Our ambassadors have demonstrated a deep connection to the work of the Mary MacKillop Foundation, the people we support and the values of the organisation. We are proud to work alongside these respected Australian public figures.
Geraldine Doogue is a renowned Australian journalist and broadcaster with experience in print, television and radio. While originally planning a career as a schoolteacher after completing her Arts degree, in 1972 Geraldine applied on an impulse for a journalism cadetship with The West Australian instead.
During her career with both the ABC and commercial media she has won two Penguin Awards for excellence in broadcasting from the Television Society of Australia and a United Nations Media Peace Prize. In 2000 Geraldine was awarded a Churchill Fellowship for social and cultural reporting. In 2003, she was recognised with an Officer in the Order of Australia for services to the community and media.
Currently presenting on ABC Extra and Saturday Extra programs, Geraldine tackles a wide range of subjects with rigour, optimism, humour and warmth.
THE HON TIM FISCHER AC
Tim Fischer was born at Lockhart, NSW, and served with the Australian Army 1 RAR from 1966-1969, in both Australia and Vietnam, before returning to the family farm at Boree Creek in southern NSW.
In 1971 he was elected to the NSW Parliament and served on a number of Parliamentary Committees until 1984. Mr Fischer was subsequently elected Federal Member for Farrer and served in this role from 1984 to 2001. During this time he was Shadow Minister for Energy & Resources, Shadow Minister for Trade, Leader of the National, and later Minister for Trade and Deputy Prime Minister in the Howard Government (1996 – 1999). He retired from politics in 2001, served as Chair Tourism Australia 2004 – 2007 and then first Rome resident Australian Ambassador to the Holy See 2009 – 2012.
Tim is the author of Seven Days in East Timor; Outback Heroes & Communities that Count; Transcontinental Train Odyssey: The Ghan, The Khyber, The Globe and more. His hobbies include chess and trekking.
One of Australia’s most respected broadcasters and communicators, Caroline presents Australian Story on ABC TV and has been a film-radio-television writer, producer, director and reporter for over 40 years.
Caroline Jones was a foundation member of the Australian Council for the Arts (1973) and a foundation member of The National Films Board of Review (1971). In 1982 she became Associate Director of The Centre for Communication Studies at Bathurst and with Hugh Mackay, produced The Better Communication Tapes.
In 1997 Caroline Jones was voted one of Australia’s 100 National Living Treasures. In 1998, the ABC published An Authentic Life – Finding Meaning and Spirituality in Everyday Life by Caroline Jones, one of the 10 best-selling books in Australia for that year.
In 1988 Caroline was appointed an Ambassador for Reconciliation by The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.
MR JOHN RALPH AC
John has been CEO of CRA (now Rio Tinto Ltd), former Chairman of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, former Deputy Chairman of Telstra Corporation and previous Chairman of Business Council of Australia and Australian Mining Council.
His outstanding contribution to the country was recognised in 2000 when he was appointed to Australia’s highest civilian honour, a Companion in the Order of Australia, having been made an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1988.
Meet the team
Admin & Programs Coordinator
Nima is originally from beautiful Kathmandu in Nepal, however she is well travelled and did her schooling in Hong Kong and tertiary years in Delhi, India. She and her family moved to Australia in 2010.
Nima has now been with the Foundation since 2012. She keeps the office running and coordinates our programs, which means Nima is always busy! She loves being able to help people and working at the Foundation gives her the opportunity to achieve that dream.
Nima’s other ‘job’ is being mum to her young son and teenage daughter who always keep her busy with their activities. She hopes to have time for hobbies in the not-too-distant future. She enjoys home-decorating, dancing, music and spending time with her family.
Georgina joined the Mary MacKillop Foundation as our Grants Manager in 2014, excited by the work of our community partners, the success of the scholarship program and the potential to grow the impact of the Foundation even further.
“I am so pleased that we have more than doubled the number of students on scholarships with the Foundation. We also recently celebrated more than 120 graduates. It’s a real privilege to be part of the change and help create a better future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. I can’t wait to see our 200th student graduate!”
Georgina’s previous roles include managing education programs for Aboriginal young people in NSW and the Northern Territory, events management in Dublin and business development in London.
Like John Muir, Georgina feels that ‘going to the mountains is going home’. She enjoys hiking, white water rafting and camping.
Georgina has a Master of Education, a Diploma of Aboriginal Studies and a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science & Film).
Donor Development Manager
Kingsley joined the Mary MacKillop Foundation in April 2017, bringing with him extensive relationship building skills acquired over 25 years in commercial roles.
His decision to change careers was inspired by a life event that led him to re-evaluate the way he spent his days. He was also inspired by the dedication of his wife who is a teacher and passionate about the value of education.
“I have the greatest admiration for Mary MacKillop because of her inspirational qualities, particularly those of perseverance, sacrifice and charity. I also believe that education is the key to a better life, so it is a privilege for me to be able to combine both by having this opportunity to contribute to the Foundation’s mission to carry on St Mary Mackillop’s legacy”
When he is not in the office, Kingsley most enjoys spending time with his wife and two school-aged sons. He is a passionate fan of horse racing, rugby union and cricket, and plays tennis himself. Kingsley serves on the board of a charity that provides chaplaincy support services to those in need, and is also an active member of his local parish.
Social Media Coordinator
Julie is a First Class Media Honours graduate with years of experience with non-profits and digital marketing roles. Julie’s passion for the non-profit sector and digital stems from her belief that each one of us has the capacity to make the world a better place.
With her warm disposition and drive to bring a little more happiness to anyone she meets, she loves to spread positivity online with Mary MacKillop Foundation.
Raised by the Australian bush, Julie’s a hiking aficionado and volunteer firefighter. If she is not in the bush, you may find her painting or making her family and friends cringe with her bad dad jokes.
Good Shepherd Reconciliation Scholarship
Thank you to the Sisters of Good Shepherd for their ongoing commitment to supporting Indigenous education and reconciliation.
The Sisters of the Good Shepherd have a strong history and tradition of working towards reconciliation. Based on the Good Shepherd tradition to honour the dignity and worth of every individual, Good Shepherd has been working with some of the most disadvantaged women and girls in Australia for over 150 years.
In 2000, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand released a 'Statement towards Reconciliation' to affirm that:
- Good Shepherd acknowledges custodianship of the land by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Reconciliation is central to the renewal of this nation as a people's movement in a harmonious society which believes in a fair go.
- Until this reconciliation is achieved, our nation will be diminished.
As part of this commitment to reconciliation, Good Shepherd introduced the Reconciliation Scholarship Program for Indigenous women. Reconciliation Scholarships are open to Indigenous women of any age who are enrolled in a course of study leading to a certificate, diploma or degree at an accredited Australian University or TAFE. The Scholarships provide students with a living allowance of $3,000 per year. Scholarships are renewed each year if progress is satisfactory.
Our Corporate Partners provide much-needed financial funds to help meet the demand to support many more vulnerable people in Australia. We recognise the strong partnerships we have with the following organisations, without whom we could not exist. If your organization would like to explore a partnership with the Mary MacKillop Foundation, we want to hear from you. Contact us here.
The Mary MacKillop Foundation Limited is a public benevolent institution set up by the Trustees of the Sisters of St Joseph in November 1993. The Foundation is an incorporated public company limited by guarantee. The Members of the Company are the Trustees of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. The Directors of the Board are appointed by the Company, and accept the responsibility of ensuring that the Foundation achieves its objectives and that all the legal requirements are met.
Over the past 15 years Kate has worked in various roles building enduring and effective programs and teams that contribute significant results in philanthropy, sponsorship, engagement and advocacy. She was the National Executive Director of the Australian China Business Council from 2005-2009 a role which included influencing and informing the national debate on Australia-China relations, and building a strong, and mutually beneficial bilateral relationships. She then worked with the University of Melbourne in various roles leading philanthropic engagement including major gifts fundraising, bequests and donor stewardship events. Kate currently serves as the Chief Executive, of St Vincent’s Institute (SVI) Foundation at SVI of Medical Research in Melbourne.
Grahame worked for 35 years in the financial services industry, with executive experience in banking, strategy, risk management, investment, technology and cultural change. He has been a director of a variety of financial services companies since 1999 and was a director of a substantial foundation focused on education and financial literacy from 2008 – 2015. Grahame retired from executive life in 2015 and is now a non-executive director of not-for-profit and financial service entities.
Anthony studied law and economics at Macquarie University prior to commencing his first job as a tax consultant with an international accounting firm. In 1990 Anthony commenced working at Macquarie Bank where he spent 21 years working with clients developing innovative financing solutions for their businesses. In this time Anthony established Macquarie’s agricultural funds management business which grew in his time to a significant business with large scale operations in both Australia and Brazil. In 2011 Anthony ceased being an executive with Macquarie and now acts as a non executive director for a number of businesses within the Group. Since leaving Macquarie Anthony has taken on non executive roles with Tandou Limited (ceased in 2013) and the Australian Agricultural Company as well as commencing a business focused on the development of bioenergy sources in the Asia Pacific region.
Honourable John Watkins – Chairperson
John started his working life as a secondary school teacher, teaching at three Catholic schools in the Sydney region. In 1995 he was elected to the State Parliament as Member for Gladesville and then Ryde. John went on to serve in the positions of Minster for Finance, Police, State Development, Education and Training, Corrective Services, Fair Trading, Sport and Recreation and Transport in the NSW Labor Government. In 2005 John was elected to the position of Deputy Premier of NSW. After resigning from Parliament in 2008 John took up the position of CEO of Alzheimers NSW. Between 2013 and 2014 he served as the Chancellor of the University of New England. He is currently also the Board Chair for the McKell Institute and the Little Company of Mary Health Care Ltd.
Terry has served on public, private and not-for-profit Boards, as Non-Executive Director and Chairman and CEO/Executive Chairman. He is an Independent Chair/Member of Governance and Audit and Risk Committees. He has worked extensively with Boards, all levels of Government and communities, and has held senior positions within the NSW Public Sector in Corporate Services, Planning, Human Resources, Industrial Relations, and Government relations.
He spent the past 15 years as Chief Executive Officer in metropolitan, regional and rural Area Health Services/Local Health Districts. Terry’s personal and professional commitments are to social justice, reducing disadvantage and fostering values based ethical leadership.
Throughout a twenty year financial services career working for reputable and demanding organisations, including Arthur Andersen (Ernst & Young), Macquarie Bank and Deutsche Bank, John has developed a unique skillset that enables him to deliver innovative and commercial solutions to the complex issues faced by Australia’s largest corporates and wealthiest private families.
In 2010, John founded Black Pearl Private Clients, a boutique advisory firm that structures merger, acquisition and value realisation solutions for private business owners, together with succession planning and estate planning strategies.
SR SHEILA McCREANOR rsj
As a member of the Sisters of St Joseph, Sheila’s previous full time ministry was as teacher and school principal in several Catholic schools in South Australia. From 2002 until early 2014 Sheila was a member of the Congregational Leadership Team and acted as Secretary General. Currently Sheila has embarked on a role as Company Director and consultant, is studying canon law. She also serves on boards for Sisters of St Joseph and Mary MacKillop Care SA along with Mary MacKillop Foundation.