Executive Team Biographies
Ken Morrison, Chief Executive
Ken Morrison is the Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia, the national representative of the property industry. The property industry employs 1.1 million Australians, accounts for 9% of GDP, and 14.1 million Australians have a stake in property through their super fund. Ken is a Property Male Champion of Change, working to achieve a significant and sustainable increase in the number of women in leadership roles, a director of the Green Building Council of Australia, and sits on the executive committees of the Business Coalition for Tax Reform and the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council. He is passionate about the future of our cities and has played a significant role in shaping tax, planning and infrastructure policy for over a decade. Before taking up his current position in 2014, Ken was the Chief Executive of the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF), the peak CEO forum for the tourism, aviation and transport sectors. Prior to this Ken held several executive positions at the Property Council of Australia, including Chief Operating Officer and NSW Executive Director. Ken holds degrees from UNSW and UTS, and has undertaken courses at the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Harvard Business School.
Kathy Mac Dermott, Chief Operating Officer
Kathy Mac Dermott is Chief Operating Officer at the Property Council of Australia. Kathy joined the business in 2010 as Executive Director, Queensland Division, and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2014. Kathy has over 11 years’ experience as a property journalist for the Australian Financial Review, including seven as Queensland Bureau Chief. She has also worked extensively in corporate advisory roles, specialising in property, in Australia and London for more than two decades. Kathy is the program director of the Property Male Champions of Change. She holds a degree from QUT and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Mike Zorbas, Group Executive, Policy and Advocacy
In his role as Group Executive of Policy and Advocacy for the Property Council of Australia, Mike looks after policy on behalf of the property industry, our nation’s largest employer. Previously he has held senior roles at Lendlease, Stockland and the Liberal Democrats in the UK among others as well as being a member of the Board of the Sydney Institute and a former Deputy Chair of the Committee for Sydney.
Sandra Brewer, WA Executive Director
Sandra Brewer is the Western Australian Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia. Prior to commencing this position, Sandra was a communications and marketing executive. Her experience spans blue chip corporates, WA private businesses, retirement living, residential development and construction. Sandra believes that leaders should be driven to create change beyond the four walls of an organisation, which is why she has volunteered for many years in political and industry bodies. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia. Sandra also has first-hand experience in the property industry, through her family’s business in residential construction. Sandra is committed to being a strong and effective advocate for the Members of the Property Council and the many people who work in the property industry.
Adina Cirson, ACT Executive Director
Adina Cirson is the ACT Executive Director and has extensive experience working in public policy and communications in Canberra for nearly 15 years. Adina worked federally for Senator Kate Lundy for four years before her move to the ACT Government in 2006, working for Chief Minister Jon Stanhope on affordable housing, climate change and water security policy. Following this role, Adina was senior communications consultant to ACTEW’s Water Security Major Projects, with a focus on community engagement and stakeholder management. Adina commenced work with ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher as her Director of Communications in 2011, and in 2014 was appointed Chief of Staff to the Minister for Planning, Land Management and Urban Renewal Mick Gentleman. Adina holds a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) Degree and is currently studying a Master of Juris Doctor (Postgraduate Law) at the University of Canberra.
Jane Fitzgerald, NSW Executive Director
Jane Fitzgerald is Executive Director of the New South Wales Division of the Property Council of Australia, leading the advocacy agenda at a time of enormous investment and change in the sector. Prior to her appointment, Jane was a senior executive with the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department and, amongst other roles, was the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. Previously, Jane was the Deputy Director-General of the NSW Ministry for Police and chief of staff to two ministers in the NSW Government. Jane has a law degree and an arts degree majoring in politics from the University of NSW. She is also a moderator with the Cranlana Programme, an independent organisation with a broad objective to cultivate wisdom in leadership.
Daniel Gannon, SA Executive Director
Daniel Gannon is South Australian Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia. In this role, Daniel champions the Property Council’s policy and advocacy settings, and leads the commercial activities in South Australia. Prior to commencing in his current position, Daniel was the Director of Media & Communications to the State Leader of the Opposition, and held other senior positions over a nine year period. Daniel has extensive experience in corporate affairs, media and communications, holding senior positions in these fields throughout his career. He has represented the property sector on State and Local Government advisory and policy review committees. A board member of Renew Adelaide – a not-for-profit organisation that has been developing creative enterprise in vacant space – Daniel holds an Honours and Masters degree from the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia. He also boasts a familial connection to the property sector through his family’s retirement village business, which started building retirement communities in the 1980s.
Joanne Gullick, Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary
Jo Gullick is the Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary at the Property Council if Australia. Jo has over 25 years’ experience in finance and corporate governance having previously worked in a broad range of industries including: a not-for-profit employer membership group; an ASX publicly listed company; the performing arts; retail; and chartered accountancy. Her most recent experience was as at the Australian Industry Group where she headed up the finance team for almost a decade. She has sat on a number of boards in her capacity as company secretary. Jo holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Australian National University. She is also a Certified Practicing Accountant and has obtained a Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia.
Helen Harms, Head of Technology and Innovation
Helen Harms is the Property Council of Australia’s Head of Technology and Digital Innovation. Prior to commencing in this position, Helen was Head of Systems Development at HCF where she was responsible for software development across HCF’s digital platforms and core systems. As a Senior Information Technology Executive, Helen also has extensive experience in driving change across organisations in the wealth management and banking sectors throughout Australia and previously held the roles of CIO at StatePlus and Head of IT Service Delivery at Westpac’s institutional bank. Helen holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Science from the University of South Australian and an Executive MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management at UNSW.
Christopher Mountford, QLD Executive Director
Chris Mountford is the Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia. In this role Chris leads the Property Council’s policy, government advocacy and commercial activities in Queensland. Prior to commencing in this position, Chris was the QLD Deputy Executive Director for nearly six years. He has represented the property industry on numerous State and local government advisory and policy review committees. Prior to joining the Property Council, Chris held roles with the Civil Contractors Federation and Local Government Association of Queensland. He has more than a decade’s experience in member based advocacy organisations and government relations. Chris holds degrees from the University of Queensland, and is a member of the Queensland Board of Advisors for the Property Industry Foundation – a charity that raises funds to support young people at risk of homelessness.
Ben Myers, Executive Director - Retirement Living
Ben is responsible for championing policy and advocacy that underpins the social licence and future growth of the industry. He is also responsible for managing the Retirement Living Council, which is a national leadership group for the retirement living sector. Ben has a long history of serving in senior leadership positions in government and private sector roles across Australia. Throughout his career, Ben has worked at all levels of Australian government and managed communications across Australia for the global energy producer BG Group. Over his career, Ben has worked across most major industry sectors in Australia and has been directly involved in delivering some of the nation's largest infrastructure projects, including the BG Group's US$20 billion QCLNG project and the Brisbane City Council's TransApex road network.
Belinda Ngo, Executive Director - Capital Markets
Belinda Ngo is the Executive Director of International and Capital Markets for the Property Council of Australia. Belinda is responsible for national policy relating to investment, tax and capital markets for Australia’s $670 billion property investment industry. The Property Council represents members across all four quadrants of property investment: debt, equity, public and private. Prior to joining the Property Council, Belinda worked for Macquarie Group and KPMG. Belinda has over 14 years of professional experience specialising in capital markets and tax policy, tax advisory and capital management. Belinda is a Chartered Accountant and a Solicitor of NSW.
Ruth Palmer, NT Executive Director
Prior to joining the Property Council, Ruth spent seven years with the Northern Territory Government working for then Chief Minister Paul Henderson MLA to most recently with the Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie MLA as an Adviser. Ruth has extensive experience with marketing, communications and driving memberships. She is an experienced copywriter and enjoys picking articles or papers to pieces for spelling and grammar. Working in the Communications Unit with the Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition has given Ruth knowledge and experience with industry growth and strategies for moving the Territory forward. Ruth resides in Darwin with her two children Chloe (6) and Amelia (19 months). She has lived in the Territory coming up to ten years now and is happy to call it home. On the weekends, the majority of her time is spent in the outdoors camping, fishing or fulfilling her other passions; writing and photography.
Natasha Teychenne, Head of People and Culture
Natasha Teychenne is the Property Council of Australia’s Head of People and Culture. Natasha is an experienced HR executive, with expertise in organisational development, cultural transformation and learning and development.
Natasha draws on her organisational development background to take a broad based and integrative view of the people strategies required in the business and applies generalist HR approaches to provide the foundations on which to build the talent, leadership and capability for achievement of business imperatives.
Prior to joining the Property Council, Natasha led the People and Culture function for a financial services organisation with a strong focus on culture, engagement, talent and leadership capability. She has also held senior HR roles at PPB Advisory, Telstra and CSC Australia. Natasha started her career as an executive coach and consultant working across a wide range of ASX listed companies and public sector organisations in the areas of strategic M&A, culture development and organisational design. Natasha holds a Master of Psychology, is a registered practicing Psychologist, and is a certificated facilitator in Achieve Global (now Miller Heiman Group).
Cressida Wall, VIC Executive Director
Cressida has extensive experience in senior roles across a wide variety of sectors, including public policy, corporate affairs, infrastructure, private equity, property and technology startups. She has been a Board member of the Office of Projects Victoria, and prior to that spent five years as a key economic adviser to the Bracks and Brumby Government.
Brian Wightman, TAS Executive Director
Brian Wightman is the Tasmanian Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia and former Attorney General for Tasmania. As Executive Director, Brian leads the Property Council’s policy development, advocacy and public affairs for the state. He also undertakes considerable stakeholder engagement, strategic planning and provides media commentary. Prior to this appointment, Brian ran a youth charity and; was a minister in the Tasmanian Labor government for four years, serving in justice, environment and heritage portfolios. Brian also has experience in the education sector, working as a school principal before his political tenure. Brian holds a Masters Degree from the University of Tasmania and has interests in leadership, education, program and volunteer management, policy and community engagement.