Board and Governance - OzChild


OzChild is the trading name of Children Australia Inc, a registered not-for-profit, independent children’s welfare agency, incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981. Children Australia is endorsed as a deductible gift recipient and is assessed as a public benevolent institution by the Australian Taxation Office in accordance with the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

OzChild is proud of its Board and governance, with members dedicated to the best possible outcomes for children. All Board members act in an honorary capacity.

Chief Executive Officer | Lisa J. Griffiths

Board and Governance - Lisa Sturzenegger
Lisa joined OzChild as Chief Executive Officer in February 2014 from WorkSafe Victoria where she held the role of General Manager of Health and Safety. Lisa has had an international executive career working in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom with 28 years of direct experience in the Not For Profit and government sectors. While in the United States of America, Lisa was the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of two child and family charities.

Lisa was the Director of Community Safety with the CFA during the period that included the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires and the subsequent Royal Commission. Lisa made significant contributions to land use reform during her tenure.

Lisa intends to build on the wonderful legacy and successes of OzChild, “my vision is to ensure we provide the services needed in our communities to our most vulnerable children and families. And deliver programs that are of the highest quality and make an impact in children and young peoples’ lives forever.

Board President | Helen Maxwell-Wright

Board and Governance - Helen Maxwell-Wright
Helen Maxwell-Wright joined the board in 2001 and was appointed President in November 2015.

An accomplished Executive and Non-Executive Director, Helen Maxwell-Wright has worked with many organizations in the non-profit, health and commercial sectors. Between 1993 and 2007, Helen served in a range of capacities on the board of the International Diabetes Institute (now Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute) and was the Managing Director from 2002 -2007. In addition Helen is a member of the Panel of Chairs of the Monitoring Committee of Medicines Australia, and a consultant to the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and the College of Intensive Care Medicine. Helen has made significant contribution acting as a member and chair of various committees within the Board of Directors between 2001 and 2013, and is currently the President of the Board.

Helen was awarded the Centenary Medal for Services to Politics and Health in 2001.

Vice President | Stephen Fontana

Board and Governance - Steve Fontana
Stephen joined OzChild board in 2014. Stephen’s career with the Victorian Police Force began in 1975. Stephen has deep knowledge of the challenges faced by the Victorian community and has extensive leadership experience taking on leadership of the North West Metropolitan Region, in June 2011, which delivers frontline police services for a population of over 1.71 million Victorians living in 14 local government areas in the central, north and western districts of metropolitan Melbourne.

In his current role as Assistant Commissioner Crime Command he manages the portfolios of Organised Crime, State Anti-Gangs, Finance & Cybercrime, Serious Crime, Specialist Support and Operations Support across the state.

Stephen was awarded the Australian Police Medal in the Australia Day Honours in 2002.

Vice President | Dr Angela Williams

Board and governance - Angela Williams
Angela joined the OzChild board in 2013. Angela’s career has seen her work across the Department of Justice, the Australian Football League and Standards Australia while drawing on her deep professional knowledge and skills. With a background in forensic medicine, Dr Angela Williams has helped many women, children and families in crisis and has been part of the development of programs aiming to address the forensic medical needs of the people of Victoria. Currently working as a Doctor with the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, Angela is also a foster carer. Angela is particularly interested in tangible programs that concentrate on the emotional and practical well-being of children.

Treasurer | Michael Wootten

Board and governance - Michael Wootten

Michael joined the board in 2014. He is an experienced executive and director who has worked in emergency services and public authorities for over 20 years with deep experience in finance and leadership. Michael became the Director of Finance and Administration at the Country Fire Authority (CFA) in 2001, and continued to work with the CFA in finance and leadership roles becoming Executive Director of Business Services then Chief Executive Officer. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer of City West Water and is the Treasurer of OzChild.

Catherine Dunlop

Catherine Dunlop is one of Australia’s most respected lawyers in the field of Workplace Health and Safety and in Inquiries and Coronial Inquests. She is Partner at Maddocks where she acts for public and private sector clients. Catherine is the Deputy Chair of the Emergency Services Foundation and is highly regarded in her field, having been placed on the Best Lawyers in Australia List since 2013. Catherine joined the OzChild board in May 2015.

Cultural Ambassador | Andrew Jackomos

Andrew is a proud Yorta Yorta and Gunditjmara man and was appointed in July 2013 as the inaugural Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People in Victoria, the first such position in Australia. Andrew was the Director of the Koori Justice Unit in the Victorian Department of Justice from 2000 to 2014, where he was responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of three phases of the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement (AJA).
He is a member of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, the Aboriginal Justice Forum, Aboriginal Children’s Forum, and the Indigenous Family Violence Partnership Forum. In 2006 Andrew was awarded the Public Service Medal and has been admitted as a National and State (Vic) Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.
Andrew is currently Special Adviser for Aboriginal Self-determination, Aboriginal Victoria, Department Premier and Cabinet.

Russell Hopkins

Russell has over 30 years’ experience in the local government sector and is currently the Director of Community Services for the City of Whittlesea where he oversees the many services areas that impact the day-to-day living and wellbeing of the residents.
He has held management positions in Local Government for 20 years, including responsibility for services for children, young people and multicultural and indigenous communities. His early career included youth work, and he has a strong commitment to maximising outcomes for children and young people through prevention and early intervention. Russell joined the OzChild Board in April 2018.

Patrick Baker

Patrick joined the OzChild Board in April 2018. He is a philanthropy and non-profit specialist having held a number of roles in this field over the past several years. Most recently, as Partnership Executive at Perpetual Private, where he was a senior member of the national leadership team for Community and Social Investment managing key stakeholder engagement across corporate, philanthropic, not-for-profit and private wealth networks. Prior to this, Patrick was Head of Philanthropy for the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation Melbourne.
In June, Patrick will return to the not-for-profit sector as Director, The Alfred Foundation, leading the philanthropy and fundraising efforts of Alfred Health.
Patrick is a father of four young boys and strongly supports the idea that children should live a happy, safe life in a caring and loving environment.

Penny Beeston

Penny joined the OzChild board in August 2018. Full bio coming soon.