Meet the Board

John Minchin

John Minchin – President


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 Hobart City Mission to develop and implement a risk management system.

John joined the Board In 2012 and is Deputy President. He also chairs the Governance Risk and Audit Committee. He is Vice President and Executive Member of the Tasmanian Association of State Superannuants, and is a Tasmania Branch Committee member of the Association of Professional Engineers Australia.

“I continue to be amazed by the work the dedicated staff and volunteers of the Mission do, and the positive outcomes they achieve with the less fortunate members of our community. As a Board Member I hope that I can support their work”

Peter Gartlan

Peter Gartlan – Deputy President


Peter Gartlan is an ICT Consultant with over 30 years experience managing and delivering business ICT products and services. Peter’s professional career includes many years as a partner and executive director of a major ICT infrastructure products and services provider.

Peter has also worked in senior roles providing strategic and operational assistance on business ICT systems, and as an advisor to government and industry on ICT policy and strategy. Peter now assists corporate and government organisations of all sizes to plan, deploy and deliver business technology to achieve their business priorities.

Peter joined the HCM board in June 2017.

“I volunteer for HCM because I want to help disadvantaged people in my community. I think anyone who enjoys good circumstances should share the benefits and support HCM.”

Barry Neilsen

Barry Neilsen


Barry is a Senior Principal at Pitt & Sherry, with over 40 years of experience in engineering and building projects. He has worked in all sectors of the industry, including construction, local government and as a consultant. 

He is Chairman of Australian Building Surveying Services, recently completed a nine-year term as a member of the Australian Building Codes Board and is the past Chair of the External Advisory Committee for the University of Tasmania Engineering School and past National President of the Association of Consulting Engineers, Australia.

Barry was appointed to the Hobart City Mission Board in 1998 as an ordinary Board Member, became Vice-President in 2006 and has been President since October 2011.

“Ever since I became involved with the Mission, I have been both humbled and appreciative of the enormous effort provided by the dedicated team of staff and the large number of volunteers that deliver the wide range of Mission activities. I am pleased to be able to be part of this team who provide their time and skills for the benefit of our local community.” 

Robin Errey

B.A. (Hons), BSoc. Admin

Robin Errey has tertiary qualifications in humanities and social work, with lengthy work experience at practitioner and management levels across government agencies involved in the Welfare and Community sectors, until her retirement in 2008.

Robin retains an active interest in social justice issues.  She maintains voluntary roles with a number of 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 service as dynamic, as it seeks to make a difference in people’s lives.


“In my experience, the Hobart City Mission has always been community-focused, ‘meeting people where they’re at’ in discovering and addressing their needs.  All staff contribute a great sense of purpose and team spirit.”

Damian Egan

Damian Egan


Damian has been a partner of Murdoch Clarke since 1985, practicing in commercial, corporate and property law. He is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia, past Chair of the Retirement Benefits Fund and past member of the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee. He is also a director of a number of proprietary business corporations.

Damian joined the HCM Board in 2008 and is Chair of the Finance, Investment and Property Management Committee and a Director of HCM Property Management Trust P/L.

“I am pleased to volunteer as a Director of Hobart City Mission because of its commitment to our community and the positive impact on the families/individuals/clients it  supports.”

Gil Sawford


Gil Sawford is a consultant, Human Resources advisor, and facilitator at WLF Consulting, who works with communities, organisations, teams and individuals to ensure the connection and achievement of objectives at all levels. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree and combines 20 years of management and leadership experience in the public, tertiary education and community sectors, with over 20 years as a consultant. 

Gil’s community activities include former Chairman of organisations such as Plane Tree Studio, Chigwell Community Youth Support Scheme and Glenorchy Skillshare.

Gil was appointed to the Hobart City Mission Board as an Ordinary Board Member in September 2010 and served as Vice President from 2012 to 2013.

“Tasmanians are volunteers and I am proud to be a steward of HCM’s 150 years of being Hobart’s central source for enabling people who give to help those in need.”

Dr Gabby Brown

Dr Gabby Brown

BBiotech (Hons), PhD

Gabby 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 Tasmania Devil.

Following her PhD Gabby began working as Education Officer for the Tasmanian Government’s Cancer Screening and Control Service. In this role she worked with a wide range of communities across Tasmania. Gabby later became a Project Officer for this organisation and is currently working as a Policy Analyst in the Department of Health and Human Services. She also volunteers as a Scout Leader in her local community.

Gabby joined the Hobart City Mission Board in August in 2015.

“My favourite thing is the Mission’s focus on real local issues and needs. Supporters know they make a difference in their community. I am honoured to be part of it.”

Miles Smith

B.Com, Grad.Dip.Sci(Hons), Grad.Dip.EnvMgmt, GAICD, FCPA

Miles has worked in a number of roles in the finance, IT, minerals & energy and consulting sectors in a number of countries for over 25 years. Miles has served on a number of Boards, is a current Councillor on the Tasmanian Division of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is employed as a Business Manager at the University of Tasmania in the College of Sciences and Engineering. Previous roles include Director of Business Development and Chief Financial Officer of Hydro Tasmania and Vice President – Head of Planning & Strategy at Sarawak Energy Berhad in Malaysia. Miles’ community work includes volunteer roles with The Smith Family (Education) and SHE (now Engender – family violence prevention).

Miles joined the Board in November 2017 and also serves on the Finance, Investment and Property Management Committee

“I volunteered to serve on the HCM Board because they are 100% local, they have a passionate and committed group of volunteers and staff and they make a significant positive impact in the local community.”


Patrick Carlisle


Patrick has held a number of volunteer Director posts in Not-for-Profit Associations for nearly four decades. Using his Master of Business education to assist NFP organisations to become stronger and more resilient in the evolving economic and civil environment. Patrick has used his strength in accounting to strengthen their balance sheets to allow organisations to become more independent of Government funding.

Patrick has been the Treasurer of over seven NFP’s, Chair of two Associations; served on two National Committee’s and four years as Deputy-Chair of the Tasmanian Social Science Human Research Ethic Committee. In 2016 Patrick stepped down as the Chair of the Mental Health Council of Tasmania Currently he is the Treasurer for The Hobart Clinic in Tasmania and Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA), a national peak body for community based mental health associations.

Patrick has strong experience in accounting; the Not-for-Profit sector and governance and is chair of two Finance and Audit Committees of The Hobart Clinic and CMHA. Patrick has been a member of AICD since 2013 and graduated the Company Directors Course in 2015.

“I’m proud to be a Director of Hobart City Mission after seeing the work and support given to homeless persons and impact on their lives and futures.” 

View the Hobart City Mission constitution here.

Hobart City Mission