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Board of Directors

There are twelve Directors on the Trustee Board, which is currently made up of:

  • Five Directors nominated by the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining & Energy Union – Manufacturing Division.
  • Five nominated by employer associations
  • Two Independent Director
  • One Associate Employer Director

Directors are appointed by the Board after considering the skills, qualifications, and suitability of nominees.

All Directors are obliged by law to act in the best interests of all members of First Super.

The Directors may change from time to time. At present, the Directors are:

Michael O’Connor, Co-Chair

Member representative
Appointed: 01/07/2008
Reappointed: 01/07/2020

Michael has been involved with industry superannuation funds since the 1980s and is currently Co-Chair of First Super with Mike Radda.

Michael is the Divisional Secretary of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining & Energy Union – Manufacturing Division and has held this position since late 2005.  He has been with the union for over 30 years, commencing work as a Union Organiser in 1985.

Currently, Michael is a Director of the following:

  • First Super since 2008, prior to which he was a Director of TISS (First Super’s predecessor) from 2006 to 2008
  • Secure Employees Entitlements Trust Pty Ltd (SEET) since 2006
  • ACN 117 909 127 Pty Ltd since 2006
  • ForestWorks (Deputy Chair)
  • uPoint Pty Ltd
  • Industry Super Australia

Previously, Michael was the National Secretary of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining & Energy Union (from 2011 to 2020). He was also a Director of Utilities Trust Australia (from 2013 to 2015) and, Vice President and Executive of the ACTU as well as several ACTU Committees. He was also a member of the Committee of Management of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and, on the Board of Frontier Advisors (from 2006 to 2013) and Super Benefits Administration (SBA) (from 2006 to 2020).

Michael was also involved in the following Federal Government initiatives:

  • the Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Manufacturing until its conclusion in late 2012
  • the Federal Government’s Manufacturing Leaders Group, which was convened in March 2013 and concluded in 2014
  • the Commonwealth Government’s Forest & Wood Products Council (FWPC).

Michael holds an RG146 qualification.

Investment (Chair), Administration and Marketing, Remuneration, Nomination, Membership Growth sub committee.

Nominated by: Construction Forestry Maritime Mining & Energy Union – Manufacturing Division.

Mike Radda, Co-Chair

Employer representative
Appointed: 01/07/2008
Reappointed: 01/07/2019

Mike has over ten years’ experience as a Director of superannuation funds, and he became a Co-Chair of First Super on 1 January 2020.

He has extensive experience in the furniture industry, which has included holding several CEO positions, including Furnishing Industry Association of Australia, Interlink Commercial Furniture, and UCI. He is currently CEO of Herman Miller.

Mike has a:

  • Bachelor of Science (Hons)
  • Masters in Education
  • Diploma of Accounting
  • CPA and RG146.

Committees: Investment, Remuneration, Nomination.

Nominated by: the Australasian Furniture Association.

Denise Campbell-Burns

Member representative
Appointed: 19/03/2013
Reappointed: 30/06/2021

Denise is a safety professional engaged in the Pulp and Paper sector with over 18 years’ experience in the forestry industry. Her breadth of experience incorporates policy and system development, hazard management, and fatality investigation.

Key achievements for Denise include development and implementation of risk control standards in the sawmilling sector; fire safety guidelines for sawmills; former Chair of the Victorian State Coroners’ “Tree Felling Safety Group”; and a Gottstein Fellowship to review wood dust exposure standards in Scandinavia. Denise is a member of the Safety Institute of Australia and holds a Graduate Diploma of Hazard Management.

Denise is RG146 compliant, a member of Women in Super, and a Graduate of Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees. She has also completed the course ‘Insurance for the superannuation industry’ and ‘Investment for the superannuation industry’.

Since 2018, Denise has been the Divisional President of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining & Energy Union. She is the Secretary of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining & Energy Union – Pulp & Paper Workers District since 2019. Denise is also a board member of ForestWorks.

Committees: Investment, Nomination, Membership Growth sub committee, Administration Tender sub committee.

Nominated by: Construction Forestry Maritime Mining & Energy Union – Manufacturing Division.

Janet Gilbert

Employer representative
Appointed: 14/03/2017
Reappointed: 03/03/2021

Janet became a First Super Director in 2017 as an employer representative.

Janet holds a Bachelor of Law (Hons) and a Masters in Law (Hons), as well as further industrial relations qualifications from the University of Sydney. She has over 17 years’ experience in industrial and employment law and ten years’ experience in the timber industry. Janet is also a Graduate of Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (Advanced Course).

Janet previously served in a voluntary role as Director, Deputy-Chair and Co-Chair of the Board at the Kirribilli Centre (2015-2019) and is a past volunteer at the Kingsford Legal Centre. She is also a Director of Timber Trade Industrial Association (TTIA). Janet is a member of Women in Super, AIST and the Law Society of New South Wales.

Committees: Administration and Marketing, Audit and Compliance, Remuneration, Nomination, Membership Growth sub committee (Chair).

Nominated by: TTIA (Timber Trade Industrial Association)

Scott McDine

Member representative
Appointed: 01/09/2017
Reappointed: 29/06/2021

Scott has seven years of governance experience and is a former Director of Australian Super, Cbus, a former executive member of the ACTU, and former National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union.

He has extensive experience in the manufacturing industry and has previously been the National Secretary and Assistant National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union. Scott has worked as a service person for Alcoa at its alumina refinery in Western Australia for 18 years. Scott is currently a contractor for Workers Capital, and a Director of Frontier Advisors.

Committees: Investment.

Nominated by: Construction Forestry Maritime Mining & Energy Union – Manufacturing Division.

Robyn Burns

Employer representative
Appointed: 01/07/2019

Robyn was appointed to the First Super Board effective from 1 July 2019.

Ms Burns has had a long and successful career as a senior executive at Borg Manufacturing. An accountant by trade and a previous small business operator, she has overseen the expansion of Borg Manufacturing as it has developed into one of the principal employers on the NSW Central Coast and a major national building products manufacturer.

Ms Burns holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and a Diploma of Management. Ms Burns is also a Graduate of Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees.

She brings a wealth of experience in board management, project and financial management and risk control and organisational development.

Committees: Administration and Marketing (Chair), Investment, Membership Growth sub committee, Administration Tender sub committee.

Nominated by: Australian Cabinet and Furniture Association (ACFA).

Dean Brakell

Employer representative
Appointed: 01/01/2021

Dean is the CEO of the Australian Cabinet and Furniture Association (ACFA), a position he has held since February 2014. He has been involved in the furnishing and cabinetmaking sector since the age of 17, starting his apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker in 1986.

Dean has been a member of First Super since 1997. He is passionate about manufacturing in Australia and believes there are still many opportunities for small businesses to fulfil their potential in the sector. He played a role in the merger of the Furnishing Industry Association of Australia (FIAA) and the Cabinet Makers & Designers Association (CMDA), with the merged entities forming ACFA.

Currently, Dean represents the manufacturing industry on many committees, including the Furnishing Industry Reference Committee for the cabinetmaking training package, and as the chair of the Australian Standards committee BD-089. Previously, Dean has been involved in numerous WorkCover committees and initiatives to improve employee safety in the sector.

Dean holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Australian Institute of Business South Australia. Dean is also a Graduate of Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees.

Committees: Administration and Marketing, Membership Growth sub committee.

Nominated by: Australian Cabinet and Furniture Association Ltd.

Anthony Pavey

Member representative
Appointed: 01/01/2021

Anthony is a Production Worker – Paper Machines at Australian Paper, as well as the on-site Secretary of the Maryvale Sub-Branch of the CFMEU Pulp & Paper Workers District.

Before joining Australian Paper in 2002, Anthony worked as a glazier and scaffolder for more than 10 years. Since turning his focus to the pulp and paper industry, he has become a passionate advocate for the use of Australian-made paper. As a result of First Super’s strong links to the industry, Anthony has a long-standing professional relationship with the Fund.

In addition to being Maryvale Sub-Branch Secretary, Anthony is also Junior Vice President of the CFMEU Pulp & Paper Workers District, and a Member of the Manufacturing Division Executive Committee. His experience across boards and committees extends to current positions on the Maryvale Friendly Society Board and Gippsland Trades and Labour Council Committee. In 2016 and 2017 he was part of the Victorian Government Forest Task Force.

Anthony is a qualified glazier and has completed numerous professional development courses including Governance Training and Contact Officer Training.

Anthony has played and coached AFL throughout Gippsland and the La Trobe Valley and was drafted to North Melbourne in 1990.

Committees: Administration and Marketing, Remuneration, Membership Growth sub committee.

Nominated by: Construction Forestry Maritime Mining & Energy Union – Manufacturing Division.

Casey Thompson

Member representative
Appointed: 07/08/2022

Casey is the Worker’s Capital Manager at the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). The ACTU is the peak trade union body in Australia, representing 1.8 million trade union members across the country. Casey oversees the ACTU’s Centre for Workers’ Capital and superannuation work across Australia and internationally.

Previously, Casey was responsible for overseeing the compliance audit program for the Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) accreditation scheme across New South Wales and Queensland at the CFMEU Manufacturing Division.

Casey has worked in an advisory capacity for the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and for a Commonwealth Senator, managing digital and campaign strategy and engaging with stakeholders across various industries, including trade unions, media, parliament, business and community organisations.

Casey is experienced in governance and compliance matters and has a detailed knowledge of the superannuation sector and industrial relations.

Casey holds a bachelor’s degree with a double major in Political Economy and Government and International Relations (BA) from the University of Sydney.

Committees: Administration and Marketing, Audit and Compliance, Membership Growth sub committee.

Nominated by: Construction Forestry Maritime Mining & Energy Union – Manufacturing Division.

Lisa Marty

Independent Director
Appointed: 21/10/2022

Lisa Marty is an experienced director, senior executive, and consultant. She is a specialist in strategy, governance, industry and land management policy, stakeholder engagement and advocacy. Her experience includes strategic and operational governance, strategic planning, managing change, risk, compliance and project delivery.

Lisa has 15 years of board experience including industry superannuation, government entities, industry associations and training and skills organisations. Lisa is currently Deputy Chair of Parks Victoria and a Director of Skills Impact. Lisa’s has previously served as a director of First Super, the Australian Forest Products Association, Director for Timber Training Creswick, and a Director Wood Products Victoria.

Lisa’s has held consulting and executive roles within the forestry and natural resource sector, including as a former CEO of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries.

Lisa has:

  • GAIST Adv.
  • Bachelor Arts (Hons)
  • Bachelor Economics
  • Masters Environment
  • Graduate Institute of Strategic Leadership

Committees: Audit and Compliance, Investment, Remuneration (Chair), Nomination (Chair), Administration Tender sub committee (Chair).

Deborah Smith

Employer Director
Appointed: 27/04/2023

Deborah (Debbie) Smith was appointed to First Super’s Board as an Employer Director in April 2023.

She brings considerable governance experience to the role, having most recently been the President of Master Grocers Australia (MGA), a position she held from 2018 to 2022. Prior to that she was a director of MGA from 2006.

Debbie also has deep experience directing large-scale commercial enterprises, having been a director of Australian United Retailers (AUR) from 2003 to 2015. During her term as a director, AUR grew to become the second largest independent supermarket retailing group, with its independent retailers generating $1.35b in sales.

Debbie lives in Toowoomba, Queensland and currently directs and operates two Foodworks grocery stores and a post office there. She has been an independent supermarket retailer since 1996 and her business management expertise, coupled with her ‘real world’ small business ownership has engendered in her an understanding of the importance of working with people, for the good of people.

Board Experience

  • Master Grocers Australia – Director since 2006, President 2018 – 2022
  • ACES, Director 2019-2020
  • MiPlanet, Director 2020-2022
  • Queensland Small Business Advisory Council, Member 2016-2021
  • Australian United Retailers, Member 2003-2015


  • Master of Business Administration, University of New England, 2008
  • Graduate Diploma of Business Administration, University of New England, 2006
  • Graduate Certificate of Business Administration, University of New England, 1996
  • Diploma of Teaching, Townsville College of Advanced Education, 1978

Committees:  Administration and Marketing Committee.

Nominated by: Peuker & Alexander Pty Ltd.

Mick Stephens

Associate Director
Employer Representative
Appointed: 23/09/2023

Mick Stephens has worked in the forestry industry and related fields for more than 30 years as a resource economist, including a two-year secondment to the Canadian Forest Service and senior roles in the Australian Government in research and policy including with the CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

Working across public policy, research and advocacy in the forestry, agriculture and regional development sectors, Mr Stephens has assessed a range of market and supply chain issues impacting these sectors including climate change and sustainability.

He has also worked in public administration as Deputy Administrator of Norfolk Island and has experience across a range of national and international forums including as former Director of International and State Relations (Forests Branch) with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

He currently holds positions as the CEO of Timber Queensland and a Director of Forestry Australia.

Mr Stephens has a degree in economics, postgraduate qualifications in applied science and a Master of Forestry.

Committees: Investment committee

Nominated by: DTM Timber

Tri Nguyen

Independent Director
Appointed: 23/12/2023

Mr Tri Nguyen was born in Vietnam and arrived in Australia via Malaysia by boat as part of the UNHCR Refugee Program in the early 1980s. He was the first Vietnamese law graduate of the University of Adelaide.

He is an accomplished corporate lawyer highly experienced in M&A, corporate restructuring and capital raising, corporate governance, compliance, risk, finance and stakeholder relationship.

Mr Nguyen has over 2 decades of board level experience. He is a:

  • Director of the Indigenous Education Foundation
  • A Founding Board Member at Vietnamese Australian Benevolent Foundation
  • Board Member of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority
  • General Counsel and Company Secretary at genU
  • Formerly General Counsel at Gunns Ltd (incorporating the Auspine Group where he was also Company Secretary)
  • Formerly General Counsel Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation
  • Formerly General Counsel and Company Secretary at Redundancy Payment Central Fund Ltd (Incolink).

Committees: Audit, Compliance