Foundations Group for Impact Investing Market Information Day

Thu, 2 Nov 2023 02:00pm - 04:00pm AEDT


Thursday 2 November 2023

2.00pm – 4.00pm AEDT (ACT, NSW, TAS, VIC)

1.30pm – 3.30pm ACDT (SA)

1.00pm – 3.00pm (QLD)

12.30pm – 2.30pm ACST (NT)

11.00am – 1.00pm AWST (WA)

Online event

A Zoom link will be provided after registration.


  • To launch the Foundations Group for Impact Investing (FGII)
  • To present an overview and investment considerations of investment-ready organisations (open session)
  • To obtain feedback from FGII members to shape future market information days and FGII (closed session)


The Foundations Group for Impact Investing (FGII), launched in 2023, is designed to support market-building initiatives for foundations and charitable funders interested in starting or currently undertaking impact investing. 
The FGII plans to support market building through education and origination. The origination activities will primarily be delivered via the Market Information Days.

About Market information day

The Market Information Day on Thursday 2 November is our inaugural event held virtually. 

This launch event is an opportunity to share impact investments in the market and invite discussion. 

Come and hear the impact investing journey of the following organisations:
•    Clean Slate Clinic
•    Cool+
•    Covidence
•    Global Sisters
•    SELF

The Market Information Days are designed to educate attendees about the social impact investment landscape and opportunities from social impact funds, charities and social ventures. The event will focus on learning in a mutually supportive environment; newer investors learn from the questions posed by their more experienced peers, and those presenting are able to benefit from feedback on their ideas. We plan to run the market information days every second month. 

Agenda (in AEDT; ACT/ NSW/ VIC)

2pm: Welcome remarks

2:05pm: Open session – Speaker presentations, see organisations above (open to FGII members and non-members)

3:30pm: Closed session (FGII members only)

FGII Expression of interest

Do you know a Foundation or Charitable funder who would benefit from joining? 

Please help spread the word. The FGII expressions of interest can be submitted at: Foundations Group for Impact Investing (FGII) – Expression of Interest – Philanthropy Australia

Please note:

  • The open session will be recorded. The closed session is for FGII members only to provide feedback to support the development of future Market Information Days and the group.
  • Presenters will share their thoughts and views in conversation but will not offer any financial advice.


Philanthropic funders and foundations are welcome to attend this event.

For questions about this event or FGII, please contact the FGII Program Manager Michelle Di Fabio at [email protected].

If you wish to sign up as a Philanthropy Australia member, please reach out to [email protected].


Pia Clinton-Tarestad – Co-founder and CEO, Clean Slate Clinic

Pia Clinton-Tarestad is CEO and co-founder of Clean Slate Clinic – a Social Enterprise with the mission of reducing health inequality and improving access to alcohol and other drug treatment.
Pia is a Health Economist by background who has worked in public and private healthcare for over 20 years, including as Head of Specialised Commissioning for the NHS in England and Lead Partner for Healthcare at Deloitte Australia.  
Pia’s passion for tackling health inequities and her own lived experience of alcohol dependence drives her determination to transform how addiction treatment services are perceived and delivered and to tear down stigma, and the other barriers to access.

Thea Stinear – CEO,

Thea Stinear is a passionate advocate for education, dedicated to unleashing its transformative power. With over 16 years of experience in the education sector, Thea has witnessed firsthand the profound impact of quality education in fostering opportunity, growth, understanding, and hope.

As the CEO of, she has led a dedicated team in reaching over 175,000 Australian educators and touching the lives of 6.1 million young individuals.’s mission is to bridge the gap between purpose-led organisations and classrooms by providing free, curriculum-aligned learning resources that make a real-world impact. Thea’s unwavering commitment is to ensure that all students are equipped with the knowledge and confidence to realise their dreams, contributing to their communities and the planet.

Her career journey includes roles such as Chief Executive Officer, General Manager, and Head of Curriculum at Cool Australia, where she has been instrumental in shifting the culture of education through high-quality resources and project-based learning. Furthermore, she has a background in environmental education and has served as a board member at VAEE.

In addition to her professional achievements, Thea has pursued further education, completing Governance Foundations for Not-for-Profit Directors, Lateral Thinking Diploma and is completing a Masters of Instructional Leadership in Education from the University of Melbourne.

Thea’s expertise extends to sustainability and environmental education, endorsed by colleagues and peers. Her dedication to education and sustainability has earned her recognition, including being shortlisted for Impact 25 ProBono Awards and receiving accolades at the Victorian Education Excellence Awards.

Julian Elliott – Co-founder and CEO of the Future Evidence Foundation, presenting on Covidence
Julian Elliott is one of the world’s leading innovators in the use of research evidence to address societal challenges. He is the co-founder and CEO of the Future Evidence Foundation, a non-profit company that develops Covidence, the world’s most widely used software platform for summarising science. Covidence accelerates the translation of research into action and enables new ways of using research to solve society’s most challenging problems. The ‘living’ evidence model developed by Prof Elliott and partners was widely used during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now being taken up around the world in health, education, climate and other fields. 
Prof Elliott has an appointment at Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine where he is a professor in evidence synthesis. He worked for many years as an infectious diseases physician and researcher, including in remote indigenous communities and South-East Asia, and is a recipient of the Australian Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research.

Robyn Robertson – Women’s Financial Inclusion Lead, Global Sisters

Robyn has more than two and a half decades of subject matter expertise in international development, specifically in the thematic areas of microfinance, responsible inclusive finance and gender lens investing. Robyn has held a range of roles responsible for regional portfolios at World Vision, Good Return, Microfinance Opportunities, and at the time one of the largest microfinance organisations globally, Opportunity International.

Robyn’s career is characterised by research, development and innovation – exploration through adaptive design for large-scale behaviour change programs that tackle the complex, stubborn socio-economic issues facing our world today.

Robyn has held representation on both national and international working groups responsible for socio-economic policy development (such as the Shared Value Summit Asia Pacific, Financial Inclusion Innovation Summit, and the Financial Inclusion 2020 Financial Capability Global Industry Working Group 2012-2015 Chaired by World Bank, IFC and UN).

Mark Daniels – Chief Operating Officer, White Box Enterprises, presenting on Sustainable Employment Loan Fund (SELF)

Mark is a leading figure in the social enterprise sector in Australia. He has worked in the social enterprise field since 2001. Over that time, he has procured from social enterprise, run social enterprises, lobbied for social enterprise and founded Social Traders – Australia’s leading social enterprise development organisation, where he led the development of their social enterprise marketplace, which has become a must-access service for corporate and government clients seeking to build social enterprises into their supply chains.

Mark joined White Box Enterprises as the Chief of Operations in 2021. He oversees many aspects of the organisation, including the Work of White Box Finance, the Payment by Outcomes Trial, White Box Property and start-ups Civik and Hotel Housekeeping.

FGII chair

Ben Smith – Head, Impact Investing at Paul Ramsay Foundation

Ben leads the Paul Ramsay Foundation’s impact investing activities. This involves growing the impact investing portfolio, managing the team, shaping future strategy and designing new investment opportunities.

Ben has a decade of experience in impact investing and social enterprise. Before joining the Foundation, Ben established UnLtd’s – the UK’s largest early-stage social enterprise supporter – investment department and first funds. Most recently, Ben was Head of Social and Impact Investment at Esmée Fairbairn Foundation – the UK’s largest impact investing foundation. Other notable activities in the space include being Vice Chair of NatWest Social and Community Capital – where he implemented the charity’s ‘total impact approach’, lecturing social finance at the University of Westminster and co-Chairing the UK’s Social Impact Investors Group.

Ben holds a BSc in International Business from Aston Business School, and an MEd from Aston University. 

FGII Program manager 

Michelle Di Fabio – Program Manager for the Foundations Group for Impact Investing (FGII), Philanthropy Australia

Michelle leads the Foundations Group for Impact Investing at Philanthropy Australia. The FGII launched in 2023, is designed to support market-building initiatives for foundations and charitable funders interested in starting or currently undertaking impact investing. 

Michelle is experienced in strategy, program delivery, education and impact investing. Michelle is recognised for her leadership and contribution to the superannuation and responsible investing sectors, and has held roles including Head of Strategy for Hostplus Superannuation, Relationship Manager for the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and is the Founder and Director of Strategic Global Advisory (SGA).

Michelle is passionate about education and collaboration, currently lecturing in Impact Investing (Sustainable Investment) at The University of Melbourne.

Michelle qualified as a Chartered Accountant at PwC and is an alumnus of The University of Melbourne, University of Manchester and Oxford University, where she was awarded a leadership scholarship to study the Social Impact Investing Programme at the SAID Business School.

Michelle is a board member of Dodgeball Australia, National student body Financial Management Association of Australia (FMAA) and former Alumni Deputy Chair at The University of Melbourne.