Project Team & Project Advisory Group

Project Team

The project is being undertaken by the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) with support from Social Ventures Australia (SVA).

  • The project is being led by the CSI Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Young.  SVA Consulting’s Ben McAlpine is the project manager.
  • Several members of the CSI team are supporting the project, including Directors from CSI Swinburne, CSI UWA and CSI UNSW (see the Advisory Group list below for names).
  • Members of the CSI UNSW team including Jade Wong are supporting project research, as well as SVA Consultant Anders Uechtritz.

You can find out more about the CSI at and SVA at

Advisory Group

The project Advisory Group provides guidance on key elements of the project and feedback on findings and draft reports, and about communication and stakeholder engagement. The Advisory Group has been chosen to represent a diversity of views and sectors:

Adv Gp 2

Advisory Group member participation does not imply:

  • Agreement with any Civil Society National Centre for Excellence project finding or recommendation.
  • Endorsement of Government policies relating to the National Centre for Excellence or any other policy relating to the civil society sector.

Summary Backgrounds

A brief background on each of the Advisory Group members and key project personnel follows.

  • Sean Barrett has held senior management roles in national and international NGOs in Australia and overseas. He has also worked in, and for, State and Federal Governments on social marketing campaigns. He is now working in philanthropy as Head of the Origin Foundation which, in addition to providing grants, operates matched giving and volunteer programs.
  • David Crosbie is the CEO of the Community Council for Australia. We was previously CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia, CEO of Odyssey House Victoria, and CEO of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia. He has served on a range of key national policy bodies including being the Co-Chair of the National Compact Expert Advisory Group, a member of the Community Response Task Group set up by then Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister’s Australian National Council on Drugs, the National Advisory Council on Mental Health, and the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation.
  • Alex Gartmann is CEO of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR). Having lived and worked in small communities across three states for the last 18 years, she is familiar with the challenges and opportunities. Other networks include the National Rural Advisory Council, Chair of the CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship Advisory Council, the Australian Landcare Council, and the Victorian Floods Disaster Appeal Fund.
  • Martin Laverty is the CEO of Catholic Health Australia. He founded and chairs the Social Determinants of Health Alliance, is a member of the National Disability Insurance Scheme board, a member of the NSW Public Service Commission board, a member of the Federal Government’s Aged Care Sector Committee, and a member of the Federal Government’s Clinical Trials Advisory Board. He is also a member of the National Health Performance Authority Advisory Committee for Private Hospitals and the Australian Catholic University Faculty of Health Sciences Advisory Board. Martin has previously worked in roles at the NSW Parliament, the NSW Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Smith Family, and Burson-Marsteller. Martin is the former Board Chair of the NSW Heart Foundation, the former Board Chair of the disability service providers Challenge Southern Highlands and Sunshine, and is a former member of the NSW Muscular Dystrophy Association Board. He is a lawyer by training, and is near to completing a PhD in governance of not-for-profit health services.
  • Alison McClelland is a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission. She has previously held positions as Executive Director, Strategic Policy, Research and Forecasting at the Victorian Department for Planning and Community Development (DPCD): Associate Professor and Head of School, Social Work and Social Policy, La Trobe University and Director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL), responsible for Social Action and Research.  She has participated in numerous government advisory committees, has held several honorary positions with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and was awarded the Centenary Medal for her contribution to social policy and social research in Australia.
  • Krystian Seibert is Policy & Research Manager with Philanthropy Australia. As the national peak body for philanthropy, its more than 700 Members and Associates include trusts and foundations, businesses, families and individuals who want to make a difference through their own philanthropy and to encourage others with their giving. Prior to joining Philanthropy Australia, Krystian was an adviser to former Australian Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury. In this role he oversaw the delivery of major not-for-profit sector reforms including the passage of Australia’s first comprehensive statutory definition of charity, the Charities Act 2013, and the establishment of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). Krystian has completed a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science focusing on regulatory policy, and a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) from Deakin University.
  • Richard Spencer has spent many years working at CEO level in the non-profit sector. Most recently he was the CEO of The Benevolent Society from 2004 to 2011. Previous roles have included CEO of Cerebral Palsy Alliance and President and CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs in New York. He also served as Executive Director for UNICEF Australia in the late 80s. Prior to that he worked as a corporate lawyer for Clayton Utz and as a senior manager with Pioneer International and Rio Tinto.
  • Rebecca Vassarotti is currently working at Deputy CEO at Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). She has served on the Board of ACOSS as well as serving on the board of the ACT Council of Social Service, in roles including President. In prior roles Rebecca worked with the Consumers Health Forum of Australia and for ten years she was Executive Director at the YWCA of Canberra. Rebecca is a board member of Community Housing Canberra, was previously a Co-Chair of the ACT Anti Poverty Week Coordinating Committee, a member of the ACT Portable Long Service Leave Board and the ACT NGO representative to the National Implementation Panel for the National Action Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.
  • Prof Josephine Barraket (Director, CSI Swinburne) is a leading researcher in the areas of social enterprise and relationships between governments and the third sector in social policy development. She was the editor of the book, Strategic Issues for the Not for Profit Sector, published by UNSW Press in 2008, and her work was cited by the Productivity Commission in its 2010 inquiry into the contributions of the not for profit sector. Professor Barraket has led a number of consultation and program evaluation projects for a government, statutory and third sector organisations. These include program evaluations for the former Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development; Adult Multicultural Education Services; Mission Australia; and the Myer Foundation. Most recently, Profesor Barraket has been national expert adviser to the OECD on two projects related to the social economy and employment creation.
  • Associate Professor Kristy Muir (Research Director, CSI UNSW) conducts research aiming to contribute solutions for complex social issues experienced by children, young people, families and communities (with particular expertise in disability and mental health). Since 2007, she has worked with over twenty different government departments and non-government organisations on research and evaluations that aim to improve social impact. Kristy was previously an Associate Professor at the Social Policy Research Centre, the Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UNSW (2011-13) and the Director of the Disability Studies and Research Centre (2009-10). Prior to joining academia, Kristy worked in the NGO sector (with children and young people with disabilities and as a researcher).
  • Winthrop Professor Paul Flatau (Director, CSI UWA) has over 100 publications concentrated in the fields of social policy and labour economics. He has made significant contributions to the analysis of social and economic outcomes and the effectiveness of programs and interventions in a broad range of areas including poverty, unemployment, education and training, housing, juvenile justice, and mental health and well-being. Paul has established strong links with, and awareness of, not-for-profit organisations working closely with those with high needs. He actively engages in policy and industry discussions and seeks to build knowledge and debate around important issues in a variety of domains. Over the last three years as Director of the UWA Business School Centre for Social Impact, Paul has established an extensive program of public lectures, workshops, breakfasts and conferences that have brought the University to the WA and Australian corporate, NFP and government sectors.
  • Prof John Fitzgerald (Director, Asia Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy) served for five years as China Representative of The Ford Foundation in Beijing. Before that John was Head of the School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University and, before that again, Director of the International Centre of Excellence in Asia-Pacific Studies at the Australian National University. In Canberra he served as Chair of the Education Committee of the Australia-China Council of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as chair of the Committee for National and International Cooperation of the Australian Research Council, and as International Secretary of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. John’s book, Big White Lie: Chinese Australians in White Australia (UNSW 2007) was awarded the Ernest Scott Prize of the Australian Historical Association for the most distinguished book on Australian History.
  • Dr Andrew Young has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Social Impact since early 2012. He is dedicated to improving the effectiveness of social impact across the social purpose, government and corporate sectors in Australia. After completing a PhD at the University of Adelaide in 1995, Andrew worked as a strategy consultant with Andersen Consulting, providing strategy, business and marketing advice to large Australian and international companies. Seeking to use his skills for social outcome, he took up a role as head of marketing for The Smith Family. Andrew was appointed Chief Executive Officer of youth cancer charity CanTeen in 2004, winning Equity Trustees’ Not-for-Profit CEO First Year Achiever Award in 2005.
  • Ben McAlpine is a Consultant in the SVA Consulting team, having joined SVA in July 2013. Prior to this, Ben worked at PwC, providing assurance and risk management services to a range of commercial, public and not-for-profit clients. He has experience in strategy, governance and risk management programs. Ben is deeply passionate about the capacity of social impact organisations to achieve significant and lasting change. Ben holds a Master of Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Sydney.