Our People 2020-04-03T03:50:20+00:00


A Start in Life Team

(L to R): Andrea Tiernan, Jason Chan, Madeleine Davies, Neil Robinson & Georgina Saunders

A Start in Life Executive Committee

(L to R): Top: Neil Robinson, John Carroll, Richard Winckles, Olly Bergstom and Dale Thomas-Berrier.

Bottom: Anne Ellison, Allan Elliott and Jeannine Walsh.

Allan Elliott

President of A Start in Life Executive Committee

Allan Elliott has been involved with digital printing and mailing services since 1986, most recently in his role as Director of The Mailing House Pty Ltd. He has previously served as President of the Small Offset Printers Association of NSW. Allan has significant experience in the charity sector through his past Presidency of  Lions Club of Brookvale and President of the NSW Freemasons’ Orphan Society Incorporated. Allan has served on the board of A Start in Life as President since 2012.

Dale Thomas-Berrier

Risk Executive, Governance & Operations, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Dale Thomas-Berrier is a finance and risk professional with over 16 years professional experience, and is a Senior Associate of FINSIA. Since joining the Executive Committee of A Start In Life, he has worked closely with the management of the charity to ensure the programs deliver lasting benefits to students. Dale has used his professional experience to bring vigour and soundness to the structure of the charity, and personal experience of growing up in a single parent household to ensure A Start in Life focus on those most in need.

Neil Robinson

Chief Executive Officer

Neil was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of A Start in Life in 2013, having first joined the charity in 2010. Prior to joining, Neil worked for over 25 years in the Finance Sector. Neil was Head of Private Portfolio and Margin Lending Business units for BT/ Westpac and Deutsche Bank. He held management roles spanning superannuation and investments at RetireInvest, and was a Vice President at Credit Suisse. Neil applies his corporate expertise to ensure an effective stewardship of funds entrusted occurs, so the maximum benefit can be provided to those in need.

Joseph Hansell

Managing Director, FTI Consulting

Joe is passionate about A Start in Life and the work it does to change the lives of kids “in our own backyard” through giving them an opportunity to receive a well-rounded education. Joe strongly believes in the power of education to transform the lives of kids who are living below the poverty line, allowing them to create their own successes in life and share in all the wonders this amazing country has to offer.

Jeannine Walsh OAM

Managing Director, Jeannine Walsh Pty Ltd

Director of Engagement, Wellness First International Pty Ltd

Jeannine was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2008 for service to the Contact Centre sector. She is also a founding member 1989 and current board member for the Australian Teleservices Association (ATA) and is a Fellow of the institute of financial services (IFS)

John Carroll

Senior Legal Editor, Thomson Reuters

John is a Senior Legal Editor in the Legal, Tax and Accounting subdivision at Thomson Reuters. John also edits and writes for the “Australian Law Journal Reports”, the monthly account of judgments of the High Court of Australia and contributes to specialist serials such as the “Australian Succession & Trust Law Reports”, the “Banking & Finance Reports of Australia” and the “Land Titles (Australia) Reports”.

John has been an Executive Committee Member of A Start in Life for 9 years.

Olly Bergstrom

Executive Committee Member

Olly has been actively involved with A Start in Life for 40 years and as President Emeritus continues to provide strong support and advocacy to the charity. He has been a Committee member for 15 years. Over the time he has been involved, Olly has witnessed many instances where students, who have have received assistance through A Start in Life, have gone on to enjoy very successful careers and made some wonderful contributions to the community.

Anne Ellison

Executive Committee Member

Anne has 30 years’ experience as a senior executive leading the Human Resource function in both private and public sector organisations. Her last such position was as Deputy Secretary, NSW Treasury. More recently Anne has led a corporate project in NSW Family and Community Services. She joined A Start in Life as an executive committee member in May 2018 and hopes to bring value from her corporate experience to the work and through that, the young people it supports.

Richard Winckles 

Executive Committee Member

Richard Winckles has been involved in the private equity industry internationally for 25 years and was Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Balmoral Capital in London. Prior to this, Richard worked as Co-Head of International Private Equity and Head of Europe for Credit Suisse First Boston. He has extensive international experience in an operational, strategic and entrepreneurial capacity which he brought to A Start in Life when joining in 2018.

The Trustees of A Start in Life, mindful of the ethos in the foundation of the charity, volunteer their time to ensure the most effective governance and operation of A Start in Life. All Directors of the Trustee Companies, similarly recognise this policy and consider it inappropriate to receive or seek to receive any remuneration or consultancy fees for their services.

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