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.
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.
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 is a financial planning executive with over 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry across institutional and consumers markets in both Australia and overseas. He is currently the Strategy and Development Manager in financial planning at Telstra Super. Michael joined the Board in 2016 and chairs our 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.
Steve has worked as a hands-on volunteer on philanthropic projects since his retirement from a long career in general management, management consultancy, IT and finance. Having worked with Indigenous leaders across more than 30 philanthropic projects, he is particularly interested in supporting community development to improve creative, sporting, economic and educational opportunities. Steve sits on the boards of several not-for-profits and joined ours in 2012. He is a member of our Finance, Risk, Audit and IT Committee and Investment Committee.
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.
Emma is a Partner at leading independent law firm Hall & Wilcox, specialising in Wills, estates and succession planning. She has extensive experience in advising clients in estate planning and administration, trust establishment, trust estate disputes, and structuring for succession of ownership and control of private and family businesses. She is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria, the Inner Temple (Barristers’ Inn of Court, London) and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). Emma joined our Board in 2012 and is a member of our Nominations Committee.
Finance, Risk, Audit & IT Committee
George Krithis (Chair)
Steve Bradby (adviser)
Michael Gilmore (Chair)
Philanthropy & Impact Committee
Cath Smith (Chair)
Sarah Hosking (Chair)