of the now Clinical Quality and Safety Committee.


Jill Walsh

Bart R.png

Bart Ruyter

Bart was born and raised in South Gippsland, completing the
majority of his primary school years at Hedley PS, and secondary schooling at Foster HS. Bart has resided in rural Victoria for all bar seven years of his life. Bart returned to South Gippsland in 2015, for a three-year role with South Gippsland Shire. Bart is currently retired and living in Foster. Bart completed a Bachelor of Business Studies with a double major in accounting and economics in 1984. He also completed a Master in Health Administration in 2012, and has been a
member of CPA since 1988. Bart has worked in Health, Aged
and Community Services sectors for more than thirty years, the
most senior being 16 years as Chief Executive Officer for The
Kilmore & District Hospital.

B.Bus (Acc/Eco), MHA, CPA

Chair of Finance Audit & Risk Committee

Rajan has 25 years of international experience with large multinational corporates within diverse industries and sectors in senior finance and business executive roles.
Rajan has a breadth of operational experience partnering with CEOs and boards of large multinationals leading the development and execution of business and commercial strategies, frameworks that drive profitability and performance. Rajan has an extensive experience of leading large and diverse teams and passion to drive improved engagement and positive organizational culture.
Rajan is a fellow member of CPA Australia, Fellow member of Governance Institute of Australia and Corporate Governance Institute. He is also a graduate member of The Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Rajan Sawant



Belinda Brennan

Chair of Community Advisory Committee

Belinda has over 30 years in the Landcare, Natural Resource Management and Community Engagement fields in Victoria and Western Australia. With extensive experience in strategic planning, community engagement and governance,  Belinda joined the GSHS Board from 2018- 2021, including as Chair of Corporate Governance committee. She was reappointed to the GSHS Board in 2022 and is Chair of the new Community Advisory Committee and on the Clinical Quality and Safety Committee. Belinda has recently returned to her own business in Facilitation and Management Services in the NRM and Community sector, working in partnership with the Gippsland community and in particular our Traditional Owners. Belinda has a Diploma of Business in Governance and working with the community to achieve great things with great governance is driving Belinda in all her partnerships and community work.

Jill is a registered nurse, with previous experience in Executive and Clinical positions in Australia, Canada and the Middle East, as well as senior positions with the State Government and Federal Government in health and aged care. She is an experienced non-executive board director, a standards accreditation assessor and quality auditor, and as a consultant, works in private and public health, aged care, disability services and rural. Her professional roles are balanced with experience as a consumer advocate/representative in public and private health services and at a local and national level. Jill brings expertise and skills in clinical and corporate governance, quality, safety and risk management systems, legislative and standards compliance, complaints management and consumer engagement. Jill is a Fellow Australian College of Nursing and a Fellow Governance Institute of Australia and was awarded the 2001 Federation Centenary Medal for her services to medicine and the community.


Jill Linklater


Chair of Board Quality & Safety Committee

Tony Peterson.png

Tony Peterson

BEng (Civil), Dip Project Management, Masters in Business Administration, Certificate in Engagement – International Association for Public Participation Australasia, Graduate of the Local Government Professional Vic. Emerging Leaders Program.

Tony is an experienced engineer with over 30 years of experience working in both the public and private sectors across the many areas of infrastructure from planning and design to project delivery, construction and asset management.
His current role as Director Sustainable Infrastructure at South Gippsland Shire Council, involves planning for the future infrastructure needs of the community and managing the extensive range of assets within the Shire, and also being responsible for waste management and environmental sustainability initiatives.
Tony has extensive experience in community and stakeholder engagement including liaising with all levels of government. He is passionate about providing innovative sustainable solutions to the issues facing growing regions.

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