Our People




Andrew Donovan

An accomplished board chair and non-executive company director, Andrew is a leader in innovative and effective board outcomes.  His contemporary thinking on governance is underpinned by over twenty years of hands-on experience supporting organisations in the transition to strategic, board-led companies.

His board portfolio not only includes Chairman of Barker Trailers, but non-executive director roles for numerous companies.  Andrew is a member of the Independent Nominations Committees of the Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank and Mildura Airport and Independent Chairman of the Board Assessment Panel of Murray Goulburn. A former Chair of Dairy Innovation Australia Limited and Environment Victoria, Andrew’s sector experience includes joint venture, private and family companies, industry associations, not-for-profit organisations and government statutory entities across insurance and financial services, superannuation, manufacturing, healthcare, social services, water, sustainability and research and development.

Andrew is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a senior facilitator of advanced level programs in Australia and Asia.  He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Australian National University.




Sarah-Jane Walsh

Sarah-Jane Walsh is a lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in the provision of legal and public company secretarial solutions for leading corporate organisations.

Sarah-Jane advises on legal and governance issues for boards across all sectors, with a particular focus on the not-for-profit sector.   She was a Senior Fellow at Monash University lecturing on directors’ duties and corporate governance and is currently an accredited facilitator with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  Until recently, Sarah-Jane was also a sessional Ombudsman with the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Sarah- Jane has been a non-executive director of an ASX listed company, a major independent school and a non-government volunteer agency.  She is currently a director of a State Government water corporation.

Sarah-Jane holds a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Law from Monash University and a Master of Law and Master of Business Administration from The University of Melbourne and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.



Julian Reid

Julian Reid has worked with people from all walks of life in a variety of sectors that include the military, airlines, retail, education, research and not for profit.  He has a proven record of managing teams, finances and other resources to successful outcomes.  These experiences have honed his leadership skills.  Julian enjoys exploring the functions and behaviours within organisations.

As a consultant for Thoughtpost Governance, he has been involved in projects that have include medical, social services, environment, health and legal.

Julian holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Marine Environment) from the University of Tasmania and a Graduate Diploma Education (Secondary) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.  He is completing his PhD with Central Queensland University.  His research is focused on improving the recruitment and retention of volunteers in the environmental not-for profit sector.

When not fully absorbed in consulting for Thoughtpost Governance or engrossed in his doctoral research, Julian is immersed in water preparing for an attempt to swim the English Channel in 2017.


Jason Talbot

A corporate finance advisor, experienced non-executive director and insightful organisational strategist, Jason has a unique ability to cut through complexity to free the board to think clearer and improve its performance.

His non-executive and advisory board portfolio includes private businesses, public companies and a variety of not-for-profit organisations both in Australia and the UK.  His experience covers a wide range of sectors, including, retail, financial services, property, professional services, not-for-profit, community services and consumer products.

Jason is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Institute of Chartered Accountant Australia.  He holds a Masters of Applied Finance from Macquarie University and a Graduate Diploma in Accounting, a Doctor of Philosophy and a Bachelor of Science from Monash University.

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Tony Nippard

Tony Nippard is currently serving as a director on several Boards.  He is Deputy Chair of Mental Health and Wellbeing Australia Ltd, Chair of Westside Circus Inc, a board member of Federation Training, Neami Ltd, and the Vic Defence Reserves Support Council.

Tony has over 25 years’ experience providing clear and concise advice to Chairs, CEOs, co-directors and executives on a diverse range of business and policy issues that affect an entity’s operational and financial performance and reputation.  He brings to the table, a strong analytical and problem solving focus with a unique insight into the practical problems boards confront in complex and sensitive environments.  He has many years of experience dealing with executives and boards in government and non-government organisations, not only developing and implementing policy but also with program management and corporate services.

As a director of several not for profit and public entities since 1988, Tony has been involved in the fields of higher education and training [a former board member of Melbourne Polytechnic], mental health, the Arts, mortgage finance, alpine resort management [a former board member of Lake Mountain Alpine Resort Management], community health, health information management, children services as well as advisory committees in child protection, defence, public sector governance, public sector governance and university sectors.  Tony is a professional speaker and regularly receives invitations to speak to boards, present at conferences and seminars relating to corporate governance.  Not only is Tony a facilitator for the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Melbourne, rural Victoria and other States, he also conducts induction and other training programs for board directors and executives.

Tony is a Fellow of the Australasian College Health Services Management, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries, a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Simon Arcus

A company director, qualified lawyer and former Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors, Simon’s background covers insurance, legal and regulatory roles in Australia and New Zealand.

Simon is a director of a digital risk consulting company, a private family company and is working with an education start up. He is Chair of the Cancer Society of Wellington and the June Free June Ltd charity.

Simon has advised boards and directors on a wide range of performance and governance matters and re-authored New Zealand’s Four Pillars of Governance Best Practice in Guide in 2012. In 2013 he envisioned and established the Governance Leadership Centre at the Institute of Directors.

Simon is a Chartered Company Secretary and hold a Bachelor of Law and Arts from the University of Otago. He has a Post Graduate Diploma in Business from Massey University and is a Senior Associate of ANZIIF.

Simon has an interest in both the practical and thought leadership aspects of governance and his style of engagement is about consensus building and healthy challenge always focused on the best interests of the entity. He enjoys travel, particularly to wonderful Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Andrea Marmilic

Andrea provides project management support to the Thoughtpost Governance team to enable them to focus on delivery of governance and board evaluation services to its clients. Andrea’s role is to ensure there is a seamless interface between Thoughtpost Governance and its clients by managing numerous day to day tasks and logistics to ensure a project runs smoothly.

Andrea is very experienced in the management of finance and people functions in both corporate entities and her own small business.  For more than 10 years she owned and operated an Owners Corporation management business and also operated her own remuneration planning consultancy. Andrea also has many years’ of experience working in Human Resource Management in the finance industry. Highly focused and efficient, Andrea is methodical and always operates with the utmost integrity and professionalism.

Andrea has a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne.


Michael Williams

Michael provides research and strategy development at Thoughtpost Governance, enabling us to continuously improve our services and our engagement with clients.  Michael has a passion for digital strategy and business’ undertaking of digital opportunities, and a keen interest in the development of directorship and governance.

Michael provides a diverse range of academic and professional skills to advise on a broad spectrum of projects. He has previous experience in commercial property management, including managing a small business centre in Western Australia. This role included managing business-client relationships, contract negotiations, leasing, market research and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the business. Michael  has recent experience in business development in the environmental science industry, working closely with the company directors of a medium sized laboratory. In this role Michael assisted in advising the business in a number of key transactions and strategies, including new overseas partnerships in Singapore, India and the Middle East and the partial sale of the business.  Michael has also previously worked in a number of law firms in various legal research and assistance roles. These roles were in Corporate, Property, Mining & Energy & Local Government law.

Michael is currently completing a Master of International Business at University of Melbourne. Michael also holds a Bachelor of Laws/Economics from University of Western Australia.


Bob Zhu

Bob assists with data strategy and analytics research at Thoughtpost Governance. As part of a long-term vision for Thoughtpost Governance to adapt to a continuously changing digital environment, Bob seeks to explore potential cross-over areas between data strategy and governance/directorship.

Bob has a variety of experience in consulting, software project management and data modelling. He has experience working in start-ups as a project manager, managing a small team of Indian, Russian and Australian website developers while working from home, and providing professional consulting reports as an Actuarial Consultant at Ernst & Young. This role is where Bob first discovered his passion for data analytics and modelling, where he assisted in upgrading older data models, using both mathematical and statistical knowledge to optimise the relevance of this process. Bob also has worked for a boutique management consultant, whom together consulted for clients in the insurance and risk protection sector.

Bob is currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Actuarial Studies at the University of Melbourne.