Phoenix Australia is a legally independent not-for-profit organisation affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry, the University of Melbourne.


Phoenix Australia (formerly the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health) is governed by a Board of Management that includes representatives of its key stakeholders, the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs and Defence, and the University of Melbourne. Phoenix Australia is endorsed by the Australian Tax Office as a Charitable Institution and has also received endorsement as a Deductible Gift Recipient.

Mr Michael Strong, Chair

Michael is a former solicitor, barrister, Prosecutor for the Queen, judge of the County Court of Victoria, Vice-President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Director of the Office of Police Integrity (Victoria). He has a current appointment to the Australian Crime Commission as an Examiner. Michael is a long-serving former director and President of Berry Street, Victoria’s largest independent child and family welfare agency and has served on boards and committees of numerous other organisations. Michael’s interest in posttraumatic mental health stems, in part, from the active military service of his forebears.

Professor David Forbes

David is the Director of Phoenix Australia and a clinical psychologist with many years’ experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems following trauma. David was the Chair of the Working Party for the inaugural NHMRC-approved Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and is the Vice Chair of the PTSD Guidelines for the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He sits on the editorial boards of key international journals and publishes widely in the international literature.

Mr Paul Dolan

Paul is Director for Australia and New Zealand with Lightfoot Solutions, an applied analytics and advisory business, with responsibility for growth and operations in the Australia and New Zealand market. Prior to joining Lightfoot, Paul was a Director with the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria for two years. There he held two roles as Director of Priority Child and Family Projects, where he had responsibility for the release of the Roadmap for Reform, and Director of System Intelligence and Analytics. Prior to this position, he was lead Director in Ernst & Young’s Healthcare Practice in Oceania. Paul has over 17 years’ public sector and management consulting experience, with the past 15 years focussing on health and human services. He has international experience working with board and executive level stakeholders in strategy, reform and operational improvement, across a broad range of healthcare organisations including departments of health, health service providers, and NGOs. Paul holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and German from the University of Hull, and has also studied International Business at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

Ms Veronica Hancock

Veronica is the acting First Assistant Secretary of the Health and Community Services Division in the Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs. She is responsible for ensuring the effective sourcing and delivery of a wide range of services to the veteran community, including health and community services, mental and social health, and community and aged care. Veronica has worked in the Commonwealth public service for over 30 years and prior to joining DVA in 2012 worked for 17 years in the Commonwealth health department where she had a variety of policy development and program management roles in areas such as population health, private health insurance, medical indemnity and dental. Veronica has degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Adelaide. 

Professor Malcolm Hopwood

Malcolm is the Ramsay Health Care Professor of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, based at the Albert Road Clinic in Melbourne. He specialises in clinical aspects of mood and anxiety disorders, psychopharmacology, and psychiatric aspects of acquired brain injury. Previously he led the Psychological Trauma Recovery Service, incorporating the Veterans Psychiatry Unit and the Victorian Brain Disorders Program, at Austin Health. He has held senior positions within the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists including past Chairmanships of the Victorian Branch and the Board of Research, and was President of the College from 2015-2017. In 2017 Malcolm was installed as President-Elect of the Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations, and he commenced as Interim Head of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne.

Major General Mark Kelly, AO, DSC

Mark is the Repatriation Commissioner in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Mark served in a number of senior command appointments during an Army career spanning over 35 years, including Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, Commander 3rd Brigade, Commander 1st Division, Land Commander Australia and Commander Joint Task Force 633 (CJTF 633). His operational experience includes service with the Commonwealth Monitoring Force in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia (1979-1980), Chief of Staff of the International Force in East Timor (1999-2000), with US CENTCOM in the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and Iraq (2003-2004) and as CJTF 633 commanding all ADF elements in the Middle East Area of Operations, Iraq and Afghanistan (2009-10).

Mr Greg Ridder

Greg joined Phoenix Australia in September 2012 as interim CEO. His role has evolved as Phoenix Australia’s needs have changed, and he is currently Senior Corporate Services Manager, and a Director of Phoenix Australia. Greg is an experienced business and strategy advisor, with a strong business background in strategy, finance, and general management, having previously been President of NYSE listed packaging company Owens Illinois’ Asia Pacific regional operations. Greg’s other board roles are at Limited, Tibaldi Australasia, Oxfam Australia, Oxfam Trading and B Lab Australia & New Zealand. He is also an Associate Director at strategy consultants, Bevington Group, and is a mentor at Kilfinan Australia. Greg is a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a CPA.

Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart, AM

Tracy is the Commander Joint Health and Surgeon General Australian Defence Force. She completed her medical training at Flinders University (SA) and has specialist training in Aviation Medicine. Her career has included deployments to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda as senior RAAF officer and aeromedical evacuation coordinator; to Timor Leste as Chief Health Officer, HQ Peacekeeping Force, and Australian Senior Health Officer; and to the Middle East Area of Operations as Senior ADF Health Officer and Deputy Validating Flight Surgeon. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators, a member of the Australasian College of Aerospace Medicine, the Aerospace Medicine Association (US) and the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies, and an Academician of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine. She is also an Honorary Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management. Air Vice-Marshal Smart was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.