Our Board of Directors

Mark Phillips

Mr Mark Phillips

BCom (Hons), MCom, FAICD

Chair of the Board, Member of the Fundraising and Marketing Committee, Cancer Council NSW representative on the Cancer Council Australia Board Appointed to the Board in April 2013 and re-appointed April 2016

Mr Phillips has more than 30 years’ experience in business. In a 20-year career with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, he was instrumental in the development of a range of new business divisions. Subsequently, Mr Phillips spent more than 10 years as the Chief Executive Officer of various companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and is currently a Non-Executive Director and adviser to businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

James Butler

Mr James Butler

Member of the Remuneration and Nomination Committee, Chair of the Consumer Research Review Panel, Chair of the Relay For Life Steering Committee Elected to the Board in December 2014

Mr Butler has been an active volunteer for Cancer Council NSW for more than 18 years and has held roles including Chair of the Hills Relay For Life Committee, trained Cancer Council NSW advocate and Chair of the Western Sydney Cancer Advocacy Network. As a two-time cancer survivor, he understands the need to influence decision-makers around key issues that have an impact on people affected by cancer.

Mr Butler is currently Chair of Cancer Council NSW’s Consumer Research Review Panel and the Hills Community Cancer Network. Outside Cancer Council NSW, Mr Butler has been a business owner for 25 years and is an active consumer representative on cancer services committees in the Western Sydney Local Health District. 

Lisa Horvath

Professor Lisa Horvath


Board Director Representative on the Cancer Research Committee
Appointed to the Board in April 2015

Professor Horvath is the Director of Medical Oncology and Acting Director of Research at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. She completed medical school at The University of Sydney and trained in medical oncology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where she was appointed to the senior staff in 2003. She completed her PhD in translational research at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in 2004.

Professor Horvath’s research interest is predominantly in the field of prostate cancer biomarkers and therapeutics and she is involved in a large number of clinical trials in prostate and colorectal cancers, as well as Phase I trials. She holds academic appointments at both The University of Sydney and UNSW and is the Head of Prostate Cancer Therapeutics at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre/Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Professor Horvath has also published more than 70 research papers in peer-reviewed journals in the past 16 years.  

John Laker

Dr John Laker AO

BEc (Hons 1) (Syd), MSc PhD (London)

Chair of the Governance Committee, Chair of the Remuneration and Nomination Committee, Member of the Audit and Risk Committee
Elected to the Board in December 2014 

Dr Laker was Chairman of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the regulator of the Australian financial services industry, from 2003 to 2014. An economist by training, Dr Laker had an extensive career in the Reserve Bank of Australia prior to his appointment to APRA, holding senior positions in the economic, international and financial stability areas, both in Australia and London. He has also worked in the Commonwealth Treasury and the International Monetary Fund.

Currently, Dr Laker is Chairman of Banking and Finance Oath Ltd and a member of the Council of the University of Technology Sydney and ASIC’s External Advisory Panel. He also lectures at The University of Sydney. Dr Laker was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2008 and has won other professional awards for his services to the regulation of the Australian financial system.  

Joe McGirr

Associate Professor Joe McGirr


Member of the Remuneration and Nomination Committee, Member of the Accommodation Sub-Committee
Elected to the Board in December 2014

Associate Professor McGirr is Associate Dean Rural of The University of Notre Dame Australia School of Medicine, Sydney. Having worked in clinical medicine and senior health administration in south west rural and regional NSW for more than 25 years, he originally practised clinically as a specialist in emergency medicine before making a career in health administration, becoming Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Murray Area Health Service and then Director of Clinical Operations for the Greater Southern Area Health Service. Associate Professor McGirr is a fellow of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators and has been a member of the Western Regional Advisory Committee of Cancer Council NSW since 2011. He is currently a Director of the National Rural Health Alliance.  

Melanie Trethowan

Ms Melanie Trethowan

MB (Marketing)

Member of the Fundraising and Marketing Committee, Member of the Governance Committee, Member of the Accommodation Sub-Committee
Elected to the Board in December 2008, re-elected December 2011 and December 2014

Ms Trethowan has been actively involved in cancer issues since 2004. To date, her roles with Cancer Council NSW include Regional Advocacy Network Facilitator, member of the Mudgee Relay For Life Committee, Acting Chair of the Western Regional Advisory Committee, and Daffodil Day Town Manager. Her previous board experience includes the Central West Community College, Kanandah Retirement Ltd and the Foundation for Australian Agricultural Women. She is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program, Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Vincent Fairfax Fellow. Since 1996, Ms Trethowan has operated a marketing and project consultancy business based in Mudgee.  

Toby Heap

Dr Toby Heap

BAppSc, MCom, PhD, GAICD

Member of the Audit and Risk Committee, Member of the Investment Committee, Member of the Fundraising and Marketing Committee
Elected to the Board in December 2015

Dr Heap is a Founding Partner of H2 Ventures, a venture capital investment firm. He is a Non-Executive Director of not-for-profit fintech hub Stone & Chalk, equity crowdfunding platform Equitise, and dance theatre company Shaun Parker & Company. He is a Member of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) Digital Finance Advisory Committee and holds a PhD in Health Sciences from The University of Sydney.

Dr Heap was previously a founder of several digital startups, a Research Fellow at The University of Sydney and a Non-Executive Director of SPELD NSW – a not-forprofit association supporting children and adults with specific learning difficulties. 

Nicholas Adams

Nicholas Adams

BCom (Marketing)

Chair of the Fundraising and Marketing Committee Elected to the Board in December 2015

Mr Adams is the Executive Director – Customer Value Creation at Telstra and has 23 years’ experience in financial services and telecommunications marketing with companies such as Westpac, American Express and BUPA. He has expertise in CRM, loyalty and digital marketing, and building data-driven marketing programs to drive both revenue and customer engagement with brands. At a community level, Mr Adams is involved with supporting the homeless through St Vincent De Paul and Weave, a not-forprofit group focused on disadvantaged and vulnerable young people, women, children and families in the City of Sydney and South Sydney.

Mr Adams was recognised as a Rising Star of Australian Marketing in 2004 and was named the Australian Direct Marketer of the Year in 2010. He was also identified as a Global Marketing Leader in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the New York-based Internationalist Magazine.   

Jane Young

Professor Jane Young


Member of the Cancer Research Committee
Appointed to the Board in June 2016

Professor Young trained in medicine in the UK in 1983, undertook a Master of Public Health in 1998 and completed a PhD in applied epidemiology at The University of Sydney in 2000. She holds joint appointments with The University of Sydney, where she is Professor in Cancer Epidemiology, and Sydney Local Health District, where she is Executive Director of the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre and Executive Director, Research for the Institute of Academic Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Professor Young is a health services researcher with a focus on the application of epidemiological methods to improve cancer services and patient outcomes. She has undertaken research spanning the cancer journey, and has an interest in surgical trials and the development and evaluation of new models of care, the promotion of evidence-based practice and the use of data to improve cancer service delivery. She has co-authored over 180 peer-reviewed journal articles.