Our-Volunteers

Our People

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

Sarah Fraser, Honorary Secretary

Sarah is a qualified solicitor who formerly practised primarily in the area of family law, with an interest in child welfare matters.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws. She accepted the role of company secretary in September 2015 and was appointed to the Board in November 2016.

Peter Gilbert, 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 Hudson

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.

Roger Langley, Chairman

Roger is the former owner/managing director of Network Recruitment Services Pty Ltd.

Don Maloney

Don is a Partner with national law firm Ashurst and was appointed to the Board in 2013.

Patron-in-Chief

The Hon Linda Dessau
Governor of Victoria

Patrons

  • Dame Beryl Beaurepaire, AC DBE
  • Mr Geoffrey W Hone
  • Professor David de Kretser, AC
  • Mrs Jan de Kretser
  • Mr Peter Mitchell, AM
  • Mrs Margaret Smith, OAM
  • Lady Marigold Southey, AC

Ambassadors

  • Rebecca Gibney
  • Peter (Grubby) Stubbs
  • Diane (Dee Dee) Dunleavy
  • Melissa Hetherington
  • Jaimie Lee
  • Lisa Cetinic
  • Russell Osborne

The Foundation Team

Elizabeth Lodge, Chief Executive Officer

Elizabeth’s first association with Children First Foundation was when her children’s school conducted a fundraiser to help build the Miracle sMiles Retreat.  Fast forward sixteen years, and she is now the Foundation’s CEO. After 20 years in education, Elizabeth joined the non-profit sector as state manager of another children’s charity.  Her passion has always been to work with children, many of whom are having a rough trot.  Elizabeth brings a strong background in governance, leadership, relationship management, strategic and operational development, fundraising and financial management to Children First.

Michelle Lyons, Assistant Residential Care and Welfare Support Worker

Before accepting the position as Assistant Manager at Miracle sMiles Retreat in 2012 she had volunteered at the Miracle sMiles Retreat for three years. Michelle’s skills are many and varied.  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.

Michelle Mulligan, Finance Manager

Michelle has 26 years experience working in the accounting and taxation industry. She was financial controller for the Telstra Business Centre before starting an accounting practice with a friend running a large bookkeeping business. She has also lectured students of all ages at Swinburne TAFE in areas of accounting, taxation and software.

Anna Quigley, Volunteer Coordinator

Anna was a volunteer at the Miracle sMiles Retreat for six years before accepting the part time role of Coordinator.  She combines this role with her part time position with Macedon Ranges Shire Council, as well being a busy mother of three daughters.  She has a background in finance and telecommunications and loves being part of the Children First family.

Helen Reynolds, Donor and Accounts Administrator

Helen has worked in the area of administration, accounts and customer service for 20 years, within various industries including, insurance, building and construction, and government departments.  Helen hails from Tasmania where she also owned and operated a flower and bulb farm for seven years.  She has been an active volunteer with Royal Guide Dogs and MS Society Tasmania.

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.

Rhonda Volling, Program Support & Administration Officer

Rhonda has a background working in children’s services.  Prior to joining Children First she was competition manager at a sports centre.  She has three children and enjoys being involved with the organisation caring for children.

Julie Webber, Manager Communication and Media

Before joining Children First in 2010, Julie worked at The Royal Children’s Hospital / The Royal Women’s Hospital for 17 years, managing the RCH Public Affairs Department for nine years.  Julie’s expertise lies in strategic media and issues management and government and stakeholder relations in the health sector.

Pat Weldon, Senior Residential Care and Welfare Support Worker

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 Miracle sMiles Retreat Manager.