Leadership team

The Executive Leadership Team lead the staff of Merri Health to achieve common goals that are in line with Merri Health’s vision and purpose.

Members of this team include our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and four General Managers.

Nigel Fidgeon

Chief Executive Officer


Nigel webjpg

Nigel has extensive executive management and CEO experience in leading and managing complex organisations across the public and private health sector at both the strategic and operational levels in acute and non acute settings.

Nigel holds a Master of Health Administration, a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) along with educational experience gained at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Philadelphia, USA and executive training at the Harvard School of Business in Boston USA.

Nigel is a graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management, a Fellow of the College of Nursing Australia, a Wharton Fellow and a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management.

As the Chief Executive Officer for the former Nurses Board of Victoria, Nigel was actively involved in the national regulatory reform process for the Health Professions, to create a national regulatory system that was implemented on 1 July 2010.

Nigel is a Board member of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, a Board member of the Victorian Hospital Industrial Association, Chair of the Health Committee of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a member of the Victorian State Governments Health Workforce Reform Implementation Taskforce.

Nigel is passionate about social justice issues and helping people and communities achieve the best.

Antoinette Mertins

General Manager, Primary Care and Carer Services



Antoinette has extensive experience working in the public and not-for-profit sector across a diverse range of organisational forms.  Antoinette has strong skills in driving workforce reform, development of innovative community based models of care and developing partnerships across aged care, health and primary care sectors.

Antoinette is a public health practitioner with an extensive background in community based health care leadership and management, service planning and development, and leading diverse multidisciplinary teams to deliver innovative services.  Antoinette is committed to population health approaches as a means to improve health and wellbeing outcomes.

Antoinette holds a Doctor of Public Health degree, a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Research Methodology and a Bachelor of Behavioural Sciences (Psychology).  She is an Associate Fellow of the Australian College of Health Service Management.  Antoinette is a recent Graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Tassia Michaleas

General Manager, Family & Community Support Services



Tassia has extensive experience in the not-for profit and community sector and commenced her career in community health in 1996. Tassia has experience working across leaderships and operational areas and takes a pro-active approach in developing and delivering innovative services and programs, to identified and emerging community needs. Tassia has strong skills in advocacy, streamlining of systems and processes, effective engagement of stakeholders and developing partnerships.Tassia is committed to and has an in-depth understanding of the values and philosophy of community health, including issues related to access, diversity and the social model of health. Tassia has a Bachelor of Economics, a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Business Administration.

Gavin Thompson

Chief Financial Officer

B.Bus (Acc), CPA


Gavin has held a range of senior finance positions across not for profit, corporate and international sectors. He has worked in financial management in the homelessness and community service sector as well as roles in a variety of industries such as Aerospace, Investment Banking, Software Development, Retail Banking, Hotels and Trustee services.

Gavin has skills in providing strong financial stewardship to organisations while maintaining co-operative and helpful approach to aid service delivery programs.

Gavin holds a Bachelor of Business and is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA).

Nessá Pastoors

General Manager, People and Communications



Nessá Pastoors has worked in the non-for-profit sector for 12 years and brings a wealth of knowledge with 10 years of leadership and management experience in employment relations, project management and governance. With a proven track record of building workforce capacity and contributing to organisational growth, Nessá has been instrumental in driving organisational capacity and cultural change across various roles in the non-for-profit sector.

Nessá’s strengths lie in industrial relations, change management, stakeholder engagement and communications and marketing, with past experience as HR Manager for leading community and health care organisations. Nessá has served on local community boards and is currently the President of the Pines Learning Board.

Nessá holds a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Masters of Employment Relations, Certificate in Business and Human Resources Management, and is currently completing an Executive Masters of Business Administration. Nessá is a certified member of the Australian Human Resources Institute and is an Accredited Lean Yellow Belt through the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association.

Phillip Harris

General Manager, Infrastructure



Phill has held senior executive roles within the information technology and infrastructure management portfolios spanning a number of industries including education, government, telecommunications and media, most recently within the health sector.

Phill’s experience includes strategic planning, business process improvement, project management, procurement and facilities management.

Phill has a Master of Business Administration, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has a Graduate Certificate in Leadership in Education and Training, as well as ITIL Service Management and Prince2 Project Management qualifications.