The BEST Board Members are voluntary, local community members that are selected for their skills, knowledge and experience. Our Board of Directors are committed to good corporate governance and passionate about the region.
Our Board is the legal entity and is responsible for the strategic direction of the BEST organisation.
ANNETTE BARWICK – CHAIR
Annette is the Learning, Development & Inclusion General Manager of Lady Gowrie Tasmania Inc. and has extensive business, early & middle childhood, people & culture, and VET experience. Annette was appointed the BEST Chairperson in 2022 and has made a significant impact on the operations at BEST and her contribution to the organisation is invaluable. Annette’s governance experience spans over 20 years and she is the current President of Early Childhood Australia, Tasmania Branch, a Board member on the Tasmanian Department of Education Children and Young People (DECYP) RTO, and is on the HumanAbility Children’s Education and Care Advisory Council. Annette holds both VET and Higher Education qualifications. Annette has strong affiliations and connections through research partnerships with a number of Universities including UTAS, QUT, and ACU.
MURRAY JAMES – TREASURER
With over 35-years of experience as a Management Consultant, Murray has actively contributed to the development of new business across various industries and has consulted widely in Tasmania. He has owned and operated a number of small businesses and understands the challenges faced by smaller enterprises particularly in their startup. Murray completed 8 years of university education with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees upon which his consulting was based. He also holds a Diploma in Company Directorship. Murray is BEST’s Director of Finance and is the representative from the Glamorgan Spring Bay Region. He brings invaluable expertise in business operations and training to our Board of Directors.
DI CUSICK – PUBLIC OFFICER
Di is an actively engaged member of the community and dedicates her time to contributing and driving various projects that have supported the growth in the region. This has included developing a program to use the school farm as an inclusive educational resource. This initiative earned Di the Sorell Rotary Excellence in Workmanship Award. Di has worked alongside teachers to develop an Enterprise Learning and Workplace Learning syllabus and resources to be inclusive of all students. Di was heavily involved in the establishment of the Sorell Skill Centre and its transformation into a Registered Training Organisation, catering to students who feel they are not prepared to go to college. Di successfully developed a program for employees of the Education Department who are working in School Offices to develop their skills and acquire Certificates II and III in Business. Even in her retirement, Di remains actively engaged in the community, and her significant contributions were officially acknowledged with the Sorell Council Australia Day Citizen of the Year 2022 award.
KERRY VINCENT – SERDA REPRESENTATIVE
Kerry is serving his fourth term as Mayor of Sorell Council. Kerry also represents an impressive number of committees and boards within the community including, Municipal Emergency Management Committee – Chair, Bendigo Community Bank Sorell – Chair, South East Region Development Association – Chair, Sorell Planning Authority – Chair, Copping Refuse Disposal Site Joint Authority – Deputy Chair, TasWater – Board Selection Committee Panel, Local Government Association of Tasmania, Southern Tasmania Councils Authority, STCA Audit and Governance, Seniors Advisory Group, Tasmanian District Nursing Board – Deputy Chair, South East Community Care Board – Deputy Chair, Southern Regional Waste Authority Board – Chief owners Representative, Sorell School Association and Business Association of Sorell. In addition to Kerry’s engagement throughout the region, he contributes extensive business knowledge to our board, gained from owning and operating his own business’s.
CATHERINE LOPPY – DIRECTOR
Catherine has seven years’ experience in project management and works as a Project Manager at TasWater. Catherine served in five different community board roles within the Tasmanian African Community and the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) community. Catherine is passionate about construction management and the empowerment of young people, migrant students, and women across all walks of life. Her goal is to encourage young people and women to utilise their talents, maximise their potentials, discover their career interest, get the required training and development, impact their communities, fulfill their purpose, and be a positive influence for the next generation. In her work in the community and career, Catherine has received several awards in the past six years as testament to her dedication in pursuing her passion. In 2017 Catherine was awarded ‘African Australian Woman in Community Leadership.’ In 2019 she was awarded ‘Role Model Award for Project Management Excellence’ in the African Community. In 2022 she was awarded ‘African Australian Book Excellence Awards’ for her Memoir ‘Beyond the Shadows’. And in recent news, Catherine was awarded the ’NAWIC National Association of Women in Construction Crystal Vision Award’ for her tireless work on advocacy for women in the Construction Industry in November 2023.
FIONA BRAITHWAITE – DIRECTOR
Fiona has dedicated 33 years to her role within the Education Department, based at Libraries Tasmania. Currently, her held position is the Adult and Family Literacy Coordinator for the Sorell and Southeast region based at the Sorell Library. Fiona is committed to assisting adults and families in enhancing their literacy skills. The literacy service she oversees offers confidential, personalised, one-on-one, and group support in literacy and numeracy for individuals seeking to improve their skills. By empowering clients to strengthen their literacy and numeracy skills, Fiona is contributing to the economic growth and positive social outcomes in the Southeast region.
JESSICA FFROST-BOYD – DIRECTOR
Passionate about the local community, Jess’ role as a Salvation Army Officer has been focused on community engagement and development in one of Tasmania’s fastest growing municipalities. Observing and listening to the community has been key in establishing a new presence for The Salvation Army in the Southeast of Tasmania. This has led to Jess’ key focus areas; working with Children, Youth and Families. Over the last twelve months Jess has been working alongside families connected with the child safety system, helping to develop a network of carers who are empowered to support and encourage one another. Jess brings an innovative approach to her work and seeks to establish places of safety, security and inclusion in order for communities to thrive.