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Our People

Chief Executive Officer

John S Small

John Stubley B.Com, C.A., GAICD


John came to the Hobart City Mission, Australia’s oldest City Mission, in November 2013 following on from the role of Business Manager, Chief Financial Officer and Acting Chief Executive Officer of the community sector organisation, Optia Inc.  John is well equipped for the CEO's position with substantial experience in a variety of public accountant and community sector director and management positions. 

John learned a lot in a diversified accounting firm in a "business services" accounting role, rising to Partner level over 22 years.  However, John found his roles as Treasurer and Chairman of Optia together with roles with other not-for-profit organisations, both interesting and satisfying, and came to the realisation that his skills and passion were more in line with hands-on business management, strategic thinking and helping others, than pure accounting.

Driven by the desire to assist those in need by making his capabilities, skills and experience available to achieve the maximum benefit, John believes very strongly in teamwork, and the power of the team.  He is motivated to assist and mentor staff to reach their full potential.  John accepts he does not have all of the answers, but by working as a team, the best outcomes will be achieved.

John is excited about the opportunity to bring these skills to the Hobart City Mission to help us grow, prosper and excel through the provision of high quality services, that will make staff proud to be associated with the City Mission, and give clients, supporters and stakeholders the confidence that they are being supported and represented by a professional organisation as good as, or better than, any other.

Our Board


Mr Barry Neilsen B.E., F.I.E.Aust (President)        

Barry is a Principal of Pitt & Sherry, with over 30 years of experience in engineering and building projects. Barry has worked in all sectors of the industry, including construction, local government and as a consultant. He is currently a member of the Australian Building Codes Board, Chair of the External Advisory Committee for the University of Tasmania’s Engineering School. Barry was appointed to the HCM Board in 1998 as an ordinary Board Member. In 2006 he was appointed to the position of Vice President, until his appointment as President in October 2011.

Mr Gil Sawford MBA 

Gil Sawford was appointed to the HCM Board as an Ordinary Board Member in September 2010 and served as Vice President of the HCM Board from 2012 to 2013. Gil is a consultant, HR advisor, and facilitator at Wise Lord & Ferguson who works with communities, organisations, teams and individuals to ensure the connection and achievement of objectives at all levels. Gil holds a Master of Business Administration degree and combines 18 years of management and leadership experience in the public, tertiary education and community sectors with 20 years as a consultant. Gil’s community activities include former Chairman of Plane Tree Studio, Community Youth Support Scheme and Glenorchy Skillshare.

Mr Damien Egan B.Ec., LL.B, CTA, FAICD

Damian has been a partner of Murdoch Clarke since 1986, specialising in commercial law. He is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Taxation Institute of Australia. Damian is a director of a number of proprietary business corporations. Damian joined the HCM Board in 2008. He is a member of the Finance, Investment and Property Management Committee and a Director of HCM Property Management Trust P/L.

 Mrs Robin Errey B.A. (Hons), B.SOCAdmin

Having retired from full time employment in 2008, from the Welfare and Community sector in both State and Commonwealth public sectors, Robin retains an active interest in social justice issues. Robin holds voluntary positions with a number not-for-profit organisations, and has an active church commitment. Robin joined the Hobart City Mission Board in 1972. During her time on the Board she has filled the roles of Chairperson and Secretary. She is currently a member of the Governance, Risk and Audit Committee. Robin continues to see the Hobart City Mission’s outreach as dynamic as it seeks to make a difference in people’s lives.

Mr Rip Shield B.Ec

Rip has 20 years’ experience in the public and community sectors specialising in accounting and finance, including the roles of Assessor Supervisor at Australian Taxation Office, Revenue EDP project manager, Financial Accounting Manager and Internal Auditor at Telecom Australia. Rip has held voluntary positions with a number of not-for-profit organisations including Treasurer of the Tasmanian Sunshine Association and the southern committee, Sunshine Association of Tasmania, and Treasurer of Early Support for Parents Inc. Rip lives in Howrah and is a current member of the French Car Club of Tasmania. Rip joined the Board in 2010 and serves on the Finance, Investment and Property Management Committee.

Mr John Minchin BE MBA

John is a professional engineer with over 36 years of engineering and management experience. He specialises in risk and compliance  management, business continuity planning, business support services and strategic planning. In 2011 he retired as a Business Risk and Compliance Manager from Hydro Tasmania and subsequently volunteered to help the Mission to develop and implement a risk management system. John has been a Board Member since 2012 and serves on the Governance Risk and Audit Committee. He is on the Executive of the Tasmanian Association of State Superannuants, and on the Tasmania Sub-division Committee of the Professionals Australia (Engineers Division).

 Ms Bernadette Ulbrich-Hooper LLB. Grad. Cert. in Legal Prac; B. App. Sc. Grad. Cert. of Education (TESOL)

 Bernadette is a Member Relations Executive with the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Bernadette is a qualified Barrister and Solicitor having completed a Bachelor of Laws Degree and a Graduate Certificate in Legal Practice from the University of Tasmania. Bernadette is also a qualified winemaker, holding a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree (Winemaking) from Charles Sturt University. Additionally, Bernadette successfully completed the Company Directors Course in 2013 and the update in 2015. Bernadette is also a board member of Workskills Tasmania, a Job Services provider for the Australian Federal Government. Bernadette joined the Hobart City Mission in 2015 and serves on the Finance, Investment and Property Management Committee. 


Dr Gabby Brown, BBiotech (Hons), PhD.

Gabby Brown has worked in a variety of areas including research, education and community outreach. After completing a degree at the University of Tasmania, Gabby undertook a PhD in health science focussing on cancer research and the Facial Tumour disease affecting the Tasmanian devil. Following her PhD Gabby began working as an Education Officer for the Tasmanian Government's Cancer Screening and Control Service. In this role she has worked within a wide range of communities across Tasmania. Gabby is currently working as a Project Officer for this organisation and volunteers as a Scout Leader in her local community.