Board and advisory board

Our board

Our board generously donate their time to assist in the governance and strategic direction of Fortem Australia and are dedicated to supporting the mental fitness and wellbeing of first responders families.

Graham Ashton AM APM

Graham Ashton AM APM

Board Chair – Fortem Australia | Former Chief Commissioner, Victoria Police

Graham Ashton AM APM is the Chair of Fortem Australia’s Board. Graham has a unique combination of management and leadership skills having served over 40 years in law enforcement, including as Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police from 2015 – 2020 and Deputy Commissioner of Australian Federal Police. 

Graham has been involved in internationally significant counter-terrorism operations including leading the Australian investigation into the 2002 Bali bombings for the joint Australian/Indonesian Taskforce, in Bali. Graham’s role as Police Forward Commander of this investigation resulted in him being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in October 2003.  Graham also established the Victoria Police Family Violence Training Centre – an Australian first, to train police officers in providing nuanced responses to family violence incidents and has an international reputation as an advisor on matters of integrity.

In addition to a graduate qualification in management obtained from Queensland University of Technology, Graham has completed numerous leadership programs including attending the prestigious London Business School in 2009. Graham also initiated and led the development of a graduate program in integrity studies as a Visiting Fellow at Wollongong University. Graham is also a Non-Executive Director of ‘Male Champions of Change Institute’ and a member of the Salvation Army (Victoria) Advisory Board.

John Bale

John Bale

Managing Director and Co-Founder – Fortem Australia | Co-Founder – Soldier On Australia

John Bale is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Fortem Australia. He is also the Co-Founder and former CEO of Soldier On Australia, a charity that works side by side with veterans who have served, and continue to serve our nation. John was the CEO of Soldier On from its inception in April 2012 until November 2018.

John is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College – Duntroon. He has deployed to Afghanistan twice; once in 2008 and then again in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and a Masters of Arts and Management. John is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Anthony Court

Anthony Court

Lead Partner, National Security and Justice at KPMG

Anthony is the Lead Partner for the National Security & Justice Sector within KPMG. Anthony has 14 years as a commissioned officer in the Royal Australian Army followed by 25 years as a management consultant across Federal Government, Defence and National Security Agencies.

Anthony commenced his career learning the fundamentals as a project manager in the information technology arena and grew his experience into wider capability development and implementation through to the designing and implementing organisational reform programs.

Anthony has a BSc(Hons) in Physics and a Masters in Military Electronic Systems Engineering. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a post graduate in accounting as well as a range of certifications in project, programme and portfolio management.

Carol Gobby

Carol Gobby

Vice President of Sales and Growth at Akkodis Australia

Carol is the Vice President of Sales and Growth for Akkodis Australia, part of the Adecco Group and is a senior leader with a career spanning more than 25 years in technology consulting services in global and local organisations. Carol has significant experience in global complex multi-tiered environments working with clients and partners across Sales and Business Leadership, Sales Coaching and Enablement, Digital Transformation, Customer and Employee Experience, Business and Process Envisioning, Partner Management and Executive Engagement.

Carol brings cross industry experience working closely with public sector, health, manufacturing, logistics, financial, telecommunications and resources.

Carol is a Change Champion, leading and challenging teams to transform traditional models with a laser focus on impact, experiences, continuous improvement, and value creation. A supporter of Women in IT, STEM and a passionate advocate for Responsible Business, Corporate Citizenship, Sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to make a genuine Human and Social Impact.

Joanna Gonsalves

Joanne Gonsalves

Company Secretary | General Manager, Capability | Co-Founder Fortem Australia

Joanne is a mum, an experienced Governance professional and a Prosci certified Change Practitioner. Through her own lived experience, she is committed to raising awareness of issues that impact communities and everyday Australians. This commitment is demonstrated through years of experience in Executive and Company Secretary roles, supporting charity organisations like Soldier On and The Healing Foundation.

Joanne’s passion for good governance has seen her co-found Fortem Australia in 2019 and serve as Director on Board’s of The National Centre for Action on Child Sexual abuse and Roundabout Canberra. Joanne holds an Executive MBA in Human Resources Management, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Governance Institute of Australia.

Brett Lightfoot

Brett Lightfoot

National Director for Industry – State Director Queensland / NT, Public Sector, Microsoft Australia

As the National Director for Industry – Public Sector, Brett works with a wide range of government agencies, digital platform companies and start-ups in planning and implementing innovative technology solutions that improve the quality and efficiency of citizen digital services. Brett’s passion is improving the quality of healthcare, helping save our environment and protecting our citizens through data collaboration, business intelligence and artificial intelligence. Digital transformation brings the opportunity to completely transform how governments deliver services creating new citizen experiences and helping Australia be a world leading digital first country.

Brett is also a Non-Executive Director of StandByU Foundation supporting families who have been affected by early and more severe forms of domestic abuse, giving them the support they need to see a brighter future.

Frank Prendergast

Frank Prendergast APM OBE


Frank retired from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in 2018 after a career spanning 32 years, the last 15 of which were in senior leadership roles. During his career he served in a diverse range of operational areas, both domestic and international, including the investigation of terrorism, fraud, narcotics, serious organised crime, corruption’ and special references. He has also been heavily involved in international police capacity development, resource management, corporate governance and administration, policy development, and capability development.

In 2014 Frank was appointed as the Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIPF). Since retirement from the AFP, Frank has worked as a consultant with a number of federal law enforcement agencies and has completed several capability and management reviews.

Libby Jevtovic

Libby is happily retired and loves to explore, read, write, travel and spend time with her family and friends.

Libby’s first job out of University saw her employed by the then Department of Employment, Education and Training where her roles focussed on facilitating return to work due to economic, medical, and other reasons. Transferring to Canberra, the roles became more policy and strategy-oriented until she eased out of the workforce in the Social Media area of a law enforcement agency, a fascinating change. After 33 years of working in mainly federal government jobs, raising three children, and relocating the family several times, she retired and accompanied her husband to Hong Kong for almost four and a half years.

Libby’s husband was in law enforcement for 35 years, and her eldest son is currently in General Duties. She has had many a sleepless night over incidents and understands how first responders’ families may be affected by this work. Libby has a Bachelor’s degree (major in Psychology), a Graduate Diploma in Business Management, and certificates in project management.

Our advisory board

Fortem supports employees and volunteers from 30 state-based and national agencies. To ensure that our programs are complementary to existing internal programs, we work with an Advisory Board of representatives from the various agencies and services we assist.