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 leadership team bring their professional experience, and their passion to bring about God’s work of transformation, to enact Tearfund’s vision and mission. All staff are based in Australia, most in the head office in Blackburn, Victoria.
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
With extensive community development experience developed while living in Vietnam and Myanmar and program management experience working across many areas of Tearfund’s work, Phil oversees Tearfund’s international program work, engaging more than 60 partner organisations across 18 countries.
Phil leads the International Program Team to enable communities to overcome the injustice of poverty by focusing on strengthening capacity, tracking program effectiveness, encouraging innovation and research, and delivering community transformation outcomes. The team also works in partnership with global alliances including the Integral Alliance and Micah Global.
Australian Program Director
Paul brings faith and theological insight to his role focusing on engaging Christians in Australia. With theological qualifications and church-based experience, Paul is passionate about empowering Christians across a wide variety of churches to make biblically-shaped responses to justice and poverty issues. His role encompasses church engagement, advocacy, communications and education, as well as raising the funds needed to support Tearfund’s international program. He leads Tearfund’s Australian Program team, engaging with Christians to enable them to live out their faith through prayer, lifestyle, learning, advocacy and giving. The team supports Tearfund’s supporters, volunteers and hundreds of churches across Australia.
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.
With a background in human rights law and not-for-profit leadership, Jo uses her skills to foster social change and challenge injustice. Jo leads Tearfund’s advocacy campaigns around poverty and a changing climate that put the tools and solutions in the hands of ordinary people. With a view to the bigger picture of injustice systems, Jo helps churches and individuals work together in powerful and impactful ways towards the changes that are needed. Tearfund’s advocacy work is done through collective efforts, collaborating with others such as Renew Our World, Micah Australia, Campaign for Australian Aid and Change the Record.
South Asia Program Coordinator
Kelly leads the team responsible for partnerships and projects in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Kelly supports the team to stay connected with recent developments and best practice working in complex environments, including a special interest in disability inclusion. Her team oversees Tearfund’s partnerships with Christian organisations working with very marginal communities in some of the world’s most difficult places, and straddles both long-term development programs and emergency relief and recovery programs. She co-founded Melbourne Development Circle and is a lead organiser for the Women in Development Network.
Ashley has a long history with Tearfund Australia providing oversight and direction to the finance and administration team. He brings in-depth knowledge of best-practice in providing financial support to our international partners across Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Ashley enables his team to maintain Tearfund’s commitment to wisely steward Tearfund’s financial resources, while providing high standards of financial services across the organisation.