Our Board

ACIA's Board is concerned with the systems and processes that ensure the overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of an organisation.

Board members take ultimate responsibility for the governance of the organisation. However, governance is not a role for Boards and Board members alone. Governance is also concerned with the way the Board works with our CEO and staff, volunteers, service users, members and other stakeholders, to ensure our organisation is effectively and properly run and meets the needs for which the organisation was set up.
The function of the Board is to collectively ensure the delivery of the organisation’s objects, to set its strategic direction, and to uphold its values. The Board are collectively responsible and accountable for ensuring and monitoring that the organisation is performing well, is solvent, and is complying with all its legal, financial, and ethical obligations.


Robert Dempsey

Robert Dempsey

ACIA Chair

Chief Operating Officer, Minda

Chair of the Croatian Ukrainian and Belarusian Aged Care Association (St Annas)

“Minda's aged care services provide residential accommodation support primarily to people with intellectual disability. They also offer Home Care Packages which help older people remain at home, as an alternative to moving into a residential facility.”

Robert's role as Chief Operation Officer for Minda sees him designing and implementing business strategies, plans and procedures while overseeing operations of the company. Minda is at the forefront of the disability sector, offering support and opportunity to approximately 1,700 South Australians in the areas of accommodation, supported employment, lifestyle services and respite.

 Pooja Newman

Dr Pooja Newman, MBBS

Deputy Chair

Clinical Care Director, Ananda Aged Care

Founder Global Anaphylaxis Awareness and Inclusivity

President of Wilderness School Old Scholars

"Enriched by the values of family, Ananda is a place where respect, integrity of life and compassion are supported by holistic care and well-being experiences."

As Clinical Director, Pooja has clinical oversight and risk management of over 200 residential aged care places in South Australia.

Ananda Aged Care sites are in areas that are culturally and linguistically diverse and there is increasing demand to cater for residents and their families with a deep understanding of their beliefs, values and priorities. She says, “The hallmark of senior staff is the intuition and sensitivity that comes so naturally to their everyday efforts. Experience is so vital in realising a seriously ill patient, or ensuring palliation is achieved with dignity and balances the needs of the family and the individual. I encourage intergenerational activity even amongst our staff; it’s so important, the mentorship and support that comes from a staff member who has seen it all many times before.”


Neil Pahuja

All Care Aged Care

“There are many factors to consider when moving a loved one into care, one of the most important is the ability for them to maintain their hobbies, skills and pastimes as well as to retain an active and social lifestyle.”
 Chris Stride

Chris Stride

Managing Director, Infinite Care incorporating Bonney Healthcare Group


Infinite Care has empathy for the emotional and complex decision process that residential aged care poses for all members of the family. It is generally a stressful time. We take the responsibility of working in our resident’s home very seriously. Infinite offer individualised service so our residents feel right at home – their life and care choices matter to us. Infinite aim to redefine the new generation of residential aged care.”
Chris is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia, and holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Finance and Investment. Chris has a broad range of experience covering corporate advisory and financial services, mergers and acquisitions, property and finance, aged care and retirement, as well as commercial litigation.
As Managing Director for Infinite Care, Chris oversees over 400 beds across 5 operating residential aged care facilities, set in unique and diverse locations around Adelaide, South Australia, and over 1,000 approved places across 9 planned residential aged care facilities across Australia in the development pipeline.
 rsz shannon sanderson

Shannon Sanderson

Business Development Manager, Aged Care Channel

Together, we will make a team that others call outstanding #Outstandingteam. Let’s talk about Learning and Development goals for you, your team, your organisation.”

Shannon chooses to work with companies of integrity, who positively affect the lives of older people and those who care for them. She strongly believes in the development of genuine relationships and the authentic sharing of ideas, insights and resources. Her goal is to encourage lifelong learning, having people accept responsibility for professional development and putting 'learning into action', so others can witness how learning can transform care on a regular basis.


Melissa Pagliarulo

Acting CEO, St Pauls Lutheran Homes

Melissa, as Acting CEO St Pauls Lutheran Homes, manages a retirement community with 64 independent living units, serviced apartments and retirement units. In addition, she manages a secure 80 bed home providing residential and respite care including dedicated dementia specific facilities for residents requiring additional memory support services.

Melissa's passions for the sector are diverse, including for quality Palliative Care, Technology development for the sector and to also entice Registered Nurses into aged care, as a career choice. She feels RN’s can use real clinical assessment and critical thinking skills and work in an autonomous manner, to make aged care an industry of choice for those who want to enhance and use their skills to their full potential. Her background experiences come from years of dedicated learning and career progressions through Personal Care Worker roles, to her RN Bachelor of Nursing at UniSA providing the stepping stone to take on a Clinical Nurse and then Clinical Services Manager role at St Pauls.

 Mark Brandon

Mark Brandon

Chief Quality Officer, Estia Health Aged Care

"One family where everyone belongs"

Mark is an internationally recognised thought leader and expert on strategy, health and aged care quality and accreditation, government relations and organisation transformation. Mark held the CEO position at the Australian government's Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency from 2002 to 2013.

Mark was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in June 2015, in recognition of his contribution to health and aged standards. Mark is a member of a number of reference/research groups as well as being an Adjunct Professor in School of Business from The University of Notre Dame Australia.




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