Austin Hospital entrance

About Us

The Board

The Board is responsible for overseeing the performance and overall direction of Austin Health. The State Government appoints board members, with most terms usually being for three years.

The Hon Judith Troeth AM

Judith Troeth was appointed Chair of the Austin Health Board in July 2012.

She brings to the position extensive experience in public representation, community consultation and advocacy. She was Liberal Senator for Victoria in the Federal Government for 18 years. She was the first female Member of Parliament in the Agricultural portfolio, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Foresty from 1997 to 2004. She has also been Chair and Deputy Chair of a number of Senate Committees and devised and passed through the Senate, two private members' bills.

Before entering politics, Judith was a farmer and a teacher - roles that led her to become a key advocate on issues including rural education, women and immigration.


Mary Draper AM

Mary Draper joined the Austin Health Board in July 2014. She brings a passion for a participatory health care and patient and family-centred approaches and skills in policy, strategy, stakeholder engagement, quality and safety and consumer participation.

Until very recently, Mary Draper was CEO of the Health Issues Centre, Victoria's health consumer organization. She was on the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Victorian Health Services Plan 2011-2022, the Review Panel to review the Health Services Conciliation and Review Act and chaired the Department of Health's Participation Advisory Committee.

Previous roles were Director of Clinical Governance at the Women's and Manager in the Quality Branch of the Department of Human Services, responsible for consumer participation, clinical effectiveness and clinical risk management. She has represented consumers on key national committees including the Taskforce on Quality in Australian Healthcare and was a board member of ACOSS and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. She was also a board director of La Trobe Regional Health. 

Mary is the chair of the  Austin Health Clinical Safety & Quality Committee and is a member of the Finance & Resources Committee and the Primary Care & Population Health Advisory Committee.


Chris Altis

Chris Altis was appointed to the Austin Health Board in July 2015. He holds Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Arts (Public Policy) degrees from the University of Melbourne and is a Graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors.

Chris has twenty-five years experience in the health sector, working in a policy and advisory capacity at a Victorian and national level.

Since 2011 he has been Deputy Chair of the North Richmond Community Health Service, and was previously a board member of the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local, where he was a member of a number of board sub-committees, including Chair of the People and Culture Board Sub-Committee.

Chris works in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Chris is chair of the Austin Health Audit & Risk Committee and is a member Finance & Resources Committee.

Julie Bignell

Julie Bignell has a long history of leadership and governance in the public and not-for-profit sectors. In addition to Austin Health, she is is also a member of the board of CareSuper and is Chair of the Member and Employer Services Committee. Her previous board experience includes 10 years with North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation and its predecessors Ports Corporation Queensland and Mackay Port Corporation. She represented Queensland workers on the board of Workplace Health & Safety Qld and on the Executive of the Queensland Council of Unions. She was the Secretary of the Central & Southern Queensland Branch of the Australian Services Union for 15 years and was a member of the National Executive and National Vice President of the ASU. Julie holds a Bachelor Arts degree (Economics & Japanese) and a Graduate Diploma of IR/HRM, RG146 Financial Advice qualification and is a graduate Trustee Director of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees. Julie is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Julie is chair of the Austin Health Community Advisory Committee and is a member of the Clinical Safety & Quality Committee.

Dr Christine Bessell


Christine Bessell was appointed to the Austin Health Board in July 2016.

She is an experienced obstetrician and medical executive who brings a passion for and experience in the provision of effective, safe and patient centred public hospital care. She has previously practised obstetrics in the private and public sectors in metropolitan Melbourne and been the Director of the Labour Ward at Monash Medical Centre, Clinical Director of Women's Health at Southern Health, and served as the Director of Medical Services at the Angliss Hospital and at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.

She was Chief Medical Officer at the Royal Women's Hospital from 2004 until 2014. She has recently provided consultancy advice in obstetrics, maternity services, clinical governance and patient safety to the Chief Executive of Djerriwarrh Health Service (Bacchus Marsh) and to other regional and rural health services across Victoria. She is a member of the Victorian Board of the Medical Board of Australia.

Christine is chair of the Austin Health Primary Care & Population Health Advisory Committee and is a member of the Clinical Safety & Quality Committee and the Community Advisory Committee.

Helen Thornton B.Ec. ACA. GAICD

Helen Thornton was appointed to the Austin Health Board on 22 August 2017.

Helen is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience across a wide range of industries. She has significant board experience and is currently a Non-Executive Director and Deputy Chair of the Treasury Corporation of Victoria and Zoological Parks and Gardens Board, as well as a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee for Yarra Valley Water, the Legal Practitioners Liability Committee and ISPT Pty Ltd.   Helen is an independent member of the Risk & Audit Committees for the Departments of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Health & Human Services and Education and Training.


Helen has extensive experience in governance, audit and risk management and she has held senior leadership roles at Deloittes, KPMG, BHP Ltd and Bluescope Steel Ltd, where she was responsible for the global risk management function.

Helen is chair of the Austin Health Finance & Resources Committee and is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee and the Governance & Remuneration Committee.

Martin Botros

Martin Botros was appointed to the Austin Health Board on 22 August 2017.

Having trained as both a lawyer and a physiotherapist, Martin has worked in a wide range of roles, including the Coroners Court of Victoria, the Victorian WorkCover Authority, Avant Law, and previously at Austin Health. He currently works as a risk adviser, where he informs and guides doctors (and their practices) with a view to supporting safer practice and better patient outcomes.

He is the National President of Kidsafe Australia, an independent, non-profit charitable foundation dedicated to the prevention of unintentional death, injury and associated disability to children. He is also a member on various boards and quasi-judicial bodies, including chairing Performance and Professional Standards Panels for the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Previously Martin served on Eastern Health's Board of Directors, Football Federation Victoria's Tribunal, the Podiatrists Registration Board of Victoria, Manningham Community Health Service's Board of Management; La Trobe University's Faculty Board of Law and Management; and the University of Melbourne's Faculty Board of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

In his spare time he delivers health law training to health professionals; as well as medical law lectures to medical students at Monash University.

Martin is a member of the Austin Health Audit & Risk Committee.

Dr Stanley Chiang

Dr Chiang arrived in Australia in 1980 to study at Adelaide's Flinders University. He received his degrees in Biological Sciences (B.Sc., Hon.) and Medicine (M.B.B.S.) before moving to Melbourne in 1992 to begin a general practice. He later specialised in medical acupuncture and WorkCover rehabilitation and obtained further post-graduate degrees including FRACGP (specialist in General Practice) and FAMAC.

In March 2002 Dr Chiang became an elected Councillor for Darebin Council in the La Trobe Ward and in 2005 he was elected as Mayor of the City of Darebin in Melbourne's inner north. After more than 10 years of service and two further elections he finished his term as Councillor- making him one of Darebin's longest serving Councillors. He also served as a Commissioner for the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) from 2001 till 2011.

Currently Dr Chiang operates a number of medical clinics with his business partner and is engaged in teaching and mentoring for a number of special areas, including medical acupuncture.

Dr. Chiang is a strong campaigner for multiculturalism in Australia, particularly in Victoria. He also works tirelessly to support new migrants.

Stanley is a member of the Austin Health Finance and Resources Committee and the Clinical Safety and Quality Committee.

Fi Slaven

Fi Slaven was appointed to the Board in July 2018.

Fi is the General Manager for Chartered Accounting firm William Buck Victoria and Chair of their Risk Committee. As Secretary of the Victorian ICT for Women Network and Director of the Go Girl, Go for IT expo, she is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion. She has been particularly focused and influential in promoting women's participation in STEM careers. As such, Fi was recognised for her contributions to the industry by her peers and was named 2014 National and Victorian ICT Woman of the Year.

After advancing IT leadership roles within healthcare, Fi was appointed as the first Australian Chief Information Officer for a National Chartered Accounting firm and subsequently became the first female and Australian IT Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator and representative on the IT Advisory Committee internationally.

Commencing her career at the Austin as a graduate nurse and then specializing in critical care, Fi progressed into senior nursing roles which led to a move into the technology industry and managing IT services with the Mayne Group, Affinity Health and Symbion Health.

Fi also holds an MBA, Graduate Diploma's in Health Administration and Critical Care, Diploma and Bachelors of Nursing, Critical Care Certificate and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Fi is a member of the Austin Health Finance & Resources Committee.