Board and Team
A voluntary Board of Directors with a wealth of experience in the community, business and government oversee Hands Across Canberra.
Diane Kargas Bray AM, Chair
Diane has been a tireless contributor to the Canberra community and mentor for people in the charitable and not for profit sector. In her former role as Public Trustee for the ACT, Diane founded the Capital Region Community Foundation known as GreaterGood for the perpetual benefit of Canberra and the region. Diane was the ACT Local Hero in 2004, and in 2007 was recognised by the International Women's Day Award for services to the ACT Community. In 2009 she was awarded Member of the Order of Australia for her services to philanthropy, aged care, people with disabilities and juvenile diabetes research. In 2011 she was listed on the Honour Roll of 100 inspiring women in the ACT. Diane is the Chair of Common Ground Canberra, member of the ACT Reconciliation Council and the Sentence Administration Board and in 2018 was named as the ACT Citizen of the Year.
Charley Cramer currently works with the Federal Government start up, the Regional Investment Corporation (The RIC) and recently delivered the federally funded flood relief package to the victims of the 2019 North QLD Floods. Charley has over 19 years experience in corporate, wholesale and commercial banking, which includes diverse financing, capital markets, advisory, and strategic leadership experience. Charley's career has spanned corporate, private and commercial banking and, before joining the RIC, Charley held senior roles at St.George and the Westpac Group, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and NAB group of companies. An engaged advocate for Canberra, Charley is an active ACT Business Leader having previously held positions on the ACT Business Chamber's Innovation, and International Trade Task forces. He is a committed mentor to high potential young people and maintains an active involvement in The Hunger Project - a not-for-profit organisation whose goal is to alleviate hunger and domestic violence through the empowerment and education of women.
CEO, Village Building Company
Travis was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Village Building Company on 1 July 2016 after joining the group as Deputy CEO in 2015. Travis has close to 25 years’ experience in executive leadershippositions across a range of industries including property development and construction, financial services, manufacturing and professional services.
An entrepreneurial and values-based leader with a strong background in developing and motivating teams, Travis maintains a strong commercial focus and has a proven track record of delivering successful outcomes. He is passionate about enhancing customer experience and shareholder value, and developing a high performance culture. His influence in the property industry was recognised with his appointment as President of the Property Council of Australia (ACT Branch) in February 2019, andas a Director to the Property Council of Australia’s Board.
In his time with Village, Travis has maintained a commitment to engaging with and giving back to local communities. In 2018, the company announced a partnership with MBA ACT and Hands Across Canberra, with the proceeds of a Village-constructed house to be donated to Canberra’s mostvulnerable people.
Prior to joining Village, Travis held senior positions at NAB over a nine-year period including as General Manager of various operational business units, CEO of Anchorage Home Loans and Director of Vipro, an industry utility with NAB, Westpac and CBA. Travis also spent 8 years at Ernst & Young Melbourne and the UK, and 3 years at Simplot Australia in various client engagement and leadership positions.
Travis was appointed to the Hands Across Canberra and Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund Boards in August 2019.
Amelda Keys, GAICD
Amelda (Mel) is the joint owner of Canberra’s largest BCorp company Aspen Medical, and Chair of the Aspen Foundation. She is a graduate of the AICD and also has qualifications in Social Work, Business, Pastoral Care and Mothercraft Nursing. Mel has had an extensive career in the child and family, health and disability sectors. For several years now, Mel has been involved with and supported many Not for Profit organisations, in particular in the areas of disability, indigenous health, housing and food rescue. She is passionate about encouraging philanthropy through giving and service, both within the Canberra community and nationally.
John Kalokerinos began his career as a lawyer at the international law firm Minter Ellison. He has been a public servant since 2004 and a senior executive since 2011 in a range of operational, strategic policy and governance roles.
John is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and has strong corporate governance experience. He is a director of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and is a former director or committee member of a range of public, professional and community sector boards, including the Council of the University of Canberra, the AICD’s ACT Divisional Council, the ACT Place Names Committee, the ACT Public Cemeteries Authority, the National Heart Foundation of Australia (ACT Division) and the Hellenic Club of Canberra.
Edward Le Quesne
Ed is a Director at EY Canberra, with experience in the provision of accounting, tax and governance advice to not-for-profit, commercial and Government clients. Ed has experience working with Hands Across Canberra, having been involved in the initial setup of HAC and with ongoing involvement to date. Ed has 15 years commercial experience in Canberra which he will bring enthusiastically to the board of Hands Across Canberra
Heather Moore is an anti-human trafficking specialist, with nearly 17 years’ experience in senior management and consulting roles. She has worked internationally across a range of areas, including survivor support, program management, capacity building, policy, research and graduate education.
Heather was an anti-trafficking consultant for the US Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime and has advised governments, multi-stakeholder networks and business on developing survivor-centred responses that go beyond minimum standards to achieving practical and measurable positive change for people affected by slavery.
Passionate about ensuring that policy and practice is founded on solid evidence, she now manages the Trafficking and Slavery Research Group at Monash University, which is focused on strengthening responses to modern slavery in global supply chains through collaborative research and evaluation.
Previously, Heather was a Policy Adviser on modern slavery for The Salvation Army and supported asylum seekers and refugees across Canberra and SE NSW as Manager for Australian Red Cross Migration Support Programs. Heather holds a Master of Science in Social Work with a focus in International Social Welfare from Columbia University in New York.
Heather was appointed to the hands Across Canberra and Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund Board in August 2019.
Peter Vardos PSM
Peter has had a distinguished 38-year career in the Australian Public Service. Peter commenced as a graduate with the former Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) where his experience included serving in Australia's diplomatic missions in the Solomon Islands, Kenya and Zimbabwe as well as on the staff of two federal ministers. Peter joined the Department of Immigration in 1995 and was promoted to Deputy Secretary in 2011, with responsibility for global visa and citizenship services. In the eight months leading up to his retirement in May 2016, Peter led the establishment of the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Taskforce with responsibility for coordinating the government's commitment to re-settle 12,000 persons affected by the Syrian conflict. Peter received a Public Service Medal in the 2002 Australia Day Honours List.
Peter Gordon is the CEO of Hands Across Canberra. He has been with the Foundation since its inception providing valuable leadership and using his extensive network to create change in the community sector.
Peter has established a reputation for assisting organisations to grow, prosper and achieve value for their stakeholders.
As a Senior Public Servant and consultant, Peter has had a distinguished career in economic and business development, entrepreneurship and community engagement. He holds a Master of Education Leadership and is a member of Economic Development Australia.
Peter also plays a significant role in the Canberra community as:
- Board member of the Canberra Area Theatre Awards
- Board member of the Indigenous Marathon Project and SmartStart for Kids.
- Board member of The National Centre for Australian Children's Literature.
- Ambassador One Disease at a Time
- Past President of Duo Australia.
Peter Campos has worked in executive positions in the health sector since 1991 in WA, SA and the NT, managing the health budget in WA and medium and large hospitals and health services as well as a full NT acute care (hospitals) system.
During this time he acquired a deep knowledge of government financing processes, budget management and hospital operations.
Since 2008 Peter has been involved in infrastructure improvements to remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory as well as assisting in indigenous economic and business development. This also involved funding utility services to 72 remote indigenous communities and the provision of municipal and utility services in 400 homelands and outstations in the Northern Territory.
More recently he has been involved in a health service development project in the western highlands in PNG and in infrastructure coordination on Groote Eylandt for the Anindilyakwa Land Council.
Lesley has lived in Canberra since 1969. She attended Dickson and Belconnen High Schools and graduated from the ANU with BSc (Hons). She worked in the Commonwealth and ACT Public Services for 35 years including over 10 years as a Senior Executive Officer with the Commonwealth. Her career covered policy and operational placements in areas including child care, disability, property, service delivery to indigenous communities and refugee processing. She has extensive community volunteering experience. Lesley worked on the establishment of Hands Across Canberra and has been continuously involved since then. Following her retirement in 2015 Lesley has worked with Hands Across Canberra as a volunteer, assisting with administration, marketing and fundraising.
Grants and Partnerships Manager
Julia leads the organisations community engagement and manages our grant programmes. She joined Hands Across Canberra in September 2018.
Prior to joining Hands Across Canberra, Julia spent over six years in the Middle East working for the United Nations and international for-purpose organisations. Julia has been a resident of Canberra since 2017 and is currently enrolled in a Master of Evaluation with the University of Melbourne.