Rest Board

Our board is made up of both employer and employee representatives, as well as an independent Chair.

Speaking on your behalf

Four directors are nominated on behalf of employees by the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA). Four directors are nominated by employers and employer associations to represent employers. This means that employees and employers are equally represented. Additionally, an independent director has been appointed to the board to supplement the skills and experience of the board.

James Merlino

James Merlino

Chair of the Board and Independent Director

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Nominating Organisation:

n/a

Director Since:

1 January 2023
Appointed Independent Chair on 1 January 2023

Qualifications
Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons)

James has more than 20 years’ experience in government, politics and public administration at both the state and local level, including eight years as the Deputy Premier of Victoria in the Labor Government from 2014 to 2022. During his time in government, he oversaw multi-billion projects and was responsible for the biggest school building program in Victoria’s history via the Victorian School Building Authority. He was also Acting Premier of Victoria for four months in 2021, managing the state’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
 
James represented the electoral division of Monbulk in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 2002 to 2022, and held a number of Ministerial portfolios, cabinet positions and parliamentary appointments during his tenure, including Minister for Education from 2014 to 2022 and Minister for Mental Health from 2020 to 2022, and Minister for Emergency Services from 2016 to 2018.

Current Directorships

  • Chair and Director of Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Limited
  • Director of Hawthorn Football Club Limited
  • Chair of Suburban Rail Loop Authority (Victoria)
  • Chair of Victorian Catholic Education Authority
Rest Committee Membership
  • People, Culture and Remuneration Committee
  • Member and Employer Services Committee
  • Audit and Finance Committee
  • Risk Committee
  • Board Investment Committee
Julia Fox

Julia Fox

Nominating Organisation: 

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA)

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Director Since: 

1 January 2018

Qualifications
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Masters of Law, Juris Doctor (JD)
 
Julia is the National Assistant Secretary of the SDA: the Union for workers in retail, warehousing and fast food. Julia has represented workers for nearly three decades, starting out as an Organiser for the Victorian Branch of the SDA before joining the National Office as an Industrial Officer & National WHS in 2001.
 
Julia has advocated for better pay, conditions and protections for thousands of workers in some of Australia’s largest retail and fast food companies.
 
Throughout her years in the union movement Julia has upheld a strong commitment to addressing the issues women face at work including equal pay, superannuation, work and care, and sexual harassment.
 
Julia is Vice President of the World Women’s Committee of UNI Global Union; the global union federation which represents more than 20 million workers from over 900 trade unions in the fastest growing sectors in the world – skills and services.

Current Directorships

  • Director of Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Ltd
  • Director of Super Members Councils of Australia Limited and SMCA Operations Pty Ltd
Rest Committee Membership
  • Chair of the People, Culture and Remuneration Committee
  • Audit and Finance Committee
Sally Evans

Sally Evans

Nominating Organisation: 

Super Retail Group Limited (ASX-SUL)

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Director Since: 

2 May 2018

Qualifications
Bachelor of Applied Science (BHSc)
Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD)
Graduate of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (GAIST)
 
Sally is an experienced Board director with a commitment to delivering sustainable financial and social outcomes. Sally’s early professional career as a public sector clinical dietitian, led to her undertaking executive roles in health services, investment management and wealth management working across both the public and private sector within Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Hong Kong with broader responsibilities across the Asia Pacific region. She received the Telstra Australian Businesswoman of the Year award (private sector) in 2002 and was recognised as an AFR Westpac Woman of Influence in 2013.

Her non-executive director experience spans internationally across private, social enterprise and government advisory boards as well as board committees in the areas of risk, audit and remuneration. Previously, Sally was a member of the Consumer and Industry Advisory Group on the development of a retirement income framework and covenant, and an inaugural member of the Australian Federal Government’s Aged Care Financing Authority, Chair of LifeCircle and an inaugural member of the EveryAge Counts Advisory Group.

Current Directorships

  • Non-executive of Director of Allianz Australia Life Insurance Holdings Limited
  • Non-executive Director of Allianz Australia Life Policy Services Pty Limited
  • Director of Ingenia Communities RE Limited
  • Director of Ingenia Communities Holdings Limited
  • Non-executive Director of Allianz Australia Life Insurance Limited
  • Director of Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Limited
  • Non-executive Director of Oceania Healthcare Limited
  • Non-executive Director of Healius
Current Appointments
  • Member of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Advisory Council
Rest Committee Membership
  • Board Investment Committee
  • Risk Committee
Vaughn Richtor

Vaughn Richtor

Sponsoring Organisation:

Woolworths Group Limited

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Director Since:

26 June 2019

Qualifications
Bachelor of Arts, Business Studies (BA Hons)
Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD)
 
Vaughn is the former CEO of ING DIRECT Australia and CEO Challenger and Growth Countries – Asia, ING Group. Vaughn joined ING in London in 1991 and was Deputy General Manager UK and Ireland, establishing the ING Dublin branch. Vaughn was then assigned to start banking operations in Australia in 1995, which ultimately became ING DIRECT. He held this role until January 2006, helping to establish the brand and building a profitable business. Vaughn was then appointed CEO and MD of ING Vysya Bank in India where he spent more than three years on the successful turnaround of a loss-making bank. He then worked as CEO – Banking Asia, covering Retail Banking and Commercial activities in the region for three years, before returning to Australia in 2012. Vaughn retired from his roles as CEO of ING Retail Banking Asia and CEO ING Direct Australia in June 2016.
 
He is an advisor to Rhizome Advisory, Spriggy (a Fintech company providing children’s e-pocket money) and Wyvern Health. Vaughn was previously Chairman of Ratesetter Australia from 2017 to 2019; Non-executive Director of TMB Bank in Thailand from 2008 to 2019; Non-executive Director of ING Vysya Bank in India from 2009 until its merger with Kotak Mahindra Bank in 2015; and Non-executive Director of Kookmin Group in Korea from 2010 to 2012. Vaughn was named Australian Financial Services Executive of the Year in 2015. He has written and spoken extensively on leadership, corporate culture, customer centricity and digital banking.

Current Directorships

  • Director of Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Ltd
  • Director of TPT Wealth Ltd
  • Chair of MyState Limited and MyState Bank
Current Appointments
  • Member of Advisory Council to Rhizome
  • Advisor to Spriggy
  • Member Advisory Council Wyvern Health
  • Advisor to Strategy Implementation Institute
Rest Committee Membership
  • Chair of the Member and Employer Services Committee
  • People, Culture and Remuneration Committee
  • Audit and Finance Committee
Adam Walk

Dr Adam Walk

Nominating Organisation: 

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA)

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Director Since: 

1 January 2020
Appointed as an alternate director on 28 November 2018

Qualifications 
Bachelor of Arts, Politics (BA)
Bachelor of Business, Banking and Finance (BBus)
Master of Applied Finance and Investment (MAppFin)
Doctor of Philosophy, Financial Economics (PhD)
Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD)
Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia (FGIA)
Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA)
Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designee
 
Adam Walk is a financial economist with around 25 years’ experience in investment, governance, and risk management appointments at organisations such as Myer Family Company, QIC, QSuper, and Bank of Queensland. Adam is a Director at Drew, Walk & Co., in which capacity he assists family office, foundation, and fiduciary clients in the areas of investment consulting and counsel. His research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Portfolio Management and the Journal of Retirement, and he co-authored (with Dr Michael Drew) a monograph entitled ‘Investment Governance for Fiduciaries’, which was published by the CFA Institute Research Foundation in 2019.

Current Directorships

  • Director of St John Henry Newman College Limited
  • Director of Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Ltd
  • Director of Power Group of Companies
  • Chairman of Campion College Australia
  • Director of The Investment Committee Pty Limited
  • Director of De Colmar Pty Limited
  • Director of Drew, Walk & Co
  • Director of Walk Group of Companies

Current Appointments

  • Member of the Advisory Board, Hamilton12 Pty Ltd
  • Board Member, Archdiocesan Development Fund, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane
  • Member, Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, Mary Aikenhead Ministries
  • Chair, Governance and Risk Committee, Sprint Ventures
  • Chair of the Investment Committee, RSL Queensland
Rest Committee Membership
  • Board Investment Committee
  • Chair of the Risk Committee
  • Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee
Helen Cooney

Helen Cooney

Nominating Organisation: 

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA)

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Director Since:

30 September 2020

Qualifications 
Bachelor of Arts (BA (Hons))
Master of Government and Commercial Law (MGCL)
Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)
Graduate of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (GAIST)                                                                                                                
Associate Certified Coach (ACC), International Coaching Federation
 
Helen is the Principal Policy Officer (Superannuation and Industry Training) at the SDA, the Union for workers in retail, fast food and warehousing. Helen has been a policy, strategy and governance adviser in state and federal governments on the topics of early childhood, school education and workplace relations, and for a group of eight Australian university in the private office of the Vice-Chancellor and President. She put the theory into practice for a decade as a President and CEO in the community sector serving expectant and new mothers and now runs a private practice as a coach of strategy and governance professionals.

Current Directorships

  • Director of Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Ltd
  • Director Australian Catholic University Limited
  • Alternate Director of Service Skills Victoria
Rest Committee Membership
  • People, Culture and Remuneration Committee
  • Member and Employer Services Committee
  • Risk Committee
Joanne Lester

Joanne Lester

Nominating Organisation: 

Australian Retailers Association (ARA)

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Director Since: 

6 April 2022
Appointed as an alternate director on 28 July 2016

Qualifications 
Bachelor of Psychology (BPsych)
Graduate Diploma of Business (Professional Accounting (Grad Dip Bus Prof Acc)
Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)
Graduate of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (GAIST)
 
Jo has more than 30 years’ experience in corporate superannuation within ASX listed environments, predominately with Wesfarmers Limited. This has included supporting superannuation structural changes following corporate acquisitions and divestments. Having operated within broader Human Resource environments in a range of remuneration capacities, Jo appreciates how superannuation relates to broader HR and remuneration strategies.

Current Directorships

  • Director of Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Ltd
  • Director of TAAJL Pty Ltd
  • Director of JAATL Pt Ltd
  • Director of Landkara Holdings Pty Ltd
 
Rest Committee Membership
  • People, Culture and Remuneration Committee
  • Member and Employer Services Committee
  • Risk Committee
Michael Bargholz

Michael Bargholz

Nominating organisation:

National Retail Association

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Director Since: 

1 October 2022

Qualifications
Bachelor of Economics (Honours)
Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA Institute
GAICD, Australian Institute of Company Directors
 
Michael has more than 35 years of experience across public sector, private and listed companies. His industry experience includes investment management, superannuation, and life insurance sectors.  Prior to joining Rest, Michael was the Australian CEO for the global investment management business Pendal Group from 2016 to 2018 (formerly BT Investment Management Australia). He previously held a number of executive positions as Managing Director for Australia at Fidelity International, and as CEO and Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand at AllianceBernstein.
 
His earliest leadership role was as Managing Director of Investment Management at AXA New Zealand. He became a Trustee of the Australian Church of Christ Evangelistic Trust in 2007 and was appointed Chairman in 2009. Since 2018 he has acted as a Group Chairman for the CEO Circle, a leading Australian membership organisation for executives and CEOs. Before being appointed Chair of the Rest Board Investment Committee, Michael served on the Committee as a non-voting member from 1 September 2020.
 
Michael is an economist and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) by training.  

Current Directorships

  • Director of Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Ltd
  • Trustee Director of Australian Church of Christ Evangelistic Trust 
  • Chair of Australian Church of Christ Evangelistic Trust 
  • Director of Holt Oxley Pty Limited
  • Director of Acocet Nominees Pty Ltd
  • Chair of Acocet Nominees Pty Ltd
Rest Committee Membership
  • Chair of the Board Investment Committee
  • Audit and Finance Committee
portrait of Mitchell Worsley

Mitchell Worsley

Nominating organisation:

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA)

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Director Since:

1 April 2024

Qualifications
Juris Doctor (JD)
Master of Labour Law and Relations (MLLR)
Bachelor of Commerce (Hons), Economics (BCom)
Bachelor of Arts, Politics (BA)
Graduate, Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) 
Graduate Certificate in Professional Legal Practice

Mitchell has 20 years of experience advocating for working Australians. He is currently an Industrial Officer with the SDA where he uses his deep legal, economic and policy knowledge to support member outcomes through advocacy and advice. 

Throughout his experience with the SDA, Mitchell has advocated for dignified, just and fair outcomes for workers, particularly those in low-paid work. Mitchell frequently advocates for members in enterprise bargaining, alternative dispute resolution and in tribunals and courts.

Mitchell has extensive expertise in labour market economics, employment law and industrial relations. He has a deep experience with the retail industry. He is also a qualified solicitor and is admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW. 

Current Directorships
  • Director of Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Limited (since 2024)
Current Appointments
  • Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services Industry Advisory Committee (NSW) (since 2021)
Rest Committee Membership
  • Board Investment Committee
  • Member and Employer Services Committee 

Alternate Directors

Aliscia di Mauro

Nominating Organisation: 

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA)

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Date of current appointment as an Alternate Director: 

1 October 2017

Qualifications 
Bachelor of Laws (LLB(Hons))
Bachelor of Commerce (BCom)
 
Aliscia has been an industrial officer at the SDA NSW branch and a part-time official since 2010. Aliscia previously worked as a senior accountant at Ernst & Young, as an accountant at Hill Rogers and subsequently as a lawyer at Minter Ellison Lawyers.

Current Directorships

  • Alternate Director to Julia Fox of Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Ltd

Gerard Dwyer

Nominating Organisation: 

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA)

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Date of current appointment as an Alternate Director: 

4 March 2020

Qualifications 
Bachelor of Education – History and English (BEd)
Master of Business – (Employment Relations) (MBus)
Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)
 
Gerard Dwyer is the National Secretary-Treasurer of the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees' Association. Gerard has been the Secretary-Treasurer of the SDA-NSW Branch (2005-2014), National President of the Union (2008-2014) and SDA National Secretary‑Treasurer since 2014. The SDA is one of Australia's largest trade unions and represents employees working in retail, warehousing and fast food.
 
Gerard grew up in regional NSW and moved to Sydney at the age of 18 to pursue tertiary studies. He has a Bachelor of Education (History and English (1989)), a Masters of Business in Employment Relations (UTS, 2002) and is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Gerard's working life has seen him employed as a shop assistant, classroom teacher, social worker and as a Trade Union Official for more than 20 years.

Current Directorships

  • Alternate Director to Dr Adam Walk in Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Ltd (from March 2020 onwards)
  • Director of The Trade Union Education Foundation Limited (from September 2015 onwards)
  • Director of ACTU Member Connect (from November 2022 onwards)
  • Director of SkillEQuipped Limited (from May 2023 onwards)
Current Appointments
  • National Secretary-Treasurer of the SDA
  • Member of the ALP National Executive
  • World President UNI Global Union
  • Senior Vice President of the ACTU
Rest Committee Membership
Nil – however, in addition to acting as Alternate Director for Dr Adam Walk at Board meetings, Gerard may take Adam’s place at Committee meetings if Adam is unable to attend.

Previous Directorships
  • Alternate Director of Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Limited (April 2014 to December 2019)
  • Alternate Director of Super Investment Management Pty Limited (June 2014 to December 2019)

Michael Donovan

Nominating Organisation: 

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA)

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Date of current appointment as an Alternate Director: 

25 November 2020

Qualifications
Bachelor of Science – Chemistry and Mathematics (BSc(MathSc))
 
Michael had experience as a Research Officer and subsequently as a Senior Research Officer for the SDA from 1977 to 1992 including research, advocacy, negotiation, member advice, delegate education and some government liaison. Michael was advocate for the SDA in the major case which established industry-wide superannuation for retail workers in 1987-1988.
 
Michael became Assistant Secretary of the Victorian Branch of the SDA in 1992 and Secretary in 1996. Michael is responsible for the supervision of the employees of the Branch, for the financial management of the Branch and for the strategic director of the Branch, in association with other elected Officers. Michael became the National Vice-President of the SDA in 2014, and the National President in 2018.

Current Directorships

  • Alternate Director to Helen Cooney in Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Ltd
  • Chair of FEDSDA Pty Ltd
  • Chair of Industrial Printing and Publishing Pty Ltd
  • Chair of Publicity Works Pty Ltd
  • Chair of Sparkie Pty Ltd trustee of the IPP Property Trust
Current Appointments
  • Member of the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee