Executive Team


Sandhya (Sandy) Chakravarty – Acting Chief Executive Officer & Chief Financial Officer, Company Secretary


Appointed: Chief Financial Officer 23 May 2017
Appointed: Acting Chief Executive Officer on 3 October 2018

Sandy is responsible for the financial, investment, procurement, internal audit and risk functions of the organization.

Sandy has extensive senior financial and corporate services experience across global multinationals such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ingersoll-Rand, and Boston Consulting Group. Most recently she was the Chief Financial Officer at Australian Red Cross.

Her experience is wide ranging and includes developing and maintaining high performing corporate services functions, providing commercially astute solutions, partnering with boards and leadership teams in developing strategic and operational plans within risk frameworks and leading and building high performance teams through inspiring, motivating and empathetic leadership.

Sandy has ten years of Board of Directors experience in the Not-for-Profit industry and is also a mentor to leadership program attendees at Leadership Victoria.

She is currently a Non-Executive Director at International Women’s Development Agency – funded by Department of Foreign Affairs and other Governments to empower women across developing nations and promote gender equality, Link Community Transport – focusing on providing transport to the needy and disabled, Health Issues Centre – supporting and informing consumers and the health sector to partner for health care improvements, as well as Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust – a community based, not-for-profit organisation, committed to serving the needs of our communities.

Karen Jones – Chief Operating Officer


Appointed: 19 March 2018

Karen Jones was appointed as Acting Chief Operating Officer on 19 March 2018 and leads the Strategy, Information Services and Enterprise Portfolio Management Office teams as well as a new affordable housing function.

Originally, Karen was brought into State Trustees to lead the design, development and implementation of the operating model for the administration of a new Victorian Government-led $50m shared equity scheme to provide affordable housing.

Karen is known for transforming individual, team and organisational performances by collaboratively and energetically identifying opportunities and delivering outcomes.

Prior to working at State Trustees, Karen worked as a management consultant at the Bevington Group. Specialising in organisational transformation, Karen led numerous operating model redesign, policy transformation, process improvement and change management assignments across a range of industries including government, health, banking, insurance, education, defence and not for profit.

Karen also has more than 10 years’ experience in banking. At ANZ, Karen had a very successful career with roles in project management, operations and finance.

Karen is currently the chair of the Gender Equity committee for the Salvation Army and a member of University College’s Finance and Risk committee.

Karen is also a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and has a Bachelor of Education and Masters of Business Administration.

Michelle Johnston – Executive General Manager, People, Brand & Communications


Appointed: 4 December 2013

Michelle Johnston is the Executive General Manager, People, Brand and Communications.  Michelle is a senior executive with over 20 years’ experience – responsible for strategically leading the promotion and protection of the organisational brand, the development and enhancement of products and services, and the attraction and retention of competitive talent.

Michelle leads a team of professionals accountable for; all corporate communications and media relations, cultural transformation, leadership development, organisational learning, talent acquisition, employee and industrial relations, occupational health and safety, facilities management, insights and research, product development and management, marketing, brand protection and promotion, change management, and the delivery of the organisational strategy.

Michelle is a passionate advocate and supporter of equality, diversity and inclusion, and mental health initiatives. She also believes that core to the success of any business are the people within it, she is a firm believer that an exceptional client experience is achieved through highly engaged employees who are proud to advocate on behalf of their organisation.

A Certified Professional of the Human Resource Institute of Australia (AHRI), a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (UK), and a member of the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) Advisory Panel.  Michelle’s success in cultural transformation and organisational change was recognised by the Australian Human Resources Institute in 2013.

Michelle holds a Diploma in Management and is an alumnus of the esteemed Leadership Victoria, Williamson Community Leadership Program.


Josie Brown – Acting Executive General Manager, Client Services


Appointed: 12 July 2018

Josie Brown is the Executive General Manager responsible for Client Services; including VCAT Administration, Deceased Estates, Trusts and Powers of Attorney. Prior to her appointment in this role, she was the Executive General Manager for Professional Services.

She has experience across a diverse range of banking and finance areas, as a result of 24 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry.

Josie has been employed with State Trustees for the past 10 years, joining in 2007 as a Senior Manager for the Personal Financial Administration division. Since joining, Josie has carried out a number of Senior Manager positions across the organisation and has been a key contributor to State Trustees business transformation program.

In 2015, Josie was recognised for her excellence in leadership, having been a State Finalist at the Australian Institute of Management excellence awards.

She values the quality of relationships she has across the organisation, having created an environment of high performance against key performance indicators, a focus on continuous improvement, client experience and creating a constructive culture within the areas that she leads.

Josie has a Master of Business Leadership awarded by Charles Sturt University in 2012 and is an alumnus of Leadership Victoria’s, Folio Community Leadership Program.

Karen Spiteri – Acting Executive General Manager, Professional Services

BBus (Acctg), CIA, MBA (Expected 2019)

Appointed: 12 July 2018

Karen Spiteri is the Acting Executive General Manager responsible for Professional Services including client legal, taxation, financial planning, property, pensions, genealogy and will and power of attorney preparation.

She is an accomplished finance leader with 20 years’ experience in senior roles across the financial services and transportation industries such as Transurban and Ford Motor Company.

Karen joined State Trustees in June 2014 and as the head of Audit & Risk she established an enterprise approach to risk management, revised approach to assurance aligning with client outcomes and a co-sourced internal audit model. Since joining State Trustees, Karen has also led our complaints, compliance and the examination service which we provide for the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Karen’s area of expertise is establishing high performing, and sustainable teams, motivating our people to deliver the service promise to our clients and driving organisational change.

Karen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, is a certified member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, Project Management Prince2 accredited, Certified Lean Six Sigma and an alumnus of Leadership Victoria’s Folio Community Leadership Program. Karen is completing her Master of Business Administration through Swinburne which is due to be completed in 2019.