Bendigo Health Fundraising
Advisory Board

The Bendigo Health Fundraising & Foundation team is supported by a Board of dedicated and passionate community members. We thank them for volunteering their time and delivering expertise to help us achieve our fundraising goals.

The Bendigo Health Fundraising Advisory Board is a sub-committee of the Board of Bendigo Health:

Mr Trevor Elliott

Chair | Member since 2022

Throughout his time in professional practice as a Partner/Director with Strategem, Trevor has provided taxation and accounting services to a diverse portfolio of clients, with a focus on providing specialised support to the medical industry.

He is well respected for his efficiency and attention to detail which lends itself to his vast experience as a Business Services advisor where he provides strategic advice to businesses.

Trevor is a current Director on the Bendigo Health Board and has previously led the Strategem board as Chairman and as General Manager for Strategem’s Melbourne based office. These roles have provided an opportunity for him to coach and mentor future leaders.

Trevor is a local resident of Bendigo and has been actively involved with many community organisations, holding roles such as; Director of Access Australia and Director of ARC Justice.

Ms Sonya Kuchel

Member since 2015
Sonya is a long term member of the Bendigo Business Council, Bendigo Young Professional Network (founding member), Bendigo Tourism and woman.i.s.e. She is a key figure in the development of the multi award winning Foundry Hotel Complex. Sonya has significant experience in community engagement and events, with strong organisational capability and is an outstanding communicator with highly developed interpersonal skills.

Mr Neil Beattie

Member since 2015
Neil has been farming his Boort property for 45 years and is a committed member of the regional community. He holds Life Memberships with Apex and North Central Football League and is a past President of NCFL and Boort Football Club. He is current Chair of Lake Boort Management, Boort Park Management and Boort Cereal Growers Co-op and Loddon Shire Councillor. Neil played football for Boort for 20 years and has been member of the Barraport Fire Brigade for 45 years. In 2013 Neil became Victoria’s highest fundraiser for Dry July which saw $40,000 provided to the Bendigo Health Foundation to assist in the upgrade of cancer patient accommodation units.

Ms Kate Mannix

Member since 2020
Kate is the CEO of local accounting firm AFS & Associates. Kate is passionate about client service and employee satisfaction. The move to AFS came after spending 12 years in Melbourne at PwC and Blockbuster Australia. Since returning to our wonderful regional city, Kate has raised a family of three children and helped out in her community. More recently this has included her roles on the Bendigo committee of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and joining the Bendigo Health Foundation board. On weekends you will find Kate involved in her local tennis club or helping out on the sidelines of her children’s sporting choices. Joining the Bendigo Health Foundation came after a close family member spent several months in the care of Bendigo Health, and is driven by this to be able to give back to this amazing facility so other patients and families can be equally cared for and supported for years to come.

Mr Adam MacKenzie

Member since 2020
Born and bred in Bendigo, Adam spent the first few years of his career in Melbourne completing an Electrical Apprenticeship, before moving across to the Royal Australian Navy Submarine Squadron for the next 4 years as an Electrical Engineer. Adam moved back to Bendigo in 1998, where he worked for Bendigo Toyota as a Business Manager whilst attending night school at La Trobe University to complete studies in Financial Services. In 2001, Adam left Toyota and started Bendigo Lending Services, which later became known as BLS Financial. Adam has been a licensed Financial Planner for many years now and is currently studying for his Masters in Financial Planning through Deakin University and Kaplan.

Adam is passionate about giving back to the community and finding creative ways for other people to get involved and support our great town. A great example of this is his recent completion of the Kokoda Trek, along with 18 other Bendigo businessmen, which raised over $100k in support of local charities.

Ms Beth Benbow

Member since 2020
Having already established herself as a humanitarian in many roles and an avid fundraiser with more than 40 years’ experience with the Intensive Care Auxiliary, Beth Benbow is a welcome new edition to the Fundraising Advisory Board.

Raised in a big family where significant value was placed in helping others and being an active member of the community, Beth’s passion for volunteering started young when she witnessed first-hand the impact of her mother’s contribution on the California Gully Auxiliary, and her establishment of the Intensive Care Auxiliary.

Beth has worn many philanthropic hats over her career and has studied both psychology and sociology. With notable experience working for the Police, Child Protection Services, Disability Services and the Australian Defence Force, where she received numerous medals during her six years of service.

Beth is now President of the Combined Auxiliaries for Bendigo Health, a position she has proudly dedicated herself to for the past 13 years.

Dr Skye Kinder

Member since 2021

Dr Skye Kinder is a passionate advocate for rural and other marginalised patients and their communities. In addition to her clinical work as a doctor in the field of mental health, she is a prolific writer and award-winning speaker and health commentator. Dr Kinder seeks to address health inequality through extensive volunteerism, charity work and public advocacy efforts.

Dr Kinder was recognised as 2017 VIC Junior Doctor of the Year and finalist for Australia and New Zealand Junior Doctor of the Year. She was later named 2019 Young Victorian of the Year and 2019 VIC Young Australian of the Year. Dr Kinder has been featured on the Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence list and is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honouree.

Ms Melissa Buchanan

Member since 2023

Melissa Buchanan is Principal / Director at Reign Legal working across all matters of Family, Property and Business Law.

Melissa’s devotion to the fundamentals of law and the legal profession has shaped her foundation and interest in philanthropy and supporting community groups.

Melissa was actively involved as a committee member on the New Bendigo Hospital Appeal and now looks forward to her role supporting the philanthropic culture of Bendigo Health.

Mr Kyle Fitzsimmons

Member since 2023

Kyle Fitzsimmons is the Managing Director at Cosmo, an Australian-based property management platform specialising in short-term rentals. Kyle is responsible for leading the company’s growth and development strategies, overseeing daily operations and ensuring that the company maintains its high quality and customer service standards.

Before founding Cosmo, he held several senior management positions in reputable hospitality & real estate companies and gained extensive experience in operations, business development, and customer service.

Kyle intends to act as a strong voice/innovator for the FAB stakeholders and further enhance his connections and involvement in the local community. He looks forward to leveraging youth by bringing an innovative and fresh approach to the Board along with growing and innovating how we attract donations.

Mr Russell Robertson

Member since 2023

Russell Robertson brings to the Fundraising Advisory Board over 40 years of experience as a lawyer and specialist expertise in Gifts in Wills and is passionate about both the legal technicalities of will-making but also ensuring you understand the process and the choices involved.

Russell is a key member of our regional community and an active member of the Law Institute of Victoria and Bendigo Law Association.

Mr Brock Pinner

Member since 2023

Brock brings to the Board a strong commercial background with a unique blend of sales and marketing strategy and execution across corporate and SME organisations.

He is currently the Sales and Marketing Manager at McKean McGregor Real Estate & Livestock where he has been heavily involved in raising philantrophic funds for Bendigo Health's Cancer Wellness Services, including being intregral in the development of the successful McKean McGregor Gala Ball.

Brock has a deep passion for community involvement and enjoys spending time with like-minded people who put others before themselves.

Mr Craig Niemann

Member since 2023

Craig has enjoyed a distinguished 40-year career in Local Government and is currently CEO of the City of Greater Bendigo, a role that he has had for the past 15 years.

He is a trusted leader and has worked closely with other levels of government, the private sector, and local clubs and groups to deliver great outcomes for Bendigo and the broader central Victorian community.

Craig has lived and worked in the central Victorian region all his life and in his time as CEO at the City of Greater Bendigo, major projects to be delivered include Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo Airport, Bendigo Stadium expansion, Bendigo Art Gallery expansion, Bendigo Library redevelopment, Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre and a range of community sporting infrastructure. He was also a passionate advocate for the Bendigo Health redevelopment and is proud of the health service’s critical role in the region.

He holds a Direcotr position on the Board of Bendigo Health and is currently a Board Member of Regional Development Australia – Loddon Mallee Region, Bendigo Heritage Attractions and is a member of the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership.

Sign up to our newsletter