Board of Directors
Ross Hepburn started his working career at ACI Fibreglass in Frankston Road, Dandenong in the late 1970’s while living in Springvale and finished his diverse marketing and management career retiring as the Director of Corporate Services for the City of Greater Dandenong in 2007. His connection with Springvale and Dandenong spans some 35 years with connections in sport, business and local government. Ross is a former general manager, consultant and company director, and holds degrees in civil engineering and business administration. He served on the council of RMIT University for 13 years with lengthy terms as both Deputy Chancellor and Treasurer. He was an inaugural Director of the South East Melbourne Manufacturer’s Alliance. He is a life member and past President of Coomoora and Dandenong Cricket Clubs and the Dandenong District Cricket Association. He is also a life member of Cricket Victoria. Ross maintains a strong interest in local community affairs. He joined SCAAB as Treasurer in 2007. He was the Chairperson of SCAAB and was made a Life Member in 2015. Ross is now the Chairperson of South East Community Links following the merger of SCAAB, DCAB and SEAAC.
Deborah has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Town and Country Planning. Deborah has lived in the United States, Malaysia and Greece and has worked in planning for local and state government over the past 25 years. Deborah worked in Dandenong from 2002 to 2009, working with the community and government agencies on a range of infrastructure and community building projects in the Greater Dandenong region. Deborah joined the SCAAB Board of Directors in 2005 and was the Vice Chair of SCAAB until 2015. Deborah continues as the Deputy Chair of South East Community Links.
Joined the Board of Directors in 1971 and has held position of Treasurer, Vice-Chairperson, Chairperson at various times. Background is in banking and finance with ANZ group and retired in 1997 after 41 years. During that time held various management posts in Marketing, Sales, Audit and Training. Chris is a life member of the Bureau and member of Committee of Management of Blind Bight Community Centre, and SVN Inc, an organisation which manages a community bus project. Also, a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia. Chris continues on the Board of South East Community Links.
Sarah has a Masters in Sport Business and is currently the Chief Executive Officer at the South Metro Junior Football League based in Moorabbin. Sarah has been working in sport management for over 31 years now in various roles including not for profit, Local Government Councils and State Sporting Associations.
Sarah migrated to Australia at the age of six from Malaysia in 1977 with her parents and two older brothers. The family moved to Noble Park North in the City of Greater Dandenong. Sarah’s ties to the region are still very strong with her parents still living in the same property and where she attended Silverton PS and Carwartha SC.
Sarah is also still playing women’s AFL as well as being the State coach for the Victorian Women’s team. Sarah is also an AFL Multicultural Community Ambassador, taking newcomers to AFL matches and teaching them about the game.
Rachna came to financial counselling in 2011 after a career in retail banking. She is a financial counsellor currently working as the Senior Practitioner, Financial Wellbeing Program.
Rachna works alongside people experiencing financial difficulty who have been impacted by unemployment, living on a low income, family violence, gambling and other life events.
Rachna is a member of the Australian Bankers Association -consumer outcomes group as a consumer representative and is a former member of the Financial Ombudsman Service- Consumer Liaison Group as a consumer representative.
Rachna is passionate about social justice and advocacy.
Masters in Business (Swinburne University of Technology), Dip. Community Services (Financial Counselling)
Jan Cormack was employed in the Australian Public Service for over 40 yrs prior to retiring in August 2012. Jan predominately worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs and Centrelink (formerly the Department of Social Security). Jan’s last position held was the Regional Manager, Stakeholders and Community in the Eastern Zone and she was responsible for working with many Government Departments both State and Federal where the formation of partnerships were vital to support community members. Jan was also responsible for the performance of three Medicare outlets and five Centrelink sites. Jan completed her secondary education at MacRobertson Girls High School and holds a Bachelor of Business (Public Administration) from RMIT which she passed with distinction. In 2008, Jan received the Minister for Human Services Award for exemplary services to customers and stakeholders and in 2011 an Australia Day medal for achievement. Jan joined the SCAAB Board in 2013 and now continues as a Board Member in South East Community Links.
Robert has over 30 years’ experience in statutory and strategic planning and people management across the consulting, corporate, local and state government sectors, including eight years as the Executive Officer of the Dandenong Development Board. Robert has also worked in a voluntary capacity with Personal Emergency Services Inc and has been actively involved in a range of professional and non-professional support groups, such as the Planning Institute of Australia, Australian Association of Planning Consultants, and local school and sports management groups. Robert has qualifications in town planning, property and business management and is a Chartered Practising Planner (Planning Institute of Australia). Robert served on the SCAAB Board for 4 years before stepping down in 2015. He re-joined the SECL Board in January 2018.
Fiona Garside began her accountancy career in Brisbane with BDO Kendalls after graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Queensland. She is a Member of the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) in the UK, becoming a Fellow in 2010 whilst working overseas.
Predominantly based in London at that time, Fiona ultimately became a Senior Finance Manager at British Telecom (BT) which is a multinational telecommunications company, and led a large global team for many years. In addition, she worked in roles with the Walt Disney Company, Fox Kids TV and other media outlets performing Project Finance, Financial Accountancy and Financial Analysis with direct reporting lines to Board level.
Having returned to Melbourne in 2013 with a young family, she has actively joined local community organisations and enjoys engaging with her new home city. Fiona joined the board of SECL as Treasurer in December 2018.