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SMC bolsters board line-up with 3 industry veterans

By Jessica Penny
3 minute read

The Super Members Council (SMC) has welcomed Deanne Stewart, James Merlino, and Casey Nunn as directors to its board.

Stewart, nominated by SMC foundation member Aware Super, joins the board with more than 25 years of experience in financial services, both in Australia and overseas.

As Aware Super CEO, she has overseen the fund’s digital transformation program following the merger of First State Super and VicSuper and the launch of the Aware Super brand in 2020. Stewart is also a Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) pay equity ambassador.

Merlino, meanwhile, was nominated by SMC foundation member Rest, having been the fund’s chair since January 2023.


He brings more than two decades of experience in government and public administration at both state and local level, including eight years as the deputy premier of Victoria from 2014–22. Merlino also serves as a director of the Hawthorn Football Club, is chair of Suburban Rail Loop Authority (Victoria), and chair of Victorian Catholic Education Authority.

Moreover, Nunn, as former Hume Council mayor and deputy chair of Vision Super, joins the SMC board nominated by the small and medium-sized profit-to-member super funds.

Nunn is also the deputy chair of the Victorian State Emergency Service. According to the SMC, she was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for her services to the community through emergency services in 2019.

In announcing its three newest directors, the SMC said: “Deanne, James and Casey are strong advocates for super fund members and have a deep commitment to our world-class superannuation system.

“Their extensive governance experience, super and finance expertise, and community insights will bring deep expertise to the SMC board as it continues in its mission to protect and promote the interests of 11 million Australians with their retirement savings in profit-to-member super funds.”

Earlier this month the association also named its inaugural chair Ann Sherry AO, who is set to commence formally in her new role from July.

According to SMC’s interim chair Nicola Roxon, Sherry will bring “depth, judgement, and perspective” to the role.

“Having a chair of her stature and experience to help guide a strong Board at this crucial time is very welcome,” Roxon, who will continue to serve on the SMC board as a nominee of HESTA, said at the time.