Board Members

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) Board was established on 1 July 2013 under section 200 of the Building Act 1993.

A Board of seven Commissioners is responsible for the governance and strategic management of the VBA to ensure its effectiveness as a regulator.

The Board consists of Chief Commissioner Dr Owen Donald, Deputy Chief Commissioner Justin Madden AM, Commissioner Anne Barker, Commissioner Kelly Humphreys, Commissioner Brian Welch, Commissioner Lynne Williams AM and Commissioner Yvonne von Hartel AM.

Members are appointed by the Governor-in-Council upon the Minister for Planning's recommendation.

The Board meets on a monthly basis.

For information about VBA Board member's terms of appointment, visit Public Board Appointments Victoria.

Dr Owen Donald (Chief Commissioner)

Dr Owen Donald brings many years of wide-ranging experience in organisational governance and in the housing and construction sectors.

Dr Donald chaired the National Housing Supply Council and Barwon Health, and has held board positions with many other organisations including Southern Health, Aboriginal Housing Victoria, Housing Choices Australia, the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare and the Melbourne Port Corporation.

His executive experience includes CEO of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Director of Housing for the State of Victoria, General Manager in the IPA Group Pty Ltd and CEO of the Employment Services Regulatory Authority. He previously held senior public sector positions, including head of the policy division of the Department of Social Security and head of the labour and international division of the Department of Finance.

Owen is also a consultant specialising in policy development and program management in housing and urban development. His roles in this capacity have included Independent Project Facilitator of the Millers Point property sale and social housing redevelopment plan (NSW), member of the Urban Policy Forum (national) and Chair of the Expert Advisory Panel on Affordable Housing (Queensland).

Dr Donald has a doctorate in urban research, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria).

Mr Justin Madden AM (Deputy Chief Commissioner)

Justin Madden is a Senior Consultant at Arup working in the areas of strategic project planning and infrastructure development across Australasia, and the South East Asian region.

His career includes 15 years in the Victorian State Parliament, having held seven Ministerial portfolios within successive Victorian Labor Governments across 11 years including as Minister for Planning from 2006 to 2010. He retired from the Parliament in 2014.

He is also a registered Architect who operated his own practice prior to entering Parliament.

Anne Barker (Commissioner)

Anne Barker was Managing Director of City West Water for 13 years, during which time she was for 6 years a member of the Plumbing Industry Advisory Council. Previous experience includes practising law and senior management positions with Myer Stores, ANZ Bank and  SPI Powernet.  Anne is currently Chair of Whitelion Open Family Australia, and has diverse Board experience including as a director of LeadWest,  the Water Services Association of Australia and the MFB.

Kelly Humphreys (Commissioner)

Kelly Humphreys is a non-executive director and accomplished financial services and risk management professional with executive experience across the public and private sectors in Australia and New Zealand. She has held the roles of Chairman and Company Secretary and is a current director of the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service.

Kelly has held senior executive roles, including with Aon, Allianz and Liberty Financial. As General Manager – Government with Victorian Managed Insurance Authority she led the delivery of risk services and advice to the Victorian public sector.

Kelly holds a Master of Management and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Yvonne von Hartel AM (Commissioner)

Yvonne von Hartel AM is a Founding Principal of the award-winning national architectural and urban design practice, peckvonhartel.  She is a Council member of LaTrobe University and a Member of the LaTrobe University Council Infrastructure and Estates Planning Committee, and a Trustee of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and chair of the Capital Works Committee and a Board member and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Queen Victoria Market Pty Ltd. She holds many concurrent design advisory roles including Member, University of Wollongong, SMART Infrastructure Advisory Council, Member of the Design Review Panel of the Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct, a Member of the Capital Metro Agency Design Advisory Panel and member of the Westconnex Design Advisory Panel.

In 2007, Yvonne was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for 'services to architecture, design and building through involvement with a range of professional organisations, to the promotion of women in business, and to the community'.

Mr Brian Welch (Commissioner)

Mr Brian Welch has more than 25 years' experience as executive director of two industry groups within the building and property industry -  5 years as executive director of the Property Council (Vic Division) and 20 years as executive director of the Master Builders Association of Victoria (MBAV). During his term with Master Builders, Mr Welch served on the Building Practitioners Board and the Building Advisory Council as well as many other roles dealing with skills development in the industry.  Upon leaving MBAV, Mr Welch commenced a consultancy assisting Not For Profit (NFP) organisations. He is presently on the boards of Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority and The Redundancy Payment Central Fund (Incolink).

Mr Welch brings to the Board his experience and understanding of the industry and the role and requirements of practitioners.

Dr Lynne Williams AM (Commissioner)

Dr Lynne Williams brings extensive high level public service experience to the Board. She has held senior executive positions in State and Federal governments for more than 30 years, having most recently been Under Secretary in the Department of Treasury and Finance in Victoria.

Dr Williams has previously held senior executive positions in the departments of Premier and Cabinet, and Industry in Victoria. Dr Williams has considerable Board experience and is the current Chair of the Victorian Government Procurement Board, Deputy Chair of the Essential Services Commission of South Australia and Commissioner on the Victorian Legal Services Board, and a member of the Advisory Board for the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne.

Ms Prue Digby (CEO)

Ms Prue Digby was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the VBA in November 2013.

Ms Digby has over 30 years' experience in providing community and public related services in both the government and non-government sectors. 

Prior to being appointed as the VBA CEO, Ms Digby was a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure and was an Executive Director of Local Government Victoria in the former Department of Infrastructure.

She was the first CEO of the City of Yarra and also worked as a senior manager at the City of Melbourne. She has extensive experience in managing organisational change, delivering services from complex organisational settings, and dealing with sensitive community issues.