CEO and Executive Management

To change outcomes you need to lead, not follow. Our CEO, Executive Management and committed team of professionals are dedicated to helping members achieve their best retirement outcomes. And, throughout your journey, we'll stand with you to create change, influencing the outcome of super issues that impact you most.

Debby Blakey

Debby Blakey
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

As CEO of $68 billion industry super fund HESTA, Debby leads an organisation passionate about making a real difference to the financial future of every member while supporting a healthier planet and society.

Having held senior positions across financial services, Debby believes the industry has a vital role in helping meet global challenges. Under her leadership, HESTA pioneered investing with impact to deliver strong, long-term returns and positively contribute to global sustainable development goals.

The first major Australian super fund to commit to an ambitious Climate Change Transition Plan, HESTA is targeting total portfolio cuts in emissions of 33% by 2030 and ‘net zero’ by 2050.

More than 80% of HESTA's 900,000+ members are women. Debby is a prominent voice for advancing gender equality. Her advocacy for systemic change highlights that when women do better everyone benefits from a more resilient economy and a fairer society.

Prior to leading HESTA, Debby was Deputy CEO and previously headed the Fund’s financial advice team. Her wealth of experience in financial services includes running her own business as an Employee Benefit Consultant for 12 years.

Debby is President of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors and holds directorships at The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia Ltd and the International Corporate Governance Network. Debby is also a WGEA Pay Equity Ambassador.

Debby holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Natal (South Africa), is a Certified Financial Planner™, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2018 Debby was awarded FEAL's Fund Executive of the Year.



Lisa Samuels

Lisa Samuels
Chief Experience Officer (CXO)

Lisa joined HESTA in July 2015 and holds the role of Chief Experience Officer. Lisa and her team are responsible for strategy, brand, marketing, customer and employee experience, insights and people and culture.

Prior to joining HESTA, Lisa worked for a number of industry super funds and has more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services sector. She is passionate about customer experience and building strong, sustainable brands that deliver on their promises to customers. 

Lisa was awarded a Women In Super Global Dialogue scholarship in 2010 and a FEAL Melbourne Business School Masters scholarship in 2011. Lisa was also the inaugural South Australian Chair of the of the Mother’s Day Classic, an annual fun run and walk raising funds and awareness for breast cancer research. 

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Applied Economics, Graduate Diploma of Marketing and a Masters of Organisational Leadership. She is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and a member of FEAL and Women in Super.



Sonya Sawtell-Rickson

Sonya Sawtell-Rickson
Chief Investment Officer (CIO)

Sonya was appointed to the role of Chief Investment Officer in July 2017. Sonya is responsible for overseeing the HESTA investment program and leads a team of investment professionals, working with the HESTA Board and Investment Committee, to develop the investment framework and strategy of the Fund.

Sonya has extensive experience in investment markets, including portfolio strategy and design, and has managed exposures across both traditional and alternative asset classes.

Sonya was previously an Investment Director at Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC). In this role she led a global multi-asset team, advising clients on investment strategy, overseeing portfolio management processes and activities across a broad range of traditional and alternative asset classes for portfolios in excess of $45 billion.

Sonya holds a Masters of Applied Finance, Bachelor of Arts (Economics & Political Science), is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia. 



Stephen Reilly

Stephen Reilly
Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Stephen was appointed to the role of Chief Operating Officer in August 2015, and is responsible for ensuring that the HESTA operating model is a competitive differentiator in terms of cost effectiveness and the quality of services provided to members. He leads the development and coordination of digital innovation and integration, administration, insurance, outsourcing, strategic projects and technology.

Stephen is a proven leader, communicator and strategic thinker with more than 20 years of hands-on experience in industry and corporate strategy. Previous roles as a Principal with Booz & Company (now PwC Strategy&) and before that, with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, have given Stephen a deep understanding of the game-changing challenges facing super and financial services. 

He is also a published novelist and former radio presenter on the ABC, bringing a creative and eclectic perspective to the strategic direction and operations of HESTA. 

Stephen holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing and Finance from the University of New South Wales. In 2018, Stephen joined the board of the Mother's Day Classic Foundation.  



Andrew Major

Andrew Major
Chief Risk & Compliance Officer (CRCO)

Andrew was appointed to the role of Chief Risk & Compliance Officer in January 2020, with responsibility for leading HESTA’s risk and compliance teams.  Andrew joined HESTA in 2009 as a Senior Investment Analyst and has performed a number of roles within the Investments team since that time, most recently serving as General Manager, Unlisted Assets.

Andrew is Chair of the Australian Investment Council, the industry body representing the private capital sector in Australia.  He has also served as Co-Chair of the UN PRI Infrastructure Advisory Committee, as a director of the Climate Bonds Standards Board, representing the Investor Group on Climate Change and as a HESTA appointee on numerous fund advisory boards.

Before joining HESTA, Andrew worked in private legal practice and for the Macquarie Group, in investment banking and investment management.  He has undergraduate degrees in Economics and Law (both with Honors), a Masters in Applied Finance, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.



Joshua Parisotto

Joshua Parisotto
Chief Advice Officer (CAO)

Joshua was appointed to the role of Chief Advice Officer in January 2020. Joshua and his team are responsible for making a real difference to the financial futures of HESTA members through education, financial advice and other engagement activities.

Joshua has 20 years experience in the financial services industry including financial advice, compliance, practice management and para planning. He has held senior positions at a diverse range of organisations including AXA, RACV, Bank of Melbourne, IOOF and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. Most recently Joshua was Executive Manager Distribution at VicSuper.

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Business, Graduate Diploma in Management, Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning), Advanced Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning) and is a Certified Financial Planner. He is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).



Tim Mitchell-Adams

Tim Mitchell-Adams
Chief Growth Officer (CGO)

Tim was appointed to the role of Chief Growth Officer in August 2021. He and his team are responsible for helping HESTA drive its growth ambitions across its chosen markets.

Tim is an experienced executive who, for the last 30 years, has successfully worked across the wealth management, education and start-up sectors. Having previously held senior roles with companies such as AMP, AXA and ASG covering both Australian and European markets, Tim has a proven track record in leading companies through business growth in demanding and complex environments.

Tim holds a Graduate Diploma in Marketing and Management and is Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). He is also a Graduate of one of Victoria’s premier leadership programs, ‘the Williamson Leadership Program’. Tim also holds several not-for-profit Board roles.



Sally Collins
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Sally joined HESTA in 2022 as Chief Financial Officer. She is responsible for managing financial and accounting processes, legal matters, tax, fleet management, facilities and sustainability, project execution and governance.

Sally is an experienced financial services C-suite executive with over 25 years’ experience in senior leadership roles at a range of global and Australian companies.

Sally’s roles have included transformational change, financial management, people leadership, business operations, technology and digital strategy, data and analytics, client services, sales management, project execution, customer experience, and business management.

Sally holds a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Financial Planning and Graduate Diploma Applied Science.