Our management team

Joanne Kadlecik AssDip BusMgmt

Chief Executive Officer 

Appointed November 2022

After eight years as COO, Joanne has a proven record of success at Defence Health. She has managed and led the company operations through the member experience and servicing teams and technology functions in growth and transformational change. Before joining Defence Health, Joanne was the General Manager at Serco, responsible for the operations of the outsourced contact centres of the Australian Tax Office. Before that, was the General Manager, Operations for TAL Direct (formerly InsuranceLine).

On 24 August 2023 there was a temporary change of leadership at Defence Health. Our Chief Executive Officer, Joanne Kadlecik, was diagnosed with a serious medical condition and undertook a period of leave for treatment. Former CEO, Gerard Fogarty, returned as Acting CEO while Joanne attends to her health. 

Major General Gerard Fogarty AO (Ret'd) BBus GradDipMgmt MBA MSS(USA) GAICD

Acting Chief Executive Officer

Appointed August 2023

Gerard returns to Defence Health as Acting CEO. Previously he held the role of CEO for nine years. Gerard was a serving member of the Australian Army and has extensive strategic leadership experience, both as an Executive and as a Company Director.

Tanya Haines AssDip BusMktg GradCertBusMgt CertGovPrac&RiskMgt

Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Appointed November 2023

Tanya joined Defence Health in 2014 and has led risk, compliance and project management functions. Tanya has 25 years experience in the insurance industry, predominantly in health insurance, gained through leadership roles in risk management, marketing, product and project management.

Tania Cumming BCom

Chief Member Services Officer

Appointed November 2023

Tania has extensive executive experience across a range of service based industries, supporting organisations to be more customer centred. Passionate about member and customer experience, Tania enjoys bringing the members voice into the transformation process. She has delivered change across people, process and systems to deliver better outcomes for customers and members across various organisations over the last 20 years.    

Kelly Dickson AssDip HRM

Chief People Officer

Appointed August 2016

Kelly is passionate about building a high performance values based culture where our people feel motivated to perform at their best and are able deliver great results to our members.  Kelly believes HR plays a key role in enabling our people to deliver an exceptional customer experience through giving them the skills, experience and capabilities to be successful in their roles.  Kelly has extensive HR experience having performed in various leadership roles in finance and fast moving consumer goods over the past 16 years.

Bryan Dunne MBA B. IT (Hons)

Transformation Director

Appointed February 2019

Bryan has led the Defence Health transformation program since February 2019. Bryan has over 20 years experience in technology delivery and has a proven track record of delivering complex transformation programs across multiple industries. Bryan has a passion for technology as an enabler for business optimisation and growth.

Romie Leathem BComp GradCertMgt

Head of Information Technology

Appointed October 2022

Romie is integral in achieving strategic business outcomes from the significant and valuable rebuild of Defence Health information technology platforms. She uses her excellent communication skills, strategic thinking and business acumen in transforming information technology capabilities at Defence Health.

Christine Smyth PhD BA BSc (Hons)

Chief Strategy Officer

Appointed May 2021

Christine accelerates company performance through cohesive strategy planning. Her deep data, analytics and management experience has driven sustainable business growth across a variety of industries. Christine is passionate about all elements of strategy from creation to execution, project management and implementation and change management. Christine joined Defence Health in December 2019.

John Thomopoulos BBus(Acc) FCPA

Chief Financial Officer

Appointed June 2023

John is a seasoned finance leader with more than 15 years of expertise in chartered firms, financial services, and the private health insurance industry. He joined Defence Health in 2016 as the Financial Controller and promoted to the role of Chief Financial Officer in 2023. With his extensive background in the private health insurance sector, John is deeply committed to the industry and excels in setting business goals and performance indicators that clearly define organisational success.

Justin Watts MAppFin BComm BIntBus CBCI 

Chief Risk Officer

Appointed November 2023

Justin is responsible for leading the risk and compliance functions and driving a strong risk culture at Defence Health. He most recently held the position of Head of Risk and has held a range of leadership roles over the last 10 years in the financial services sector.