Acorn Mentoring Program: Meet the Mentors

Dr Nicky Howe_Acorn Mentor

Dr Nicky Howe
CEO, Southcare Inc.

Nicky is a CEO with a passion for building the capacity of individuals, organisations and communities. She loves helping people to achieve results so that they delivers on their promise. With a love data, outcomes and running a business that improves each year, Nicky is keen to support and help people to achieve their potential

In 2013, she was the driving force behind the Emerging Leaders in Governance Program, which supports emerging leaders to understand and embrace board leadership in the Perth Not-For-Profit community.

Tony Hagan_Acorn Mentor

Tony Hagan
Executive Manager of Philanthropy, VisAbility

Tony has broad experience in retail, small business ownership, fundraising and philanthropy. His current passion is understanding how social impact is measured, acknowledged and used to improve our civil society. With the personal brand statement"To be unique and have innovative ideas so that good people are inspired to do good things for others" Tony is keen to support our mentees to inspire good in this world.

Nicki Doyle_Acorn Mentor

Nicki Doyle
Director of Health and Ageing Services, KPMG

Nicki's leadership style is inspiring, leading, supporting and guiding. Originally a physiotherapist, She enjoys to teaching people how to do things, and to support them to learn new skills and abilities. Nicki is a 2007 Churchill Fellow, and is excited to inspire others to have an inspirational career and to understand the opportunity that aged care can give them.


Amber Crosthwaite_Acorn Mentor.jpg

Amber Crosthwaite
Director (Aged Care and Retirement Sector - Legal), Dentons

Amber is an individual with a strong sense of social justice and has always been involved in the not-for-profit sector, whether it be through volunteering on the ground or as an advisor or director.

She is an experienced commercial lawyer in the aged care and retirement sectors, plus a non-executive director of a not-for-profit that provides aged care services to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Chris How_Acorn Mentor

Chris How
CEO, Bethanie Group

Chris is someone with a proven ethical management style.
His leadership mantra is "I care for the carers who care". 

With 20 years experience in management and senior management across a number of industry sectors, he is a dedicated Health and Community Industry Leader, Chris has participated on a number of industry-related boards over the past decade at both a national and state level and is currently a Non-Executive Director Intelife. Chris holds a number of degrees across Nursing and Health Management and has also achieved a Masters of Business Administration.

Tanya Southworth_Acorn Mentor

Tanya Southworth
Organisational Development ConsulTant, UNSW

Tanya is an open and collaborative leader focussed on enabling people to achieve their goals and aspirations. Being heavily involved in the development of the Aged Care Leadership Framework, Tanya is an individual who lives and breathes leadership. She loves helping people grow, and mentoring provides an opportunity to do that at an individual level. It's more personal and more tangible. 

Her leadership goal is to create workplaces that help people and teams thrive along with their organisation.


Amanda Terranova
Director Marketing and Communications, Aged Care Channel (ACC)

Amanda is a marketing & communications professional with over 20 years experience in the private and commercial sectors, both operationally and strategically for medium to large enterprises. NYU Leonard Stern School of Business Alumni. She six years experience in the aged care industry, including 3 years experience as a NED on an NFP Board. Founder of three (3) online business. Australian Institute of Management (AIM) Leadership Diploma.

Amanda left school at 15 years old and returned to study as an adult learner including NYU, Harvard Business (Australia) and AIM. A strong believer in leadership and management being a balance of coaching, mentoring, training and directing, she is also the author of 'shut up' - a book about listening.

Nevellene Linquist_Acorn Mentor

Nevellene Linquist
Manager - People and Culture, VisAbility

Nevellene's career has been diverse beginning in a HR role within a national mining consultancy of 100+ staff. From there she has worked in in trades and technical services, cutting edge technology start-ups, and now in disability services. Nevellene has been able to draw on her start up experience as our sector goes through a paradigm shift.

Our organisation has moved from a welfare mindset to a business commercial mindset and with that comes culture change. With a strong focus initially was to raise HR to a leadership level at VisAbility. Her leadership has ensured a deeper focus on our people experience and culture. Whilst HR operations is important, it is not the driver. The focus is on fostering a high performance culture which is driven by values and underpinned by high trust.

Karen Martin_Acorn Mentor

Karen Martin
Strategic Partnerships and Development Manager, Aged Care CHannel (ACC)

Karen is passionate about improving the lives of those who work in aged care in order for them to make a positive difference to those they care for. She really believes in mentoring as Karen never had the opportunity to have a mentor until much later in her career.She believes it helps us make better career and professional development choices by helping us all talk through options with others and hear different experiences. 

Karen has held management positions and have undertaken two leadership courses. She is a mentor on the Australian Nursing College Mentor Program and is a leader in her current organisation. Karen is a strong leader in education in aged care having been instrumental in changing the culture of a large organisation from a non- learning culture to one that embraced learning and skill development winning the Minister's Award in Excellence for Learning and Development

Francis Lynch_Acorn Mentor

Francis Lynch
Regional Director, Anglicare victoria

Francis is a leader who believes in building relationships with people, understanding what's important to them, how they make decisions, and learning what they are trying to achieve. By exploring that purpose at an individual and an organisational level we can guide thinking and planning. As a leader, Francis wants to build up the skills and confidence of those he works with so that they reach their potential. 

Having coached, supervised and mentored many people across multiple organisations organisations, Francis is looking forward to sharing new perspectives that lead to opportunities for change.

Mark Brandon_Acorn Mentor

Mark Brandon (OAM)
Chief Policy and Regulatory Officer, Estia Health

Mark is an internationally recognised thought leader and expert on strategy, health and aged care quality and accreditation, government relations and organisation transformation. Mark has held senior executive appointments in Australia, provided advisory services to overseas governments, lead international special interests groups, spoken at an array of international conferences and am involved in research in the area of aged care, and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in June 2015 (in recognition of his contribution to health and aged standards).

As Chief Policy and Regulatory Officer, Mark’s pivotal role is positioning Estia with stakeholders, ensuring regulatory compliance and reviewing core business policies. He is looking to forward to seeing people optimise their abilities through mentoring and contributing to a sector that has given Mark opportunity and success that he would never have imagined in my early life.

Nicola Burton_Acorn Mentori

Nicola Burton
Learning and development manager, Aged Care Channel

Nicola began her career as an RN, and spent 7 years in the acute sector working up to the position of Clinical Nurse Specialist before moving into Quality Improvement (accreditation, project management and clinical review). Throughout her career Nicola has ignited a passion for Learning and Development where she provided paid education to other organisations, started a local network for educators in her local regional area (in aged care), plus built strong links with management providing advice and support around performance management, clinical care and improvement and staffing issues.

Nicola likes to lead her team democratically, looking at growing staff's positive attributes and empowering people to reach their potential personally and professionally.


Roger Hughes
Director, +ve People

Roger describes himself as very values driven and believes that positive people engagement drives better businesses.

His approach is to always think of the long-term outcomes and then develop a clear strategy to get there. Building talent, engaging them to the goals and developing their capability is the core of my HR philosophy. Roger then uses his collaborative style to build support and teamwork to achieve those goals.

Having mentored young HR professionals in the past and he enjoys seeing them identify challenges and concerns, and walking them through how they might deal with it. Roger finds real joy in them coming back having successfully achieved what they set out to do.

Andrew Hoggan_Acorn Mentor

Andrew Hoggan
General Manager, Mirus Australia

Psychologist by trade, Andrew has spent years counselling in different areas including homeless and prison populations. He moved over to organisational psychology and specialised in leadership and change management. Andrew landed in Aged Care 5 years ago and now runs a growing Advisory firm which specialises in the Aged Care industry.

Andrew is always learning and refining his own leadership skills, and enjoys seeing people grow, succeed and ultimately enjoy their career. He sees mentors as being instrumental in his own personal development, and looks forward to learning from a young aspiring leader through this mentoring partnership over the next five months.


John Carrol
CEO (people, branding + marketing), omnicare alliance ltd

Born in Zimbabwe (South Africa) - which was gripped by a 15 year civil war right through my school years, John was conscripted and served on active national service in the army immediately on leaving school. He completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Rhodes University in South Africa and then achieved a first class, post-graduate Honours degree in Business Administration, specialising in Marketing and Business Strategy which he has continued to build upon through management, senior executive, and board directorship roles over his career

John believes in inclusive leadership and enjoys giving people the authority to make decisions in their own areas of competence, while being a resource and support for them. He is a firm believer in the clear distinction between management and leadership - a balance between the two is essential in business. That means having good systems and processes under-pinning a caring leadership style.

Lesley Jordan_Acorn Mentor

Lesley Jordan
CEO, Twilight Care

Lesley is committed to making a difference in the aged care sector and views mentoring as another way that we can influence the change needed in our industry. She describes herself as fair but firm. Lesley is very driven in the work place and has high expectations of her staff. 

She enjoys cooking, keeping fit, hiking, and is currently planning a trip to Patagonia.


more amazing mentors to be confirmed in the coming days. Stay tuned!

These include:

  • entrepreneurs,
  • government consultants,
  • CEOs and brilliant managers