Our core team

Meet the Core Team supporting all efforts with communities and partners to achieve our shared goal.

Dr Dianne Jackson – CEO
Dianne was appointed to the newly created role of CEO in January 2018.

Dianne has deep systems, service delivery and academic experience in the early childhood space. Most recently Dianne was Director Strategic Collaborations at Charles Sturt University and the Australian Country Coordinator for the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA).

Prior to joining the University she had almost 15 years experience in CEO roles in the not-for-profit sector. This included the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), a national organisation in Canberra linking research, policy and practice, and Connect Child and Family Services, a major service provider in Western Sydney focused on child, family and community engagement in early childhood education and social care. Dianne’s professional background is in early childhood and primary education and she spent many years teaching children, many of whom were disadvantaged and marginalised. Dianne holds a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood), a first class honours degree in Social Science and a PhD that crosses both disciplines. She also has five children who remain her inspiration.

 

Tara Kleine – Director, Capability and Development

For the past fifteen years Tara has been helping organisations facing significant change, complexity and ambiguity build their capability.

Tara’s focus is on building capability to work within an increasingly complex world where creative designing, innovating and continuously learning helps create solutions to existing and emergent adaptive challenges. She believes that actively collaborating and sharing innovative ways of work does create real impact.

Throughout her career Tara has worked in a variety of organisations, ranging from small NFP’s to multi-national corporations in global roles with a span of 35 countries across six continents. Throughout her career, Tara has had a particular passion for and focus on the areas of leadership and organisational development. Throughout her work, Tara has incorporated her studies in business, commerce, education and psychology to create innovative solutions.

In her role as Director, Capability and Development, Tara’s goal is to bring a different lens to the work of social innovation, and to support the capability development needed to deliver sustainable, measurable impacts for early childhood development.

Tara is based in Brisbane and is happy to be in her home town after working in (or commuting to) roles in other parts of Australia, and the United Kingdom.

 

 Wendy Mason – Director of Strategy and Operations

Wendy has held significant roles as the Head of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation, General Manager of the Western Research Institute and most recently with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.

Wendy brings extensive management and business development experience to Opportunity Child, as well as excellent networks and a track record in stakeholder relations across the government, financial and not-for-profit sectors.

She has responsibility for the oversight of Opportunity Child’s strategy and operational execution, as well as providing strategic input into the policy and service landscape.

 


Joyce Teo – Operations Manager

Joyce supports the executives and stakeholders at Opportunity Child, playing an anchor role in the office and in its wider operations.

Joyce brings unique skills and experience, as an Executive Assistant and Project Manager in dynamic, start-up environments. She has managed projects and stakeholders at all levels, across multiple disciplines, sectors, and cultures.

Joyce is driven by opportunities to make positive change. She is from Singapore and currently based in Melbourne.

 

Janine Hoffman – Communications Manager

At Opportunity Child, Janine is focused on aligning communications and positioning to OC’s vision, purpose and strategic objectives and bringing the theory to life through a range of communications with key stakeholders.

Janine transitioned to the social sector after 14 years providing strategic communication consultancy to clients including Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson and Tourism Australia.

After completing the inaugural Graduate Certificate in Social Impact at the University of NSW, Janine became General Manager of the Centre for Social Impact (CSI), contributing to the launch of CSI’s new strategy, brand and operational model, as well as overseeing national centre functions, partner relationships and teaching administration.

During this time she was also a steering committee member for the Social Impact Measurement Network of Australia (SIMNA), and supported the incubation of Collaboration for Impact (formerly the Collective Impact Community of Practice).

Janine has broad experience in the not-for profit sector, working with organisations including Brothers 4 Recovery, Wesley Mission, 40K, the Right to Food Coalition and People for Purpose.

 

Sharon Fraser – Social Change Advisor

Sharon supports the design and implementation of collaborative practice with communities, government, peak bodies, business, NGOs and services to build united action for social change. As Opportunity Child’s Social Change Advisor, she is focused on keeping community and systems change thinking embedded across all aspects of OC.

Her areas of work include facilitation, coaching, mentoring and walking alongside leaders and communities driving social development, innovation and improved shared outcomes.

Sharon’s on-the-ground experience in implementing Collective Impact and collaborative practice within the Australian context has informed her participatory and strength-based approach using methods designed for:

  • building collaborative governance and practice
  • building structures and processes, to give voice to people in community including those experiencing social vulnerability
  • exploring change, through reflection and analysis, and
  • exploring power, and developing ways to share power to achieve improved social outcomes.

Sharon’s previous executive roles in health, community health and local government have focused on leading and supporting transformational change within services and community. She has deep experience in assisting people and organisations to hear and understand diverse voices to develop a shared aspiration, plan and implement a way forward and learn while doing.

 

Louisa Whettam – Cultural Practice Advisor

Louisa brings rich cultural understanding and life experience to Opportunity Child. She is responsible for embedding the Uluru statement into the organisation’s DNA, helping the Opportunity Child team to apply a cultural lens throughout its work and supporting cultural practice within Opportunity Child’s partner communities.

Louisa worked with Mununjali Development in Beaudesert with Indigenous families under the PACE Program (parents and community engagement), supporting parents’ engagement with their kids’ education. In that role, she became increasingly involved in the community’s local child safety service centre, serving as an important bridge for community and services.

As a respected representative of the Gunya Meta Organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Louisa is passionate about systemic change and how it impacts First Nations people. She was involved in the Family and Child Connect reform for the QLD Department of Communities and worked closely with child safety NGO’s under the reforms.

Louisa has held a number of Local Level Alliance roles in communities, bringing together government and non-government organisations in health, education around the referral pathway for vulnerable families. She was focused on creating alliances and removing barriers to cooperation and accessing support services for families in a timely matter. Shared successes have included establishing an alternative school in less than six months and the creation of domestic violence kits for police to distribute to victims.

Louisa also sits on two committees and boards; the Child and Family Chapter of Logan Together, Warrill Yari-Gu (Rivers Yarning Together) and is Treasurer of the Gunya Meta Corporation and Board Director on ‘Strong Women Talking’. Louisa also advocates for local families within the different service arenas.

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