Our Team

  1. julie for website
    Julie McDonald

    Julie has almost 20 years' experience in senior leadership roles in the community and corporate sectors. After achieving a first-class honours Master’s Degree in Communications specialising in Corporate Social Responsibility and embarking on a career in public relations, Julie transitioned into the for-purpose sector as General Manager, Fundraising & Communications at St Vincent de Paul Society where she was the driving force behind the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. Before joining TFN, Julie worked as the Chief Executive Officer of the Kolling Foundation, the Philanthropic Foundation of the Northern Sydney Local Health District including Royal North Shore Hospital. Julie is passionate about bringing business and community together to effect long-term sustainable social change. Get in touch: julie.mcdonald@thefundingnetwork.com.au

  2. kristen headshot
    General Manager
    Kristen Lark

    Kristen is a senior communications and brand strategist specialising in stakeholder engagement, consumer marketing and reputation management. After spending much of her career advising high profile clients across the US and Australia, she now applies her expertise to the non-profit sector, serving as an advisor and advocate for social change initiatives. A certified leadership coach and facilitator, Kristen is committed to developing purpose-driven leaders, teams and brands to leverage the power of an engaged community and drive sustainable change. Get in touch: kristen.lark@thefundingnetwork.com.au

  3. Jerome Fink
    Finance Manager
    Jerome Fink

    Jerome has a varied background in corporates, small business and NGOs. Before TFN, Jerome was the Finance Manager for the Sisters of the Good Samaritan for ten years where he supported work in education, housing, and women’s empowerment. His previous roles include working in IT start-ups and as an Economist assisting the Jawoyn Nation in Katherine to create an economic development plan. Jerome was an Australian Volunteer Abroad in the Solomon Islands early in his career and learned first hand that the best kind of change comes from building the strengths of people affected by social or economic challenges. Get in touch: jerome.fink@thefundingnetwork.com.au

  4. Andrea Heffernan
    State Director - Victoria
    Andrea Heffernan

    Andrea has over 15 years experience in the philanthropy and not-for-profit sector. Most recently, she was General Manager of Australian Communities Foundation for 13 years. Andrea is passionate about the social outcomes achieved by connecting donors with community needs. An energetic team player with extensive management and operations experience, Andrea is dedicated to organisational excellence. She is currently also a Board Member of Focus Individualised Support Services on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Get in touch: andrea.heffernan@thefundingnetwork.com.au

  5. Carolyn cropped
    Client Partnerships Manager - Victoria
    Carolyn Munckton

    Carolyn has a wide breadth and depth of experience in Australia’s philanthropy sector. She was a founding board member of the Australian Women Donors Network and is currently a director of the Inner North Community Foundation. Carolyn has worked for Equity Trustees, supporting philanthropic clients and managing the grants of some of Australia’s most prestigious charitable trusts. Most recently she was General Manager of the Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust. Prior to supporting the community sector through philanthropy, Carolyn had a successful career in communications. Get in touch: carolyn.munckton@thefundingnetwork.com.au

  6. Beatrix Kates grey
    Marketing and Communications Manager
    Beatrix Kates
    Beatrix has over ten years’ experience as a journalist and senior communications specialist. Prior to joining TFN, she was at National Disability Services, responsible for leading communications and marketing projects across the organisation. Beatrix began her career in journalism and has written for publications across the UK and Australia including Reader’s Digest and Woman’s Day. She holds a Bachelor of Communications and International Studies. Get in touch: beatrix.kates@thefundingnetwork.com.au
  7. Tommy for website
    Non-Profit Partnerships Manager
    Tom Trout

    Tom has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade, both in Australia and Sweden. Before joining the TFN team, Tom worked with Young Carers for Carers NSW and in a National role with Wesley Mission Sydney, where he was responsible for establishing and supporting grassroots community organisations aimed at suicide prevention across regional and remote Australia. Tom is passionate about innovation in the not-for-profit sector and is excited to support the growth of disruptive grassroots charities in Australia. Tom has qualifications in Community Services, Training & Assessment and is completing a Bachelor of Business. Get in touch: tom.trout@thefundingnetwork.com.au

  8. Lauren headshot
    Partnerships and Events Manager
    Lauren Tuck

    Lauren has seven years of experience in event management and recently returned to Sydney from Toronto. She has an educational background in Organisational Psychology and Marketing & Communications. Prior to joining TFN, Lauren was involved with implementing fundraising technology into events to improve guest engagement and will use this experience to continue to grow the success of TFN events. Get in touch: lauren.tuck@thefundingnetwork.com.au

  9. sue
    Office Coordinator (volunteer)
    Sue Stewart

    Sue is a retired owner of three small businesses in manufacturing and retail, two of which began as start up companies.  She has a keen interest in the practical workings of philanthropy and has volunteered in a variety of organisations, including Social Ventures Australia.

  10. Patrick Lindsay main
    MC and Pledging Facilitator (consultant)
    Patrick Lindsay AM

    Patrick is one of Australia’s leading non-fiction authors. He’s also one of the country’s most experienced TV all-rounders.  After more than 25 years on network TV with the Nine & Seven Networks presenting on programs like Today, Sunday, Wide World of Sports, Money, Today Tonight and Sportsworld, Patrick started writing full time in 2002. He has written 20 best-selling books, including The Spirit of Kokoda, The Spirit of The Digger, Fromelles, Cosgrove, The Coast Watchers and the It’s Never Too Late series of inspirational books. He was Chairman of the Kokoda Track Foundation for ten years up to 2017.

  11. james v
    MC and Pledging Facilitator (consultant)
    James Valentine

    James is a broadcaster, writer, MC and musician. Each afternoon from 1pm – 3pm, he presents Afternoons on 702 ABC Sydney. He writes regularly for all the major newspapers and feature magazines as well as a weekly column for the Northshore Times. He is currently the presenter of The Mix, an arts and culture television program, broadcast weekly on ABC News 24 and ABC TV.

  12. Rob Irving
    Head Pitch Coach (consultant)
    Rob Irving

    Rob has been lead pitch coach for TFN since its inception and has helped over 140 non-profits pitch their stories and hit their funding targets. Rob is Founder of the Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific, also Founding Partner of Forté Communications working with corporates to lift executive performance, communication and leadership. Rob's prior experience includes 20 years at multi-national ad agency, 
J. Walter Thompson, where he held CEO positions in Johannesburg, Cape Town, London and Sydney. 

  13. barbara
    Pitch Coach (consultant)
    Barbara Kamler

    Barbara is Emeritus Professor at Deakin University with over thirty years experience researching and teaching writing. She currently mentors early career researchers on academic writing and publishing and is passionate about helping young leaders in the not-for-profit sector argue a compelling case for the work of their organisations. Barbara has written eight academic books, over sixty journal articles and more recently has begun publishing poetry. Leaving New Jersey (2016) is a poetic memoir about leaving the US, where Barbara was born, and arriving in Australia, where she did not plan to stay.

  14. John Loebmann
    Pitch Coach, MC & Pledging Facilitator (consultant)
    John Loebmann

    John has spent the last decade coaching individuals and teams to deliver compelling and persuasive pitches. He understands what is required to evoke emotion and connect with the audience. He has worked with numerous people and organisations, from small and medium-sized businesses to multinationals.  

  15. al crawford
    Pitch Coach (consultant)
    Al Crawford

    Al is the founder and head of Sydney-based marketing consultancy, Shapeshifter Consulting. Prior to this, he was the Chief Strategy Officer and New Business Lead at Clemenger BBDO, one of Australia’s largest agencies. Al has extensive experience in pitching for commercial business and is excited about the opportunity to use these learnings to support whose working in the not-for-profit space.

  16. Lisa Cotton
    Co-Founder & Pitch Coach (consultant)
    Lisa Cotton

    Lisa co-founded The Funding Network in 2012 with the late Steve Lawrence AO, and stepped down as CEO in 2018. In 2017, she was named Third Sector CEO of the Year and was included in Pro-Bono Australia’s Impact 25 list that features people who have made a significant contribution to the non-profit sector. Prior to TFN, Lisa was CEO of philanthropic consultancy firm Funding Edge and, before that served as Director Social Investment at Social Ventures Australia for seven years. Lisa is a Board Director of mentoring organisation Kilfinan Australia, sits on Swinburne University’s Social Innovation Research Institute Advisory Committee, and is a member of Documentary Australia Foundation’s Leadership Council.

  17. fae robinson
    Pitch Coach (consultant)
    Fae Robinson

    Fae is an accredited coach, leadership and organisational development consultant with experience in strategy development, strategic planning and evaluation. Prior to consultancy, Fae spent 17 years in the public sector across strategic development, policy, planning and performance, and marketing; and worked in the private sector as a journalist and editor. Fae holds a Master of Science.

  18. peter griffith
    Pitch Coach (consultant)
    Peter Griffith

    Peter is the Founder of 3 Things Consulting, a firm specialising in unlocking the potential of organisations and individuals. Prior to this, he was a partner of consulting firm rogenSi, and worked with thousands of executives in Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America. Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), with majors in History and Political Science.

  19. Jacinta
    MC & Pledging Facilitator (consultant)
    Jacinta Parsons

    Jacinta is a radio broadcaster and the co-host of the Breakfast show on ABC Radio Melbourne. Beginning her radio life at community radio over a decade ago, Jacinta joined ABC in 2015, working with the Double J team and as Music Director for Local Radio. As well as presenting on ABC Radio, she has produced and presented a number of national broadcast events.

  20. vicky dodds
    Pitch Coach (consultant)
    Vicky Dodds

    Vicky has had a 20-year career in fundraising, philanthropy and communications in museums, science, health and the higher education sector. She currently works with a range of not-for-profits providing support and advice on strategy, stakeholder engagement, fundraising, philanthropy and communications.

  21. New Linkedin Picture
    Pitch Coach (consultant)
    Karen Varker

    Karen is the founder of The Marketing Advantage, a marketing consultancy in Sydney that works with SMEs, entrepreneurs and NFPs to craft their strategic position, messaging, marketing and pitches. Prior to this Karen worked in the UK and Australia for brands including Cadbury’s, Blackmores and Fujitsu, as well as working with grassroots charities and start-ups. Her passion is working with innovative, growth-driven organisations to grow their presence and make an impact.

  22. richard duncan
    Pitch Coach (consultant)
    Richard Duncan

    Richard is a consultant in image and change management with 30 years’ experience in helping corporations and charities overcome their business challenges and problems. He has worked for over 20 charities internationally across a multitude of categories, including Red Cross, Born Free Foundation, Wesley Mission, Lifeline, Wayside Chapel, Stand Tall and the Raise Foundation. Richard is also a motivational speaker and presentation skills coaching and pitching specialist.