At Children First, we are incredibly grateful for the time and dedication of our Board of Directors, Patrons, Principal Ambassadors, Volunteers and the Foundation Team.
Board of Directors
Noel has been a member of the Rotary District 9790 for 21 years and twice past President of Southern Mitchell Club.
Noel is a member of the Kilmore Country Fire Authority and is on numerous community committees. He is a farmer, a classic car specialist and mechanical design engineer.
Peter Gilbert, Honorary Secretary and Treasurer
Peter was the founding director of the accounting firm PDG & Assoc in 1974. He has been a Rotarian for 34 years and is past District Governor of Rotary District 9790.
Jeff retired in 2013 after a 40 year career in the life insurance industry, which included actively managing a member firm for Genesys Wealth Advisers Ltd for 19 years. During that time, Jeff assisted in developing the strong relationship Children First has with Genesys. He has been a member of the Kiwanis Club Sydney Inc since 1985 and is active in humanitarian work in the Philippines.
Father Peter Hudson
Father Peter is a Roman Catholic Priest and qualified counselor. He has 40 years experience in leadership and administration.
Roger Langley, Chairman
Roger is the former owner/managing director of Network Recruitment Services Pty Ltd. He is currently managing director of Patinack Farm, a horse racing and breeding operation.
Don is a Partner with national law firm Ashurst and was appointed to the Board in 2013.
Gerard is Director of Mission for the St Vincent’s Private Hospital Division where many of our children are cared for. He was appointed to the Board in 2014.
Margaret Smith OAM
Margaret worked in the corporate sector for 21 years before moving to the philanthropic field in 1985. She is also a director of Eva Tilley Home Inc.
The Hon Alex Chernov, AC QC
- Dame Beryl Beaurepaire, AC DBE
- Geoffrey W Hone
- Professor David de Kretser, AC
- Mrs Jan de Kretser
- Mr Peter Mitchell, AM
- Lady Marigold Southey, AC
- Rebecca Gibney
- Peter (Grubby) Stubbs
- Diane (Dee Dee) Dunleavy
- Melissa Hetherington
- Jaimie Lee
- Lisa Cetinic
- Russell Osborne
The Foundation Team
Margaret Belli, Office Administrator
Margaret joined Children First in 2005 as donation officer before moving onto the donor database. In 2013 she undertook a new role as Office Administrator.
Irene Kourtis, PhD, GDipIPLaw, GAICD, Chief Executive Officer
Irene has over 15 years experience in research and development. Having progressed into several leadership and management roles, Irene successfully owned and led a small business and then joined the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in 2009 as Business Operations Manager for Forensic Scientific Services. She joined the Foundation in August 2015
Michelle Lyons, Assistant Farm Manager
Michelle’s skills are many and varied. Before accepting the position as Assistant Farm Manager in 2012 she had volunteered at the Farm for three years. She is a qualified gymnastics coach, an alpaca hobby farmer and she works part time as a carer with a support agency in her local community.
Marina Te Maro, Miracle sMiles Case Manager
Marina has worked in the corporate sector as a Business Development Manager and brings skills in project management, relationship management and sales to her role with Children First. She manages the medical evacuation of Miracle sMiles children to Australia.
Giuditta (Judy) Monsone, Finance Manager
Giuditta’s background is in accounting and IT support. Since having a family, she has returned to accounting, which is her main interest.
Jessica Sharp, Donor Database Officer
Jess joined Children First in September 2014. She had decided to return to work following maternity leave after the birth of her third child. Jess has 10 years experience in donor database roles at various not-for-profits including Guide Dogs Victoria and Independence Australia.
Margaret met Moira Kelly in 1988 and in 1998 she joined Moira in setting up the Foundation. She was inaugural Chairman until 2005 when she became Chief Executive Officer. Margaret retired in August 2015. She remains a Director of Children First.
Julie Webber, Manager Communication and Media
Julie’s expertise lies in strategic media and issues management and government and stakeholder relations in the health sector. Before joining Children First in 2010, Julie worked at The Royal Children’s Hospital / The Royal Women’s Hospital for 17 years, managing RCH public affairs for nine years
Pat Weldon, Senior Farm Manager
Pat met Moira Kelly in 1991 when they were on a humanitarian mission in Romania. Later, when Children First was established he began volunteering from time to time. Pat is a qualified school teacher and brings 25 years of experience working with children. He has managed a youth telephone counselling service and has worked with teenagers at risk. In 2012 he left his native Ireland to take on the role as Farm Manager.