I have spent the last twenty years leading public interest organisations both as a chief executive/senior manager and as a trustee/non-executive director.
I started my career in Australia where, as executive director of Liberty Victoria, I developed a national reputation as an effective advocate for human rights. As President of the Victorian AIDS Council and Gay Men’s Health Centre – one of Australia’s largest community based HIV organisations - I led the organisation at a time of unprecedented change, growing both its influence and funding.
I was a member of various state and national statutory bodies including Australia’s National Public Health Partnership and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s National Advisory Council.
As a parliamentary adviser I helped secure significant legislative change, including the introduction of Australia’s first national sexuality anti-discrimination provision.
I stood as a parliamentary candidate – Australia’s first openly gay candidate to be selected for a winnable seat – and despite not winning my seat I am proud of the small role I played in helping return a progressive Labour government in Victoria.
In 2000 I left Australia and have worked in North America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Africa combining my experience as a manager, analyst and advocate to conceive and implement initiatives designed to address some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Fighting AIDS and promoting sexual health and rights
I've play an active part in supporting community based responses to HIV and efforts to promote sexual health and rights more broadly in Australia, Europe, Africa and Asia.
I was the Deputy Director and Head of Policy & Advocacy at the National AIDS Trust before moving to the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. At the Alliance I led the policy element of the Gates Foundation funded Frontiers Prevention Project, which was designed to prove that community led prevention efforts among at risk populations could have a significant impact on HIV prevalence. The project was a significant success. I'm particularly proud of 'Unheard Voices, Hidden Lives' a book and exhibition of stories and photos by people living with and affected by HIV from the project in Ecuador, India and Cambodia.
I also chaired the board of Interact Worldwide, a innovative UK based, internationally focused sexual health charity, and as Chair facilitated the merger of Interact with Plan International UK.
Increasing opportunity through education
I'm passionate about education and committed to unlocking its potential for increasing opportunity and progress.
I have led programme and policy development at Book Aid International and the Association of Teacher’s and Lecturers. As Chair of the Global Campaign for Education UK's policy committee I worked with the UK Parliament and Department for International Development to increase the quantity and improve the quality of the UK's aid to education. The UK is now the world's single largest donor to basic education.
At Save the Children UK, as Head of Education I grew the reach, impact and influence of our portfolio and achieved unprecedented growth in our funding for education.
I spent three years based in Bangkok as a Senior Adviser for Save the Children where I grew the scale and quality of our education work across Asia and led specific global innovations.
I'm now back in London leading our education policy and advocacy work.
Literacy focused educational innovation
I am currently working to replicate two education focused innovations with a focus on literacy: First Read, which supports parents develop their pre-school aged children’s, vital early literacy skills and the International Children’s Book Initiative which is working to ensure kids in poor countries have access to high quality, local language children’s books.
Global policy and advocacy
I'm an established and respected policy advocate and play a leadership role in a number of global policy fora, including the board of the Global Partnership for Education of which I am a Director and where I Chair the Board’s Strategy & Policy Committee.
I played a leadership role in the establishment of Education Cannot Wait: the fund for education in emergencies and serve on its Executive Committee.
I am also a member of the international board of World Animal Protection, which works to inspire the world to protect animals.