Meet our Board

Board of Directors

Margaret Walsh OAM
Margaret Walsh OAM
Acting National President

Margaret began her career in the healthcare sector working for 25 years as a nurse and a matron in country WA. She then spent 20 years as CEO of an independent community organisation in the disability field for which she received her OAM in 2011 for her services in that sector. Joining the Perth Branch on retirement in 2011, Margaret was appointed Branch President in 2013 and served as WA Director to the Board from 2014-2016. Along with being Deputy President, she is currently Perth Branch Secretary, WA Division Secretary and AIR Representative to the Consumer Health Forum. Margaret is a member of the Council of Elders and a member of the WA Older Persons Health Network Expert Advisory Group

Margaret rejoined the Board in March 2020.

The role of National Deputy President is currently vacant.
Cynthia Wagner
Cynthia Wagner
Director - Tasmania Representative and AIR Company Secretary

Cynthia and her husband John and family first came to Australia in 1995 as Business Migrants settling in Sydney becoming Australian citizens in 1997. In 2001, Joyce Chidgey, then NSW Division President of AIR and Board member recommended to then AIR President Joan Heard, that Cynthia be asked to fill a vacancy on the Board as its Treasurer during the transition from each state having its own corporation to the formation of the national corporate body under the 2001 Corporations Act. With background as a CPA, (Chartered Accountant) and operator of a family office of businesses in the USA the position was accepted and thus began membership in AIR. The position as Treasurer was retained until Cynthia stepped down after the 2003 AGM while retaining membership in the Sydney Hills Branch of AIR.

In 2015 Cynthia moved to Launceston and joined the Northern Tasmania Branch. She is currently the Branch Treasurer, Committee Member and produces AIRWAVES newsletter.

Cynthia rejoined the Board in April 2018 and became Company Secretary in November 2018.

Janice Ricks
Janice Ricks
Director – Western Australia Representative and AIR Treasurer

Jan commenced work with Bank of New South Wales in Perth WA and after 5 years joined an international American based computer company in NZ as accountant for 14 years. On returning to Perth she joined a leading real estate and broad acre property development company as management accountant. After 15 years she started her own real estate company in Subiaco WA which she sold in 2013 and semi-retired.

Over the years Jan has been secretary and /or treasurer of several sporting clubs; 35 years as treasurer of (NFP) Fairholm Disability Support Group (FDSG) now retired life member; prior board member of (NFP) Amaroo Care Services Inc. for 16 years. Jan joined AIR in 2012 and is currently President of Perth Southern Districts Branch and WA Division President.

Jan joined the Board in November 2017.

John Ritchie
John Ritchie
Director - New South Wales Representative

After leaving school John went into the communications/electronics industry, where he worked in various areas including computing, security and leisure. In 1984, John embarked on his second career in the hospitality industry spending the last 20 years of his full-time working life as a successful Secretary/ Manager in the NSW Club Industry. After he retired in 2006, he continued to train people in the hospitality industry on a part-time basis, until June 2020.

John was an active member of the service club Apex for over 18 years. He currently serves as the secretary of the Evans Head Progress Association.

John joined AIR Far North Coast Branch in 2010, where he has held various positions and is currently Branch President and Secretary.

John joined the Board in September 2021.

Jill Huck
Jill Huck
Director - Northern Territory Representative

Jill has been semi-retired since 2016. Her background is in social work, social policy, professional regulation, and administrative review.  She has worked at a senior level in government and non-government organisations, has held a variety of statutory appointments and has also worked as an academic. Jill first became interested in the Association of Independent Retirees (AIR) after attending an AIR forum on Voluntary Euthanasia in June 2017. She was impressed by AIR’s focus on providing relevant up-to-date information to retirees through meetings and forums, as well as its commitment to advocate for retirees on important policy issues. Jill joined the AIR Darwin Management Committee in 2020. In August 2022 she was elected as President of the Darwin Branch. Because of her position as President of the Darwin Branch, Jill has now been appointed to the NT’s Ministerial Advisory Committee for Senior Territorians (MACST).

Jill joined the Board in November 2022.

Margaret Mourik
Margaret Mourik
Director - Queensland Representative

Margaret joined AIR Noosa Branch in 2007 whilst still working part-time. She became the Publicity Officer in 2009 and continues in that role.  In 2018 she became the Noosa Branch President & Division delegate. Her background is in education having taught classes from preschool through to university, with a focus on secondary.  Her teaching subjects included Indonesian language, English, history and social studies.  Margaret was seconded to the QLD Department of Education as a public servant for several years.  During her working life and in retirement, Margaret has been an active member of several volunteer associations: Noosa Boomerang Bags group, local Coast Care and Red Cross in addition to AIR.  As an AIR Director, Division President and within her own Branch, Margaret’s focus is on attracting active, involved members in order to keep AIR vibrant.

Margaret joined the Board in November 2020.

Patsy Haywood
Patsy Haywood
Director - Victorian Representative

Patsy Haywood graduated from the Melbourne University with Bachelor of Arts/Diploma of Social Studies, and pursued a social work career broken only by 10 years devoted to family responsibilities. She practised for 28 years, initially in the Victorian Government's Social Welfare Department and then subsequently in leadership roles in 2 Melbourne public hospitals. Patsy's professional responsibilities provided her with extensive experience in organisational management, administration, policy development and teamwork.

Patsy joined AIR in 2002. She became the Victorian Division President & Board Representative in 2005 and since then has held various official positions at Branch, Division and national level.

Patsy was the Chair of the organising committee of the 2012 AIR National Conference in Melbourne, which was the last one held. She was presented with a Victoria Award (nominated by the Melbourne Eastern Branch) in 2014, and awarded AIR Honorary Life Membership in 2015. Patsy was Editor of “In Touch” from 2013 – 2014 and has been Co-Editor of AIR Active since September 2018. Patsy is a member of the Warrnambool Branch committee. 

Patsy re-joined the Board for the third time in November 2023, representing the Victorian State Division.  


Co-Opted Members

Wayne Strandquist
Wayne Strandquist
Chief Advocate

After working in I.T. for large organisations including BHP, Rio Tinto, CSR, TAFE NSW and the NSW Dept of Education & Training for 32 years, Wayne retired in 2013 as a self-funded retiree. He has operated a SMSF with his wife since 1996.

In 2015, he joined the Sydney Hills & District Branch of AIR and held a number of committee positions including Vice-President/Deputy President, Division/National Delegate and Coordinator of the Investment Discussion Group.

At a National level, he has been SMSF Special Interest Group Coordinator and member of the National Policy and Advocacy Committee since 2016. In 2017, he was appointed Chair of the AIR National Review Committee, which led to significant organisational reforms.

In March 2018, he was appointed Chair of the AIR I.T. Management Group. After being elected as Deputy National President in November 2018, he was appointed Acting National President. In November 2019, he was elected National President. 

On his retirement as National President in 2023, Wayne was co-opted to the Board in the role of Chief Advocate.

Terrence (Terry) O'Callaghan AM
Terrence (Terry) O'Callaghan AM
Media Coordinator

Terrence (Terry) O’Callaghan retired from full time employment in 1997. Following retirement, Terry worked as an independent primary industry consultant for ten years working on a wide range of secondary and primary industry consultancy assignments.

During that time he occupied a number of Board positions including a Trustee Director of Prime Super (a major Superannuation Fund), a Board member of the Dairy Adjustment Authority and Company Secretary of WoolStock Australia Limited and Company Secretary of Agricultural Company of Australia Pty Ltd.

Terry has been recognised for his contribution and service to the dairy industry and service to community organisations through an Order of Australia Award and made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). Terry served as an AIR Board member from May 2016 until June 2021.

Dr Annette Barbetti
Dr Annette Barbetti
National Aged Care Alliance (NACA) Representative

Annette retired after 33 years at the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2004. She had worked in IT and in several areas of population and economic statistics. After retirement, she joined the former Superannuated Commonwealth Officer’s Association (SCOA) and became its President in 2008 and served two further terms in that role, retiring in 2018. While President of SCOA, she also joined the peak body, the Australian Council of Public Sector Retiree Organisations ACPSRO).  She has been a member of AIR’s North Canberra Branch and later the National Online Member Group of which she is now President, with a special interest in furthering the interests of public sector superannuation pensioners. She is AIR’s ACPSRO representative and is ACPSRO’s Vice President.

Annette provided home care for her mother until she was 102, and later visited her mother in her aged care home almost every day until her death at 105. She is AIR’s National Aged Care Alliance (NACA) representative and has also been heavily involved in NACA committee work relating to the implementation of the recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission.

 

Christine Fraser
Christine Fraser
Administrative Board Secretary

Christine has extensive Board experience, including the Australian Library and Information Association, Tasmanian Electoral Commission, Code of Conduct Panels for local governments, Tasmanian Board of the Medical Board of Australia and the Housing Tasmania’s Housing Review Committee. She was a Fulbright Senior Scholar, James Cook Bicentenary Scholar, has worked as University Librarian at UTAS Launceston & Hobart, been General Manager of Kentish Council, part of General Practice Workforce Tasmania and a partner in The Write Business (which assists governments, agencies and individuals to prepare and present documents). Additionally, she has published extensively in the area of higher education, information resources & management and has contributed to her community in advisory roles. Christine joined AIR at the Devonport Branch are now part of the Northern Tasmania Branch.

Christine was co-opted to the Board in 2023.