AKKF Board 2021


The Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation is pleased to announce it is expanding its Board of Directors, as it continues a successful period of strong growth and expansion amid an increasing demand for its services.

The search to appoint four new directors has recently concluded and Mark Paterson AO, James Winchester, Jacqui Martin and Sean O’Halloran have been successful in taking their place as newly appointed members. This brings the number of board directors to nine and includes interstate board members to enhance the national reach of the organisation and supplement the board with complementary skills and lived familial experience. (Bios below)

“Kookaburra Kids is excited about the depth of skills and experience Mark, Jim, Jacqui and Sean bring to the Board, and we look forward to the contribution they will make in supporting the strategic growth plan of the organisation at such a crucial time,” said Patricia Reid, Chair of the Board.

The new directors collectively bring skills in governance, risk management, ICT, public policy, marketing and communications, fundraising and strategy, adding further depth and experience to the current Board.

“This will help us achieve our goal in proactively supporting young people in Australia to thrive beyond the impacts of mental illness in their families,” said Ms Reid. “We extend a warm welcome to the new members and I would also like to thank all the high-quality candidates who were attracted to our organisation as part of this process.  We believe this is an endorsement of the important work we do, especially with the growing need among young people for mental health education services since the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic.”

Ms Reid also added that as Chair and on behalf of the Board, she would like to thank former directors Peter Kerr AM and Andrew Barrs for their service as Board members over the last 10 years, guiding the growth of the organisation from a small NSW state-based service provider to the provision of broader services on a national basis  today.”

The Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation CEO Chris Giles said the organisation will benefit greatly from the new Board members’ experience and expertise. “I’m extremely excited to welcome our new directors to the Board,” said Chris. “Their broad industry experience and diversity of skills will provide exceptional support for the organisation as we embark on our ambitious growth agenda.”

Founded in 2002, the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation empowers young people to thrive beyond the impacts of family mental illness. It provides pre-early intervention mental health services for young people aged between eight and eighteen years who are experiencing family mental illness. The programs are evidence-based, age appropriate, focussed on prevention, and are delivered via a stepped delivery model, including the new online Kookaburra Kids Connect Program  to meet the needs of participants amid the current COVID challenges.

The aim of the program is to engage, educate, connect and empower young people to build resilience and life-long knowledge, skills and abilities, so they can reach their full potential, enabling them to thrive beyond the significant impacts of family mental illness.

Our new Board Members are:

Mark Paterson AO

Mark has a strong track record of transforming large, complex organisations, building their capabilities and improving their performance.  He brings broad expertise across a wide range of industry sectors as well as with and within state and federal government agencies alongside a deep understanding of the public/private interface and driving effective public policy. Key recent roles include Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive of the Australian Skills Quality Authority, Chief Executive of NSW Department Trade & Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services and Chief Executive of the Australian Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. Mark has also served on the Boards of  a diverse range of public and private sector enterprises including Destination NSW, Infrastructure NSW, CSIRO and Austrade. He was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia in 2007 for his service to business and industry through policy development and economic research.

James Winchester

James (Jim) has spent over 20 years as a successful and professional leader in sales and sales management in the technology sector, working within Europe and Australia for companies including IBM, Cisco and RIoT Solutions. He has been the leader of a number of business transformation projects which involved large complex deals, and which delivered exceptional growth and market share. Jim also has demonstrated community and fundraising expertise and commitments which has included volunteer work with local sports clubs, prior Board Membership of the Primary Club (which raises money for people with disabilities to increase sport participation) and Founder of Marathon Cricket (hosted at the Sydney Cricket Ground).

Jacqui Martin

Jacqui is a talented brand, marketing and communications expert and has had senior executive marketing roles in government and higher education environments across Australia, as well as corporate experience as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Consultant at Langley Group from 2016-2021.  She has a reputation for leading and building strong, high performing teams with a keen focus on coaching and mentoring – providing strong and supportive leadership. In addition to direct marketing roles, Jacqui has also run her own consultancy business where she has had exposure to a wide range of organisations from blue-chip to start ups, working in the areas of change, transitional culture, strength and EI and leadership.

 Sean O’Halloran

Seán is a highly skilled senior executive with over 30 years’ experience and a strong history of achievement in the service provider, Technology and infrastructure sectors. He has significant expertise in providing clear strategic direction, establishing high performance teams, and growing profitable revenue in challenging markets and maintaining strong and nimble governance structures. Seán has broad experience in leading operational improvements including process redesign and has a deep understanding of both financial and operational drivers that make businesses successful. Sean is the current Principal of Lionra Pty Ltd (providing advisory and consulting services to the technology and telecommunications markets) and previous roles have included Chief Executive Officer for Axicom and President and Managing Director, Oceania at Alcatel-Lucent Australia. He was also a former member of the Business Council of Australia and was on the Board of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association for five years.

Click here to meet the board behind Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation.

Media Contact:

Chris Giles

[email protected]
Phone: 0410 692 879

Subscribe and stay up to date.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.