About our board
We are grateful to the members of our board for giving their time to help us on our mission to make a difference in the lives of people living with vision impairment or hearing loss.
Vice Regal Patrons
His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley, AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor-General of Australia, and Mrs Linda Hurley.
Mr Norman B Rydge, AM, OBE, was appointed Vice Patron of RIDBC 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, 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 RIDBC.
Mrs Barbara Stone, AM, BA, DipEd, MEd, MAICD, FACE, FACEL Retired as Principal of MLC School in 2011. 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. Current other board directorships: Association of Independent Schools, NSW; Newington College, Stanmore. Mrs Stone joined the board in 2002, was appointed a Vice President in 2012 and is a Life Member.
Mr Peter van Dongen, BComm (Acc), FCA, F Fin, GAICD, is Chairman of PwC Australia’s Board of Partners and a Director of PwC Asia Pacific Ltd. Previously, Peter 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. Peter was until recently 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.
Professor Catherine Birman, MBBS, PhD, FRACS, GAICD, is an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and a number of other public and private hospitals. She has extensive experience in cochlear implant surgery and research in this area. She is the Medical Director of the SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, an RIDBC service. She has been a past Chairman of the NSW division of the Australian Society of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, and past Secretary of the Australian and New Zealand Paediatric Otolaryngology Society. In 2017 she was awarded the New South Wales Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year and in 2018 was awarded the Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Medal. Prof Birman joined the board in 2011.
Mr Charles M Cowper, BA, LLB, FAICD 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. Mr Cowper joined the board in May 2017.
Mr Roger Gee, retired in 2006 from Qantas after a 41 year career with the airline. He retired as a 747-400 Senior Check Captain. He has been an active member of RIDBC’s 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. Mr Gee joined the board in 2008 and is a Life Member of RIDBC.
The Honourable Robyn Parker DipEd, DipTeach, GAICDMs. Ms Parker has over 30 years of public sector experience which began with roles in child and family services across a number of disadvantaged communities, followed by 14 years as a TAFE teacher of child studies and as a CEO of ageing and disability organisation. Ms Parker also spent 12 years as a MLC, MP and Cabinet Minister In the NSW Government. Currently, Ms Parker 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. Ms Parker joined the board in 2019.
Mr Matt 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.