The Advisory Board

The Trust acknowledges the commitment, dedication and passion of an outstanding advisory board. Achieving the objectives of the Trust has been possible through the expertise and resources of the board, patrons, community and corporate partners.

The Trustees are:

  • Craig & Jenny Butters
  • Peter Cummings
  • Dr Sharon Ryan
  • Dr Michael Joseph

The advisory board was formed on the 27th June 2006, comprising high profile citizens, that bring with them particular experience relevant to the objectives of the Trust.

The Advisory Board Members

Kath Saunders
Chair of the Nicholas Trust, Kath is a former partner of KPMG who specialised in providing advice to State and Federal governments and private corporations on health policy and strategy. Prior to returning to Newcastle in 2003, Kath was the Chair of the Cancer Council of Victoria, a member of the Cancer Council of Australia, a member of the VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control Advisory Panel and a member of the South Australian Council for Science, Technology and Innovation. Kath brings to the Nicholas Trust over 30 years experience in the health sector and significant health and community service board experience.

Barney Collins
Barney is a Chartered Architect and Director of the EJE Group. He has varied experience in all fields of Architecture and specialises in Heritage Conservation, Urban Design & Master Planning. Barney lead the team commissioned to restore Newcastle’s Christchurch Cathedral after it suffered considerable damage in the earthquake of 1989. He has also been involved in numerous highly visible Heritage projects. Recently Barney has produced heritage interpretive strategies for Newcastle’s Honeysuckle and Nobby’s Head developments. Barney is a tireless worker over many years for various charity and sporting groups. Barney is committed to seeing the Trust fulfill its objectives.

Peter Cummings
Peter is a trustee of the Nicholas Trust and a long time friend of the Butters family. He became committed to the objectives of the Trust after sharing the family’s experiences through Nicholas’ illness. Professionally he has practised as a barrister for the last 11 years, and prior to that was the principal of a Newcastle law firm specialising in commercial work and litigation. Having previously served a number of charities, community groups and committees, Peter brings to the Board not only his personal commitment and legal skills, but considerable experience in assisting community based organisations to achieve their goals.

Suzanne Delbridge
Suzanne is an experienced Forensic Accountant and is the Director of Delbridge Forensic Accounting. Suzanne brings to the Board both her accounting skills as well as extensive experience gained working with other charitable and community based organisations in the Hunter region. A specialist in forensic accounting for a national referral base, her analytical and networking skills will be invaluable to the important work of the Nicholas Trust. Having been challenged by the experience of the Butters family and their wider support group, and as a mother of four children, Suzanne is committed to ensuring that the aims of the Nicholas Trust are achieved.

Dr Laurence Roddick
Laurence (Larry) Roddick is a Senior Staff Paediatrician at John Hunter Children’s Hospital. He has been a consultant paediatrician attached to Newcastle’s paediatric teaching hospitals for 25 years. During this time he has cared for many patients requiring palliative care. He has been significantly involved in setting up each of the JHCH Kids Club fundraising arm, the JHCH Ronald McDonald House, the regional cleft palate clinic and the regional infant deafness clinic. The combination of his experience as a paediatrician and his involvement and expertise in expanding services to the children of the Hunter Region will be brought to the board.

Lyn Thurnham
Lyn Thurnham is Managing Director of Thurnham Teece Pty Ltd, a Nationally accredited advertising agency specialising in marketing and publicity. The agency has offices in both Newcastle and Sydney. Lyn’s involvement in the Community includes her role on both the National Board of Life Education Australia as well as Chair of Hunter Life Education. Lyn is also a member of community radio station 2NURFM’s advisory board. Lyn has been actively working to raise the awareness of prostate cancer in Northern NSW since 1997 and was invited to join to the NSW Board of Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia in 2006. Lyn brings to the Nicholas Trust a knowledge of, and passion for, the region as well as the resources and credentials of Thurnham Teece.

Jennifer Butters
Jennifer is founder and trustee of the Nicholas Trust. As the mother of Nicholas, Jenny is highly passionate towards the Trust. Through Nicholas’s journey, Jenny and her family have recognised the need for coordinated paediatric palliative care. Jenny is a Personal, Development and Health Teacher and has worked closely addressing the health needs of children and adolescents. Jennifer brings to the Trust a strong commitment to ensuring the achievement of the trusts goals.

Craig Butters
Craig is the father of Nicholas and shares, along with all board members, a strong commitment to the
Nicholas Trust and the community. Craig is the regional manager of a national company. He brings to the Trust, through his personal and business experience, the skills and knowledge to attain the goals of the Trust.

You matter because you are you, and you matter to the last moment of your life.

Dame Cicely Saunders


The Trust was established in July 2005, it has received tremendous community, political and medical support.


In August 2010 two uniquely designed and purpose built palliative care facilities were opened at the JHCH along with a parent retreat and refurbishment of the school rooms.


Nicholas Butters ~ Born 6th July 1990 ~ Taken to Heaven 8th December 2004


The generous support of corporate sponsors and parters has assisted the Trust in achieving its goals.

Changing Lives Today!

It is so often, through adversity, that we are challenged to make a difference. We could not save Nicholas, but we could ensure support for families who find themselves in a similar situation.