Under Mary Aikenhead Ministries, the many health (including aged care and research institutes), education and some social service ministries that were established and developed by the Sisters of Charity in Australia, following their arrival from Ireland in 1838, are governed by a group of Trustees, consisting of members of the Congregation and lay colleagues.

The Trustees are the Canon Law and Civil Stewards of the Ministries.  As such, the Ministries report to, and are accountable to the Trustees.

The Trustees will seek to ensure that the heritage, tradition and charism of the Sisters are taken purposefully into the future.

For a statement about the role of the Trustees, click here.

Dr Tessa Ho GAICD MBBS MD – Chair

Tessa is an ex-student of St Vincent’s College in Sydney, New South Wales, a medical graduate of the University of Sydney and a Master of Health Planning graduate of the University of New South Wales (UNSW).  She has a UNSW Doctor of Medicine in Health Services Management, with a focus on health workforce training and support, especially in relation to health care provision for those disadvantaged by rurality, gender and ethnicity.  Her research in health economics involved the development of simulation models for casemix funding of NSW public hospitals.

Tessa has a longstanding commitment to medical education and professional development, manifest in her work as a medical educator and medical administrator in workforce planning.  She has had extensive involvement in university medical education, as Associate Dean and Head of the Medical Program at the University of Sydney, and as a member of Australian Medical Council Assessment Teams for accreditation of Australian medical schools, the Management Committee of the NSW Institute of Medical Education and Training, Deputy Chair of the Education and Resource Development Committee of the NSW Postgraduate Medical Council and the NSW State Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators.

In 2016, the Governor-General appointed Tessa to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.   In 2017, Tessa was appointed by the Queensland Health Minister to the Queensland Board of the Medical Board of Australia. 

Mr David Alcock – Deputy Chair

David attended St Peter’s Primary School, East Bentleigh before completing his secondary education at St Kevin’s College, Toorak in Victoria.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Business in 1987 and in 2004 completed a Graduate Diploma in Company Secretarial Practice. David is a member of both CPA Australia and the Governance Institute of Australia.

David has held leadership roles within a variety of organisations.  Apart from a brief two-year stint in the petroleum industry, for the most part, David’s working life has been either directly or indirectly in the service of Catholic education.

His working career commenced in 1977 in the retail book trade with Campion Books Pty Ltd and later included a number of years as Managing Director of Sandhurst Computers Pty Ltd, an IT company supplying specialised software to Catholic schools and parishes across four States.  In mid-1998, seeking a more direct involvement in the education sector, he was pleased to accept the position of Business Manager at Loyola College, Watsonia.  In 2002 he took up a similar position, serving the community of Catholic Ladies’ College in Eltham until February 2015.

His honorary roles currently include serving on the Finance Committee of Marist Schools Australia.  David has experience of the many challenges of a team member, associated with co-ordinating the establishment of two new schools in the growth corridor on Melbourne’s northern edge.  He has also served as a Director in a not-for-profit, community-based, aged care organisation focused on serving people living in the municipality where David and his wife Rita reside.  Together they have four adult children and remain long-time active members of the Passionist Family Group movement within their local Parish of St. Peter and Paul in East Doncaster.

Sr Helen Clarke rsc

Sr Helen Clarke resides in Sydney and is an ex-student of Santa Sabina College in Strathfield, New South Wales.  She continued further study and obtained a Diploma in Teaching (Primary) through the Catholic Teachers’ College in North Sydney, a Bachelor of Arts through Macquarie University in Sydney, a Master of Education through Sydney University and a Diploma in Counselling at St John of God Institute.

Sr Helen’s longstanding commitment and experience within education and health ministries is evident through her work history.  She was a school principal at four Sydney-based schools, a Consultant with Sydney Catholic Education office, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Charity, a Board Director at St Vincent’s & Mater Sydney, St Vincent’s College, St Vincent’s Health Australia, National Catholic Education Commission and Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory), the National President of Catholic Religious Australia and a Member of Union of International Superiors General.

Sr Helen is also a Trustee, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney.

Sr Linda Ferrington rsc

Linda Ferrington rsc resides in the lower Blue Mountains and has recently completed a term as Chair of the Parish Pastoral Council as St Thomas Aquinas Springwood.  Linda was educated by the Sisters of Charity at St Mary’s Hurstville, and St Vincent’s College Potts Point.  Linda hold’s post graduate qualifications in Religious Education, Educational Administration, Pastoral Leadership and Theology.

Previously Linda has been a primary school principal, a member of the Congregational Council, a founding Trustee of Mary Aikenhead Ministries, and Director of Initial Formation.  As Director of the Parramatta Pastoral Institute, she exercised responsibility for Parish Leadership Formation, Adult Faith Formation, and as a member of the Ongoing Clergy Formation Committee.

Linda has excised her governance responsibilities through boards in education, health, Diocesan Boards and Advisory Councils in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania.  Linda’s most recent appointment was as a Director of St John of God Health Care Services.


Emeritus Professor Gabrielle McMullen AM FRACI

Gabrielle attended St Patrick’s Primary School in Victoria and then completed her secondary schooling at Killester College in Springvale in Victoria.  In 1974, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) degree and in 1977 was awarded her Doctor of Philosophy, both from Monash University.

Gabrielle’s professional experience and commitment to education have been extensive.  Following a three-year research appointment in Germany, she returned in 1981 to Monash University, where she was jointly appointed Dean of Mannix College, its Catholic residence, and progressively Senior Tutor, Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry.  From 1995, she undertook senior leadership roles at Australian Catholic University, initially as Rector (Ballarat Campus) and then Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) until 2011.

Gabrielle’s community contributions have encompassed membership of education, health, theological and welfare boards.  Apart from her role as a Trustee of Mary Aikenhead Ministries, she is currently also President of the Australian Association of the Divine Word University Council and a member of the Australian Catholic Council for Pastoral Research, of the Caritas Hong Kong Institute Development Steering Committee, of the Christian Brothers Oceania Professional Standards Consultative Committee, of the Walter Silvester Memorial Lecture Committee and of Xavier College Council.

She lives in Clifton Hill, Melbourne and is involved in the local parish of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.


Mr David Robinson

David was educated by Sisters of Charity, Christian Brothers and the University of Sydney.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Economics in 1981 and in 2001 obtained his Master of Commerce.

Sydney based, David is currently a Partner of ESV Accounting and Business Advisors.  His work history includes involvement as a non-executive director of Leighton Holdings Group since 1990; Chairman of the Windsor Farms Foods Group Limited and former director of Valad Property Group Limited.

David is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, a Registered Chartered Tax Adviser and a Registered Company Auditor.

David is a member of the Joint State Taxes Liaison Committee with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and his past activities include:  Chairman of the Advisory Finance Committee of the Sisters of Charity of Australia, a member of the Board of St Edmund’s School for students with vision impairment and other special needs, founding board member of Edmund Rice Special Education Services (ERSES), occasional advisor to Sydney Archdiocese Chancery Office, member of the Boards of St Vincent’s College Potts Point, CBHS Lewisham and other advisory committees associated with the Sisters of Charity of Australia.


Mr Gary Humphrys

Gary was appointed to the Trustees of Mary Aikenhead Ministries on 1 July 2017.  Gary has almost 40 years’ experience in senior executive roles covering a number of disciplines including finance and accounting, treasury, taxation, IT, procurement and audit in the energy and mining industries in both the public and private sector.  Gary has held various directorships in the health, mining, water and energy sectors.  He was previously a Director of St Vincent’s Health Australia Limited and is currently a Director of HESTA Superannuation.  Gary also has recently been appointed as Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee of Brisbane’s South Bank Corporation.