Our Executive Team

The MS Executive Team is a passionate group of people with a broad mix of skills and decades of collective experience.

John Blewonski, Chief Executive Officer

John is a highly credentialed and respected leader in the community services and not-for-profit sector with over 26 years’ experience. John joined MS in November 2018.

John spent eight years as CEO of VincentCare Victoria, where he was responsible for strategic direction and operational delivery, with oversight of more than 400 FTE staff. Under John’s leadership VincentCare transitioned to the consumer directed environment including the delivery of Commonwealth Home Care Packages and a NDIS funded Disability Employment Program.

“The NDIS and My Aged Care are significant social reforms which present wonderful opportunities for those in our community living with a disability. While offering consumers a greater say in terms of choice and self- direction, navigating these new systems present significant challenges,” said John.

“I enjoy working with the MS team to ensure all those living with multiple sclerosis have access to the best advice and support appropriate to their needs and achieving their goals.”

John also led VincentCare Community Housing, an organisation which offers a range of accommodation options for people at risk of Primary Homelessness, managing housing properties, independent living units across regional Victoria; and rooming house properties. In 2016, John undertook a secondment as CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society in Victoria. 

Before this John operated at Anglicare Victoria for eleven years, commencing as Executive Manager Corporate Services with accountability for operational leadership of key functional areas, and later moving into the role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operating Officer, managing the Agency’s corporate and community services. Earlier in his career John held the position of Director Community Relations & Development. 

John’s current Board appointments include those with the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) where he serves as Chairman; Catholic Social Services Victoria; DHHS Launch Site (Housing Access) Senior Leadership Group; and the Victorian Housing Minister’s Homelessness Advisory Committee.


Eileen Goh, CFO

Eileen joined MS in February 2020 and has over 15 years’ experience in the not-for-profit-sector, particularly in the areas of housing and homelessness; aged care; and disability employment services.
Prior to joining MS, Eileen was the Chief Financial Officer at VincentCare Victoria (VCV), where she began as a Financial Accountant in 2004. She helped to centralise and improve several finance and aged care processes following the transfer of Aged Care and Community Services operations from St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Inc. (SVDP) to VCV.

After the first three-and-a-half years with VCV, Eileen joined Save the Children Australia as Group Accountant. Nine months later, in 2008, she returned to VCV as Finance Manager and played a key role under SVDP’s and VCV’s shared services in centrally managing investments, fixed assets and statutory reporting as well as VCV’s finance operations. Since the split of shared services in 2012, Eileen accepted the role of Manager Finance and was later promoted to Chief Financial Officer.

Eileen also acquired four years of audit experience working with PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore and the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office.


Ben Holgate, Executive Manager Strategic Fundraising

Ben joined MS as General Manager, Strategic Fundraising in June 2017. For the previous six years Ben had been Director of Marketing & Fundraising at Plan International, Australia,  where he was responsible for a child sponsorship and fundraising portfolio of around $28m per annum.  Ben spent his time at Plan focusing on new drivers of growth, including building strong relationship with donors, digital marketing and effective storytelling. He also led the establishment of the Plan International global fundraising directors’ forum.
 
Prior to entering the not-for-profit sector in 2011, Ben commenced his career in commercial marketing, initially with ten years as a new business specialist in the UK and Middle East advertising industries. A graduate of London University, Ben came to Australia from his native UK in 1996 and was recruited to take responsibility for the promotion of Coca-Cola’s Sydney 2000 Olympic Games sponsorship. Moving to Victoria in 2001, Ben was director of marketing for the award-winning TAC road safety campaigns and then later, two of Australia’s most significant export businesses, AWB Landmark and IDP Education.
 
Ben has served on the board of Circus Oz and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association. He is a successful practicing artist and has had work exhibited in several national exhibitions over the past five years.


Anne Crowley, Executive Manager People and Culture

Anne is an experienced People and Culture Executive Leader with a strong track record in organisational transformation to achieve the organisation’s purpose and business outcomes.

Anne was until recently, Executive – General Manager People & Culture, Goodstart Early Learning - a national purpose-driven commercial social enterprise early learning and childcare provider with 650 workplaces, 15,500 FTE and $1b+ turnover. Previous roles have included People Strategy, and Workforce Manager, Energex - an electricity distribution employing approximately 3,400 staff in South East Queensland; Director of Workforce Strategy with the Queensland Department of Communities and Disability Services; and Director of Human Resources with the Queensland Department of Child Safety.

Anne has worked as a member of various Boards and Ministerial Advisory Committees and is a member of the Australian Human Resources Institute Mentors program.

Anne’s qualifications include Masters of Human Resources Management and Bachelor of Business. Strongly purpose-focused and values-driven, Anne is highly motivated by the opportunity to achieve positive outcomes for our clients and create sustainable, inclusive, positive customer and employee experience, working in collaboration with the Executive, Senior Leadership, People and Culture teams and our people. Anne lived and worked in multiple roles in Asia for 9 years.


Jodi Haartsen, Executive Manager Client Engagement and Wellbeing 

Jodi joined the team at MS in March 2020 and has over 20 years experience in working with people with MS and other neurological conditions. 

Before joining the MS team, Jodi was a Manager and MS Nurse Practitioner at Eastern Health MS clinical Service.  Jodi lead the development of the service since 2002 and focused on innovative solutions and a patient centred model of care.  Jodi has had various roles throughout her career including researcher, nursing clinical and graduate educator, staff development officer and clinical nurse consultant. 

Jodi holds post graduate qualifications in Diploma of advanced Neuroscience Nursing and Master of Nursing and pharmacology. Her special interests include policy development, health promotion and women’s health. 


Natalie Francis, Executive Manager Consumer Directed Care

Natalie joined MS in March 2020. She started her career as a physiotherapist specialising in acute neurological conditions and early rehabilitation. She transitioned to the Aged Care and Community sector in 2013 where she has held roles in recruitment and workforce planning and operations for large Allied Health providers. As an operations manager she oversaw multiple states and over 300 clinical staff to provide quality services to consumers.

After completing an MBA at Melbourne Business School she progressed to National Client Solutions Manager to drive strategy for new service innovation, business development and marketing.


Kim Farrugia, Company Secretary

Kim joined MSL in December 2016 as the Executive Officer and Company Secretary. Kim has extensive experience in the areas of governance and administrative support and has worked in a vast variety of organisations and sectors. Prior to joining MSL, Kim was the Manager, Executive Services at Southern Cross Care (Vic), a leading not for profit aged care provider. For nearly twenty years, she has been providing support to boards, committees and chief executive officers in the not for profit sector.

 


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