The Board oversees all aspects of our work and makes sound and informed decisions in the best interest of the families who benefit from programs both in Australia and overseas.
Habitat for Humanity Australia is governed by a voluntary Board. The individuals who make up the Board have diverse backgrounds and bring a range of skills and experience to assist in their role. Below are our current Directors:
Duncan has more than 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry in Australia, the UK and India. He has served in Chief Executive and senior executive roles with NAB Group, MLC Ltd, CGU Insurance Ltd, Promina Group, Vero Insurance and Royal & Sun Alliance Group. Duncan also brings experience from the aid and development sector. Duncan joined the Habitat for Humanity Board in September 2017 and has been Chair since November 2017.
Caroline Mara is an Assurance Partner at one of the Big 4 firms based in Newcastle and has over 15 years’ experience in professional auditing and accounting, including the provision of external and internal auditing services both to public and private sectors. Caroline has also immersed herself in community projects including the Equal Futures Project (formerly UN Women Hunter Chapter) and the Salvation Army’s Hunter Red Shield Appeal. Caroline joined the Board of Habitat for Humanity Australia in May 2016.
Ian has a professional accounting and management background including as CEO/MD of a major subsidiary of the QBE Group for 21 years and in senior management and finance roles in the AMP Group. Ian retired as CEO of QBELMI in 2012 and in the same year became a non-executive Director of Habitat for Humanity NSWQ. Ian joined the Habitat for Humanity Australia Board in November 2016.
After 30 years in tertiary education, Blair moved into public housing sector at the New Zealand Housing Corporation. His expertise and experience relate to research interests, research management, and policy development in the fields of urban and housing studies. Blair is also a director on Habitat for Humanity’s South Australian Board and served on the Research Advisory Panel of the Australia Housing and Urban Research Institute. Blair joined the Board of Habitat for Humanity Australia in February 2017.
Makala is a Senior Executive with extensive experience and networks in the Corporate and Government sectors. She has worked and collaborated with some of Australia’s most respected brands. Makala has business experience supported by a Masters of Accounting (MAcc) and Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Makala joined the Board of Habitat for Humanity Australia in April 2017.
Lyn is a finance executive with strong strategic, technical and change management experience in a number of sectors including healthcare, property, automotive and information technology. She is currently a Partner at CFO on Call. Lyn joined the Board of Habitat for Humanity Australia in August 2017.
Rick is a Vice President of Habitat for Humanity International responsible for the overall success of Habitat’s affordable housing activities in dozens of countries throughout Asia and the Pacific. Rick joined Habitat for Humanity in 1989 as a director of US programs and became a Vice President in September 2007. Prior to his Habitat work, Rick was a mechanical engineer with the General Electric Corporation. Rick currently resides in Manila, Philippines. Rick joined the Board of Habitat for Humanity Australia in May 2018.
Ross is a proven Financial Manager with more than 30 years senior management experience mainly in publicly listed companies. Ross is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA). His 20 years Board experience in not-for-profit enterprises includes 10 years at Baptcare Ltd (three years as Treasurer) and five years’ at Habitat for Humanity (Victoria). Ross joined the Habitat for Humanity Australia Board in November 2018.
Gideon van der Westhuizen
Gideon has more than 30 years’ experience as an advisor to major organisations globally within both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Gideon has advised on multi-million dollar infrastructure and capital projects internationally including in the USA, China, Singapore, Southern Africa, India, Malaysia as well as Australasia. Currently, Gideon is the Head of Risk for Oxfam Australia with responsibility for the implementation of an enterprise-wide risk management framework across the Australasian business. Gideon joined the Habitat for Humanity Australia Board in August 2018.