Board & Management
Meet the Lifestyle board and management team below.
James Kelly, Managing Director
James was appointed Managing Director in September 2007 and is one of the founders of Lifestyle Communities Limited.
With over 40 years’ experience in property development and construction, James brings to Lifestyle Communities a wealth of knowledge and experience in the property industry. Prior to establishing Lifestyle Communities, James held several senior management roles in property and related sectors, including CEO of Dennis Family Corporation and roles at Coles Myer and Lend Lease Corporation. James is the founding Chair of the Residential Land Lease Alliance, the peak body for the land lease industry. He is also on the Board of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia. James has not held any directorships in any other listed entities during the past three years.
Philippa Kelly, Chair
Philippa has been a Director of Lifestyle Communities Limited since September 2013 and was appointed Chair in August 2019, she is also a member of the Audit Committee (Chair until August 2109), and Remuneration Committee
Philippa has more than 20 years’ experience in senior operational and leadership roles within the property sector. She was formerly Chief Operating Officer of the Juilliard Group, one of Melbourne’s largest private property owners. Previously she was Head of Institutional Funds Management of Centro Properties Group (now Vicinity Centres).
Philippa has a background in law and investment banking, specialising in IPOs and mergers and acquisitions. She has extensive experience across governance and risk management, property and finance. Philippa is currently a Non-executive director of oOh!media, Hub Australia and Assemble Communities. Philippa is a Deputy Chancellor of Deakin University and Chair of its Finance and Business Committee. Philippa is not related to James Kelly, Managing Director.
The Honourable Nicola Roxon, Non-Executive Director
The Honourable Nicola Roxon was appointed to the Board of Lifestyle Communities Limited as a Non Executive Director on 1 September 2017. Ms Roxon is also Chair of the Remuneration Committee.
Ms Roxon’s current roles are Independent Chair of HESTA, and a Director of Dexus, Utilities Trust of Australia and Health Justice Australia. Her previous non executive roles include Chair of Bupa, Cancer Council Australia, the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board and an Adjunct Professor at the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre at Victoria University.
Ms Roxon has more than 20 years experience with a background in the public sector and significant expertise in highly regulated consumer industries and the not for profit sector. Ms Roxon has deep industry knowledge of the health, government and professional services sector. In 15 years in politics she held many relevant positions including Federal Attorney General and Federal Minister for Health and Ageing. She worked previously as an Industrial lawyer and advocate at Maurice Blackburn and the National Union of Workers.
David Blight, Non-Executive Director
David Blight was appointed to the Board of Lifestyle Communities Limited as a Non-Executive Director on 15 June 2018.
David has more than 35 years of experience in property investment, development and management in Australia and globally. He is currently the Co founder and CEO of ARA Australia, the Australian business of Singapore based ARA Asset Management Limited.
David’s previous roles include Vice Chairman of ING Real Estate and Global Chairman and CEO of ING Real Estate Investment Management based in The Netherlands. He has also held senior executive positions with Armstrong Jones, Mirvac Group and APN Property Group.
David is also a Non-Executive Director of the ASX listed Japara Healthcare Limited and various private companies.
Mark Blackburn, Non-Executive Director
Mark was appointed to the Board of Lifestyle Communities Limited as a Non – Executive Director on 1 December 2019. Mark is also Chair of the Audit Committee.
Mark is currently Group CFO and Company Secretary of McMillan Shakespeare with over 23 years’ experience as a CFO in both listed and unlisted companies in the financial services, manufacturing, and mining services sectors. He was previously CFO at iSelect, a comparison website and online insurance broker, and prior to that was CFO at IOOF, a listed funds management business.
In particular, he has experience in financial management and advice, management of financial risks, management of key strategic projects, acquisitions and establishing joint ventures.
Melissa Norris, Company Secretary
Melissa joined the Lifestyle Communities team in 2020 and has held a number of senior legal and governance roles, including Legal Director for General Mills’ ANZ business. She has worked across a range of industries including FMCG, retail, alternative energy, mining and healthcare, and gained international experience in Dubai.
A registered lawyer and Chartered Company Secretary, Melissa holds Bachelor Degrees in Law and Science from Monash University, and a Masters Degree in Law from Melbourne University. She has also completed the AICD Company Director’s Course and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance with the Governance Institute of Australia.
Darren Rowland, Chief Financial Officer
Darren joined the Lifestyle Communities team in 2018 and has held a number of senior finance and commercial roles; most recently as the Head of Finance and Commercial for the Toll Group’s Operating Services division. Prior to joining Toll, Darren gained valuable experience in commercial and finance roles based in Dublin and London.
In addition to being a Chartered Accountant, Darren also holds a Bachelor of Business (Majoring in Accountancy) from Queensland University of Technology.
Simône de la Harpe, Head of Experience
Simône joined Lifestyle Communities in November 2017 as an experienced HR leader who specialises in business partnering, to foster operational and performance excellence.
Working predominately in organisations with a strong customer centric focus, Simône consolidated her human resources experience as the National HR Manager for Calibre Clothing. Simône is focused on implementing strategies to attract, retain and develop market leading talent.
Chris Paranthoiene, Head of Development & Acquisitions
Chris joined Lifestyle Communities in February 2007 having previously worked in finance after completing a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne. Chris’s role and responsibilities include land acquisition, feasibility analysis, planning and project delivery.
Chris has developed a large network of property contacts throughout Melbourne and he has a diligent approach to land procurement and development.
Von Slater, Head of Development & Delivery
Von joined Lifestyle Communities in January 2018, bringing a wealth of knowledge from the Property and Construction industry where she has been involved with the delivery of some of the state’s landmark buildings.
Von leads the team in the Development and Construction of our communities and is passionate about the product we deliver, with a focus on evolving the design and managing key stakeholders. Von sits on the Property Industry Diversity Committee and is a Board Member of Open House Melbourne.
Richard Parker, Head of Sales
Richard has been a sales leader for over 15 years and has a strong backing in finance and equity release for the over 55s group. Richard is customer focused with a view to ensuring that all potential homeowners have a fantastic experience throughout the buying process and that this is just the beginning of a fulfilling lifestyle choice.
Richard believes that high employee engagement leads to a better customer experience and is focused on ensuring his team have the tools and skills to delight our customers.
Simon Goninon, Head of Community Operations
Simon joined Lifestyle Communities in 2020 and brings broad operational leadership with a focus on exceptional customer service outcomes and facilities management.
Simon’s career started in state emergency services incident management, he then drove operations and the high customer delivery standards of Hyatt Hotels Corporation and RACV Club & Resorts and most recently took on the challenge of Station Leader for Davis Research Station, supporting the Australian Antarctic Program.
Simon’s diverse background allows him to generate team cohesion, authentic engagement and sustainable, strategic partnerships to deliver the best possible experiences for our homeowners and team.
Carmen Petropulo, Head of Marketing
Carmen joined Lifestyle Communities in October 2020 with extensive experience managing teams, developing marketing strategies and storytelling for a diverse group of prominent local and international brands; including Cadbury, Oliver Hume, Hostplus and GlaxoSmithKline. Carmen’s non-linear career has been built on roles in multinational and boutique creative agencies, in addition to leading in-house marketing departments.
Carmen leads the Marketing (Disruptions) Team, is passionate about nurturing young marketing talent, creating meaningful communications with Baby Boomers and is currently championing a company-wide aversion to producing earnestly bland marketing and experiences. Carmen recently completed a stint on the Board for Friends for Good, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to freeing Australians from loneliness.