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Phoenix Australia is a legally independent not-for-profit organisation affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry, the University of Melbourne.


Phoenix Australia (formerly the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health) is governed by a Board of Management that includes representatives of its key stakeholders, the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs and Defence, and the University of Melbourne. Phoenix Australia is endorsed by the Australian Tax Office as a Charitable Institution and has also received endorsement as a Deductible Gift Recipient.

His Honour Michael Strong, Chair

Michael is a former solicitor, barrister, Prosecutor for the Queen, judge of the County Court of Victoria, Vice-President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Director of the Office of Police Integrity (Victoria), and a former Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Examiner. Michael is a long-serving former director and President of Berry Street, Victoria’s largest independent child and family welfare agency and has served on boards and committees of numerous other organisations. Michael’s interest in posttraumatic mental health stems, in part, from the active military service of his forebears.

Professor David Forbes

David is the Director of Phoenix Australia and a clinical psychologist with many years’ experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems following trauma. David was the Chair of the Working Party for the inaugural NHMRC-approved Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and is the Vice Chair of the PTSD Guidelines for the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He sits on the editorial boards of key international journals and publishes widely in the international literature.

Mr Paul Dolan

Paul commenced as the Head of Strategy and Operations at Phoenix Australia in May 2018, an Executive position on the Board of Management. Prior to this Executive role, Paul held a Non-executive position on the Board and was Chair of the Finance & Risk committee for four years. Paul is an experienced director across the public and commercial sectors and also runs a business – Tektology – focussed on health and social systems. His previous roles include Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand with Lightfoot Solutions, an Applied Analytics and Advisory business, as well as Director of System Intelligence and Analytics and then Priority Child and Family Projects with the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria. Prior to that he was lead Director in Ernst & Young’s Healthcare Practice in Oceania. Paul has over 18 years’ public sector and management consulting experience in strategy, reform and operational improvement, with a predominant focus on health and human services. Paul holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and German from the University of Hull, and has also studied International Business at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

Mr John Fely

John Fely is the First Assistant Secretary, External Stakeholder and Government Relations Division, Department of Veterans’ Affairs. This role is responsible for driving the Department’s strategic external relationships across a number of sectors, including health services, research, data analytics and commemorations, to support the achievement of DVA’s strategic priorities. John is an experienced government sector senior executive and not-for-profit board member. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has another board role with Community Options ACT, and recently held a board position for four years with Alzheimer’s ACT. In 2002, John was awarded the Australian Service Medal (Bougainville Clasp).

Professor Malcolm Hopwood

Malcolm is the Ramsay Health Care Professor of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, based at the Albert Road Clinic in Melbourne. He specialises in clinical aspects of mood and anxiety disorders, psychopharmacology, and psychiatric aspects of acquired brain injury. Previously he led the Psychological Trauma Recovery Service, incorporating the Veterans Psychiatry Unit and the Victorian Brain Disorders Program, at Austin Health. He has held senior positions within the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists including past Chairmanships of the Victorian Branch and the Board of Research, and was President of the College from 2015-2017. In 2017 Malcolm was installed as President-Elect of the Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations, and he commenced as Interim Head of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne.

Major General Mark Kelly, AO, DSC

Mark is the Repatriation Commissioner in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Mark served in a number of senior command appointments during an Army career spanning over 35 years, including Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, Commander 3rd Brigade, Commander 1st Division, Land Commander Australia and Commander Joint Task Force 633 (CJTF 633). His operational experience includes service with the Commonwealth Monitoring Force in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia (1979-1980), Chief of Staff of the International Force in East Timor (1999-2000), with US CENTCOM in the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and Iraq (2003-2004) and as CJTF 633 commanding all ADF elements in the Middle East Area of Operations, Iraq and Afghanistan (2009-10).

Mr Greg Ridder

Greg joined the Board as director in 2012 and was appointed to the role of Chair of the Finance and Risk Committee in May 2018. Greg is an experienced company director and business advisor, with a strong commercial background in strategy, finance, and general management, having previously been President of NYSE listed packaging company Owens Illinois’ Asia Pacific regional operations. Greg’s other board roles are at Limited, Tibaldi Australasia, Oxfam Australia and Oxfam Australia Trading and he is a mentor at Kilfinan Australia. Greg is a Graduated Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a CPA.

Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart, AM

Tracy is the Commander Joint Health and Surgeon General Australian Defence Force. She completed her medical training at Flinders University (SA) and has specialist training in Aviation Medicine. Her career has included deployments to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda as senior RAAF officer and aeromedical evacuation coordinator; to Timor Leste as Chief Health Officer, HQ Peacekeeping Force, and Australian Senior Health Officer; and to the Middle East Area of Operations as Senior ADF Health Officer and Deputy Validating Flight Surgeon. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators, a member of the Australasian College of Aerospace Medicine, the Aerospace Medicine Association (US) and the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies, and an Academician of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine. She is also an Honorary Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management. Air Vice-Marshal Smart was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.