Sarah has had a broad and wide ranging career from executive roles in tertiary education in Australia to private sector consulting in HR, marketing and strategy in Australia, Europe and the Middle East, and back in the dim dark ages in airport management. But for the last 10 years, her focus has been exclusively in the for purpose sector: in philanthropy and social change.
In October 2015, Sarah joined Philanthropy Australia as the CEO. Philanthropy Australia’s purpose is to champion, enable and support the growth and evolution of philanthropy throughout Australian society – in simple terms, to foster and achieve more and better philanthropy. It is the peak body and membership organisation for all individuals and organisations who are engaged, or want to be, in planned and thoughtful giving to bring about effective, positive social and community change.
This is not her first role in the philanthropic sector as she was the CEO of the Australian Communities Foundation for four years. The Australian Communities Foundation is a non-profit charitable foundation which enables accessible philanthropy and matches its donors’ interests to emerging social issues and needs of communities.
In between these two, prior to joining Philanthropy Australia, Sarah had an exciting and highly rewarding time as the CEO of The Reach Foundation, a for-purpose organisation working to improve the wellbeing of young people so they can get the most out of life.
In addition to her professional roles, Sarah has also served on a number of diverse Boards and committees. Her current community roles include Director of Kids Under Cover, board member of the Centre for Social Impact, Council Member of the National Museum of Australia and Board Member of the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing.
Sarah is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a Member and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Williamson Community Leadership Program and a Victorian JP.
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In conversation with Nicole Richards at the Philanthropy Meets Parliament Summit, Daniel Lee shared his insights on topics including the role of philanthropy as a driver of systems change which addresses root causes of social challenges, the relationship between philanthropy and government and what the new political environment in the United States means for philanthropy.