Executive Team


Craig Dent – Chief Executive Officer


An award-winning Senior Executive who builds and leads high performing teams to deliver transformational change in large volume, complex and highly regulated environments.

Recognised for his leadership across community, corporate and government organisations, Craig has successfully implemented sustainable operating models that are both customer-centric and profitable.

In December 2013, Craig was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer at State Trustees; the organisation has undertaken significant transformation under his leadership with a focus on people, systems and process efficiencies, with the client being at the centre of all decision-making.

Craig is a council member of the Central Asia/Middle East Region for Variety – the Children’s Charity International and is an official Ambassador to Australia’s multicultural broadcaster, SBS.

An alumnus of Leadership Victoria, Williamson Community Leadership Program, Craig has also received an International Exemplary Leader Award from the Chair Academy for Advances in Academic and Administrative Leadership, and has been recognised by the Australian Institute of Management for his contribution to the Australian business community, receiving the highest endorsement that can be awarded; Fellow status.

In 2015 Craig was conferred with the title of Adjunct Industry Fellow within the Faculty of Business and Law, Swinburne University and in 2016, Craig was conferred with the title of Adjunct Fellow within the College of Business, Victoria University and became an Associate of the Melbourne Business School in 2017.

Craig also became an Alumni of the Harvard Business School in Boston, USA having successfully completed studies during 2016.

A long-time advocate for higher education, Craig lectures at universities and speaks by invitation on leadership, strategy and management. Craig holds a Master of Business Administration from Swinburne University where he is currently a PhD candidate within the Faculty of Business and Law.

Craig is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council.



Michelle Johnston – Executive General Manager People, Brand & Communications


Michelle Johnston is a human resource, leadership and culture change executive with 20 years experience in the public and financial sector.

As the General Manager – People and Culture, Michelle is responsible for strategically leading the organisational people and culture focus, enabling State Trustees  to deliver world class client experiences and profitable growth. As the key cultural change driver at State Trustees, Michelle is leading a transformational cultural change program and organisational development program.

Michelle has successfully led the regionalisation strategy at State Trustees, sponsoring major projects to build three new offices and ensure the relocation of employees to suburban and regional locations including the relocation of Head Office out of the Melbourne CBD.

Michelle is a Certified Professional of the Human Resource Institute of Australia and has been recognised as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (UK). Michelle is currently completing her Master of Human Resource Management.

Paul Manning – Executive General Manager, Corporate Operations

BSc (Hons), ACA

Paul has worked in finance and banking industries for more than 25 years including a range of senior leadership positions.

As Chief Financial Officer for State Trustees Paul is responsible for financial management, investments, project management office, strategic execution, client concerns and procurement.

Prior to State Trustees, Paul was Chief Financial Officer at BankVic, driving a number of major transformation projects including obtaining a banking license, process reengineering for superannuation services and implementing a detailed management reporting system.

Paul has also held lead roles at JPMorgan, Members Equity Bank, Primary Superannuation, Westpac and PwC. He has travelled extensively and worked in Budapest, Bucharest, London, Wellington, Sydney and Melbourne.

As well as senior corporate roles, Paul previously spent four years as Director/Treasurer of Experimenta, a not-for-profit arts organisation based in Melbourne, and currently sits on the board of Variety the Children’s Charity.

Melanie Lewis – Executive General Manager, Client Services

Melanie has worked at State Trustees for more than 13 years, including her time as the organisation’s first regional manager (western region).

She brings a commitment to delivering the highest possible service to all clients and has a thorough understanding of State Trustees’ personal financial administration, deceased estate administration, trust administration and enduring power of attorney administration services.

Melanie is committed to ensuring that State Trustees is highly regarded in the early 21st century by creating a culture of commercial awareness, without compromising on service delivery, for all clients.

Melanie has a Diploma of Accounting and, prior to State Trustees, specialised in personal, commercial and corporate lending as well as a number of audit roles.

In addition to recently assuming her current role as Executive General Manager of Client Services, Melanie has also recently participated in the Committee for Melbourne’s Future Focus Group, a two-year leadership development course, of which she is now in an Ambassador role.

Agata Jarbin – Executive General Manager, Professional Services & General Counsel

BEc (Hons), LLB

As a Senior Executive at State Trustees, Agata is responsible for all professional services (including corporate legal services and all professional services provided to clients). This includes will and power of attorney preparation (consultative, kits sold at retail outlets and on-line), legal, taxation, financial planning, genealogy, property and pension services. Agata is also General Counsel, Company Secretary & leads the Compliance team and corporate governance at State Trustees.  Agata prides herself on delivering exceptional customer service which in turn enables State Trustees to deliver great outcomes.

Agata is a lawyer with over 20 years of experience in a range of industries.  Prior to State Trustees, Agata was a partner of King & Wood Mallesons. One of her roles in King & Wood Mallesons was that of staff partner, with responsibility for people issues in the Melbourne dispute resolution group.

Agata was appointed to the Board of Ermha Limited on 1 June 2015 and was elected as Chair of the Board on 23 September 2015.  Agata is an advocate for disability services and creating a community that better services those with special needs.

Agata completed Leadership Victoria’s Folio Community Leadership Program in 2015 and has a Diploma of International Arbitration, Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, Bachelor of Law (Hons) and Bachelor of Economics.