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Our Board

The Board of Directors manages the overall business of the Nurses Memorial Centre and meets four times annually. Board members serve on a voluntary basis. In order to carry out business effectively, various committees support the Board by offering advice in specific areas.

Dr Elizabeth Lavender-President 

Board Member since 2014

Liz undertook her initial nursing education at the Addington Hospital and the University of Kwa/Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa. After graduation she worked as a registered nurse in South Africa, London and Queensland. She joined La Trobe University when the Lincoln Institute of HealthSciences became part of the University in 1988 and worked in nurse education at the Melbourne, Albury/Wodonga and Bendigo Campuses before taking the senior roles of Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and latterly Director of the Shepparton Campuses.  Her professional interests are in international and rural and regional education particularly providing educational opportunities for students who otherwise wouldn’t have access to higher education.

Ms Arlene Bennett-Vice President

Board Member since 2013

Arlene trained as a nurse at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. She holds certificates in Coronary Care and Midwifery nursing. She completed a Graduate Diploma in Adult Education and Training at the University of Melbourne. She has held positions as a Charge Nurse and Nurse Educator at the RMH. She is the President of The RMH Graduate Nurses’ Association. She is a member of the RMH Heritage & Art Advisory Committee, Friends of RMH Committee. She chairs the History & Heritage Committee at the Nurses Memorial Centre. She is also the mother of 2 teenage boys.


Mrs Rochna Banerjee-Treasurer

Board Member since 2015

Rochna is a qualified Chartered Accountant with 20+ years experience in commercial and not for profit organisations with multi country exposure in India, South East Asia and Australia. She spent 10+years as a consultant, entrepreneur and finance professional in the private sector and later transitioned into the not for profit sector to contribute to the community at large. She has engaged passionately with communities to develop financially sound practices during her tenure with World Vision and currently with International Women’s Development Agency, as the Management Accountant where she has oversight on financial management, risk, governance and statutory compliance.

Ms Angela Doherty

Board Member since 2014

Angela trained as a nurse in Dublin, Ireland. She holds a Degree in Nursing, Graduate Diploma in Health Administration and certificates in Midwifery, Infection Control and Prevention. She is a member of the Surgical Committee for Interplast, a not-for-profit organisation which delivers reconstructive plastic surgery in developing countries across the Asia Pacific. Angela has been a volunteer in programmes in Fiji, Laos, the Philippians and recently Mongolia.  Angela is also a volunteer at the Sacred Heart Mission on St Kilda Road. Angela brings to the board her wide range of nursing experience both in Australia and overseas as well as a diverse range of managerial experience in health care.

Air Commodore Rowan D Story AM, RFD

Board Member since 2017

Rowan is a graduate in science, dentistry and law. He did his post-graduate surgical training in Melbourne and the United Kingdom. He is in private practice as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Melbourne. He founded the Maxillofacial Surgery Unit at Monash Medical Centre in 1987. He has served as President of the Dental Board of Victoria and is a member of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Rowan is an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne where he teaches law and ethics. He is a volunteer solicitor at the Fitzroy Community Legal Centre. Rowan has led an annual surgical mission to Ho Chi Minh City in Viet Nam since 1998, treating cleft and jaw deformity patients and teaching surgical skills and has been a Defence Force Reservist since 1979. Rowan was promoted Air Commodore in 2011 and served 4 years as Director General Health Reserves – Air Force.


Professor Maxine Duke

Board Member since 2017

Alfred Deakin Professor Maxine Duke is Head, School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONM) at Deakin University, Director, Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research (QPS) and Deputy Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health, Deakin University. Maxine trained at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, is a Registered Nurse, holds a Doctor of Philosophy and, a Master of Education from La Trobe University and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Advanced Nursing) from RMIT University. Maxine leads a large and successful School of approximately 3000 students and 85+ staff. Her leadership has seen the School consistently meet and exceed in all key areas of performance over the 9 years culminating in the School being ranked in the Top 1% of world’s universities in the recent Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Rankings. She is an expert in nursing education with vast experience in higher education, has led innovations in curriculum development across undergraduate and postgraduate courses and has particular expertise in education and nursing leadership.

A number of committees offer advice to the Board and management in specific areas.  Below is a list of the current committees and the Chair of each.

  • Finance Committee

    Chair: Mrs Rochna Banerjee

    The Finance Committee reviews all expenditures, incoming scholarship funding and revenue items associated with the Nurses Memorial Centre.

  • Fundraising & Marketing Committee


    The Fundraising & Marketing Committee formulates and executes on the long term marketing strategy of Nurses Memorial Centre.

  • Scholarship Committee

    Chair: Dr Beverley Wood

    The Scholarship Committee reviews and interviews all Nurses Memorial Centre scholarship applications as well as reviewing the ongoing status and applicability of scholarship recipients.

  • History & Heritage Committee

    Chair: Ms Arlene Bennett

    The History & Heritage Committee archives, curates and maintains all major historical and heritage items associated with Nurses Memorial Centre.