Greater Shepparton Foundation is led by a diverse and highly skilled Board of Directors. The 10 Directors from Greater Shepparton and Melbourne offer a wealth of local knowledge and understanding of the complex issues in this region as well as experience in place-based philanthropy and community-led giving.
The Directors and staff are focussed on creating partnerships and collaborations to connect the needs of the Greater Shepparton community with the resources and skills needed to tackle disadvantage. The team will drive change through innovative initiatives, and support community organisations that align with our purpose.
The video and article below articulates how the Greater Shepparton Foundation was established. Written by Andrew Fairley AM for Philanthropy Australia.
Garry Smith, Chair
Garry has lived in the Goulburn Valley for nearly 30 years and has been actively involved in the community. He is motivated by the chance to improve community well-being and also has a special interest in disability issues.
Garry is a founding Director of DG Consulting, providing advice on water and natural resource management policy and strategy. He has previously held a range of senior management roles in the rural water industry. Garry was previously the Chair of The Community Fund Goulburn Valley and is also a Director of Melbourne Water and Chair of the Sampson Leadership Trust.
Garry’s previous roles include membership of the Advisory Board for the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, Director of the eWater Co-operative Research Centre, member of the Water Accounting Standards Board and Director of Scope.
Andrew Fairly AM, Deputy Chair
Our Deputy Chair is Andrew Fairley AM. The Foundation is incredibly lucky to have such experience at our table. Andrew has a deep involvement in the philanthropic sector both as an advisor and a trustee and is the current Chair of the Sir Andrew and Lady Fairley Foundation, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education and is Deputy Chair of the Mornington Peninsula Foundation. Andrew is a commercial and equity lawyer at Hall & Wilcox. He is also Chair of Togethr Trustees Pty Ltd as a trustee for Equip Superannuation and Catholic Superannuation Fund. He is on the Board of The Australian Financial Complaints Authority, Qualitas Securities Pty Ltd, and is the former Chair of Parks Victoria and Deputy Chair of Tourism Australia. He is the Consul General for Finland in Victoria and the owner/operator of Yarra Valley Cherries, a premium cherry orchard in the Yarra Valley.
Kara Shields, Director
Kara is a Chartered Accountant at local business, MB+M and is a former Board Member and Treasurer of the Shepparton Festival. She has volunteered her time as a member of the Shepparton Toy Library Committee and joined the Greater Shepparton Foundation (GSF) Board in early 2019. Kara was inspired to join GSF as a way to help make a difference to the lives of local residents who need support or a “hand up”. She believes the community spirit in Shepparton is what makes it a great place to live.
Kara, a keen runner, has called Shepparton home for 13 years and is a proud mum of two young children.
Mark DePaola, Director
Mark has lived in Shepparton for 22 years and is the sole director of Graham Hill Eyecare. Mark joined the Board of The Community Fund Goulburn Valley in 2008 and is an inaugural Director of the Greater Shepparton Foundation (GSF). Mark also serves on the regional advisory board of La Trobe University. He was involved in Shepparton early through the GV Young Professionals network and with several local sporting clubs. He completed the Fairley Leadership program in 2007.
His aim from his involvement as a Director of GSF is to make a positive difference in the lives of people within our community living with disadvantage.
Mark enjoys the terrific lifestyle that Shepparton offers with his wife, Amy, and three school-aged children.
Anna Turnbull, Director
Anna has a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from Monash University. After working as a journalist for the North West Telegraph in the Pilbara, Western Australia, the Shepparton News and Leader Newspapers in Melbourne, Anna moved into the field of communications. She is now a communications officer for Goulburn Murray Water’s $2 billion Connections Project.
Volunteer roles include a three-month project in South America, she is a former board member of Shepparton Festival and Rodney Neighbourhood Steiner Kindergarten. Anna has lived in the Goulburn Valley for 15 years and is passionate about seeing the local community thrive.
Nicholas Bamford, Director
Nicholas is a psychologist who has worked in both private and government positions across different sectors. He is currently the Manager of Student Support Services with the Department of Education and Training in the Goulburn Area. This involves supporting psychologists, social workers and speech pathologists to deliver services to 82 government schools. He is passionate about ensuring people in rural areas have access to high quality allied health support services.
As a past member of The Community Fund Goulburn Valley’s allocations committee Nicholas learnt about the broad range of volunteers and services that help people in our community and he is keen to use that knowledge in the Director role with GSF. When not working Nicholas is a keen cyclist and proud father to three young children.
Carmel Johnson, Director
Carmel is the current Director of the GV Health Foundation and has lived and worked in the Goulburn Valley for more than 40 years.
Carmel has worked in leadership positions in the disability sector, and was the inaugural Principal at the Verney Road Special School, and later as Manager of Connect GV.
She was the inaugural Chair of the Shepparton Festival and serves on a number of community and corporate Boards, including as Deputy Chair of the Fairley Foundation.
Carmel sees her position as Director of the Greater Shepparton Foundation as a wonderful opportunity to contribute her knowledge and skills to help lead and shape our community.
Rhys Holleran, Director
Rhys has held a variety of leadership roles including Managing Director of R.G Capital Radio (1997-2004). In 2004 Rhys oversaw the merger of R.G. Capital Radio and DMG regional radio businesses. In 2007 he managed the merger of Southern Cross Broadcasting and Macquarie Regional Radioworks, and went on to oversee the merger of Austereo and Southern Cross in 2011, and remained its CEO until 2015. He has served on the Board of Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) for 18 years; was Chairman of CRA for seven years and served on the board of Free TV Australia from 2007-2015. Rhys is a founding Director of the national appeal, Give Me 5 For Kids. Today, Rhys is involved in breeding and racing thoroughbred horses at his family property in Kialla, Victoria.
Olivia Barlow, Director
Olivia joined the Greater Shepparton Foundation to help raise awareness about the level of disadvantage in our community and to assist the people who need it most. She believes GSF’s core values and its purpose is aligned with the contribution she wishes to make in the community. Olivia grew up in the region and has recently returned to commence her career as a commercial litigation lawyer with local firm Dawes & Vary Riordan. She is also the secretary of the Goulburn Valley Young Professionals, volunteers at the Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre and co-ordinates Dawes & Vary Riordan’s participation in the Wilmot Road Primary School Breakfast Program.
Julia Thomas, Director
Julia Thomas has spent seven years in the local Agri-finance industry and is a 2016 Fairley Leadership Graduate.
Originally hailing from Sydney with a Business Degree, Julia has spent her career working across rural and regional Australia, in agriculture, mining and finance.
Now living with her husband and young family on their cropping farm at Youanmite, Julia is passionate about improving youth outcomes across the Goulburn Valley region.
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