Management Team


Better leadership to nurture positive relationships

The Better Place Australia Executive Team

Serge Sardo

Chief Executive Officer

Serge Sardo is the CEO of Better Place Australia. With over 17 years of experience as a CEO and non-executive director for not-for-profit or government organisations, Serge is passionate about transforming the lives of vulnerable Victorians and their families. In his previous role as CEO of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Serge was instrumental in establishing the Foundation as a world leader in the delivery of counselling, support and prevention programs to over 100 different locations.

Serge is a registered psychologist and has an MBA qualification complemented with strong commercial experience.  With expertise in preventative programs, social policy and advocacy, he has delivered and managed a wide variety of community-based therapeutic and prevention services.  Serge’s commitment to developing stronger communities is exemplified through his broader involvement across sectors.  He is a non-executive director of Scope Disability Services and Chairs their Governance and Remuneration Committee. He is also a member of the Board for Alcohol and Drug Foundation and a former Board member for the Family and Relationship Services Association having Chaired their Finance, Risk and Governance Committee for six years.  Serge joined Better Place Australia in February 2017.

Graeme Westaway

Executive Manager Marketing & Sector Engagement Advocacy, Digital & Corporate Communications

Graeme believes all people should be able to live their lives fully, in socially connected ways without fear of coercion or discrimination. With a science, communication and services development background, Graeme is behind Better Place Australia’s digital presence, corporate communications, stakeholder management and growth generation. 

He has held executive and senior leadership roles across the not-for-profit, mutual and corporate sectors. He brings to Better Place Australia a strong background in developing strategies to drive growth, digital engagement and service innovation. He has a passion for raising ageism awareness, elder abuse prevention and respecting the right of all people to self determine. 

Olivia Darcy

Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary

Olivia is passionate about making a difference. Olivia started her career in chartered accounting before moving overseas to work in investment banking. Upon returning to Australia, Olivia worked for ANZ in a variety of roles across projects, corporate communications and finance. Following a lifestyle change, she moved to a farm in regional Victoria and worked as CFO of a community-based, not-for-profit aged care facility igniting a passion for using skills gained from a corporate background in the “for purpose” sector.

Olivia has a Bachelor of Business, is a CPA and has a Certificate in Governance Practice from the Governance Institute of Australia.  Olivia has three young boys and is treasurer of their school council and is a board member of Fairway Bayside Aged Care.

Olivia joined Better Place Australia in 2022.

Craig Dennis

Chief Operating Officer

Craig Dennis has over 20 years experience in IT systems, information management and information technology strategy. Craig has held a number of senior and and executive roles, and has a extensive experience in technology change consulting, advisory and business leadership roles. Craig’s expertise in business automation systems for small to medium businesses has enabled Better Place Australia to develop new key IT strategies and systems. Craig has a long history in volunteer work, including helming senior roles in the Country Fire Authority and consulting to a number of not-for-profits.

Craig joined Better Place Australia in 2017.


Maurice Valle

Executive Manager People and Culture

Maurice brings extensive generalist Human Resources experience to Better Place Australia, having held numerous senior roles in the People and Culture space across various industries and sectors. This includes not-for-profit, retail, manufacturing, infrastructure, financial services, and government. Maurice has a strong background in strategic business partnering, employee relations, process improvement, governance, and all areas of operational HR across the employee lifecycle. Maurice is driven by the opportunity to add value and make a real difference through a relationship-based approach to engaging with staff and stakeholders.

Maurice joined Better Place Australia in 2023.

Rhonda Withers

General Manager Elders Services

Rhonda is a Registered Nurse and Senior Healthcare Manager with over 20 years of experience in working with older Australians. She has held Clinical, Quality and Operational Management positions across Australia in community services and in Residential Aged Care. With a strong focus on quality assurance and inclusive service delivery, Rhonda excels in developing, implementing, and evaluating aged care services. Rhonda has been involved in strategic planning at a senior management level and she has been able to effectively influence and undertake change management processes across organisations. Rhonda has been instrumental in establishing the Residential Aged Care Psychological Services program across Victoria. Since joining Better Place Australia in 2018, she takes pride in the organisation’s commitment to fulfilling its mission and values. Rhonda is very passionate about providing exceptional services for Older Australians and zealous about advocating for the same.

Leanne Lewis

General Manager Mental Health Services

Leanne worked as a Social Work practitioner in mental health, family violence and counselling services before taking on senior management roles in the mental health and homelessness sectors. Leanne is passionate about delivering high-quality, trauma-informed services and building high-performing organisations that deliver lasting social outcomes. She brings expertise in strategy development, change management, and measurement and evaluation.

Leanne has an MBA and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is currently a Director at St Mary’s House of Welcome – a homelessness organisation working with some of Melbourne’s most vulnerable people.

Kristen Poel

General Manager Mediation

Kristen Poel began her career as a Social Worker in South Australia before expanding her expertise across multiple states. She is also a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, specialising in Family Law and the delivery of Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) services. Joining Better Place Australia in 2013, Kristen initially managed the Family Relationship Centre’s counselling program. Kristen serves as the General Manager of FDR for Better Place Australia. Kristen’s focus lies in managing services for separated families, with a strong commitment to ensuring the best possible outcomes for children.

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