At Australian Communities Foundation, our people thrive within a culture of integrity and respect for one another. Our four guiding values – inclusion, agency, courage and fairness – are the most recent articulation of this culture.
Meet the Team
Get to know our team by clicking through on the photos below.
Board of Directors
Australian Communities Foundation is governed on a voluntary basis by a Board with a broad range of skills and community experience. Board members include lawyers, accountants, finance experts, community workers, CEOs and company directors. The Board leads the Foundation by setting the broad strategy and areas of activity.
Eric Beecher (Chair)
Eric joined the Board as Chair in 2018, bringing with him a long career in media and journalism. Eric is the founder and chair of Private Media, publisher of news website Crikey, and chair of Solstice Media and The Wheeler Centre. In 2007, he received the Walkley Award for Journalistic Leadership. Eric is one of Australia’s leading voices on the need for public interest journalism – a cause our community of giving is supporting through the Impact Fund.
Rueben is a proud Gunditjmara man who is committed to using his skills and expertise to continue to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Rueben is a member of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, a Commissioner for the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, a member of the Heritage Council of Victoria and a Director at Westernport Water. In addition, Rueben is a founder of Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria, and the Indigenous Ultimate Association and is the Chair of the Ultimate Rules Sub-committee for the World Flying Disc Federation. He has a Bachelor of Architecture.
With more than 30 years’ experience in marketing, Penny is a customer and brand expert. She is the founder and Director of research and strategy consultancy, Essence Communications, and consults to all levels of governments and a range of private sector clients. She has held a number of board positions across sectors such as construction, retail, real estate, training, and medical research. Penny joined the Board in 2019 and is a member of our Philanthropy & Impact Committee and Nominations Committee.
Chris is Managing Director at Impact Investment Partners, founded in 2014 to apply social impact principles to large-scale investments that improve social and economic outcomes for Indigenous communities. Born and raised in Darwin, NT, he is a Luritja man from Central Australia with a vision for sustainable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. He is an experienced strategy advisor with Indigenous economic development, asset management, corporate strategy, and infrastructure construction expertise. He has held positions in leading companies, including Horizon Power, Boston Consulting Group, and Australian mining and civil engineering contractor Henry Walker Eltin. Chris is the Chair of CASSE Australia, Director and Chair of the Finance and Risk Audit Committee for Desert Knowledge Australia, and Managing Director of Impact Investment Partners.
Sue has over three decades of experience in the provision of financial and investment advice and proudly serves a select group of private clients, charitable trusts, professional, industry, educational and government bodies. Sue previously served on the Australian Communities Foundation Board from November 2010 to June 2016. Sue has been a champion of philanthropy for well over a decade and in 2019 she was named Australia’s number one financial adviser. We are pleased to welcome her back to the Board as of July 2020.
Michael has 30 years of experience in the financial services industry across institutional and consumer markets in Australia, Asia and Europe. He commenced his career working in financial markets with Citibank, providing derivative and capital market solutions for corporates and institutional investors. For the past 15 years Michael has worked in leadership roles in the Financial Advice industry, including at ANZ Private Bank and ipac securities limited. In his current role at TelstraSuper, Michael is the Head of Practice Operations for the Member Engagement & Advice division and a Responsible Manager of TelstraSuper Financial Planning. Michael joined the Board in 2016 and is Chair of the Investment Committee.
Sarah is a clinician and researcher having spent 25 years in academia, latterly as a professor in both ophthalmology and optometry in institutions in Australia, the UK and China. She is currently CEO of the National Breast Cancer Foundation and has held a number of executive and non-executive roles in health, research and education. Sarah joined the Board in 2014 and is Chair of the Nominations Committee. She is also a member of our Finance, Risk, Audit and IT Committee.
Adam is an active impact investor, having built a portfolio of investments across a wide range of industries and asset classes that align profit with purpose. He is Venture Partner of Giant Leap Fund, established by Impact Investment Group as the first Australian venture capital fund 100% committed to investing in impact start-ups. He has experience in consumer marketing, ecommerce and innovation with deep ties to philanthropy and social enterprise. Adam joined the Board in 2020 and is a member of our Philanthropy & Impact Committee and Investment Committee.
Glen is a Partner with PwC in the Management Consulting practice with 32 years advisory experience including 23 years as a Partner as well as being an experienced Board member. He has extensive expertise in formulating and executing business strategies, building and leading teams and successful leadership in sales and P&L performance. Areas of expertise include Business and Digital Transformation, Customer Advocacy, Finance, Operations and Risk. Glen is the President and Chair of Diabetes Victoria and a Director of Diabetes Australia.
Cath is founder and Principal of Changesmith Consulting, providing strategic advice to organisations on how they can make a positive difference. She has over thirty years’ experience in the not-for-profit space, including within the environment movement, the international development sector, and as CEO at the community sector peak body Victorian Council of Social Service. She is also a Trustee Director of industry super fund HESTA and President of the Collingwood College Council. Cath joined our board in 2014 and chairs the Philanthropy and Impact Committee. She also sits on our Investment Committee.
Malinda is Global Director, Good Pitch at Doc Society (formerly BRITDOC). From 2013-2019 Malinda Wink served as Executive Director of Good Pitch Australia and Shark Island Institute. Malinda’s professional experience spans senior roles within the corporate, political, philanthropic and NGO sectors.Malinda has advised on business and strategic planning for a number of production and distribution companies including Madman, Hopscotch, Transmission, and Revlover. She also currently serves as Deputy Chair of The Caledonia Foundation and Trustee of The Reichstein Foundation.
Sue Woodward AM
Sue co-leads Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law service and was the inaugural Director of Policy & Education at the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. As an academic with the University of Melbourne Law School, Sue taught and researched on regulatory and governance issues for not-for-profits. Sue is a member of the Law Council’s Not-for-Profit Practice and Charities Committee, the Australian Taxation Office Not-for-Profit Stewardship Group and a board member of the Human Rights Law Centre and the Victorian Council of Social Service. Sue is a prominent advocate for legal and regulatory issues of importance to Australia’s not-for-profit sector.
Finance, Risk, Audit & IT Committee
Glen Noonan (Chair)
Steve Bradby (adviser)
George Krithis (adviser)
Michael Gilmore (Chair)
Philanthropy & Impact Committee
Cath Smith (Chair)
Sarah Hosking (Chair)