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Our People

State Trustees is committed to achieving and demonstrating the highest standards of corporate governance.

State Trustees is governed by a Board of Directors, appointed by the Victorian Treasurer on behalf of the people of Victoria.

The Board provides strategic guidance within a framework of prudent effective controls that enables risks to be assessed and managed.

State Trustees Executive Management develop and implement the operational and corporate plan and is accountable to the Board for expenditure, operations and administration in accordance with strategy, policies and legal requirements.

Board of Directors

Jennifer Acton - Chair

Jennifer Acton


1 December 2015
Committees: Member – Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, Member – Investment Committee.

Experience: The Honourable Jennifer Acton is the Chair and a Non-Executive Director of the Company. Jennifer is also the Chair of the Port of Hastings Development Authority, a member of the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal and a consultant. She has previously been a Director in the transport, water and education industries.

Jennifer is a leading proponent of ethical and evidenced-based decision making underpinned by sound corporate culture.

She has demonstrated expertise in strategic development, continuous improvement, stakeholder engagement, collaborative conflict resolution, workplace relations and sound governance. She has been a leader in many areas, with more than 20 years’ experience as a Presidential member of industrial tribunals and in the area of national economic policy.

In her work she has championed State Trustees public benefit strategy and sustainable fee reductions, overseen contracts for port growth, instituted technological solutions to operations, lectured in employment law, facilitated major industrial outcomes and productivity improvements for the infrastructure, services and manufacturing sectors and conducted peer review of decision making.

Jennifer was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 for her significant contribution to Australian society.

Mark Toohey

MAppFin, BBus (Acctg), FCA, FCPA, GAICD
1 December 2015
Committees: Chair – Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, Member – Investment Committee, Member – Remuneration Committee

Experience: Mark Toohey is a Non-Executive Director of the Company.

Mark was previously Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary for ANZ Terminals Pty Limited, Chief Financial Officer for Chandler Macleod, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer for GE Capital in Asia and Australia, and held executive finance roles at ANZ Banking Group. He is currently a Councillor and the Finance and Investment Committee Chair for Victoria University. He recently retired as a Director and Finance Committee Chair of OC Connections, a not for profit that provides support individuals with intellectual disability.

Mark has a Masters of Applied Finance and Bachelor of Business (Accounting). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia, a Fellow of CPA Australia and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Helen Hambling

Helen Hambling

BA, MPubPol
21 February 2017
Committees: Chair – Remuneration Committee, Member – External Stakeholder Engagement Transformation Committee.

Experience: Helen is a Non-Executive Director of the Company. Helen has worked as a senior executive for the Australian Government in areas including disability, housing, homelessness, Indigenous affairs, childcare, gambling, child protection and family services

Helen has also worked as Chief of Staff for several Commonwealth Ministers and has extensive experience in Australian public policy. More recently Helen has provided policy and communications advice as an independent consultant to governments and not for profit organisations.

From 2013 until 2016 Helen was the independent advisor to the inaugural Chair of the Board of the National Disability Insurance Agency, Dr Bruce Bonyhady AM.

Theo Theophanous

Theo Theophanous

BA (Hons)
4 April 2017
Committees: Member – Investment Committee, Member – External Stakeholder Engagement Transformation Committee.

Experience: The Honourable Theo Theophanous is a Non-Executive Director of the Company. Theo is a former Victorian Government Minister, who has held a number of senior portfolios. He brings to the Board a range of skills in governance, accountability, strategic thinking and negotiation.

Highlights of Theo’s Ministerial career include: as Energy and Resources Minister, introduced the Victorian Renewable Energy Scheme, construction of Basslink and largescale wind facilities. As Industry and Trade Minister, negotiated packages to bring Etihad, Qatar and other airlines to Victoria, hybrid car production and largescale investment. As Major Projects Minister, developed AAMI stadium, Major Hospitals, Recital Centre and a range of other projects. As ICT Minister, helped bring IBM to Ballarat, supercomputer to Melbourne University and investment in the digital economy.

Theo served on the Board of NICTA and steered the transition to Data61 as part of CSIRO. He is currently on the Board of the Victorian Planning Authority, is Vice President of the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria, and is a specialist advisor to a number of CEO’s in the private sector. Theo is a media commentator, has written many articles published in mainstream media, especially the Herald Sun, and actively advocates for Diabetes awareness.

Angela Emslie - Director

Angela Emslie AM

18 May 2020
Committees: Chair – Investment Committee, Member – Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.

Experience: Angela is a Non-Executive Director of the Company. Angela is an experienced non-executive director and has a wealth of expertise in governance, strategy, superannuation and investments having served on a range of superannuation funds and related boards for over 25 years.

Angela is Chair of housing developer Assemble Communities, a non-executive director at RGA Reinsurance Company of Australia, Frontier Advisors, the UN supported global investor group Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and serves as an expert advisor on the HESTA Impact Committee.

As Chair of Suicide Prevention Australia, Angela is an advocate for national leadership in suicide prevention. She also extensive experience as a management consultant to the health and community services sector.

Angela is a former Independent Chair of HESTA Super Fund, where she actively fostered a strong member focused culture and a commitment to responsible investment, and a past President of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST).

She holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Master of Business and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST). In 2018 she was honoured with the AIST Trustee of the Year Award for her contribution to Australian superannuation funds.

Tony Clark - Director

Tony Clark

Bsc (Hons), MA (Comms)
Appointed: 18 May 2020
Committees: Member – Remuneration Committee, Member – External Stakeholder Engagement Transformation Committee.

Experience: Tony brings experience across a range of sectors including not for profit, disability and government. This includes Chair of IAP2 (International Association of Public Participation), extensive experience in the disability sector on state and national reference committees, at Vision Australia as a national manager and has worked across education, housing and health in executive management with the state government. Living in regional Victoria Tony also brings the value of lived experience of disability and as a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity.

Vivienne Nguyen - Director

Vivienne Nguyen AM

MAppFin, BComm
Appointed: 18 May 2020
Committees: Member – Investment Committee, Member – Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.

Experience: Vivienne is the Chair at the Victorian Multicultural Commission, is an established business executive and community leader, having previously held roles as Group Head of Diversity at the ANZ Banking Group, President of the Vietnamese Community in Australia’s Victorian Chapter and non-executive director at City West Water.

Julie Ligeti

Julie Ligeti

BA/LLB (Monash University), GAICD
Appointed: 4 October 2021
Committees: Member – Remuneration Committee, Member – External Stakeholder Engagement Transformation Committee.

Experience: Julie is a Non-Executive Director of the Company. Julie is an experienced public policy and government affairs executive and non- executive board director. She is currently Director of Global Public Advocacy for Cochlear Limited. Julie has extensive Australian and international experience in policy development, advocacy, public and government affairs, and communications. Her career priorities have been in social policy fields including aged, disability and hearing health care, equality, access to justice and consumer protection law. Julie has more than 10 years experience in commercial environments having worked in senior government affairs, advocacy, and communications roles for ASX listed companies. Julie has worked as an advocate in the NGO sector and served for over 15 years as a senior adviser and Chief of Staff to a State Attorney- General and State and Federal Government Ministers.

Julie is a member of the Monash University Council and serves on several of its governance committees. She is a member of the World Health Organisation World Hearing Forum Steering Committee and Working Group Co-Chair. Until recently Julie served as Board Chair of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) and was inaugural Board Chair of the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service Victoria (ACCS). Julie has served on industry, state and federal government policy advisory bodies. Julie is a long-standing supporter of Western Chances, the Australian Human Rights Legal Service and other not for profit causes.

Executive Team

John Velegrinis

John Velegrinis

Chief Executive Officer

Appointed: 16 August 2021

As a leader, John encourages and inspires people to set and pursue aspirational goals, supporting individuals to innovate and achieve, within a framework of strong values, ethics and good governance.

An experienced CEO with substantial experience in Funds Management, commercial and corporate banking, John led several divisions of the ANZ Group, including Risk for International, ANZ Fiji, Regional Markets – Pacific, and Credit, Commercial and Wealth, Australia.

More recently, John was CEO of the Australian Scholarships Group, the largest specialist education benefits provider in Australia and New Zealand.

John is a Fellow the Financial Services Institute of Australia, a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and has completed post-graduate studies in Banking and Finance.

Josie Brown

Josie Brown

General Manager, Financial Administration
19 August 2019

Josie Brown is responsible for the Financial Administration division. Prior to her appointment in this role, she was the Acting Executive General Manager for Client Services.

She has experience across a diverse range of banking and finance areas, as a result of over 26 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry.

Josie has been employed with State Trustees since 2007 and has held a variety of Senior Manager and Executive roles in this time, including having led areas such as Deceased Estates, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Taxation, Property, Client Legal and Financial Planning.

In 2015, Josie was recognised for her excellence in leadership, having been a State Finalist for both the Australian Institute of Management excellence awards and the annual SACS Leadership awards.

Josie is an alumnus of Leadership Victoria’s, Folio Community Leadership Program and volunteers as a mentor for their ongoing programs.

Andrew Tennant

Andrew Tennant

General Manager, Professional Services
GAICD, BA (Hons)
19 August 2019

Andrew is responsible for the Professional Services division, which provides a range of specialised services to safeguard and improve State Trustees clients financial wellbeing. These services cover the areas of client cashflow, protection and wealth enhancement.

Andrew comes to State Trustees from the financial services industry after a career at NAB and ANZ, where he undertook a variety of roles including district manager of three branch networks, national sales effectiveness and sales development manager, product manager and senior internal audit director.

Andrew has a BA (Honours) in Accounting, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is Treasurer and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council.

Brett Comer

Brett Comer

Chief Financial Officer and General Manager, Corporate Services
BBus (Acct), FCA, GAICD
27 June 2022

Brett is a values-driven leader who has held executive roles in organisations in the health and human services, financial services, and education sectors. He has a focus on delivering relevant and commercially sustainable outcomes in collaboration with his team and stakeholders for the benefit of customers, the community, and the organisation.

Brett has led significant transformation and change programs at both a functional and enterprise-wide level. Over a fifteen-year career at Bupa Australia and New Zealand, he led various finance, strategy and operational functions, playing key roles in acquisitions, mergers and the launch of new health services. Following Bupa, he held chief operating officer roles at Monash IVF Group (fertility) and Camp Australia (early childhood education and care), driving enterprise-wide improvement in customer experience, stakeholder engagement and financial performance.

Brett has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He most recently completed the Oxford Platforms and Digital Disruption Program at Said Business School, University of Oxford, on disruptive digital transformation through platforms, artificial intelligence, and block-chain.

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