Our People

Executive Team

Sarah O’Connor – Chief Executive Officer

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Sarah O’Connor has been CEO of Australian Business Volunteers since July 2012. She has a long-term history with ABV as a director of the Board (2009–2012) and as a volunteer, having undertaken three assignments since 2003. Her recent professional experience is as a consultant providing business development support to other Australian not-for-profit organisations. From 2005–2010 she worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, including the Social Inclusion Unit, driving the whole-of-government reform of the not-for-profit sector. In 2010, Sarah completed the Asialink Leaders Program and continues to be active in the Leaders Alumni. In April 2013, Sarah was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council.

Rodney Martin– General Manager, Corporate

Rodney Martin 150x100Rodney Martin commenced as the General Manager, Corporate at Australian Business Volunteers in August 2016. Rodney holds a Bachelor of Business and is a Certified Practicing Accountant with over 30 years’ experience in all levels of government having worked in small and large organisations throughout New South Wales and the ACT. During his 20 years working at the grass roots level in local government (including 10 years as Director Corporate Services) Rodney was actively involved in various local community groups and was proactive in seeking grant funding opportunities to improve the lifestyle of local residents. His most rewarding achievement was securing funding and project managing the development of the Tenterfield Cinema/Theatre which was a cultural success story for the region.

Melinda Spink – General Manager, International Services

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Melinda Spink has fifteen years’ experience in international development working as a senior consultant, in research organisations and for government. Melinda’s expertise includes public health and sustainability and she has extensive experience in designing and leading large scale integrated development projects. She has previously held executive level positions in CSIRO where she managed multidisciplinary teams undertaking applied research into the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development, and was Director of the CSIRO AusAID Research for Development Alliance which aimed to improve the impact of international development investment.

Tony Mansfield – Business Development Executive

Tony 100x150 Tony Mansfield’s career began with his own small business in communications, and moved into roles leading and managing communications agencies and their clients through mergers, acquisitions, and cultural change, for listed global communications networks. He has qualifications and skills in change management, skills assessment and training, executive team facilitation, and mentoring & coaching, for leaders and their teams. He brings an appreciation of and experience in customer centric culture change and social behavioural change campaigns in federal and state government agencies around Australia, financial and professional services, property, utilities, retail businesses and airlines. He is passionate about leading business development through strong partnerships where learning, self-development, and sharing a common purpose, results in benefits for all.


The ABV Board

Mark Epper – Chair

Mark Epper blue 100x150Mark has spent 27 years as an audit partner with KPMG, and has served on the Board of KPMG and its Remuneration Committee for several years. In addition to his deep financial expertise Mark has a broad base of industry experience and extensive experience with ASX Top 200 companies. He has worked in Australia and internationally, particularly China and Philippines, as Partner-in Charge of the NSW China Practice and lead partner on KPMG’s quality review programme in Australia, China and Manila. Mark holds a a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting, is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

John Field

John Field

John currently is the key Advisor to a start-up Twosquarepegs looking to match mature experts to growing businesses. John has had an extensive management career spanning both the private and public sector and both large and small organisations. This has included Manager Development Capacity for the National Australia Bank Investment Division, General Manager Information Technology for Linfox, General Manager for Computer Power’s Software Division, General Manager Policy and Services Division, Victorian Government Department of Industry and Technology, General Manager Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute and General Manager Australia, Agentis International. John has also consulted and contracted widely in the transport planning and general management areas. John has completed four ABV assignments in the Philippines, Vanuatu, Lao and Cambodia. John holds a Masters of International and Community Development from Deakin, Masters of Science jointly earned from Harvard and MIT and a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) from Monash University.

Frances Healy

Frances Healy100x150 Fran’s career spans over 35 years in both State and Commonwealth governments and the not-for-profit sector. Fran was CEO for Greening Australia (Tasmania) for seven years.  Other positions have included as Communication Manager for Tasmania’s National Parks and Wildlife, Senior Policy Analyst in the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Business Development and Communication Manager in the of CSIRO Division of Marine Research. Fran has been Chair of Volunteering Tasmania and a Director on the Board of Volunteering Australia. She is a member of the Tasmanian Resource Management and Planning Tribunal and has been a member of the Tasmanian Natural Resource Management Council, Tasmanian Marine Farming Planning Review Panel and the Tasmanian Product Safety Committee (2005-2007). She has a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Zoology / Botany, a Diploma of Education and a Diploma of Company Directors. Fran has been a volunteer on five ABV assignments.

Susan Kluss – Chair, Governance Committee

4056 ABV_055After obtaining her Degrees majoring in law and economics, Sue began her legal career as a solicitor in 1980 with the Legal Aid Commission of NSW, where she defended people charged with criminal offences in the Children’s, Local, District and Supreme courts for 9 years. She became a barrister in 1990 and currently practices at Maurice Byers Chambers in Sydney. Her trial and appellate practice now also takes her to many major country centres and she has extensive experience in the District Court, the Court of Criminal Appeal, the Police Integrity Commission, Independent Commission against Corruption, the Crime Commission, Administrative Decisions Tribunal and the NSW Parole Board. Sue has also volunteered on various projects with Fr Chris Riley since 1994 and was appointed to the board of Youth off the Streets- Overseas Relief Fund in 2003. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Elly Patterson

elly100x150Elly Patterson is Engagement Director at the Australia-Indonesia Centre. Prior to this Elly was the Director of Partnerships and Communications with Asialink for 3 years and has previously worked for 15 years in senior Asia-engaged roles for multinational companies as well as operating her own tourism marketing company. Elly speaks Japanese and basic Bahasa Indonesia. In addition, Elly has held various board positions (GAICD) and is currently enrolled in a Masters of Business Analytics (Data). Having grown up in Jakarta and Bandung as a child, Elly has a strong interest in developing prosperous cultural and economic partnerships between Indonesia and Australia

Ilan Rimer

4056 ABV_051Ilan Rimer is the CEO of Property Trail, a real estate technology business. Prior to this, he was the Group General Manager, Strategy, for Stellar Asia-Pacific where he was responsible for corporate strategy and new business development. He began his career as a generalist management consultant at PwC and then Bain & Co. before moving in house. Ilan then held corporate strategy and development roles at Visy and Australia Post, leading the creation of new businesses and providing business-critical advice. Ilan holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Oxford University and Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from The University of Melbourne and Monash University. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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