Our People

One of our greatest strengths is our people. We have a talented and dedicated team of more than 600 staff and nearly 7,800 volunteers, including our Board, who work across the country to achieve our vision of a better future for young Australians in need. Every day our people are helping to effect positive change to the lives of thousands of disadvantaged young Australians through the provision of our education and learning support programs.

For job opportunities, please visit the Careers section to view vacancies.

Our Board
Our Executive Team
Our General Managers

Our Board

James M. Millar AM

James is an experienced corporate executive and director of a number of Australian companies and organisations. He has more than 35 years' experience as both a corporate insolvency executive with expertise across a number of industries and as a former Chief Executive Officer of Ernst & Young.

Currently James is a Non-Executive Director of Mirvac Limited and Mirvac Funds Limited, Fairfax Media Limited and Jetset Travelworld Limited. James is also a Trustee of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation and a Director of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, and a Member of the UNSW Australian School of Business Advisory Council.

His expertise beyond his role as CEO has included assignments in sectors including property and construction, broadcasting and the media, shipping, rural enterprise and manufacturing.

James holds a B.Comm, University of NSW and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

James Millar

James M. Millar AM is the Chairman of The Smith Family, appointed in March 2011.

Arun Abey

Arun Abey

Arun Abey was appointed to the Board in November 2007.

Arun Abey

Arun is a founding director and the Executive Chairman of ipac securities limited, one of the foremost financial planning and portfolio management groups, where he has responsibility for strategic initiatives and offshore expansion. He has more than 25 years of experience in economic and investment market research and has written extensively on investment matters for the press and authored articles for academic journals. He holds a BEc and BA (Hons), and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia.

Christine Bartlett

Christine is currently the Executive Program Director of NextGen at NAB. From December 2004 to February 2009 she was the Chief Executive Officer of Jones Lang LaSalle and prior to this served as Chief Operating Officer for IBM's Business Consulting Services in the Asia Pacific region. She has held numerous senior management roles with IBM in consulting, sales, marketing and brand management in Australia, New York and Tokyo, Chief Executive Women and the AGSM Advisory Board.

Christine Bartlett

Christine Bartlett was appointed to the Board in April 2007.

Christine Cawsey AM

Christine Cawsey

Christine Cawsey AM was appointed to the Board in January 2013.

Christine Cawsey AM

Christine has had extensive experience in the education sector over more than four decades, including at schools in disadvantaged areas of Sydney. She has been the Principal of Rooty Hill High School since 1997 and Immediate Past President of the NSW Secondary Principals' Council.

Christine is co-author of Learning for Leadership - Building a School of Professional Practice. She was a member of the Premier's Council for Women from 2000 to 2005, and is a lecturer at the University of Western Sydney.

Dr Jeff Harmer AO

Jeff retired in December 2011 as Secretary of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs after six years in the role. During a 33 year career in the Australian Public Service including 13 years as a CEO, he occupied a range of executive positions across a number of Commonwealth Departments and was Managing Director of the Health Insurance Commission (now Medicare Australia) from 1998 to 2003.

Jeff is currently the Director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and a Member of the Australian National University John Curtin Medical School Foundation.

Jeff Harmer

Dr Jeff Harmer AO was appointed to the Board in January 2013.

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson was appointed to the Board in January 2012.

Mark Johnson

Mark is a Non-Executive Director of the Westfield Group and HSBC Bank Australia Ltd, and a former Chief Executive Officer of PwC in Australia, a role he held from 2008 to 2012. He has a broad-based business and professional background, having filled senior roles in PwC for 15 years, managing PwC's Consumer and Industrial Products team and Audit Technical, Risk and Quality groups. He was a member of PwC's Assurance Leadership Team and Client Service Council, and a senior member of PwC's International Strategy Council. As Chairman of the PwC Foundation Mark took an active role in leading corporate social responsibility initiatives in PwC.

Mark sits on the Advisory Council of the UNSW Australian School of Business and is a founding member of the Australian Centre for Population Ageing Research at the University of NSW. He is also a member of the Business Council of Australia.

Jeremy Maycock

Jeremy has had a long commercial career in senior business roles in Australia and New Zealand. He is Chairman of AGL Energy Ltd (where he has been a director since 2006), and of Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd. Other key roles he has held include Managing Director and CEO of CSR Ltd (2007-10), and of Hastie Group Ltd (2003-07), inaugural Chairman of Cement Australia Pty Ltd, and roles with Swiss-based Holcim Ltd in New Zealand and south-east Asia.

Jeremy has been a member of the Advisory Council of the Australian School of Business at UNSW since 2009, and is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) and has completed senior executive and finance management programs at Stanford University.

Jeremy Maycock

Jeremy Maycock was appointed to the Board in January 2013.

Christine McLoughlin

Christine McLoughlin

Christine McLoughlin was appointed to the Board in November 2009 and is Deputy Chair.

Christine McLoughlin

Christine is currently a Non-Executive Director of Whitehaven Coal Limited, Westpac's Life and General Insurance, NIB Holdings Limited and the St James Ethics Centre. Christine is a member of the Minter Ellison Advisory Council and previously was a director of the AMP Foundation, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission and the Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation.

Christine has worked in business in Australia, the UK and Asia for over 20 years. Her executive roles in major Australian public companies (AMP Limited, IAG Limited and Optus Ltd) have encompassed accountabilities spanning strategy, communications and reputation management, general counsel, government affairs, human resources and operations. Christine started her career as a commercial lawyer and was a Senior Associate with Allens in Sydney and in London.

Christine was named Telstra Business Woman of the Year for Corporate and Government in 2000.

Dr Lisa O'Brien

Dr Lisa O’Brien leads Australia’s major education-oriented children’s charity and has driven a five year plan to grow the effectiveness and reach of The Smith Family’s education-oriented programs to support more disadvantaged children and young people.

Lisa has worked in leadership roles across the public, not-for-profit and commercial sectors over the last two decades. She is a non-executive director of the Community Council for Australia and Immune Systems Therapeutics Pty Ltd, member of Chief Executive Women Inc and former CEO of the Skin and Cancer Foundation Australia.  Lisa was also a founding member of Sydney’s Lou’s Place, a drop-in centre providing respite and support for women in need.

A Medical Practitioner registered in New South Wales and a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators Lisa also holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters of Human Resource Management and Coaching. In 2013, she was a nominee in The Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence awards.

Dr Lisa O'Brien

Dr Lisa O’Brien has been the Chief Executive Officer of The Smith Family since February 2011.

Paul Tobin

Paul Tobin

Paul Tobin was appointed to the Board in August 2009.

Paul Tobin

Paul has broad experience in delivering results for businesses in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. He is the founder and Director of Foundry Group Pty Ltd (a digital commerce company) and a former Director of D2 Media Ltd. During seven years to 2006 he was a member of the Group Senior Executive Management team of Computershare Ltd, holding roles including Chief Legal Officer, US Chief Operating Officer and interim Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa, with legal, compliance, risk management and company secretarial responsibilities. More recently he has held the position of Executive Chairman of Aussie Farmers Direct.

He established Neighbours4Charity with a circle of friends in 2007 to raise funds for The Smith Family through an annual event, and has organised a number of other very successful events since then which to date have raised almost $2 million for the organisation.

Professor Kenneth Wiltshire AO

Professor Wiltshire is the J.D.Story Professor of Public Administration at the University of Queensland Business School where he leads the Not for Profit Unit. He has recently served a six year term as Australia's representative on the Executive Board of UNESCO, and also served as Special Adviser to the Australian National Training Authority. He was Chair of the Review of the Queensland School Curriculum and conducted the Review of the National Board for Employment Education and Training.

He has also served as the Chair of the Australian Heritage Commission and the World Heritage Wet Tropics Management Authority. Professor Wiltshire was consultant for the Hawke Government's 'New Federalism' and was a founding Board member of the Australian Constitutional Centenary Foundation. He is a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia and a Counsellor for CEDA. In 1998 he was awarded the Order of Australia for services to formulation of public policy, public administration, and UNESCO.

Ken Wiltshire

Professor Kenneth Wiltshire AO was appointed to the Board in June 2010.

our executive team

Dr Lisa O'Brien, Chief Executive Officer

Dr Lisa O'Brien

Dr Lisa O’Brien has been the Chief Executive Officer of The Smith Family since February 2011.

Dr Lisa O'Brien, Chief Executive Officer

Dr Lisa O’Brien leads Australia’s major education-oriented children’s charity and has driven a five year plan to grow the effectiveness and reach of The Smith Family’s education-oriented programs to support more disadvantaged children and young people.

Lisa has worked in leadership roles across the public, not-for-profit and commercial sectors over the last two decades. She is a non-executive director of the Community Council for Australia and Immune Systems Therapeutics Pty Ltd, member of Chief Executive Women Inc and former CEO of the Skin and Cancer Foundation Australia.  Lisa was also a founding member of Sydney’s Lou’s Place, a drop-in centre providing respite and support for women in need.

A Medical Practitioner registered in New South Wales and a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators Lisa also holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters of Human Resource Management and Coaching. In 2013, she was a nominee in The Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence awards.

Ben Watkinson, Company Secretary

Ben Watkinson (BA, CPA, FGIA, FCIS) has held the position of Company Secretary of The Smith Family since 1995. He joined The Smith Family in 1976 and since then has held a number of senior management positions in the organisation, including those of Chief Financial Officer (2010 to 2011), General Manager Shared Services (1998 to 2002) including overall responsibility for Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology, General Manager Finance and Administration (1989 to 1998), and General Manager Branch Operations (1981 to 1989), overseeing the organisation’s expansion into Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

He served as a director and trustee of The Smith Family Staff Superannuation Fund from May 1995 until it was wound up in 1999. He is also Company Secretary of Generosity Plus Ltd, and was Company Secretary of Smith Family Industries Pty Ltd from 1996 to 2003.  

Ben Watkinson, Company Secretary

Ian Torrance, Chief Financial Officer

Ian Torrance, Chief Financial Officer

Ian Torrance, Chief Financial Officer

Prior to joining The Smith Family, Ian Torrance was Chief Financial Officer at Netus where he was responsible for the financial management and control of the Netus group and its investment companies. Ian also worked with the executive team evaluating potential investments and provided ongoing leadership and support to the management and financial teams.

Ian has held a range of senior financial positions across several industries including media, retail, technology and the arts and he has worked with private equity investors on both start up and turnaround investments. Some of the organisations Ian has worked with are HMV UK, The Royal Opera House (London), Mediacom Australia, Helmsman Funds Management, WC Penfold, Viator Inc and Redfern Photonics.

Ian qualified as a CPA in 1991 and has a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University.

Wendy Field, Head of Policy and Programs

Wendy has more than 20 years’ experience in management, administration and leadership across a range of environments, including the community sector, policy and advocacy organisations and public service sectors at State and Commonwealth Government levels.

Wendy initially trained as a social worker and spent several years working with homeless people, primarily young people and chronically homeless women; later in her career she gained a second degree in Social Sciences.

Prior to joining The Smith Family she held a number of leadership roles across a wide variety of policy and program areas in the Australian Government Department of Family, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).

Wendy Field, Head of Policy and Programs

Leonie Green, Head of State and Territory Operations

Leonie Green, Head of State and Territory Operations

Leonie Green, Head of State and Territory Operations

Leonie has a long history of leadership and management roles in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors across a wide range of areas including children, young people and families; social enterprise development; employment and training; and homelessness and housing.

Prior to commencing at The Smith Family, Leonie spent six years as the NSW/ACT State Director for Mission Australia. From 2012 to 2013 she was a member of the NSW Premier's Advisory Council for Homelessness.

In addition to her role at Mission Australia, Leonie has also held leadership roles at Work Directions Australia and Work Ventures. As a result she has had significant experience developing and managing complex and multi-year partnerships, including with government.

Anne Hampshire, Head of Research and Advocacy

Anne Hampshire (B Sc Dip Ed, MA (Australian Studies)) has a background in education, research, social policy, service innovation and advocacy. She has over 20 years' experience working across the community and government sectors, including at national, state, regional and local levels which included leading the Research and Social Policy Unit at Mission Australia for six and a half years.

Anne has researched and written in a range of areas, including young people, children and families, mental health, unemployment, social capital and rural and regional communities. She has contributed to the development of a range of initiatives aimed at addressing disadvantage including for young people and families, homeless people and for communities experiencing long term disadvantage.

Anne is currently Vice President of the Australian Social Policy Association.

Anne Hampshire, Head of Research and Advocacy

Rhys Kelly, Head of Communications

Rhys Kelly - Head of Communications

Rhys Kelly, Head of Communications

Rhys Kelly joined The Smith Family in 2007 after a 20 year career in sales and marketing, predominately in the film and television industry. At the New Zealand Film Commission and as Head of Film Sales at Endemol Australia, she collaborated with producers, directors and writers to market Australian films globally. A stint overseas saw her establish the London office of an Australian film marketing company and on her return to Australia she spent six years at the ABC marketing its content, consumer products and services, the last three as Head of Marketing for ABC Commercial, the ABC's commercial division.

Rhys has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Linguistics, and has completed the General Manager Program, an AGSM Executive Program at the Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.

Mick Shea, National Manager – Recycling

Mick Shea brings over 20 years of engineering, manufacturing and management experience to his role as National Manager - Recycling, having worked for BHP, Tomago Aluminium and Wattyl Australia, before joining The Smith Family in 2009 as Operations Manager.

Mick holds a Masters of Management from Macquarie Graduate School of Management as well as a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) IIB Honours from the University of Queensland.

Mick Shea, National Manager - Recycling

Rosie Simpson, Head of Fundraising

Rosie Simpson, Head of Strategic Development and Marketing

Rosie Simpson, Head of Fundraising

Rosie Simpson (B.Ag.Ec(Hons), M.Sc) joined The Smith Family in March 2009. As Head of Fundraising and Strategic Development, Rosie leads the organisation's long term planning, and critical projects as well as its Fundraising, Events, Supporter Care and Data Entry teams.

Rosie has previously worked with Telstra as an Executive Director of Consumer Marketing, managing the communications, pricing, retail and product development strategies for a large segment of Telstra's consumer market.

Rosie has also worked with The National Farmers Federation in Canberra on economic and telecommunications policy and lobbying, the International Wool Secretariat in London and The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Annette Young, Head of People and Culture

Annette Young joined The Smith Family in July 2011 and brings 20 years’ experience in organisational development and change as well as human resources leadership.

Annette has worked in a range of industries including professional services, consulting, manufacturing, retail and consumer goods industries for organisations that include Goodman Fielder, Hunter Douglas and Pacific Brands.

Annette has been responsible for successfully implementing a range of cultural change, employee engagement and best practice HR strategies, contributing to improved and sustained results for these businesses.

Annette Young, head of People and Culture

our General managers

Graham Jaeschke, General Manager - SA & NT

Previously Graham was the State Director of the Liberal Party in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland and also worked as a Campaign Officer at the Federal Secretariat in the lead up to the 1996 Federal Election.  He is a veteran of 6 Federal campaigns, 10 State elections, 9 State and Federal by-elections, and one Local Government election.

For two years, Graham was Co-Chair of Anti-Poverty Week in South Australia and he is currently a member of the Steering Group.  Previously he was a member of the Australian Early Development Index Coordinating Committee in South Australia.

Graham attended Flinders University and majored in politics and geography, receiving a BA (Honours) degree.

Graham Jaeschke

Alison Standen, General Manager – TAS

Alison Standen, General Manager – Tasmania

Alison Standen, General Manager – TAS

Alison has had a diverse public sector career in the areas of public health, community development and economic development. Prior to joining The Smith Family, she worked as Deputy Director of the Community Development Division within the Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet - a role which included responsibility as lead official coordinating Tasmania's response to the COAG Indigenous Reform agenda.

In previous positions, Alison was a political adviser to the former Premier of Tasmania and has held senior health administration and project management roles in the State and Commonwealth Government and at the University of Tasmania.

Alison is an accredited Dietitian and has completed a Master of Business Administration.

Anton Leschen, General Manager – VIC

Anton Leschen has been with The Smith Family for more than 10 years.

Prior to being appointed as General Manager, as The Smith Family’s Regional Programs Manager Anton led the planning, co-ordination and delivery of The Smith Family's programs to thousands of families and children in need across twelve Victorian communities.  These included the delivery of innovative school-community partnerships, supporting schools to collaborate with a range of community partners to improve the educational outcomes of young people.

Anton has extensive experience in community development and youth services, working with organisations like the Sydney City Mission, Ballarat Children's and Family Services and with local government to plan and operate family, youth and children's services.

Anton holds qualifications in Outdoor Education and has a Masters of Business Administration.

Anton Leschen, General Manager Victoria

Greg Ryan-Gadsden, General Manager - WA

Greg Ryan-Gadsden, General Manager - WA

Greg Ryan-Gadsden, General Manager - WA

Greg brings to The Smith Family over 25 years’ experience working in the education sector and has held leadership roles both internationally and in Australia.

Greg has worked in international aid and development programs in developing countries. He has provided leadership and technical assistance in the areas of policy and strategic planning, early childhood education, curriculum development, human resources and TVET in the education and law and justice sectors.

Greg has held leadership roles with the Department of Education in Western Australia including HR Manager, school principal, consultant and teacher.  He has worked in regional areas and remote Aboriginal communities.

Greg holds a Masters of Education degree from the University of Western Australia, a Bachelor of Education majoring in Computer Education and a Diploma of Teaching majoring in Aboriginal and Intercultural Studies from Edith Cowan University.

Alan Le May, General Manager – QLD

Alan Le May commenced with The Smith Family in January 2014 and brings over 20 years’ experience in not for profit leadership including three years as a senior fund raising consultant. Alan is a Queenslander who has cultivated a thorough knowledge of the State’s not for profit sector.

Alan’s previous experience includes 17 years at Teen Challenge, initially as the Queensland Prevention and Outreach Coordinator, subsequently appointed to State Executive Director and culminating in a three year term as National Director.

Alan has formal qualifications in Youth Work, Work Place Training and Assessment, Alcohol and Other Drugs Work, a recently completed Graduate Certificate in Business (Philanthropy and Non Profit Studies) and is currently studying his Masters in Business at QUT to be completed in 2014.

Alan is an Executive Member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia (EFIA) and a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).

Alan Le May

Steve Macready, General Manager – NSW & ACT

Steve Macready

Steve Macready, General Manager – NSW & ACT

Steve joined The Smith Family in March 2014, bringing with him a wealth of leadership experience spanning both corporate and non-government organisations. Steve’s corporate background includes leadership roles in oil and gas, consumer electronics, manufacturing and contract services. His NGO experience includes leadership of a member-based organisation which worked with corporate companies to drive and promote their take-up of sustainable products.  He also developed a successful national social enterprise which provided low cost technology to low income households.

Before commencing at The Smith Family, Steve was State Operations Manager and then State Director for the NSW Community Services Division of Mission Australia. In this role he oversaw a large, diverse and rapidly growing portfolio of community services, and led the state through a period of significant and sustainable growth.

Steve has a Bachelor of Economics majoring in Accounting and Industrial Relations from the University of Sydney.