Then, as now, Tearfund was formed primarily of voluntary workers. As Tony McCarthy, Chair of the Board from 1979—2004 writes: “Tearfund is, and has always been, a peoples' organisation. It is a community of disciples committed to being practical in expressing their faith; passionate about their discipleship in seeking to express God's love and concern for the poor; and rigorous in exploring the scriptures to learn and to inform both belief and practice. It is an inclusive organisation.”
Surrounding the paid staff positions and voluntary Board members is a vast network of Christians in Australia who contribute to the spiritual, directional, financial and educational work.
Tearfund Australia’s Board members are faithful Christians who volunteer their time and skills to steering the organisation’s governance, direction and accountability.
Our executive leadership team bring their professional experience, and their passion to bring about God’s work of transformation, to enact Tearfund’s vision and mission.
Chief Executive Officer
Matthew brings both the breadth of global experience and the depth of faithful Christian service to his role as Tearfund’s Chief Executive Officer. With over 30 years experience working with community, relief and development organisations across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific, Matthew knows how to forge effective global partnerships based on mutual respect. He is passionate about seeing the Australian church at the forefront of the global justice movement, supporting effective development practices.
Matthew's leadership contributions extend beyond Tearfund to the wider sector, and he currently serves as the Vice President of the ACFID Board, Vice Chair of the Micah Global Board and as a member of the Campaign for Australian Aid Executive Committee and the Integral Alliance Board (a global disaster response network of Christian agencies).
International Program Director
Mary brings a wealth of experience to the International Program Director role. Born and raised in Kenya, where she experienced first-hand the work of INGOs in community development, Mary went on to study and work within the international aid and development sector and has been working in this space for almost two decades. This includes work within the Tearfund family of agencies (Tearfund UK, Kenya) and with several of our partner agencies, before joining Tearfund Australia to oversee our international program work. Mary leads the International Program Team to enable communities to overcome the injustice of poverty by focusing on strengthening capacity; tracking program effectiveness; encouraging innovation, collaboration and research; and, partnering with communities to deliver community transformation outcomes. The team also works in partnership with global alliances including the Integral Alliance and Micah Global.
People & Culture Director
Karen brings over 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector to the Human Resources role overseeing the management of people at Tearfund, which includes staff and volunteers in Australia, and volunteers and consultants placed with overseas partners. With knowledge gained from Human Resources, accounting, business management, training, senior leadership and governance roles, Karen facilitates excellence, professionalism and care through all areas of Tearfund’s People & Culture including recruitment, learning and development and employee wellbeing. Karen is passionate about ‘purpose-filled’ work, engaging, equipping and empowering all people at Tearfund to optimally achieve Tearfund’s mission.
Digital Services Director
Kate has over 15 years’ experience working in the not-for-profit sector. With a passion for connecting technical expertise and information to support the development and implementation of organisational strategy, Kate leads the Digital Services Team which has both internal and external facing aspects. With a strong understanding of Tearfund’s digital needs, the team focuses on continuous improvement and best practice to deliver digital strategies, systems, tools and processes to enable Tearfund to achieve its mission.
Financial Operations & Supporter Services Director
As an experienced external auditor for many years in the not-for-profit sector, Stephen oversees Tearfund’s Financial Operations & Supporter Services Team. With a background in grant management, capacity building and improving international partner financial systems Stephen leads the team to pursue a culture of excellence and rigour in the areas of financial management, reporting and compliance to deliver Tearfund’s mission through its international partners and here in Australia.
Australian Programs Director
Greg brings over two decades of experience with Tearfund's supporter engagement team - informing, challenging and empowering Australian Christians to make biblically shaped responses to poverty and justice. Greg leads a national team that engages with Christians to enable them to live out their faith through prayer, discipleship, learning, advocacy and giving. The team works with Tearfund’s supporters, volunteers and hundreds of churches across Australia who work in partnership with Tearfund to help us achieve our mission through church engagement, advocacy, communications and education and raising the funds needed to support Tearfund’s International and First People programs.
An award winning writer, speaker, educator, artist and successful touring performance poet, Joel McKerrow has been Tearfund's Artist Ambassador since 2014.Read more about Joel