Trustee Board & Management

Trustee Director Biographies

Learn more about AvSuper’s Board of eight Trustee Directors who are governed by the AvSuper Constitution and Trust Deed.

George Fishlock

Joined AvSuper Board: 2 February 1999
Board roles: Member Representative Director

  • Chair of AvSuper
  • Remuneration and Nomination Committee
Relevant qualifications:
  • Diploma of Financial Planning, Kaplan (current)
  • ASFA Diploma of Financial Services (Superannuation) 2006
  • ASFA PS 146 Certificate 2004
  • AIST Certificate of Trustee Practice 2002 -2004
  • ASFA Investing Super Fund Assets 1999
  • ASFA Running your Super Fund 1999
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Latrobe University (graduated 1998) majoring in accounting.
George was an Air Traffic Controller for Airservices Australia for over 25 years. George has extensive experience relating to member issues both within superannuation and in a work context. George has been Chair of AvSuper for a number of years, and has also chaired the Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee and the Investment Committee. George has obtained extensive practical experience and strong, detailed understanding of investment issues affecting the Fund.

Denise Allen

Joined AvSuper Board: 28 April 2008
Board roles: Employer Representative Director

  • Chair of Investment Committee
  • Remuneration and Nomination Committee
Relevant qualifications:
  • Diploma of Financial Services ( Financial Planning) 2003
  • PS146 – 2003 SIA
Denise is well respected in the superannuation and finance industries for her knowledge of investment products and superannuation from extensive experience in managed investments. An experienced executive for large investment and merchant banks, she has a strong business and strategic background, and experience dealing with people at all organisational levels.

Lawrie Cox

Joined AvSuper Board: 15 October 2010
Board roles: Member Representative Director

  • Investment Committee
  • Chair of Administration and Member Services Committee
  • Remuneration and Nomination Committee
Relevant qualifications:
  • ASFA 200 Trusteeship Certificate – Macquarie University 1996
  • PS146 ASFA November 2004
  • GAICD Australian Institute of Company Directors 2010
Lawrie was the manager of industrial relations with the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) and has over 36 years of industrial relations experience, mostly in the aviation industry. Lawrie also has over two decades experience as a professional director, including roles as a superannuation trustee director. Lawrie has extensive experience with superannuation industry issues, the legal framework and the Trustee’s fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of members.

Michael Farrell

Joined AvSuper Board: 1 March 2015
Board roles: Member Representative Director

  • Administration and Member Services Committee
Relevant qualifications:
  • Trustee Director Accreditation Program (current)
Michael was an ARFF fire fighter for 31 years and his knowledge of this segment of the industry positions him well to address the needs of the fire fighters within AvSuper’s membership base. Having served in senior positions with union groups such as the ARFF, FFU, and UFUA (including national president and national trustee), Michael has obtained experience and detailed understandings of board governance (including procedural, legal and regulatory requirements), the preparation of financial information for external auditors and regulatory authorities, and the assessment and review of financial statements.    

Ben Firkins

Joined AvSuper Board: 4 April 2002
Board roles: Member Representative Director

  • Chair of Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee
  • Chair of Remuneration and Nomination Committee
Relevant qualifications:
  • Diploma of Financial Planning, ASFA 2010
  • Advanced Diploma of Financial Services (Superannuation) 2007
  • ASFA 200 Trusteeship
  • ASFA 102 Administration 2007
  • ASFA Running your Super Fund 2000
  • ASFA PS 146 Certificate 2004
Ben works with CASA in Perth as an aviation safety auditor, specialising in the carriage of dangerous goods on aircraft. Ben’s extensive experience enables him to appreciate the complex audit, compliance issues and risk matters of super funds like AvSuper. Ben’s practical experience is of great benefit to the Fund and its members, especially in his role as Chair of the Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee, and helps ensure investment compliance matters are rigorously monitored. His experience as a regulator has greatly assisted the Fund with its general communications with the regulator. Ben also served on the Investment Committee for many years.

Julie-Anne Schafer

Joined AvSuper Board: 28 July 2015
Board roles:

Employer Representative Director

  • Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee
  • Administration and Member Services Committee
Relevant qualifications:
  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
  • GAICD Australian Institute of Company Directors
Julie-Anne has over 18 years of directorship experience in various sectors including general insurance, telecommunications, health and transport, plus time as the Chair of the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ). Prior to being a professional director, she was a legal partner specialising in commercial and insurance matters for 25 years. She has experience in appointing and assessing fund managers, as well as investment planning and management, governance and audit and risk management.

Andrew Cooke

Joined AvSuper Board: 1 April 2013
Board roles: Employer Representative Director

  • Investment Committee
  • Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee
Relevant qualifications:
  • Bachelor of Engineering – The University of New South Wales (April 1986)
  • Master of Business Administration – The University of New South Wales (April 1991)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (September 1995)
Andrew has extensive and exemplary experience in investments and investment governance. He has worked for investment markets for over 25 years and in his most recent role he was the Chief Investment Officer of Goldman Sachs & Partners in Melbourne (2004–10). Prior to that Andrew was the Head of Global Research at Citigroup Asset in New York (2001–04) and has served as a responsible person for Goldman Sachs JBWere Managed Funds Ltd.


Hylton Mathews

Joined AvSuper Board: 1 October 2015
Board roles: Employer Representative Director

  • Administration and Member Services Committee
  • Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee
  • Investment Committee
Relevant qualifications:  

  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accountancy) 1988 – University of Pretoria
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting 1989 – University of Cape Town
  • Member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants 1993
  • Master of Taxation 2003 – Monash University
  • Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors 2014

Hylton has over 28 years of financial services experience in various roles, including Chief Operating Officer at Goldman Sachs Asset Management Australia and both Taxation and General Manager roles at large accounting firms.  His roles have included researching, appointing, reviewing and transitioning investment managers. He has a Masters in Taxation, a Bachelor of Commerce, a Postgraduate Diploma in accounting and has completed the AICD Company Directors Course.

Executive Management Biographies

Learn more about AvSuper’s Executive Management team

Michelle Wade

 Ba (Applied Comms), GAICD, FASFA
Joined AvSuper Team: 4 December 2007
AvSuper role: Chief Executive Officer
Relevant qualifications:
  • Company Directors Course (GAICD) 2014
  • Diploma of Financial Planning (Kaplan) 2010
  • RG146 Compliant
  • Fellow of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) 2009
  • Diploma of Superannuation Management (Macquarie University) 1996
  • Diploma of Management Skills & Development (Monash University) 1993
  • Bachelor of Arts (Applied Communications) (University of Western Sydney) 1991
Michelle joined the Fund with over 15 years experience in the superannuation industry across a broad range of roles including the marketing, operations and governance of several super funds of varying size and scale.


Amy Ward

 BAppSc (DR), LLB
Joined AvSuper Team: 13 July 2009
AvSuper role: Executive Manager – Governance and Risk
Relevant qualifications:
  • Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance (Governance Institute of Australia) 2017
  • Company Directors Course (AICD) 2012
  • Diploma of Financial Services (Superannuation) (AFSA) 2007
  • Graduate certificate in Applied Finance and Investment (FINSIA) 2006
  • Bachelor of Laws (University of New South Wales) 2002
 Amy is a qualified lawyer with considerable career experience in financial services and superannuation.


Nick Smith

 BCom, BA, CPA 
Joined AvSuper Team: 21 February 2018
AvSuper role: Executive Manager – Finance and Tax
Relevant qualifications:
  • Member of the Institute of Chartered Accounts (now Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand) in 2000
  • Bachelor of Commerce, major in Accounting (Australia National University)
  • Bachelor of Arts majoring in politics (ANU)
 Nick is a chartered accountant with over 20 years’ experience in executive and leadership roles within the aviation, superannuation and Finance Sectors. 

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