Susie O’Neill
Founder and Managing Director

Founder and Managing Director, KIDS Foundation
Susie is the Founder of the KIDS Foundation and author. Since 1988, Susie has worked with disadvantaged children commencing with the Children's Protection Society and in her professional role as a preschool and primary teacher. Susie completed a PhD in Education at Monash University in 2016 titled 'Developing Safety Risk Intelligence in Children. She has published eleven children’s books and written several papers that have been published in national and international journals.

Matthew Ricker

Executive Manager, Sales & Service, BankFirst
Matthew Ricker is an experienced financial services executive. After 28 years at NAB, Matthew recently joined BankFirst as part of the banks executive management team. A senior executive with broad leadership experience across large scale operations, sales/distribution, finance, strategy and risk management spanning the consumer, business and institutional customer segments.

Dr Rimas Luibinas

General Practisioner, Ballarat Group Practice
Rimas is a medical practitioner who specialises in preventative health, acupuncture, education and sports medicine. He completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and Melbourne University in 1986 and gained a Fellowship with the Royal Australian College of General Practice. He has been a Senior Lecturer in the Department of General Practice at Melbourne University for ten years and a member of the Australian Medical Acupuncture College for nineteen years.

Ari Suss

Executive Director Fox Private Group
Ari Suss is Executive Director of the Fox Private Group, the private family investment arm of the Linfox Group of Companies. Ari joined Linfox in 2004 as Manager of Government and Corporate Affairs providing specialist expertise in regulatory, legislative and political matters for the company's logistics, property and aviation businesses. Between 1999 and 2004, Ari was a senior adviser to former Premier Steve Bracks. During this time he specialised in policy and advice in the areas of infrastructure, transport, ports, major projects and parliamentary strategy.

Athol Hodgetts

Scott Banks, Sales Associate
Athol has had over 40 years’ experience in business management, sales and marketing and is well known for his involvement in the first major ground naming rights sponsorship in Australia (Optus Oval). He has negotiated major deals over many years with companies such as Coca Cola, Nike, Visy Board, Hyundai, Nubrik, Mayne Nickless and Wards Express to name just a few. He played Australian Rules Football at the highest level with North Melbourne and represented Tasmania and the Victorian Football Association at State Level. Athol’s career in football administration with The Coburg Football Club, The Essendon Football Club, The Victorian Football Association and The Carlton Football Club, spanned over twenty years. Since then he has managed his own Marketing Company, Co – Launched a Bi Tech Company and has now turned his sales and marketing experience and expertise to Real Estate Industry.

Ian Coutts

Director, Ian Coutts Communications Pty Ltd
Ian is an experienced Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Advisor with over 25 years experience specialising in media and stakeholder relations. Ian has extensive experience in sport, having worked at the National Basketball League before spending 20-years at the Carlton Football Club where he was a member of the Executive Management Team. More recently Ian worked in the not-for-profit sector and in 2016 established his own Communications and Public Relations consulting business.

Natasha Gallardo

CEO Working Mothers Connect
Natasha was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. She has a Bachelor of Business, is currently studying an MBA at RMIT University and has over 20 year’s experience working in Marketing and Advertising. Prior to relocating to Melbourne 14 years ago, Natasha founded and ran an advertising agency in Auckland. Her move to Melbourne, has seen her work with some of Australia’s most well-known retail and corporate brands heading up their marketing divisions. Now CEO of Working Mothers Connect, Australia’s leading online community for working mothers Natasha is a strong advocate for gender equality in the workplace and is working towards a future that includes more women in senior leadership positions.

Charles Kovess

CEO Kovess International
Charles is a successful businessman, team leader, professional speaker and executive coach. Charles graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours in 1973, and gained his Master of Laws from Monash University in 1980. He established his own law firm which subsequently merged with Barker Gosling, a national law firm. Charles was Head of the Commercial Law Department. He is a transformational, inspirational high-energy speaker and facilitator, who helps organisations build world-class teams based on integrity, trust, and commitment. Clients include Sanitarium; BMW Finance; Telstra; Clements, Dunne & Bell; Leonard Joel; Tourism Victoria; Commonwealth Bank of Australia; National Australia Bank; Optus; Essendon Football Club; Brisbane Lions Football Club; AXA; Australian Federal Police; Tower Life Group; Victorian Government’s Department of Treasury & Finance, Australia Post, Real Estate Institute of Victoria. Charles is President of the Australia-Hungary Chamber of Commerce (since 1992).

Jo Stuckey

Head of Events & Entertainment - Crown Melbourne

Jo Stuckey has over 25 years’ experience managing all aspects of commercial sponsorships, major events and entertainment. She is one of Australia’s best known and accomplished Event and Entertainments executives. As a long serving employee and executive at Crown, with extensive leadership experience, she has managed the production of some of Australia’s major events. Jo possesses exceptional stakeholder management and communication skills and has an extensive network in the Sports and Entertainment corporate community in Australia especially in Melbourne.

Jo’s career in event management includes  Special Events Manager with The Carlton Football Club and has held the role of an official  Club Ambassador for the past 4 years.  Jo is passionate about building, developing and nurturing high performance diverse teams and has a deep understanding of stakeholder and employee engagement.

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