Executive Leadership

Dagmar Parsons
Chief Executive Officer

In a career spanning 20+ years, Dagmar has gained considerable experience in transforming and growing complex businesses across diverse corporate, operational and entrepreneurial roles in Australia, Asia and Europe.

She has worked with major national and multinational entities to drive critical market success by providing strategic direction, visionary leadership and innovative thinking.

Dagmar started out as a project engineer in the German petrochemical industry prior to coming to Australia in 1991. She has since held senior executive positions with companies across a range of industries, including construction, manufacturing and engineering in the resources, power, paper and steel sectors.

In addition to her executive career, Dagmar has held a portfolio of non-executive director and board roles in a range of organisations including government, private and not-for-profit. She is currently a director of the Camerata of St John's - Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra.

Dagmar holds a Master of Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Business Administration and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ian Henschke
Chief Advocate

Ian is working to raise the profile of older people and to strengthen the collective voice of National Seniors members. A teacher before choosing a career in the media in 1980, Ian has worked in film, television, radio and print for 37 years. He has served on the board of the ABC, presented regular radio programs and won prestigious media awards, including UN Media Peace Prizes in 2007 and 2009. Ian was named Telstra Rural Journalist of the Year in 1998 and was a finalist in the prestigious Walkley Awards twice. He was recognised for his service to Australian society through broadcasting’ with the Centenary of Federation Medal in 2003.

He continues to write a column for the The Advertiser’s SA Weekend magazine since it was launched in 2009.

Ian Henschke was the inaugural ABC Reuters Foundation/Chevening Fellow to Oxford in 1999 where he negotiated a co-production between 4 Corners and BBC World. He graduated from Adelaide University with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and Diploma of Education in 1977.

Professor John McCallum
Director of Research

John completed his undergraduate studies at the University of QLD after completing National Service as an officer in the Pacific Island Regiment for which he received three service medals. He completed Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral studies at Nuffield College, Oxford University UK before returning to Australia.

He has a distinguished university career as a Senior Research Fellow, Faculty Dean and Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor. His major research projects include the Dubbo Longitudinal Study, Australia-Japan Collaboration in Aged Care, Asset and Health Dynamics of the ‘Old’ Old (AHEAD), Vietnam Veterans Mortality Study and many national policy projects. Most recently from 2010 he established the Research Translation Group at the National Health and Medical Research Council and the start-up of the National Institute for Dementia Research.

He has 120+ peer-reviewed publications, 22 books and monographs, many other publications and reports, 80 published evidence statements and Guidelines by NHMRC 2010-2016 and was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia 2003. In recognition of his research and policy work, he was awarded the Federation Medal in 2003 ‘for outstanding service as a researcher to ageing and aged care issues’.

Nicole Francis
General Manager Human Capital & Strategy

Nicole Francis is an experienced human resources and industrial relations practitioner who has worked with national and international organisations within the engineering, mining and construction, health and not-for-profit industries. Nicole's main focus has been to partner with CEO's, project managers, line managers and their teams to create sustainable and profitable workplaces in rapidly changing environments.

At National Seniors, Nicole is responsible for the delivery of the human resources strategy and as a member of the Executive Leadership Team is responsible for collectively delivering the "2020 Strategy Plan".

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Business and is a member of Australian Human Resources Institute.

Leonne FitzGerald
General Manager Marketing & Membership

Leonne joined National Seniors in 2012 as General Manager Marketing & Membership.

In this role she is responsible for the development of the marketing and communication strategy that supports the organisation's goals, in particular membership growth, and the provision of excellent member services.

She is a marketing and communications professional with extensive experience across a broad range of industries including tourism, property, retail and not-for-profits.

Leonne holds a Bachelor of Commerce.

Chris Grice
General Manager, Insurance & Commercial Services

Chris became General Manager of Insurance & Commercial Services in November 2013, after previous work in a membership and insurance management role at National Seniors. He is responsible for providing strategic leadership and operational effectiveness for the National Seniors Insurance business, as well as working across the organisation and its business areas to seek and build new opportunities. Chris has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, having worked with organisations including Commonwealth Bank, Allianz and Club Marine. Specializing in member-centric insurance products in both sales and management positions, Chris understands the importance of providing members with a high quality service experience on insurance products that are good value for money.

Verity Noble
General Manager Travel

Verity is a marketing professional with over 15 years of sales and management experience. She has extensive expertise in marketing strategy and communications and a proven track record of developing new business and motivating teams to exceed targets.

Verity has been involved in a range of businesses including FMCG, NFP and Membership based organisations.

Most recently Verity was the Marketing Manager for The Brisbane Club where she developed and launched the new website within timeframe and budget. She also developed and expanded the social media platforms to facilitate The Brisbane Club's transition into the modern digital age.

At National Seniors, Verity is responsible for the travel business strategy and creating travel marketing initiatives and campaigns to grow National Seniors Travel, a fully licensed travel agency. She is accountable for building and maintaining partnerships with a range of internal and external stakeholders to leverage the travel business and create opportunities.

Verity holds a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing

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