Michael was appointed Chair of Australia for UNHCR in 2018 after serving as a board director since 2000. He is a director of NSW Treasury Corporation (TCorp) and financial technology business Iress, and former CEO of First State Super, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds. He also Chairs the boards of Bennelong Funds Management Group Pty Ltd (BFMG) and its subsidiary Bennelong Funds Management Ltd (BFML).
Michael's determination to improve the lives of the world's most vulnerable people is matched by his admiration for UNHCR's work on the ground which he first saw in East Timor in 2002. Since then he has become an influential advocate for refugees. More recently Michael accompanied a business delegation to Turkey and Lebanon to meet with Syrian refugees and observe how Australian donations are helping UNHCR deliver protection and humanitarian relief.
Michael has been instrumental in galvanising support for UNHCR from the investment and financial sectors. He has spearheaded corporate support for our annual World Refugee Day events, raising vital funds to support programs such as livelihoods training, malaria prevention and neonatal healthcare for newborns.
In 2011 Michael was named a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the superannuation industry through leadership and executive roles, and to the community through Australia for UNHCR.
Michael holds a Dip of Superannuation Management, Advanced Dip of Financial Services (Superannuation), Dip of Public Administration, FASFA.
John is a lawyer and has been a Director at Australia for UNHCR since 2000. He was a barrister for several years before moving into a career in sports administration, including his current role as CEO of the National Sports Tribunal as well as previous roles as CEO of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), CEO of World Rowing (FISA), Head of High Performance of the Football Federation Australia, and then Volleyball Australia. He is a member of the International Court of Arbitration for Sport, and became a Member of the Order of Australia in 1990 for his services to sport.
John is a strong advocate for the transformative sports programs UNHCR provides for young refugees, having observed them in refugee camps in Thailand, and has helped galvanise support for refugees from the Australian sports community.
John has a BA, LLB (Hons), LLM, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Rick is a qualified chartered accountant and a former partner with PwC. He joined the Board of Australia for UNHCR in 2012. At PwC, he was responsible for the firm's corporate responsibility agenda both in Australia and globally and he headed up the PwC Global Foundation. In this role, Rick helped drive PwC’s 10th Anniversary gift of $6m to UNHCR, one of UNHCR’s largest corporate gifts, which helped build schools and refugee camps in Chad.
Rick is a Director at A2B Australia Limited and Director at Palmera Projects. He is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Kate joined the Board in 2015 and was appointed Deputy Chair in 2018. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Sydney Festival and an Executive Mentor at McCarthy Mentoring. Kate’s previous roles include Head of ABC National Networks, Director of ABC Radio, and Director People and Learning for the ABC.
Kate instigated ABC Radio’s annual fundraising initiatives, partnering with Australia for UNHCR in 2014 to raise millions of dollars for Syrian refugees. She has visited our projects in Kampala, Nakivale and Kyaka II camps in Uganda supporting vocational and livelihood programs for refugee women and girls. Kate is also a Founding 50 donor of our Leading Women Fund, supporting Syrian and other refugee women and their families in Jordan.
Peter was appointed to the board of Australia for UNHCR in 2020. He also serves as Chancellor of Western Sydney University, NSW Coordinator-General for Refugee Resettlement and Chair of the Centre for Social Impact, the AMP Foundation and Crescent Institute. He has a background of leadership in the public sector, academia and not-for-profit governance and company directorships.
Peter has experience coordinating the successful long-term resettlement of refugees and collaborating at all levels of government and with the not-for-profit, community, education and corporate sectors. He is a strong advocate for recognising the strengths, skills and value of refugees, having witnessed the immense contribution refugees make when they get the support they need.
Lynn joined the Board in 2019 and is currently Human Resource Leader for Microsoft. Prior to joining Microsoft, she was Recruitment Lead at IBM Australia/New Zealand.
Lynn’s family fled Vietnam when she was a child, and they spent time in a UNHCR refugee camp in Malaysia where she experienced firsthand the impact of UNHCR’s humanitarian assistance. Lynn is a long-term supporter of Australia for UNHCR and has previously run in the Sydney Morning Herald Half-Marathon to fundraise for the organisation. She has also worked and volunteered with organisations such as Settlement Services International, Tech Girl Superheroes and Fitted For Work. Lynn is a Founding 50 donor of our Leading Women Fund.
Dr Farook is currently the Chief Executive of Unity Grammar – an independent K-12 Islamic college. Previously, he was Head of Group Strategy at the Crescent Group, which comprises Crescent Wealth, Crescent Finance, Crescent Institute and Crescent Foundation. He also served as Strategy Advisor at The Executive Office of the Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for five years. Dr Farook undertook a PhD at the intersection of behavioural economics and ethical banking, and holds degrees in business and law.
Dr Farook came to Australia as a refugee from Bangladesh. He has been a key supporter of Australia for UNHCR's Islamic Philanthropy program and was instrumental in setting up the Zakat Fund for UNHCR globally.