Our Board


The Sylvanvale Board of Directors is responsible for supervising the management of Sylvanvale and providing strategic direction. It monitors operational and financial performance as well as approving Sylvanvale’s budgets and business plans.

It is also responsible for overseeing Sylvanvale’s risk management, financial reporting, compliance framework and service delivery and operations. The Board of Directors is accountable to members and undertakes to serve the interests of employees, customers and the broader community honestly, fairly, diligently and in accordance with applicable laws.

The Board leads by example in adopting governance standards consistent with the corporate and business world. Annual reviews are conducted as a continuous practice within our quality management system. Board directors meet monthly and their skills, commitment and combined knowledge are a real asset in setting the strategic direction as well as establishing the benchmark in regards to standards, values and practice.

Jeff McCarthy

Chairman of the Board

Jeff is a senior business executive with over 30 years experience. Jeff holds an Engineering degree and a Masters of Commerce. He has significant experience in large private and government owned businesses, having held General Management roles at ABB, Tenix, Sydney Water and Integral Energy and most recently as CEO of Westlink M7. Jeff has a strong background in organisation leadership and governance, having been a Councillor on the NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman and a past Director of Environment Business Australia. Jeff is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

David Kelly

Deputy Chairman

David is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a member of the Faculty Board for Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences at Adelaide University. David brings vast experience from these positions and his current role as Head of Quality and Risk for QANTAS Engineering and previous senior engineering roles.

John Slack


John brings over forty years of experience in the insurance and funds management industry to Sylvanvale. John’s rich knowledge stems from time as the chief actuary for two life insurance companies and serving on the Board of a leading life insurance company in New Zealand. He is community driven and has served on the Board of a local Lions club for over 20 years. John is also currently a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Robert Brown


Robert brings valuable experience in negotiations from his role as Manager International Terminals for Qantas Freight, handling customer operations and contract negotiations with international airlines in Australia and the USA, Asia and Europe. Robert is a qualified accountant and also has solid experience in demonstrating strong regulatory compliance with government agencies and airport authorities.

Bethany Taylor


Bethany works in the public sector, has qualifications in Law and Arts (majoring in politics) and is currently completing qualifications in Business and Management. Her strong interest in the community stems from family involvement in the sector and a deep sense of community spirit.

David Rafferty


David's background combines corporate, not-for-profit and non-governmental organisation (NGO) experience. David has worked for 18 years in the disability sector, including ten years in executive leadership roles at Achieve Australia. As a result, David has extensive networks and affiliations in the disability, academic and commercial areas relating to service provision and providers in the sector. A transformational leader, David's strengths include governance and strategic planning, he is passionate about inclusion, empowerment and innovation and fully supports the introduction of the NDIS as the result will be a new beginning for people who require professional support in their lives.

Sylvanvale operates as a company limited by guarantee. The Board of nine directors operates with a formal constitution which states its membership, operating procedures and the apportionment of responsibilities between the Board and management. The current Chairman, Jeff McCarthy, was appointed in 2014 and the Chief Executive Officer is Leanne Fretten. Our head office is in the Sutherland Shire and services are spread over Sydney and surrounding areas.

In accordance with our constitution, directors of Sylvanvale and controlled entities hold that position in an honorary capacity and receive no remuneration or retirement and superannuation benefits for their generous time and services.