Audit & Risk Committee

Brenda Appleton OAM

Chair Audit & Risk Committee

Brenda retired in 2009 after 35 years working in the corporate sector and is now heavily involved volunteering with a wide range of community groups, including the LGBTIQ+ communities in Melbourne (for 20 years).

She is the Chair of Transgender Victoria and has recently stepped down after two terms as the Co-Chair of the LGBTIQ Taskforce set up by the Victorian Government. Brenda is a member of the Victoria Mental Health Ministerial Advisory Committee, the Victorian LGBTI Taskforce Health and Human Services Working Group, the NWMPHN Suicide Prevention Taskforce and the Victorian Elder Abuse Roundtable.

Brenda is passionate about using her lived experience to improve the health and wellbeing of trans and gender diverse people across Victoria. She was inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2017 and received a COTA Senior Achiever Award as part of the 2018 Victoria Seniors of the Year Awards.

Brenda is a retired chartered accountant. She has a Bachelor of Commerce, a Master of Sustainable Practice and GAICD, and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in January 2019.

“The opportunities provided by The Pinnacle Foundation can be significant for the future success of many young disadvantaged LGBTIQ+ people, and I welcome being involved in this important work.

Audit & Risk Committee Members

Partnerships Committee


Chair Partnerships Committee

Partnerships Committee Members

Investment Committee

Greg Livingstone

Chair Investment Committee

Greg is a director of The Pinnacle Foundation and chairs Youturn Youth Support Limited – a Sunshine Coast based charity focused on Mental Health, Child Safety, Homelessness and Suicide Prevention.

Following a corporate career in finance, strategy and general management in Australia and New Zealand, Greg has worked with a range of organisations in the fields of sustainability, economic development and the support of vulnerable members of the community. He holds a Bachelor and a Master of Commerce from the University of New South Wales.

“The decision to join The Pinnacle Foundation was an easy one, driven by the focus, dedication, and passion of the team and the truly inspirational stories that scholars tell of their experience with the Foundation. I am really looking forward to contributing to its future success.”

Greg is a keen traveller and splits his time between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.

Investment Committee Members

Remuneration & Nominations Committee

Claire Spencer AM

Chair People, Remuneration & Nominations Committee

Claire is CEO of Arts Centre Melbourne and since her appointment in November 2014 has steered the organisation through a major restructure to ensure its role as a leader in Melbourne’s cultural precinct. Key projects included: the launch of the Asia Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts (Asia TOPA), Australian Music Vault, and the establishment of the Arts Wellbeing Collective, which promotes strong individual wellbeing for those in the sector.

Claire is leading a major redevelopment of Arts Centre Melbourne, including refurbishment of the Theatres Building and the addition of a new campus, an expanded Australian Music Vault, and a major new gallery celebrating Australia’s performing arts history. The project is the centrepiece of a $1 billion transformation of Melbourne’s Arts Precinct.

Claire is also a Member of Chief Executive Women –representing senior women leaders from the corporate, public service, academic and not-for-profit sectors.

Claire has worked in the not for profit sector for 14 years and has a passion for inclusion and the democratising of creative experience, regardless of background, geography or financial means. The transformative power of education is something that is of ongoing interest and the chance to open these opportunities up to young people in the LGBTIQ+ community is what attracted Claire to The Pinnacle Foundation.

Claire lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children.

Remuneration & Nominations Committee Members

Board Committee Members

Andrew Housden

Member, Partnerships & Investment Committees

Andrew joined The Pinnacle Foundation in March 2018 as the Chief Financial Officer and at the beginning of 2020 became the NSW Committee Chair. Andrew is also a member of the Investment Committee and Partnerships Committee. Andrew is the Chief Financial Officer of Tibra Capital, and has previously held senior finance roles at Resimac, CBA, Deutsche Bank and Deloitte.

Andrew is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MBA (AGSM), a Bachelor of Business (UTS) and a DESEM (NEOMA Business School, France).

Andrew co-founded Deutsche Bank’s Australian LGBTIQ+ employee network, dbPride in 2012 and co-chaired the group from 2013-2015. Andrew was also one of the founders of the LGBTIQ+ Interbank Network Sydney in 2013 which brought together the LGBTIQ+ network groups of several large international and domestic banks and financial institutions.

“Learning and helping others to achieve their full potential are core to my values which is why I believe so strongly in The Pinnacle Foundation’s work.”

Annette Mullen

Member, Investment Committee

Annette Mullen was appointed as a member of the Investment Committee in April 2017.

Annette is an Adjunct Professor with the Discipline of Finance at the University of Sydney and is involved in the development and teaching of the Finance capstone unit. Annette is also an independent director of Greyhound Racing NSW and the Chair of Greyhounds as Pets NSW. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Annette has more than 30 years’ experience in executive roles in investment and debt portfolio management in large private and public sector financial institutions.

Annette’s public service career was at NSW Treasury Corporation, the central borrowing authority and asset manager for government agencies, specialising in portfolio management, investment strategy and providing risk management advice to clients. Annette’s private sector career was as an investor of global fixed income and credit, including as the Head of Rates for Colonial First State Global Asset Management.

Annette is a keen traveler and enjoys time spent on the family farm, where she grew up in regional New South Wales.

Dr Cassandra Goldie is CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service, the national peak body for the community sector, and an advocate for tackling poverty and inequality. She has public policy expertise in economic and social issues, civil society, social justice and human rights and is a regular media and public commentator and conference presenter.

Prior to joining ACOSS, Cassandra held senior roles in both the not-for-profit and public sectors at local, national and international level, including with the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Darwin Community Legal Service, Legal Aid Western Australia, and the global Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions.

Cassandra is Adjunct Professor with the Law Faculty at the University of New South Wales. She has a PhD from University of New South Wales and a Master of Law from University College London. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Cassandra is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, the UNSW Law Advisory Committee, the Australian Climate Roundtable, and the Energy Charter Independent Accountability Panel.

David Spree

Member, Partnerships & Investment Committees

David is a senior corporate affairs leader specialising in global energy and resources development and management. He has led teams spanning government relations, economic development, community engagement and award winning corporate social responsibility programs. A specialist in complex regulatory structures and solutions, David trained as a lawyer at global law firm Ashurst and has legal experience in energy infrastructure, regulatory development, environmental management and industrial relations.

With a passion for social equity for the LGBTIQ+ community and disadvantaged youth, David founded and chaired AGL Energy’s LGBTIQ+ network ‘AGL Shine’ in 2014. David holds honours and master degrees in law from the Universities of Sheffield, Copenhagen and Melbourne.

David lives in Melbourne with his husband and two children.

Dr Craig White

Member, Remuneration & Nominations Committee

Craig personally experienced the uplifting experience of education. As a teenager, growing up in a small country town, he was sure ‘there must be more to the world’. A scholarship was the beginning of a journey leading, many years later, to his involvement with The Pinnacle Foundation.

Going on to gain qualifications in medicine from The University of Melbourne and business management, specialising in leadership and organisational dynamics, from Swinburne University, Craig has had 30 years in senior roles in public hospital and health system leadership and management as major hospital CEO, State Chief Health Officer and Chief Medical Officer. He also participates on the Boards of Family Planning Tasmania and OAK Possibility, a large disability services provider operating in three states.

Past roles have included Council membership of the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC), membership of the inaugural Victorian Ministerial Advisory Council on LGBTIQ+ Health and leading the development of Australia’s first policy and decision-making national framework for bloodspot screening of newborns.

The rest of time you will find Craig enjoying travel as well as life in Tasmania with his partner and various dogs, chooks, ducks, geese and miniature goats.

Elizabeth Jameson AM

Member, Audit & Risk Committee

Elizabeth is a non-executive director and lawyer of over 30 years standing, a nationally respected governance consultant of almost 20 years standing and a longstanding Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  In 2002, from her prior 15 year legal career, and then a partner of a national law firm, Elizabeth founded national corporate governance consultancy Board Matters and associated firm Board Matters Legal.  Over the course of her 30+ year career she has served on the boards of more than 20 organisations in the private, not-for-profit and public sectors and has consulted to hundreds more. This lens has given her a strong belief in the importance of diversity and inclusion in key decision-making roles in society.

Based in Brisbane where she lives with her wife, Abbe, Elizabeth is also currently Vice President/Deputy Chair of RACQ, Chair of Queensland Theatre, and a Director of John Villiers Trust and the Australian Major Performing Arts Group.

In 2020 she was awarded a Member of The Order of Australia for significant service to business and the community, especially in the Arts and Education sectors.

Karen Brown

Member, Partnerships Committee

Karen is National Director at strategic communications firm Cannings Purple. A trusted advisor and expert communicator, she has worked at the very highest levels of politics, media and business. With experience across multiple industries, Karen brings practical, expert knowledge to resolve complex issues. She devises and manages political and issues-based campaigns, formulates effective government engagement strategies and provides crisis communications and litigation support to a diverse range of clients.

Prior to joining Cannings Purple, Karen enjoyed a successful career in the media, serving as Chief of Staff and Deputy Editor at The West Australian newspaper and WA Editor at The Australian newspaper. She went on to work at the highest levels of politics at both the State and Federal level, serving as a Senior Media and Policy Advisor, and Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Government in the Senate and Federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research.

Karen is a Non-Executive Director on several not-for-profit, community and charitable organisations. Away from the office, Karen is a keen cyclist, an average banjo player and enthusiastic West Coast Eagles supporter.

Madeline Richardson

Member, Remuneration & Nominations Committee

Madeline is a senior executive in the South Australian public service. She holds a Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Laws and is a leader in policy design, engagement and delivery.

Madeline is the Executive Director, Skills and Workforce Capability within the Department for Innovation and Skills where she is focussed on skilling South Australians to succeed. This includes increased participation through apprentice and trainee pathways, focus on a responsive training system and strengthening industry’s voice in skills and workforce development.

Prior to this role, Madeline led the Delivery and Engagement Division in the Department of State Development supporting industry and business growth and major economic projects.

In her role as Chief Executive of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency, Madeline and her team delivered the largest engagement program in South Australia’s history involving over 50,000 people. The Aboriginal engagement program was awarded the 2017 Project of the Year by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).

Madeline has also held a wide range of senior leadership positions across the public sector, with experience in portfolios such as health, industrial relations and within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.
When not at work, Madeline loves to tackle the hills of Adelaide on her road bike and spend time with her partner and their dogs.

Mark Stewart

Member, Partnerships Committee

Mark has spent the past 20 years working in the not-for-profit sector in Australia, Europe and Asia as an executive level manager, after building a career in finance and accounting across a variety of industries.

His experience in driving growth through strategic and operational initiatives spans an extensive portfolio of organisations, with a focus on delivering superior leadership, stakeholder management and operational change. Having developed fundraising and donor supporter engagement programs as well as working with boards and executive teams to lift strategic ambition and governance, Mark is now bringing his experience to an organisation to which he is truly aligned.

Mark has previously served on the Board and as Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee of WaterAid Australia.

Michael Winchester

Member, Investment Committee

Michael is the Head of Investment Strategy at First State Super, one of Australia’s largest profit-for-members superannuation funds. He is responsible for managing the asset allocation of the Fund’s $100bn asset pool on behalf of over 800,000 Australians.

Michael holds a Master of Commerce in Funds Management from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of International Business from Flinders University. Michael previously worked as the Head of Research and Portfolio Manager at an asset management firm. He started his career at Macquarie Bank as a Research Analyst.

Michael grew up in Adelaide. He moved to Sydney in 1999 where he now lives with his partner, Brooklyn.

Paul Zahra

Chair of the Board of Directors and Member of the People, Remuneration and Nominations Committee

Paul Zahra was appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of The Pinnacle Foundation in February, 2016 after serving on the Board since June, 2015.

Paul is a CEO, Non-Executive Director, Board and Company Advisor and one of Australia’s most influential diversity advocates. A leading force in the Australian Retail Industry for over 35 years, Paul’s corporate roles have included Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of ASX listed, David Jones Limited as well as senior leadership roles at Target Australia and Officeworks Superstores.

A powerful champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Paul was previously Chair of PwC’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board and has led numerous high profile LGBTIQ+ campaigns and initiatives.

Paul is currently CEO of the Australian Retailers Association, a not for profit that is Australia’s largest retail association, representing a $325bn sector employing more than 1.3 million people. He has recently been appointed an Ambassador for Honour a Woman, firmly believing that exceptional Australian women need to be recognised on the public record through the highest level of public recognition in our country; the Australian honours.

Paul is an alumni of Stanford University, USA and a Graduate of The Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He lives with his husband, Duncan and Norwich terrier, Oliver in Sydney.

Sarah Percy-Dove

Member, Investment Committee

Sarah Percy-Dove, Managing Director, is Head of Asia Pacific Fixed Income Research within BlackRock’s Asia Pacific Active Investments Group. She holds a Bachelor of Business (Banking & Finance) from Monash University and a Master of Business Administration from Melbourne Business School.

With over 20 years of credit research and investment experience, she has held senior regional leadership roles within major international asset managers including Alliance Bernstein, Merrill Lynch, Colonial First State Global Asset Management and Standish Mellon. Her roles have seen her based offshore for many years, having lived and worked in Singapore (twice), London and Copenhagen.

Sarah has a deep belief that learning is vital to leading a life of choice and opportunity, and passionately supports anyone wanting to pursue their education.

Sarah lives in Singapore. In her spare time, she reads extensively, has recently taken up pottery, and travels far and wide whenever possible.

Susan Brooks

Member, Audit & Risk Committee

Susan, one of Pinnacle’s co-founders is our compliance guru and has extensive experience in managing regulatory risks and consumer issues from within executive government, statutory administrative bodies (Australian Broadcasting Tribunal and Australian Securities Commission) and the financial services sector (Chief Compliance Officer, Westpac and has been the Australian Banking Industry Ombudsman).

Susan holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters of Law.

“Being a co-founder and now member of the Management Committee, I am able to apply the wealth of experience I gained through corporate life. It also allows me to give back to our community. Back in the Seventies, I was a beneficiary of the Labor Government’s new approach to university entrance, so I understand the benefits of education and how it can change your life. In semi-retirement I can now devote significant time to the Foundation and at the same time enjoy travel and quality time with my partner Janis.

“My role with the Foundation is best described as a ‘Jill of all trades’, since as well as formerly chairing the Scholarship Selection Panel, I provide governance and general policy advice and design processes for us to use. All to ensure compliance with our policies and Constitution since our reputation is very important to us. In the next couple of years I will also be implementing a program to boost the number of registered mentors.”

Susan Darroch

Member, Investment Committee

Susan is an investment professional, her career spanning over 30 years in the financial markets, with the focus of the last 20 years primarily on domestic and global equity markets with State Street Global Advisors. Susan retired from her position in 2019.

As a Senior Managing Director and senior leader in the business, her roles included board directorships, responsible manager of licenced entities, champion for diversity, a leader in developing local gender diversity policy and procedures, and the founder of the internal LGBTIQ+ network. Susan also devotes time to supporting charities and causes that are important to her. She was a non-executive director of the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation for seven years, and Chair of the Investment Committee for four years. Susan also supports and volunteers with a variety animal rescue organisations.

Susan joined The Pinnacle Foundation Investment Committee in 2019, bringing with her an in-depth knowledge of global equity markets built upon over two decades in portfolio management. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Wayne Porritt

Member, Partnerships Committee

Wayne has been an avid supporter of the LGBTIQ+ community, through mentoring and leadership advocate positions. He previously chaired Standard Chartered Bank’s Diversity & Inclusion Network and co-founded the Bank’s LGBT Affinity Network. Wayne is currently Queensland Committee Chair of The Pinnacle Foundation; an organisation which is committed to helping LGBTIQ+ young adults to reach their full potential through scholarships and mentoring across Australia.

Wayne is currently an Association Member and member of the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee of Oxfam Hong Kong

Most recently, Wayne has been an Independent Non-Executive Director of Noble Group Limited and is currently an advisor. He previously worked for Standard Chartered Bank holding the position of Regional Chief Risk Officer for the Greater China and North Asia region and a Non-Executive Director on the boards of the Bank’s South Korea and Taiwan subsidiaries.

Wayne has held senior risk roles within Bank of America and Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, Thailand, United States, United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea. Wayne’s banking & finance career commenced in Australia where he worked for Société Générale and Ernst & Young.

Wayne is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.