Our Team


Greater Shepparton Foundation is led by a diverse and highly skilled Board of Directors. The eight Directors from Greater Shepparton 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 focused 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.

2021 Annual Report


Our 2021 Annual Report provides a snapshot of the year that was, along with recognising our generous and loyal stakeholders and supporters Please follow the link to read the 2021 Annual Report.


The video and article above articulates how the Greater Shepparton Foundation was established. Written by Andrew Fairley AM for Philanthropy Australia.  

Philanthropy Australia – Innovation in Philanthropy

Connecting Communities – Delivering To Those In Need
Some of the COVID response initiatives driven by Greater Shepparton Foundation in 2020 have featured in a recent podcast by Philanthropy Australia.  Shepparton and its successful response to the challenges of COVID-19 is the theme of the podcast and we are delighted to be featured alongside The Fairley Foundation and many wonderful community members and workers who made a difference during the crisis. Click on the podcast link on the left to hear the full podcast.

Our Board

Rhys Holleran, Chair

Rhys has long been a leader and active Board member in both the corporate sector and within his community. He has held Managing Director positions and led mergers in the radio sector, including the merger of Austereo and Southern Cross in 2011, and remained its CEO until 2015. Rhys is a founding Director of the national appeal, Give Me 5 For Kids. He lives in Kialla, and is a horse breeder.

Mark De Paola, Deputy Chair

Mark moved to Shepparton in 1997 to begin his optometry career and is currently the director of Graham Hill Eyecare. Mark was a Board member of The Community Fund Goulburn Valley from 2008 until the transition to the Greater Shepparton Foundation. Mark also serves on the regional advisory board of La Trobe University. His aim as a Director of GSF is to make a positive difference in his community.

Kara Shields, Director

Kara is a Chartered Accountant at local business, MB+M. Kara is the current Chair of GSF’s Audit, Risk and Finance Committee. The mother of two is a former Board Member and Treasurer of the Shepparton Festival and has volunteered as a member of the Shepparton Toy Library Committee. She is a keen runner and enjoys the lifestyle of Greater Shepparton, which she has called home for 15 years.

Anna Turnbull, Director

Anna is a communications specialist with a Bachelor of Arts (political science). Working initially in newspapers as a reporter, she has gone on to develop her knowledge and skillset with various media and communications roles across diverse industries. Her past Board roles include the Rodney Neighbourhood Steiner Kindergarten and Shepparton Arts Festival and is a current Fairley Foundation trustee. Anna is passionate about seeing the local community thrive.

Julia Thomas, Director

Julia has spent nine 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.

Grace Musafiri, Director

Gracia is a young leader in our community.  She joined the GSF Board in 2021 and has experience in working with our diverse community having volunteered and been employed at local community organisation, St Paul’s African House.  Gracia also brings valuable marketing skills to our board and is currently employed by Southern Cross Austereo as a Digital Marketing Specialist.

Olivia Barlow, Director

Olivia is a commercial litigation lawyer with local firm, Dawes & Vary Riordan. She has previously been the Secretary and President of Goulburn Valley Young Professionals, has volunteered at the Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre and co-ordinates Dawes & Vary Riordan’s participation in the Wilmot Road Primary School Breakfast Program. Olivia joined the GSF Board as its core values and purpose are aligned with the contribution she wishes to make to the community.


Our People

Cheryl Hammer
Chief Executive Officer

Cheryl has worked in the not-for-profit and philanthropy sectors for eight years and is the inaugural CEO of GSF. Cheryl’s background in community development and leadership roles provides her with a wealth of insight and experience to deliver on the goals of the organisation. Cheryl is a capable communicator and advocator for the needs of our community.

Jeff Huddle 
Finance Manager

Jeff manages all accounting and financial reporting to the Board and CEO including payments and receipts, regulatory financial reporting and tax management. Jeff had been in senior financial management roles in a range of businesses prior to joining GSF and is a Bachelor of Business (Acc).

Kate Smith
Grants Manager

Kate joined the GSF team in 2020.  She’s worked in private business and government however the majority of her career has been in the community sector, including many years with local disability and welfare agencies.  It’s here where she relishes the opportunity to use her communication and grant writing skills to make a real difference.

Ibraheem Bahiss
Data and Evaluation Manager

Ibraheem has several years’ experience conducting evaluation in international and Australian contexts. He has been involved in evaluation of development assistance programs in Afghanistan and has provided consultancy and evaluation assistance to not-for-profit organisations in both Metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 


Greater Shepparton Foundation acknowledges it operates on the lands of the Yorta Yorta and Bangerang peoples. We thank the traditional owners for the opportunity to serve the community on their country. We honor and pay our respect to Elders and leaders, past, present and emerging. Through meaningful and genuine relationship, we will endeavor to put First Nations’ People first. We respectfully use the term “First Nations’ People” to honour all First Nations’ People who benefit from our activities and live on the Yorta Yorta and Bangerang.

Contact Us

PO Box 848
Shepparton, Vic, 3632

0410 561 934