Our Board

Our Patron

Howard Nathan AM, Supreme Court Justice (ret.), Adjunct Professor La Trobe University Law School

Our Board

Our Board provides oversight and governance to ensure that our programs work towards an inclusive community built on a foundation of human rights and equality before the law. The Board meets monthly to evaluate the organisation’s operations and to ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are in place to minimise risks. The Board’s key areas of focus are:

  • strategic vision
  • financial accountability
  • occupational health and safety
  • risk management
  • policies and procedure

Our Board members are Andrew Chittenden (Chair), Christopher McDermott, Clare Fountain, Kate Scarce and Tim Adam.

Andrew Chittenden – Chair

Andrew is a long term Bendigo resident and high performing manager in various financial roles , with over 15 years of experience leading successful and cohesive teams. Andrew is currently the General Manager of Finance at Haven: Home, Safe and also chairs the Audit & Risk Committee for Inglewood & Districts Health Service. His background includes financial roles in Food and Beverage, Construction and Accommodation organisations, and he is known for his commitment to achieving high levels of accuracy using ethical work standards, as well as a broad knowledge of corporate services practices, including HR/payroll, IT and procurement. Andrew is an excellent communicator with a can-do approach to problem solving and resolution. Andrew is also involved with local community through extensive volunteer experience outside of his work commitments.

Andrew is supportive of ARC justice providing legal and housing services to the most vulnerable members of our community, and bringing about change through the promotion of policy reform and equitable funding initiatives.

Clare Fountain

Clare Fountain is the owner operator of local Bendigo business Sorted, who provide workshops, planning, facilitation, consulting, training and business mentoring for a wide range of businesses. Her book “Sorted,” has been widely used by small businesses and entrepreneurs to establish and organise their businesses. She is co-founder of the Synergize Hub, a co-working space for social entrepreneurs and micro-business owners in Bendigo. Her membership on a number of Boards and active volunteering in leadership positions with a number of local organisations in Central Victoria make her a key driver in the community. In 2016, her business Sorted won the Bendigo Business Excellence Award for Professional Services.

I feel that access to legal services and tenancy advice play a key role in influencing the social determinants of health for members of our community.   I am motivated to support our community to gain housing security and effectively resolve legal issues that result in improving their quality of life and therefore that of their family and our community.  I believe ARC Justice shares this same motivation and vision

Melinda Charlesworth

Melinda Charlesworth

Melinda is currently the Director of Governance and Strategy at Bendigo Health, and has worked for over 25 years in the health industry. Melinda is a credentialed Speech Pathologist with post graduate qualifications in Health Systems Management and Executive Coaching. Melinda has managed a broad variety of services focusing on provision of high-quality leadership for teams who provide excellent patient care. With a passion for communication, she applies evidence based leadership principles to inform governance and accountability, ensuring best practice, values based outcomes for her community.

Christopher McDermott

Christopher McDermott is a Barrister at the Victorian Bar specialising in public law and general civil litigation. Prior to joining the Bar, he was a Senior Lawyer with the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) specialising in administrative law, appearing on behalf of Commonwealth Departments in complex litigation in federal courts and tribunals. Prior to working with the AGS, Christopher was Senior Associate to the Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court. Before this, Christopher worked at the Attorney – General’s Department on human rights and access to justice strategies. In this role, he worked on the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws – Superannuation) Act 2008. Christopher is an alumnus of the Australian National University (LLB (Hons), University of Melbourne (LLM), and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). He is the Vice President of the Victorian AIDS Council / Gay Men’s Health Centre (trading as Thorne Harbour Health), and a Director of Mental Health Victoria Ltd. He is the Secretary of both the LGBTI Working Group and the Equality & Diversity Committee of the Victorian Bar.

As a director of ARC Justice, Christopher is committed to ensuring that all regional Victorians have the best access to justice as is practicable.  

Kate Scarce

Kate Scarce

Kate is a qualified CPA and proud Bendigo local who has been working in audit, risk management and accounting roles for 30 years. Currently, she is an Audit Manager at AFS & Associates and has worked with the Victorian Auditor General’s Office, Telstra, CPA Australia and Haven Home Safe. She is an audit committee independent member for Remembrance Parks Central Victoria and is a former Chair of the Audit Committees for the City of Greater Bendigo and Gannawarra Shire. Her experience encompasses many sectors including health, local government, waste management, catchment management, credit unions, telecommunications, for profit and not for profit organisations. She is also a community representative on the Specialist Clinics Steering Committee at Bendigo Health and a member of the GMHBA Consumer Consultation group. Kate loves supporting the local community, and is passionate about the not for profit sector with a particular interesting in good governance and accountability

 I support ARC Justice because I believe everyone should be able to access quality legal support and representation. Through innovative approaches, they are able to meet the needs of the community with limited resources. I am also supportive of their hard work in lobbying for change and improvements to funding and community legal services.


Khayshie Tilak Ramesh

Khayshie is a 23-year-old passionate advocate for youth, multiculturalism and diverse representation at influential decision-making tables. She is an experienced Director, Legal Advisor and is the Multicultural Youth Commissioner of Victoria. Khayshie has served on a number of boards and committees including Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services, Ambulance Victoria Community Advisory Committee, Victorian Electoral Commission Advisory Group, Victoria’s Volunteer Strategy Taskforce, Young People for Refugees and City of Greater Bendigo Economic Strategy Steering Committee. Khayshie also served as the Inaugural City of Greater Bendigo Youth Mayor in 2019 and has been named as Young Citizen of the Year 2017, Premier’s Volunteer Leadership Champion 2019, Law Student of the Year 2019 and was named in the Top 100 Future Leaders of Australia.

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