The Board

Peter Hunt AM, Investment Banker & Engaged Philanthropist

As an investment banker Peter advised local and multi‐national companies and governments in Australia for nearly 35 years.  Major assignments included the Westpac takeover of St George Bank,  the AMP demerger and recapitalisation, the Government’s privatisation of Telstra and the establishment of long term funding arrangements by James Hardie for people suffering from asbestos related diseases.  Over his long career Peter advised companies operating in most sectors of the Australian economy and both Federal and State Governments.

Peter established one of Australia’s leading investment banking advisory firms, Caliburn Partnership, in 1999 and was Executive Chairman of the Firm until its sale to Greenhill Inc (an American investment bank listed on the New York Stock Exchange) in 2009.   After the sale Peter continued as Chairman of Greenhill Australia before resigning from the Firm in 2018 to concentrate on his philanthropic activities.

Peter was a member of the Advisory Panel of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission between 2009 and 2012 and was a founding panel member of Adara Partners (www.adarapartners.org).

Peter chaired Cambooya Services Pty Ltd which runs the Family Office for the Vincent Fairfax Family from 2010 to 2017.

Peter is an active philanthropist involved in funding, developing and scaling social sector organisations which seek to empower disadvantaged people and create a better and fairer world.

Peter established Women’s Community Shelters (www.womenscommunityshelters.org.au) to increase shelter capacity in Australia for homeless and at risk women and to reduce domestic violence. The charity has established a growing network of shelters and outreach programs by taking an innovative social franchise approach to network expansion and community engagement.

Peter is Chairman of So They Can (www.sotheycan.org), which is involved in using education to alleviate poverty in East Africa.   Since its establishment in 2009 So They Can has stablished a primary school for over 1000 very poor children, a best practice orphanage and a schools outreach program in Kenya and a teachers training college and schools outreach program in Tanzania, all in very poor areas.

Peter is Chairman of Grameen Australia (www.grameen.org.au) and Grameen Australia Philippines, which use social business as a means of alleviating poverty inCambodia and the Philippines.   Both organisations are associated with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammed Yunus.

Peter is also a director of Project Rozana (www.projectrozana.org),which supports community health initiatives in Israel and Gaza to promote mutual respect between Israelis and Palestinians and is an Advisory Board member of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (www.monash.edu).

Previous social sector roles have included Chairman of the AMP Foundation, Chairman of the Australian String Quartet, Trustee of St Vincents Clinic Foundation (medical research), Trustee of the Anindilyakwa Indigenous Mining Trust (for the traditional owners of Groote Island) and a director of Odyssey House (drug rehabilitation) and The Ethics Centre.

Peter was made a member of the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2010 for services to the philanthropic sector.

Cassandra Treadwell, Director & CEO

cassandra-treadwell

Cassandra’s career background is medico legal, gaining her masters degree in medical law and ethics from King’s College, London University. While she has enjoyed living overseas Cass chose to come back to New Zealand to raise her 4 children in the same nurturing community she grew up in. Cass loves living in Wanaka, New Zealand for the running, tramping, skiing and the general outdoor lifestyle it enables.

Having spent a year in Argentina on a student exchange when she was 16, Cass spent time at an orphanage and was confronted for the first time with poverty in the developing world. The injustice affected her greatly, and sculpted her future career choices and involvement in international development.  As a new mother this empathy took her back to the communities of East Africa that she had become acquainted with while travelling, and a drive to improve the lives of some of the world’s most impoverished children whose families suffered deprivation and displacement due to political violence.

Working in Africa now she gains so much from the people she works with. The community has taught her to be grateful for what she has got rather than focus on what she has not got, the children have helped her to live in the present and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, and the citizens of Kenya and Tanzania have taught her the value of Ubuntu (I am because of you and we cannot be happy while others are suffering) and the importance of global balance.

Cass was very honoured to be nominated for the 2015 New Zealander of the Year and to be one of the final 10 people that were considered for this prestigious award.

Keri Chittenden, Country Director – Kenya

keri-chittendenKeri gained her Bachelor of Business in Land Economics and went on to work in the area of property development with Lend Lease. Following this, she spent four years travelling independently throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Upon returning to Australia she used her project management skills working as an Event Producer for the leading events company in Sydney culminating in the position of Executive Producer and General Manager. She has produced and managed well over 500 events ranging in scale and complexity both locally and internationally including at 4 Olympic Games.

Keri is based in the So They Can head office in Sydney and is married to Peter, together raising their two children. She sponsors two of the children at our Aberdare Ranges Primary School and has been actively involved in charitable work through her events experience and personally for many years.

As co-founder of So They Can she draws on all her experience and skills to help implement the projects on the ground, overseeing fundraising events and help guide So They Can on its future direction.

Keri was very proud to be included in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac Top 100 Women of Influence Awards for 2016.

Paul Murnane, Director

Paul Murnane is a company director and corporate advisor with 35 years experience in financial services, consulting and general management in Australia and abroad. Most recently he was Senior Advisor of O’Sullivan Partners (now Lazard Australia), an Australian corporate advisory firm. Prior to this he was an Executive Director of Goldman Sachs JBWere; and MD of Russell Reynolds Associates (a leading global executive search firm where he provided strategic advice for Chairman and CEOs), following directorships of several investment banks in Australia and abroad. He holds economics and business administration degrees from the Universities of Sydney and New South Wales.

Paul’s past and present services to the community include: Currently Chairman MS Research Australia, the Australian Scholarships Foundation; director of  The Sydney Institute, Grameen Foundation Australia, MS Australia, and The Australian String Quartet.

Paul is married to Annie and has two daughters.

Andrew Bloxham, Director

Andrew BloxhamAndrew Bloxham is a company owner of Tyre & Tube Australia, a national import/wholesale business. Andrew is a Director of the Australian Tyre Industry Council. He was the initiator of the Holding Hands Children’s Home and has assisted closely with So They Can’s projects. Andrew is also a business mentor for some of our on-ground staff.

Andrew is a firm believer and example of the importance in combining the business and philanthropic worlds in order to make a successful and sustainable difference to those in need.

Andrew is married with two children and his wife Case has contributed in a research role for So They Can and daughter Imogen (aged 14) has independently organised fundraising for the children of Nakuru and sponsors a child, along with some school friends.

Michelle Goldstone, Director

IMG_0295 Kids at the Orphanage

Michelle Goldstone is a Director of a private investment company, advisor to HNW families, Investment Committee Chair and Non-Executive Director of a number of philanthropic organisations. In late 2016, Michelle stepped down as Chief Investment Officer of Ivany Investment Group, where for 10 years she was responsible for investing for the family office as well as banking and funding arrangements, tax, strategy, capital allocation, risk management and structuring. Currently, Michelle Chairs the Investment Committee of Impact Investment Group; Chairs the Audit and Risk Committee of So They Can; and is a Director of the Jewish Care Foundation responsible for investing capital which enables Jewish Care to provide services for vulnerable and needy members of the Jewish community in NSW. She also spent many years as a “big sister” as part of the Big Brother Big Sister Program and is an active member of the Young Presidents Organisation. Michelle has a background in corporate finance and banking. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia, is a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia and also a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Ian Kortlang, Director

Photo IndabaIan Kortlang is Executive Chairman, Australia at africapractice.

Since 1989 his consulting practice has concentrated on providing strategic counsel to Boards and Chief Executives on matters impacting their companies in Australia and internationally. During this period he has held the positions of Chief Executive at 360m, Chief Executive at Burson Marsteller Australia, Executive Vice Chairman (Worldwide) at Gavin Anderson, and Co-founder and Chief Executive of KORTLANG. Ian came to business after a successful career as a political strategist, public sector executive, diplomat and army officer.

From 1986 to 1989, Ian was Chief of Staff and Campaign Strategist to the State Leader of the Opposition, Director-General of the Department of State Development in New South Wales and Chief of Staff to the Federal Leader of the Opposition. From 1980 to 1986 he established a Zambia-based development consultancy recruiting Australian experts to work in aid projects in six Africa countries, building on his knowledge gained as an Australian diplomat from 1973 to 1980 in Asia, Africa and the OECD, Paris.

Ian was an Infantry Officer with the Australian Regular Army and was mentioned in despatches for service in South Vietnam in 1970-71. He was later seconded for a two-year assignment with the Joint Intelligence Organisation, Canberra.

Ian undertook his secondary school education at Brisbane Grammar School – an Australian Greater Public School – and has a Bachelor of Arts – Politics, Philosophy, International Relations – from the University of Queensland. Ian is a NSW Committee Member of the Australia Africa Business Council.

Dianne Lucas, Director

Dianne is a Senior Consultant at Wendy Brooks Consulting and a philanthropist in the areas of the medical research, animal welfare, human rights and the arts with a specialisation in ethics. Chair of Lort Smith Animal Hospital Ethics Committee; Director of Cell Care; Australian Community for Human Rights Watch; Fundraising Committee for the Burnet Institute and a Patron of the Arts actively supporting MSO and the Melbourne Theatre Company.

 

 

New Zealand Trustees

Cassandra Treadwell, CEO/Trustee

Cass gained her masters degree in medical law and ethics from King’s College, London University. She is a Fellow in Medical Law and Ethics at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney and consults on medico-legal issues.

Having spent a year in Argentina on a student exchange when 16, New Zealander Cass spent time at an orphanage and was confronted for the first time with poverty in the developing world.  The injustice affected her a great deal.

Working in Africa now she gains so much from the people in the communities she works with. They teach her to be grateful for what she has got rather than complaining about what she has not got, they teach her to live in the present, they teach her the value of community, the definition of Ubuntu and the importance of global balance.

Paul Rogers, Trustee

Paul currently has a variety of business interests.  He owns his own dairy farm in Otago, New Zealand and Paul also owns a document security and destruction business, a Mediterranean wholesale food importing company and a range of commercial property in New Zealand.  Paul also has a long history in the recycling industry, his father Gerald Rogers having been one of the pioneers in export recycling in New Zealand.  Paul currently exports waste paper to Asia and in the past has also exported waste plastic and metals.

Married to Amelia and with three children, Mitchell, Hannah and Sofia, Paul has extensive experience in construction having worked for several years for the major construction company in New Zealand, Fletchers.

Paul has been So They Can’s International Kenyan Team Construction Manager since September 2012.  During his three months at Aberdare Ranges Primary School and the Holding Hands Children’s Home in Nakuru, Paul oversaw the successful completion of the next stage of the school construction and the extension to the orphanage dormitory and dining block.

US Board of Directors

Cassandra Treadwell, CEO/Trustee

Cass gained her masters degree in medical law and ethics from King’s College, London University. She is a Fellow in Medical Law and Ethics at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney and consults on medico-legal issues.

Having spent a year in Argentina on a student exchange when 16, New Zealander Cass spent time at an orphanage and was confronted for the first time with poverty in the developing world.  The injustice affected her a great deal.

Working in Africa now she gains so much from the people in the communities she works with. They teach her to be grateful for what she has got rather than complaining about what she has not got, they teach her to live in the present, they teach her the value of community, the definition of Ubuntu and the importance of global balance.

Christie Esch

Christie EschChristie Esch has spent the past 20 years selling complex, enterprise software solutions in the United States, the Caribbean, and Asia Pacific.  She graduated from the University of Southern California in 1993 with a Bachelor’s of Science in International Finance and Economics.  In addition to her corporate role, Christie holds a degree in Holistic Nutrition.  She is a passionate advocate of health and well-being and focuses her practice on the health and nutrition of children.

Having grown up in Jamaica, and seeing the rawness of poverty; Christie is dedicated to helping those in need.  Her family has always been active in volunteering their time and resources and instilled in her a sense of philanthropy and social responsibility.

Christie currently lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and two daughters.  Christie was drawn to So They Can and has been blessed to be a part of the extended families in Kenya and Tanzania.  Her daughters have quickly embraced the opportunity to get involved with So They Can and have started their own fund-raising campaigns.