Executive Team


Craig Dent – Chief Executive Officer


Appointed: 2 December 2013


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 innovative and 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, innovation, efficiencies and culture, with the client being at the centre of all decision-making.

In August 2017, Craig’s inaugural book “The Creation of Trust” will be released which tells the intriguing story of the Public Trustee sector, its history and future.

Craig is a member of the La Trobe Business School MBA Advisory Board, council member of the Central Asia/Middle East Region for Variety – the Children’s Charity International and 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 Institute of Managers and Leaders 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.


Agata Jarbin – Executive General Manager, Professional Services

BEc (Hons), LLB

Appointed: 8 September 2014

Experience: Agata Jarbin is the Senior Executive responsible for Professional Services; including will and power of attorney preparation, corporate and client legal, taxation, financial planning, property, pensions and genealogy services. Agata prides herself on delivering exceptional customer service which in turn enables the delivery of great outcomes.

Agata is also General Counsel and Company Secretary, leading the compliance team and corporate governance at State Trustees.

Agata is a lawyer with over 20 years of experience in a range of industries. 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 is an alumnus of Leadership Victoria’s Folio Community Leadership Program and has a Diploma of International Arbitration, Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, Bachelor of Law (Hons) and Bachelor of Economics.

Melanie Lewis – Executive General Manager, Client Services

Appointed: 3 March 2014

Experience: Melanie Lewis is the 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). Melanie 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.

She is committed to ensuring that State Trustees is highly regarded by creating a constructive service culture, with clients at the heart of all decisions made.

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

Melanie has 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.


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.