Ms Rhonda Whitfield
GDipBA, Swinburne University of Technology
Summary of previous experience
Rhonda Whitfield is an accomplished manager and non-executive director with extensive experience in the technology, health, disability, art, sports, parks and aged care sectors, and Victorian government emergency services.
Rhonda held senior management roles at major companies including Telstra and Japan’s NEC Business Solutions, becoming the group’s only female at the general manager level at the time of her appointment.
Rhonda's education journey mirrors those of many Federation University students. Growing up in a small Australian country town when university was largely inaccessible to females, Rhonda initially qualified as a registered nurse. Her commitment to continuous learning and unfailing curiosity to understand drove her to acquire knowledge across a breadth of subjects.
She moved into sales and marketing roles in the health sector, working for global operations including the company that is now Novartis, and Hoechst.
While working in these roles, Rhonda studied IT at TAFE. She was instrumental in pharmacies and medical practices’ transition to computerisation, and the networking of hospitals, improving the flow of information between health providers.
Later, Rhonda was National Marketing Manager of Telstra Health in the telco’s Corporate and Governance division, introducing telemedicine concepts. She became the market lead for the Commercial Services sector.
Her other key roles at Telstra included Internet Services Manager – including BigPond – and General Manager Marketing for the Convergent Business unit. Rhonda was one of a small group of senior executives responsible for the successful creation of Telstra’s online presence – telstra.com – and played a significant role in the direction of capital planning, broadband development, deployment and rollout using ADSL technology.
At NEC, Rhonda was General Manager Marketing for the group’s Voice and Data division, where in addition to leading the team’s delivery of all marketing services, she worked building relationships with the company’s Global Alliance Partners and overseeing the reinvigoration of voice and data managed services for government departments in Canberra.
Rhonda is a director at Community Pharmacy Friendly Societies, where she became the group’s first female board appointment in its more than 100-year history.
She was the Board Chair at Bayley House – a services and support organisation for adults with intellectual disabilities where Rhonda and the Board oversaw major capital developments for people with high-needs disabilities. From its inception in 2012, she led the Board and organisation to successfully navigate the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).