Learn more about the accomplished business, industry and community leaders who make up the NextSense board.
Vice Regal Patrons
His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley
AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor-General of Australia
Mrs Linda Hurley
Mr Norman B Rydge
Mr Norman B Rydge was appointed Vice Patron of RIDBC (now NextSense) on 24 June, 2009. He was a Director from 1977-2009, President from 1995-2009 and is a Life Governor.
Mr David Dinte
BEc, LLB, MAICD
Mr Dinte is a property developer with extensive experience in commercial, retail, industrial and residential development, acquisition and management in both Australia and the United States of America. Mr Dinte is a Director of Souths Cares. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centres. Mr Dinte joined the board in 2000, was appointed a Vice President in 2009. In December 2019, Mr Dinte was appointed President and Chairman of the Board. He is also a Life Member of NextSense.
Mrs Barbara Stone
AM, BA, DipEd, MEd, MAICD, FACE, FACEL
Mrs Stone is a former National Chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), past State Chair, AHISA NSW/ACT, former President, Alliance of Girls’ Schools of Australasia. Mrs Stone Retired as Principal of MLC School in 2011. Current other board directorships include Association of Independent Schools, NSW; and Newington College, Stanmore. Mrs Stone joined the board in 2002, and was appointed a Vice President in 2012 and is a Life Member.
Mr Peter van Dongen
BComm (Acc), FCA, F Fin, GAICD
Peter van Dongen is Chairman of PwC Australia’s Board of Partners and a Director of PwC Asia Pacific Ltd. Previously, he was the National Managing Partner of PwC Australia’s assurance practice and a member of PwC Australia’s Executive Board. Peter has over 30 years’ experience in delivering assurance services to many of Australia’s largest ASX-listed companies, predominantly in the financial services sector. Until recently, he was the Independent Auditor of the Australian National Audit Office, having been appointed by the Governor General to a fixed term to 1 January 2019. He joined the board in November 2013 and was appointed a Vice President in 2018.
Mr Matt Pearce
Mr Pearce has an extensive career in media and events. He has worked in newspapers and magazines and for the last 15 years, events. He has strong mergers and acquisition experience and sits on a number of industry boards. He has been involved in hearing services in Victoria for the last 25 years, previously serving as Chairman and Board Director for Taralye and Taralye Foundation. Mr Pearce joined the board in 2018 and was appointed a Vice President in 2021.
Clinical Professor Birman is one of the most experienced cochlear implant surgeons in the world, having performed more than 1500 cochlear implant procedures for children and adults from three months to well over 90 years.
Mr Charles M Cowper
BA, LLB, FAICD
Charles Cowper is a solicitor and former partner of national commercial law firms, Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Gadens Lawyers. He is currently a consultant to global law firm Dentons. He is an acknowledged expert in mergers and acquisitions, corporate law and governance. He has held board positions in a range of for profit and for purpose organisations including in education, on the Council of Shore School and in disability, as a director of Royal Blind Society of New South Wales. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Charles joined the board in May 2017.
Mr Roger Gee
Roger Gee retired from Qantas in 2006 after a 41-year career with the airline. He retired as a 747-400 Senior Check Captain. He has been an active member of the RIDBC (now NextSense) Qantas Pathfinders Auxiliary for more than 30 years. He instigated the Charity Flight, a very successful fundraising event, and piloted the Qantas Children’s Jumbo Joy Flight for many years. He joined the board in 2008 and is a Life Member of NextSense.
The Hon Robyn Parker
DipEd, DipTeach, GAICDMs
Robyn Parker has over 30 years of public sector experience. Beginning with roles in child and family services across a number of disadvantaged communities, Robyn spent 14 years as a TAFE teacher of child studies and as a CEO of ageing and disability organisation. She also spent 12 years as an MLC, MP and Cabinet Minister in the NSW Government. Currently, Robyn serves as a non-executive director of several not-for-profit and government boards such as the Taronga Conservation Society, Hume Housing and Hunter Local Land Services. She joined the board in 2019.