About Us

Our Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for the strategic development and governance oversight of the Company on behalf of its Members. 

Aware operates a diverse and representative Board, with members holding the required professional competencies, lived experience and/or having held Volunteer roles within the organisation for a period of time. All Directors complete an induction and are required to sign a Code of Conduct for Trustees, a Conflict of Interest and Loyalty Policy and the Aware Volunteer Agreement (committing to the ethos and culture of Aware and compliance with Aware’s policies and procedures) prior to taking up their roles. The Board is also provided with governance training delivered by external experts. Membership is entirely voluntary, no remuneration is paid to the Directors.

To further strengthen our governance, the Board has established a number of Committees whose members comprise of Board members.  Each Committee reports directly to the Board and meets several times during the year.

Aware’s Board of Directors meets six times per year and minutes are recorded at every meeting. 

Mr. Peter Cosgrove
Chair
Peter is the Managing Director of Futurewise, a future of work insights company which explores the latest trends that are shaping the future of work and our world. He has experience in the fields of banking, management consultancy and the staffing sectors. Peter is on the steering committee of the 30% club and is Chair of Brain Tumour Ireland. He is the former Chair of Junior Achievement Ireland, Blackrock Athletic club and the National Recruitment Federation. He has written two books - ‘Fun Unplugged’ and ‘Family Fun Unplugged’.
Ms. Sarah Watson
Treasurer
Sarah is a Commerce graduate from UCD and holds a post graduate diploma in professional accounting from the UCD Smurfit Business School. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Sarah commenced her career with PWC where she worked on various financial services clients, spending time both in Ireland and the US. She held various financial and risk management roles with UniCredit Group, BOI Group and Bank of New York. Sarah currently heads up the Finance function for Scotiabank in Ireland where she has responsibility for all financial and regulatory reporting.
Ms. Sinéad Brennan
Sinéad Brennan joined the NTMA in March 2014 as Head of Human Resources and was subsequently appointed Director, HR before becoming Chief People Officer. Prior to joining the NTMA, she was Head of Human Resources with KBC Bank Ireland and previously HR Director with BDO Ireland. Sinéad has also worked in HR roles in the software sector and in HR consultancy services. Sinéad is Chair of the Gender Matters initiative in the NTMA and is an advocate for Inclusion and Diversity across the Agency. Her professional passion is to create work cultures where people can thrive, develop and bring their authentic selves to work. She holds a PhD from Dublin City University (DCU) and her research topic was leadership development. She was announced as the 2019 Pearse Walsh Medal Award winner for her research. Sinéad also holds an Masters in Business Studies from DCU. Sinéad is the Mum of two very active boys and spends quite a bit of time on the side-lines of (often soggy) GAA and Rugby pitches.
Mr. Keith Kiernan
Keith is Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Bank of Ireland Group.  He has responsibility for Group IT strategy and deployment, systems management, and the adoption of technologies to support the delivery of strategic business change programmes. Keith was formally Chief Operations and Technology Officer with RSA in Ireland where he had full executive responsibility for all aspects of the Technology Strategy, Delivery and Operations in addition to shared services and general insurance business operations.  Prior to RSA, Keith held a number of roles with Telefonica O2 Ireland. Keith led O2’s transformation journey providing the leadership and direction necessary to effect the sale and integration process of O2 Ireland to Hutchinson Whampoa (“3”) in Ireland” . A graduate of Trinity college Dublin Keith holds an honours degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Mr. Piaras Power
Piaras is a Partner with global law firm Eversheds Sutherland in Ireland, heading up the Firm’s Banking and Financial Services practice group. Piaras has responsibility for advising both Irish and international clients on all aspects of banking law. In his role as practice group head, Piaras sits on the Firm’s Executive Management Committee in addition to various sub-committees covering key areas such as business strategy and diversity and inclusion. Piaras is a graduate of UCD and a member of the Law Society of Ireland. He is married to Niamh and has two sons and a daughter.
Dr. Patrick McKeon
Pat is a founding member of Aware and a Consultant Psychiatrist. He was Medical Director at St Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin and specialises in the management of depression and bipolar moods. He actively promotes the role of those with lived experience of mood problems as being ‘experts by experience’ who are uniquely placed to both raise public awareness and understanding of mood problems  and provide support and knowledge to peers and their families who are on a similar journey. He has a wealth of experience as a member of Boards, particularly in the area of corporate governance, management of charities and fundraising. He has researched, written and broadcasted extensively on depression and bipolar disorder and is currently researching the benefits of mood monitoring apps in the management of bipolar spectrum moods and difficult-to-treat depressions.
Ms. Mary McAuliffe
Mary is a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist working in private practice in Tullamore. She specialises in working primarily with clients with both mood and anxiety disorders. She completed her post-graduate training in CBT in The University of Durham, Newcastle, U.K. and her advanced training in Mindfulness Integrated CBT with the M.i.C.B.T. Institute. Mary has a background in both mental health and general nursing. She has vast experience in the area of mental health working for many years as a Clinical Nurse Specialist on a mood disorders programme in St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services. This involved providing both individual and group psychotherapy and running psychoeducational and support groups for patients with bipolar disorder.  She was an integral member of the multidisciplinary team specialising in this area and provided expertise to a variety of disciplines. She also worked on a genetic research project on bipolar disorders. Mary is passionate about promoting mental health and strives to enable people to become the architect of their own lives.
Mr. Adrian Yeates
Adrian runs his own consultancy business in workplace wellbeing. Lizado Services was set up in 2018 to support organisations with the management of their employee wellness needs, particularly with regard to stress, anxiety and/or mental health issues. A graduate of Dublin City University in International Marketing and Languages, Adrian has a commercial career of over thirty years, and has worked with Xerox, Nissan Europe (seven years in the Netherlands) and twenty years with Volvo Car Corporation. He was CEO of Volvo Car Ireland from 2012-2017. Adrian is a strong advocate for positive mental health and has lived with anxiety and depression since 1994.
Ms. Joan Butler
Joan worked in various Government Departments prior to her marriage and joined Aware in 1990, training as a Support Group facilitator.  Along the way she volunteered at fundraising and other events and was part of the editorial team of the organisation’s quarterly magazine Aware. She returned to employment as Office Manager at a consultancy company. Joan became a Member of Aware in 2014 and continues in the role of Support and Self Care Group Facilitator.  She has four children and three grandchildren.
Ms. Fiona O'Sullivan
Fiona has been a Support and Self Care Group volunteer with Aware since 2018 and has assisted in the Aware Volunteer training programmes for a number of years. She co-founded a destination management company in 1996. She served terms as President and Treasurer of the Incoming Tour Operators Association – Ireland and Treasurer of SITE Ireland. Subsequently, she established a consultancy practice in business tourism. Her consultancy included a role responsible for business development in Central Events in Trinity College Dublin. Fiona is an executive mentor and coach. She works with start-ups, including Secret Street Tours, a non-profit, social enterprise that trains those affected by homelessness to become tour guides. She was a member of the advisory board of the EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. She has been the Chairperson of the Trekkers Mountaineering Club for the past two years.
Mr. Neil Collins
Neil is a Managing Director at KPMG Corporate Finance and has over 25 years of corporate finance experience having joined KPMG in 1996. Neil has advised on a wide variety of corporate finance transactions including mergers and acquisitions, infrastructure and energy projects, debt portfolio transactions and fundraisings. He is a graduate of University of Limerick, University College Dublin and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and chairs the Irish branch of the International Project Finance Association.  Neil is married to Denise and has a son and two daughters.  He is actively involved in his local GAA and golf clubs.
Dr. Larkin Feeney
Larkin Feeney is a consultant psychiatrist with the St. John of God Community Adult Mental Health Services in Dublin and he served as Clinical Director from 2017-2022. He has extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of the full range of mental health difficulties. He has interests in the treatment of severe mental illness, recovery and rehabilitation, medical education and training, information technology and mental health service development. He was a Senior Lecturer with RCSI from 2009 to 2022 and has published extensive research in a wide range of mental health areas. He has been Consulting Editor of the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine since 2010. He has led Balint groups for doctors and others over many years.
Ms. Melissa Ndakengerwa
Melissa Ndakengerwa currently serves as the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Executive – Public Engagement at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, where she and her team work to create meaningful workshops and events that resonate with diverse audiences and foster a sense of belonging within the museum’s community. Having previously worked at the Bar of Ireland as the Events and Project Officer, Melissa excels in managing a variety of diverse events and creating inclusive spaces for engaging in difficult conversations. Melissa earned her Bachelor’s Honours degree in Business from the Institute of Technology, Sligo, and is currently pursuing a postgraduate Diploma in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Limerick.  Melissa has been actively involved as the Business Co-ordinator (2021 – 2023) and Community Director (2023 – 2024) for Black and Irish, an organisation dedicated to empowering Black and Mixed-race individuals in Ireland. Over the past three years, she has significantly contributed to various community events, establishing strong relationships with the community and partners. Notably, Melissa has taken the lead in organising the team’s Black History Month activities for three consecutive years. She aims to utilise her lived experiences, educational background, and a passion for inclusivity to contribute to the vision of Aware.
Ms. Clare Austick
Clare Austick is the Housing Policy Manager at Clúid Housing which is one of Ireland’s leading independent, not-for-profit Approved Housing Bodies providing homes to people and families in housing need. She also volunteers with Bodywhys, the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland, as a group facilitator. Clare holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree specialising in Chemistry and first became involved in mental health activism during her time in college through the Students’ Union. After completing her course, she was elected the Vice President for Welfare and Equality (2018-2019) and then went on to being the President (2019-2020) of the University of Galway Students’ Union, representing over 19,000 students. She then went on to being elected into national roles as Vice President for Welfare (2020-2021) and subsequently President (2021-2022) of the Union of Students in Ireland, representing over 374,000 students across the country. In her capacity as a student representative she gained invaluable insights and experience in strategic planning, policy development, coordinating projects, campaigns and initiatives, building key stakeholder relationships and leading the direction of a large organisation. She hopes to use her expertise, experience and passion to drive and advance Aware’s vision and mission.

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