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Executive team

Forensicare’s executive team is led by the chief executive officer, who is appointed by the Forensicare board. The executive leadership team assists the CEO in the overall management, and strategic development of the organisation.

Meet our executive team

Colmán O’Driscoll

Chief Executive Officer

Colmán commenced as CEO in October 2023, following unanimous Board endorsement in July. With over 25 years’ experience across health and related systems, Colmán is both a Forensic Mental Health Clinician, and health systems executive, having held senior leadership roles within government, corporate, not-for-profit and private sectors, most recently serving as CEO of Burwood and Richmond hospitals, and Group Lead, Mental Health Strategy (NSW) with St John of God Health Care. Previous senior roles have been held in the NSW Justice and Forensic Mental Health Network, including Service Director, Statewide Forensic Mental Health. Colmán is active in forensic mental health research, with original papers published in peer reviewed journals as well as book chapters. Colmán has a current posting as an Adjunct Associate Professor with the University of NSW.

Cayte Hoppner

Chief Operating Officer

Cayte commenced at Forensicare in August 2021. She is a mental health nurse with more than 25 years’ experience in operational, clinical and leadership roles in public mental health services across Australia. Prior to commencing with Forensicare, Cayte was the Executive Director of Mental Health and Chief Mental Health Nurse at Latrobe Regional Hospital. Cayte is passionate about delivering person centred care for all consumers, families and carers accessing the mental health service system. Her key interests include mental health clinical practice models, advanced practice roles for nurses, education, research, psychological safety, clinical supervision and reducing restrictive interventions.

Jessica Lightfoot

Chief Financial Officer

Jessica joined Forensicare in March 2020 and is responsible for the financial stewardship of the organisation, including procurement, ICT and property services. 

Jessica began her career as a lawyer, and spent three years working on the policy and legislative reforms, including the reforms that led to the establishment of Forensicare. She transitioned to project management to lead the establishment of the National Coroners Information System, and managed large-scale property projects at Monash University. She then took on the role of leading the University’s financial performance management, division before assuming a Chief Financial Officer role in the private sector. Jessica holds Non-Executive Director roles at VESKI and the Springvale Monash Legal Service and lives locally with her family.

Nadia Baillie

Chief Legal Officer

Nadia joined Forensicare in September 2017 as General Counsel and was appointed as Executive Director of Governance and Risk in July 2020. She is an experienced commercial lawyer having worked for over 16 years in top tier legal firms in Australia and the UK, as well as in-house in the university and health sectors.  Prior to joining Forensicare Nadia worked at MinterEllison and Melbourne Health. She brings a breadth of commercial and government experience along with a passion for delivering positive consumer outcomes in mental health.

Nadia leads the provision of legal advice on a broad range of complex legal issues, including the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997, the Mental Health Act 2014, recent Royal Commissions.  She also oversees privacy and information sharing, contracts, statutory interpretation and coronial matters.  Her expertise in governance and risk sees her playing an instrumental role in transforming Forensicare’s risk management culture, leading the internal audit program and the delivery of governance services to Forensicare’s board and subcommittees. 

Kate Douglas

Executive Director People and Culture

Kate joined Forensicare in January 2023. Kate has worked in both global organisations and government agencies and brings to Forensicare over 20 years’ experience in human resources, organisational development and change management. Kate is passionate about designing and leading strategy and delivering results-oriented programs that make a genuine difference to the employee experience.  She believes that we achieve more when we work together, and that individuals and teams perform at their best when they are inspired and enabled to realise their potential.

Dr Jacques Claassen

Acting Executive Director Clinical Services

Jacques commenced at Forensicare in January 2022. Originally trained in South Africa, he emigrated to New Zealand in 2008 where he completed specialist training in the field of forensic psychiatry at the Mason Clinic in Auckland, New Zealand. Jacques emigrated to Australia in 2014. He has worked across the public and private mental health sectors, including metropolitan Western Australia and regional Victoria, in a range of forensic and general adult mental health roles. Since 2015 he has worked in senior medical leadership roles. Jacques is passionate about the provision of recovery focused and consumer centred care, eliminating restrictive practices, maintaining a psychologically safe workplace, administrative psychiatry and the co-production of service delivery with the lived experience work force.  

Fiona Whitecross

Executive Director Inpatient Services

Fiona commenced at Forensicare in February 2022 after spending the previous 17 years in public mental health services at Alfred Health. Fiona is a mental health nurse with over 25 years’ experience in clinical, operational management, governance, risk management, and nurse manager roles. Fiona is a passionate advocate for safe patient and family centred care that is free from restrictive practices. Her key interests include early intervention and prevention approaches, quality improvement methodology, partnering with peers in care, and the reduction of restrictive practices.

Terry Runciman

Executive Director Prison Services

Terry commenced his role as Executive Director of Prison Services in August 2020. Terry is a clinical psychologist with over 15 years of experience within public mental health services, including public community mental health services, homeless mental health teams, emergency mental health, consultation liaison, and commissioning mental health and police response teams (MHaPR). Prior to commencing with Forensicare, Terry was the Area Manager of Mid West Area Mental Health, one of Victoria’s 21 area based public mental health services. He brings a strong desire to deliver mental health service equivalency for people within Prisons and to strengthen the transition from Prisons services back to the community. 

Anthea Lemphers

Executive Director Community Operations

Anthea was appointed as the Executive Director of Community Operations in September 2020. Anthea is a clinical and forensic psychologist with more than 22 years experience in forensic mental health in both operational and discipline leadership roles. Prior to her appointment, Anthea was the Director of Psychological Services at Forensicare. She is passionate about leading a service where staff feel valued and are empowered to achieve the best outcome for Forensicare’s consumers and contribute to community safety.  Anthea is committed to improving services in the community by enhancing Forensicare’s role in creating and supporting linkages between the justice and mental health systems. 

Liam Barry 

Executive Director Redevelopment & Asset Management

Liam joined the Forensicare Executive in January 2021 and is responsible for Forensicare’s leadership of the Thomas Embling Hospital redevelopment project, as well as Forensicare’s broader capital works program and asset management activities.

Prior to joining Forensicare Liam spend most of his career in the Justice sector delivering a range of significant capital and business transformation projects within the Courts and Justice sector, including at Court Services Victoria, The Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal and the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Liam is a qualified Australian Lawyer and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Politics) and Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. He is also currently studying an Executive Masters of Public Administration with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)  and holds a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.

Matthew Hercus

Executive Director Strategy, Policy and Planning

Matthew commenced as Executive Director Strategy, Policy and Planning in June 2022. Most recently Matthew was Executive Director Mental Health and AOD System Management in the Victorian Department of Health, having commenced as a nurse, working across metropolitan, regional and remote settings. Matthew has gained an extensive understanding of Victoria’s Health and Mental Health Systems, reform directions, including experience with and across government. With a clinical and systems background, Matthew is keen to support the important growth and development period that Forensicare is facing, working closely with teams, consumers and clinicians.

Jo Ryan

Director of Nursing

Jo was appointed as Director of Nursing in December 2013. Jo is responsible for providing nursing leadership and embedding a nursing culture that values professional standards and the delivery of best-practice nursing care. She has extensive experience as a psychiatric nurse in forensic mental health settings as a clinician, manager and educator.

Dr Kate Roberts 

Director of Clinical Services, Prison Services 

Kate graduated from University of Manchester before returning to her hometown of Glasgow for psychiatric training. Having completed her elective in Melbourne as a medical student she decided to return to Melbourne for a short period between her basic and higher training where she worked at Juvenile Justice.  She ended up staying and went on to complete her advanced training in Forensic Psychiatry with Forensicare, becoming a consultant in 2008 and Director of Clinical Services (Prisons) in 2017. She has worked across all directorates both as a registrar and consultant but has always particularly enjoyed prison work. She is committed to ensuring men and women in prisons have access to equivalent, recovery focused mental health care within and on transition from prison. 

Dr Sobia Khan 

Director of Clinical Services, Community

Sobia graduated from University of Punjab and migrated to the UK in 2000 where she completed her psychiatric training. She worked in both the public and private system in England and Wales before migrating to Australia in 2017. After a brief period working in regional North Queensland, she moved to Melbourne and joined Forensicare in 2019.

Sobia is a former senior lecturer, tutor and examiner at Universities of Birmingham, Buckinghamshire and Dundee. She was a specialist advisor to Care Quality Commission, England and Wales, and a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists CCQI. She is former member of MRCPsych Board of Examination. Her special interests include forensic mental health services development, healthcare governance, medical education and training.

Dr Abhilash Balakrishnan

Acting Director of Clinical Services, Inpatient 

Abhi completed his psychiatry training in India and then went on to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Medical Law and Ethics and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry. After his move to Australia, he completed his fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) via the substantial comparability pathway.

Abhi has been working in the areas of capacity, disability, death penalties, forensic consumer pathways, and has been providing training in expert evidence to medical and legal professionals across different commonwealth jurisdictions. He was involved in leading the development and application of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) and assisting with curriculum development for forensic training. 

He is passionate about leading a service where the consumers and staff feel heard , supported and empowered to make decisions. His focus and expertise includes resource allocation in the development of forensic services, establishing clinical and operational governance structures and medical education. His other interests include psychodynamic psychiatry, psychotherapy and dogs.