Mission Australia is pleased to announce that Board Director, Ian Hammond BA (Hon), FCA, FCPA, FAICD was appointed Chair at the charity’s Annual General Meeting on 21st November 2022.  

For the first time in the charity’s more than 160-year history, Mission Australia now has First Nations representation on its Board with the appointment of Balanggarra woman, Elle Davidson. In another first for the organisation, its Board now has majority female representation with the appointments of Joanna White and Jacqueline Kelly. The charity’s Board now comprises five women and three men. 

After six years serving as the Chair, Ken Dean retired from the Mission Australia Board at the Annual General Meeting on 21st November 2022. 

“It has been an honour to serve Mission Australia as a Director and as Chairman. Year after year, I have been impressed by the work, achievements and responses of Mission Australia’s staff and privileged to hear the experiences, courage and resilience shared by the people we serve,” said Mr Dean. 

CEO Sharon Callister thanked Ken for his strong leadership and stewardship of Mission Australia during his seven years as a Director. 

“Ken has helped steer Mission Australia with calmness and clarity and provided the Board with strong strategic leadership. He has ensured growth in our community services and helped Mission Australia to refocus our goal towards ending homelessness and ensuring people and communities in need can thrive. 

“He has always ensured the Board remained centred on our Founding Purpose that, inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and spread the knowledge of the love of God,” said Ms Callister. 

Mission Australia’s new Chair, Ian Hammond brings deep experience in strategy execution, corporate governance and financial sustainability. He has been a Director of Mission Australia since February 2016 and is on the Board of several private and not-for-profit organisations. 

 Mr Hammond said: “I am humbled to accept the role of Chair of Mission Australia’s Board. I have immense respect for Sharon and Mission Australia’s staff, and I’m consistently impressed by what they achieve providing support for thousands of people each year. 

 “I’m passionate about addressing homelessness in Australia, the systemic disadvantages of First Nations Peoples and ensuring Mission Australia’s Founding Purpose remains key to delivering on our strategy.” 

Mr Hammond welcomed the three new Directors, saying: “I’m thrilled to welcome Elle Davidson as our first ever First Nations Board Director. She brings immense wisdom and a strong strategic focus on reconciliation. Reconciliation is vital to who we are as an organisation and we have long worked with First Nations Peoples as colleagues, partners in our communities, and clients who make up around 20 per cent of the people we serve.”   

“It’s also wonderful that women now make up the majority of our Board for the first time in our organisation’s history, mirroring that women also make up around three-quarters of our workforce. Mission Australia is committed to providing equal opportunity to roles at all levels of leadership and equality of rewards regardless of gender.”  

New Director, Elle Davidson, is a proud Balanggarra woman from the East Kimberley and member of Mission Australia’s Service Impact Committee, Director of Zion Engagement and Planning and Aboriginal Planning Lecturer with University of Sydney. She has worked in community engagement and the planning industry for more than a decade.  

Ms Davidson said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring a First Nations voice to the Board of Mission Australia and allow my lived experiences to inform conversation and strategy. Since joining Mission Australia in 2019, I have found that the organisation aligns with my values and is dedicated to ensuring that First Nations people can thrive.”  

Incoming Director Joanna White has extensive corporate and not-for-profit Board experience. She is currently Vice-President at Capgemini Invent, and previously held several senior leadership roles in Australian banking. She was a consultant at Bain & Company and a founder and CEO of The Australian Charities Fund (now Workplace Giving Australia).  

New Director Jacqueline Kelly, as former CEO of The Lutheran Society for 15 years, has deep knowledge of the sector in which Mission Australia works and has extensive governance and executive experience across the not-for-profit, private and public enterprise sectors. Jacqueline is a Director on the Prime Super Board, UnitingCare Queensland Board, and the Queensland State Advisory Council for the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). 

“I, and the whole Executive Team, look forward to working alongside Ian as our Chair and our new and continuing Directors to continue the fantastic progress we have made on our 20-25 Strategy and towards our vision of an Australia where everyone has a safe home and can thrive,” said Ms Callister. 

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Our founding purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'