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. Peter has been involved with Children First since its establishment and was appointed to the Board in 2005.
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 had with Genesys. He has been a member of the Kiwanis Club Sydney Inc since 1985 and is active in humanitarian work in the Philippines. He joined the Board in 2014.
Roger Langley, Chairman
Roger was appointed to the Board in 2003 and accepted the role of Chairman in 2014. He is the former owner/managing director of Network Recruitment Services Pty Ltd.
Don is a Partner with national law firm Ashurst and was appointed to the Board in 2013.
The Hon Linda Dessau
Governor of Victoria
- 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
- Rebecca Gibney
- Peter (Grubby) Stubbs
- Diane (Dee Dee) Dunleavy
- Melissa Hetherington
- Jaimie Lee
- Lisa Cetinic
- Russell Osborne
The Foundation Team
Janet Davis, Development Manager
Janet’s career commenced in a corporate environment and she worked predominantly in general management, sales management and business development. In 2004 whilst living in the USA Janet decided to move to the not-for-profit sector. She has worked for organisations focused on making a difference for disadvantaged children both in Australia and overseas, which has included child abuse, family violence, SIDS and gender equality for women in the Asia Pacific region.
Anne Esposito, Volunteer Coordinator
Anne was a graphic artist with the Educational Resource Centre at the Royal Children’s Hospital for 10 years before leaving in 1996. She volunteered with Children First from 1994 until 2006 when she was employed as Miracle sMiles Case Manager. During her employment, she undertook many other roles until leaving in 2015 to pursue her passion for painting. Anne has returned to the Foundation as the Volunteer Coordinator.
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. Meet Elizabeth
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.
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.