Staff and Board Staff and Board

CARE Australia’s ability to deliver life-saving assistance and bring lasting change to poor communities is largely due to our talented, passionate and committed team.

In Australia and overseas we have 846 staff, of whom ninety-six per cent are nationals of the countries in which we operate, dedicated to our mission to work around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice.

We have a corporate governance system which ensures that management is fulfilling our mission and complying legal and ethical requirements. This is detailed in CARE Australia Governance. The Executive Team and Board of CARE Australia are listed below.

Executive Team

Peter Walton, Chief Executive Officer

Peter was appointed Chief Executive of CARE Australia in 2020 and can’t imagine a job that is better suited to his experience and ambitions. He is thrilled to be leading an organisation that shares his belief that we cannot defeat poverty and injustice without overcoming inequality.

Peter is excited to share his 28 years of international experience seeking better outcomes in international development and humanitarian activities. He has worked in over 50 countries, including seven years in Vietnam where he was awarded the Vietnam Government’s Medal for Peace and Friendship, the highest award offered to foreigners for services towards social development and poverty alleviation.

Peter’s leadership style is based on the values of courage and ambition. He questions existing ways of working to constantly ensure we are using our limited resources to maximise our impact. He is determined that CARE’s ambition will not be capped by self-imposed constraints. While respecting and building on the old, he is committed to asking difficult questions to ensure that we remain relevant, impactful and accountable to the people and communities we seek to support.

Peter was previously the Director International at Red Cross, Chief Executive of Infoxchange, Director of International Programs at Save the Children, and Regional Representative (Mekong) at ChildFund.

Louise Gray, Chief Operating Officer

Louise is responsible for making CARE Australia a sustainable and impactful organisation. SInce 2016, she has expertly led our finance, people management, IT, governance, compliance and business support functions. She is also the Company Secretary, Chief Finance Officer and Child Protection Officer. Her guiding principle is to use her voice and platform to affect change for the better. She is focussed on being bold and challenging the status quo so we can minimise overhead costs and direct resources to our core business.

We are fortunate to benefit from Louise’s strong governance experience, having held senior executive roles in government, not-for-profit and international aid organisations. Her achievements were recognised on the national stage when she was a finalist in the 2000 Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year Awards.

Louise has a strong interest in diversity and inclusion, particularly understanding how aspects of a person’s identity affect their experience of discrimination and privilege.

Louise was previously the Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer at Carers ACT, Director of Louise Gray Consulting Services, and Executive Director Corporate Services at Koomarri Disability Services.

CARE Australia - Director of International Programs and Operations

David Sims, Director of International Programs and Operations

David is responsible for delivering CARE Australia’s humanitarian and development programs around the world. He is driven by a deep respect for the people we seek to support, our donors and CARE’s staff across the globe. He understands the trust that these groups place in CARE Australia, and bases every decision he makes on how to respect these relationships.
David joined CARE in 2020 because he shares our focus on gender justice. He supports CARE to tackle these issues through our programming and advocacy work, but also by constantly challenging the way we work. He is passionate about being the change we want to see in the world and strives to be that change.

David has worked in the international development sector for 15 years, across Africa, Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East. He has led local and international teams to develop innovative solutions in humanitarian crises and development projects.

David was previously Head of Program Development and Effectiveness at Oxfam, Deputy Country Director at Save the Children and Humanitarian Manager at Save the Children.

Cath Hoban, Director of Fundraising and Marketing

Cath leads CARE Australia’s fundraising and marketing efforts, ensuring that we reach our ambitious income targets and maintain strong relationships with our stakeholders. Since she joined us in 2019, she has been driving our ethical, innovative and impactful campaigns.

Cath admired CARE’s work throughout her 25-year career in fundraising, and is proud to be part of a team that is empowering women to overcome poverty. Her first experience in the international aid sector was with her sister, who started a charity in Cambodia to stop the trafficking of women. She helped build the organisation and it has been a lifetime high to see the impact it has had on the lives of women and girls.

During her career, Cath has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for not-for-profits and developed award winning campaigns to advocate for the environment and human rights. Her experience and knowledge of the fundraising sector was acknowledged by Fundraising and Philanthropy Magazine Australia and New Zealand when she was awarded 2009 Fundraiser of the Year.

Cath was previously the Director of Fundraising and Marketing at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, National Director of Membership and Fundraising at The Wilderness Society and Joint Chief Executive Officer at The Wilderness Society.

We also have a range of experts who are available to discuss our work, in areas such as emergencies, gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, climate change, food, education, health and human rights. Visit our media section for more information.


The Board of Directors is responsible for directing CARE Australia’s activities towards the achievement of our vision and fulfilment of our mission, while living our core values.

It is responsible for approving strategic direction, monitoring implementation and fulfilling stakeholders’ expectations, along with overall performance, compliance with relevant laws, codes of conduct and ethical standards and for the oversight of risk management.



Marcus Laithwaite – Chair

Marcus has been the Chair of CARE Australia’s Board since March 2020 and brings significant experience in financial reporting, audit and risk management.

Marcus’ first connection with humanitarian work came when he was living with his family in Indonesia from 2003-06. During the 2004 tsunami, he was devastated at the loss of life and ongoing suffering in Banda Aceh and assisted The Red Crescent’s relief efforts. He has been involved with international aid organisations both in Australia and overseas ever since.

Marcus was drawn to CARE Australia’s focus on women and girls because he believes everyone deserves respect. His passion for equality is evident in his professional life where he was PwC Australia’s first Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer.

Marcus is currently a Partner at PwC Australia. He is also a member of CARE International’s Governance Board. His previous volunteer roles have included Chair of ChildFund Australia, Director of the PwC Foundation, Board member and Treasurer of the European Australian Business Council and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of Sydney Living Museums.


David Feetham

David Feetham

David’s career in investment banking has involved assessing strategies, solving problems and challenging the way things are done. Since joining our Board in 2013, he has shared these skills to help CARE assess the critical role we play in a rapidly changing world.

David has been a longtime supporter of the empowerment of women and the benefit that transfers to their family and community. He has visited CARE’s work in Myanmar and Timor-Leste and has seen that when women have an opportunity to learn and earn an income, their communities are healthier, more dynamic and more progressive. 

David is currently the Deputy Chairman of Gresham Advisory Partners Limited. 

He is also a member of CARE Australia’s International Programs and Operations Committee and Fundraising and Marketing Committee.

Joseph Tesvic – Treasurer

Joseph joined the Board of CARE Australia in 2016 and has been Treasurer since 2020. We are fortunate to benefit from his experience leading large-scale organisational transformations in the public and private sectors.
Joseph ‘s passion for equality led him to CARE Australia, and he is particularly inspired by our commitment to providing humanitarian and development assistance regardless of a person’s religion, gender or location.

Joseph works and travels frequently throughout Asia and has seen the need for CARE’s work firsthand. He also has experience leading social impact initiatives including corporate social responsibility efforts, pro bono contributions, and workplace giving.

Joseph is currently a Senior Partner in McKinsey & Company’s Sydney office and leads McKinsey’s Operations Improvement Practice for Asia-Pacific, and McKinsey’s Consumer Practice for Australia and New Zealand.

Dr Phoebe Wynn-Pope

Phoebe has worked in the humanitarian sector for 25 years, including in complex humanitarian emergencies and conflict zones around the world. Her academic work focuses on the role of the international community when confronting war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

When Phoebe joined our Board in 2018, we were delighted to welcome her back to CARE Australia, where she worked as our Emergency Response Manager in the 1990s. During this time, she led responses to major emergencies in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. She has incredibly well-rounded experience at CARE, also working as Assistant Country Director in South Africa and Principal Executive of Fundraising and Communications in Canberra.

Phoebe believes that courage is one of CARE’s most admirable values, because it takes courage to be ambitious and you have to be ambitious to build a world that is equal.

Phoebe is currently Head of Business and Human Rights and Head of Pro Bono at Corrs Chambers Westgarth. She is also a member of the Australian Human Rights Institute Advisory Committee, an Ambassador of the Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative, and a member of Monash University’s Masters of International Relations Advisory Board.

Phoebe is the Chair of the CARE Australia International Programs and Operations Committee and a member of the Finance and Risk Committee.

Peter_Varghese_077 cropped

Peter N Varghese AO

Peter brought his extensive experience in government and international relations to the Board when he joined in 2019. Like CARE, Peter is guided by the values of respect and equality, which capture what he strives for and how he behaves. He is inspired by CARE’s focus on women and girls, and believes that sustainable development is not possible without a focus on gender equality. 

Peter led the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade when it merged with AusAid, and  developed a strong understanding of the challenges of delivering humanitarian and development programs and the importance of in-country partnerships. He has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to public administration. 

Peter is currently the Chancellor of The University of Queensland. He is also a Director of North Queensland Airports, an advisor to Tata Consultancy Services, Chair of Asialink Advisory Council, Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board for the DFAT Historical Documents Series and Member of the International Governing Board of the Rajaratnum School of International Studies in Singapore.

Diana Nicholson pic

Diana Patricia Nicholson

We welcomed Diana to the Board in 2019 and are thrilled to benefit from her extensive experience in governance and her strong support for gender diversity. Diana has worked with some of the leading corporate and not-for-profit organisations in Australia in the areas of governance, acquisitions and takeovers, securities industry law, fundraising and commercial law.

Her approach to work and life is based on her belief that society is strongest when its members care for one another. She is excited to be contributing to long-term opportunities for women and girls, and highly values CARE’s focus on equality, which she sees as the driving force in all of CARE’s work.

Diana is currently a Senior Partner in the Mergers and Acquisitions practice at King & Wood Mallesons. She is also a member of the King & Wood Mallesons Community Impact Board, a member and Acting President of the Australian Takeovers Panel and a Trustee of Melbourne & Olympic Parks.

Morgana Ryan

Morgana is passionate about sharing her knowledge of business and technology to help improve the international development community. As a successful author who has written about international not-for-profit organisations, she enjoys sharing her insights and experience to benefit others.

Morgana strives to help humanitarian and development organisations to work more effectively, be more local and achieve even greater impact. She sees her appointment to our Board in 2021 as an opportunity to team with inspiring people, leverage her business, international development and governance experiences, and help to achieve our ambition of a world of hope, inclusion and social justice.

Morgana is driven by the positive impact greater diversity delivers to organisations and believes that every individual should have an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives.

Morgana is currently the Chair of Infoxchange and Connecting Up and a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jo Thomson

Jo has dedicated her career to designing, managing and evaluating international development programs throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific.

She shares CARE Australia’s commitment to gender equality, diversity, inclusion and women’s economic empowerment, and advises several NGOs, government and multilateral programs on these topics. She also has expertise in preventing sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment; child protection; public health; and the design, monitoring and evaluation of complex programs.

Jo was welcomed to our Board in 2021 and offers expertise in regulation and best practice, having co-authored the Australian NGO Accreditation Standards and the ACFID Code of Conduct.

Jo is currently the Director of Learning4Development. She is also a Board Director for Accountable Now and a member of the GAVI Independent Review Panel.

Advisory Council

Membership of the Advisory Council is by invitation from the Board to individuals who have given exceptional service to CARE Australia. Its objectives are to support and endorse the organisation’s vision, mission and core values, and to assist and provide counsel to the Board and the executive through the experience, corporate knowledge and community influence of its members.

Colin Galbraith, AM
Sir William Deane, AC, KBE
Tony Eggleton, AO, CVO
Philip Flood, AO
The Hon Barry Jones, AO, AC
Harold Mitchell, AC
Jocelyn Mitchell
Robert Yallop

Founding Chair

Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser, AC CH

Board Subcommittees

The Board appoints Committees, which regularly report to the Board, to assist in the discharge of its obligations, consider issues referred and delegated by the Board, and make recommendations to the Board. The Executive Committee exercises all the powers of the Board between meetings of the Board. It is not empowered to take action in contravention of a Board decision and utilises all practical means of consulting the full membership of the Board on significant matters.

The Finance and Risk Committee assists the Board in discharging its responsibilities concerning the integrity of financial management, and reporting its compliance with regulations and principles of best practice to achieve operational, financial and compliance risk management. It also oversees the effectiveness of audit functions.

The Fundraising and Communications Committee reviews and assesses marketing and communications strategies and fundraising investment proposals, and oversees relevant budgets. It facilitates the engagement of stakeholders, and identifies and supports fundraising and profile-building opportunities.

The International Program and Operations Committee assesses the strategic direction, performance and risk monitoring of program strategies developed by CARE Australia; projects where CARE Australia is contractually responsible; and the status of Country Offices for which CARE Australia is designated as Lead or Coordinating Member of CARE International. It has a particular responsibility to monitor safety and security conditions for staff in the field.

The People Committee assists the Board in its governance role of ensuring the organisation operates effectively, efficiently, ethically and legally in the context of industrial relations and health and safety requirements.  The People Committee reviews and assists in the development and execution of CARE Australia’s human resource strategies, policies and practices.

Subject to the direction of the Board, the Governance and Nominations Committee oversees the selection of appointees to the Board to ensure the right mix of skills, experience and expertise.