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 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. 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. Stephen black and white
    Finance Manager
    Stephen Dwyer

    Stephen has over thirty years' experience in accounting roles across a range of industries including magnetic tape, equipment hire, construction and most recently as Finance Manager in waste and resource recovery. Stephen applies his varied commercial experience to TFN, helping to streamline processes, provide reporting and support to the people and activities that drive the organisation.

  5. 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

  6. Beatrix Kates for site
    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. Beatrix holds a Bachelor of Communications and International Studies.

    Get in touch: beatrix.kates@thefundingnetwork.com.au

  7. 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 

  8. Headshot
    Events & Marketing Coordinator
    Renee Moussa
    Renee is exceptionally passionate about marketing and communications in the social impact industry. Prior to joining TFN, she worked as the Marketing and Social Media Coordinator for a men's mental health initiative, overseeing campaigns focused on starting conversations on mental health and suicide prevention. Renee is currently studying a Masters of Business Administration (Marketing) and hopes to continue using her expertise within the NFP sector to help raise funds for grassroots organisations. 
  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. 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. 

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.