Meet the Board

Board & Management

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 and is Vice President of the Victorian Caravan Parks Association. James has not held any directorships in any other listed entities during the past three years.

Philippa Kelly, Chair

Philippa was appointed to the Board of Lifestyle Communities Limited as a Non-Executive Director on 18 September 2013 and was appointed Chair on 14 August 2019. Philippa is also Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the HR & Remuneration Committee.

Philippa is an experienced Non-executive Director of ASX listed, private and not-for-profit organisations. Philippa is a Deputy Chancellor of Deakin University, Chair of its Finance and Business Committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee. Philippa was previously a Non-executive Director of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

Philippa held senior executive operational roles within ASX listed and unlisted businesses for the past 20 years and most recently was Chief Operating Officer of the Juilliard Group, one of Melbourne’s largest private property owners. 

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. Nicola is also the Chair of the HR & Remuneration Committee.

Nicola holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of Melbourne. Her current roles are Independent Chair of HESTA and Non-Executive Director of Dexus Funds Management Limited. She was previously 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.

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.

Georgina Williams, Non-Executive Director

Georgina Williams was appointed to the Board of Lifestyle Communities Limited as a Non-Executive on 1 September 2017. Georgina is also a member of the Audit Committee.

Georgina holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. She has previously held the roles of Group Executive at AustralianSuper and Head of Brand and Marketing at Bank of Melbourne.

Georgina is a Non-Executive Director of Reece Limited and Sunsuper.

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 30 years of experience in property investment, development and management. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer 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 currently a Non-Executive Director of the ASX listed Japara Healthcare Limited.

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.

Mr Blackburn holds a Diploma of Business (Accounting) from Monash University and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Simône de la Harpe, Head of People and Capability

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.

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.

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.

Monika Pilekic, Head of Marketing

Monika re-joined Lifestyle Communities in 2019 as Head of Marketing having spent 5 years prior at Lifestyle Communities 2 years ago.  As Head of Marketing, she is responsible for both building Lifestyle Communities’ unique brand as well as driving enquiry and building on the customer experience. Prior to re-joining Lifestyle Communities, Monika was the Account Manager at Property Republic, a digitally-focused consultancy working with a range of major property clients.

Monika is also on the board of Youthlaw and has spent a significant part of her early life working with charities such as Moira Kelly’s Children First Foundation and Lions Clubs Australia.

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.

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