Our Team

  1. julie for web
    CEO
    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 for web
    General Manager
    Kristen Lark

    Kristen Lark is committed to connecting purpose-driven people and businesses with social change initiatives that improve lives. As the general manager of Australia’s largest collective giving model, she builds partnerships between charities, businesses, foundations and everyday Australians to drive social change and deepen community engagement. In that role, she is responsible for day-to-day operations, including marketing, business development, event management and stakeholder relations as well as the strategic development and delivery of TFN’s technology roadmap.  A certified leadership coach and facilitator, Kristen has extensive experience across marketing, stakeholder engagement and communications in the US and Australia and has held leadership positions in both the corporate and non-profit sectors.

    Get in touch: kristen.lark@thefundingnetwork.com.au

  3. andrea for web
    Director Purpose & Impact
    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

  4. Seb black and white
    National Partnerships & Events Manager
    Seb Bown

    Seb is a dynamic and leading events specialist, with a BA in Events Management and over 15 years' experience across industries both in the UK and Australia. Having recently worked for a not-for-profit research institute, Seb is now focused on applying his skills and experience to deliver exceptional long-term results for TFN. With a passion for attending events in his personal life, Seb is always looking at emerging trends in the industry and how they can benefit his clients.

    Get in touch: seb.bown@thefundingnetwork.com.au

  5. Ellie
    Purpose and Impact Co-Ordinator
    Ellie Hewitt

    Ellie has a background working within non-profits in a variety of capacities, focusing on social areas such as education, poverty, people seeking asylum and people with disabilities. Ellie most recently worked with the Australian Red Cross implementing the Covid Response program to support vulnerable Victorians facing extreme hardship. Ellie is committed to creating innovation within the NFP sector and building greater sustainability and impact.

    Get in touch: eleanor.hewitt@thefundingnetwork.com.au 

  6. skye c2
    Marketing and Communications Specialist
    Skye Cooper

    Skye was most recently the digital marketing manager for ReachOut Sydney where she implemented and managed digital engagement and acquisition campaigns, this is where she realised her calling to work in the NFP space! Skye has a strong interest in world affairs, human rights and social justice and has lived and worked in Sydney, London and Amsterdam.  Embarrassing fact, after living in Amsterdam for 4 years Skye still can't manage to ride a bike! Since joining The Funding Network team Skye has been involved in assisting with the marketing strategy and management of the Giving Heroes campaign and will be helping the team with the marketing and comms for various TFN campaigns and events. 

    Get in touch: skye.cooper@thefundingnetwork.com.au

  7. 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.

  8. 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. 

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. PadWyI5NSIsIjk1IiwiRkZGRkZGIl0 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.

  16. image 12
    Pitch Coach (Consultant)
    Emily Carr

    Emily is the founder and Managing Director of Parkour Consulting, a full service strategy and people consultancy. Prior to launching Parkour Consulting, Emily led the global Strategy and People Enablement function for Macquarie Group’s Financial Management Group (FMG), a division of 2,000 people located across 28 offices globally.

  17. 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.

  18. Matt
    MC & Pledging Facilitator (consultant)
    Matt Wicking

    Matt is an experienced facilitator, host, speaker and musician. A long-time advocate for environmental and social justice causes, Matt brings authenticity, creativity and humour to his work supporting those who want to create a better world.

  19. Rebecca
    MC & Pledging Facilitator (consultant)
    Rebecca De Unamuno

    Rebecca is an award-winning improviser, stand-up comedian, radio host, and voice-over artist. She has appeared on popular TV shows including Just For Laughs Australia and Kath and Kim, and is also a regular guest on ABC Radio Sydney.

  20. Veronica
    MC & Pledging Facilitator (consultant)
    Veronica Milsom

    Veronica is a radio host, actress, writer and comedian. Beginning her media career at ABC, Veronica was a co-host on Triple j’s Drive show Veronica & Lewis, and a cast member in the sketch comedy series Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell.