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Sue Woodward AM


Sue Woodward AM commenced as Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) on December 12, 2022. Previously she was Chief Adviser for Not-for-profit Law with the charity Justice Connect.

Sue was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2021 for “significant service to the not-for-profit sector, fundraising and the law.”

Sue played an instrumental role in the formation of the ACNC, serving as the inaugural Director of Policy and Education during the early years of the Commission.

She has been involved with a number of leadership bodies including: the Charities Crisis Cabinet, the Victorian Government Volunteer Strategy Taskforce, the Victorian Government’s Social Services Regulator Taskforce and the National Strategy for Volunteering Council.

In pursuit of a stronger, more resilient sector, Sue also contributed to the governance of organisations in the sector, most recently sitting on the boards of the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS), the Human Rights Law Centre and the Australian Communities Foundation, and previously SANE Australia.

As an academic at Melbourne Law School, she made a seminal contribution to reform of the regulation for the charity and not-for-profit sector with her 2004 research report: 'A Better Framework: reforming the not-for-profit regulation'. Justice Connect’s Not-for-Profit Law service was established in 2008 based on her research recommendations.

Sue is also a staunch supporter of reducing unnecessary regulatory obligations on the sector. She has worked with an alliance of peak bodies and federal and state governments to make modernised and harmonised fundraising laws a priority.

To hear more from Sue, you can follow her on Twitter @acncommissioner and on LinkedIn, and read her monthly Commissioner's Columns.

You can also listen to Sue talk about her career in the charity sector and her vision for the ACNC in our Charity Chat podcast.

Sally Stonier

Acting Assistant Commissioner

Sally was part of the taskforce set up to establish the ACNC in 2012 and has been responsible for managing the ACNC Registration Team ever since.

She has worked with international charity regulators, including the New Zealand Charities Commission and the Charity Commission of England and Wales.

Sally has extensive experience in the charity and not-for-profit sector in both the UK and USA. Sally has been CEO for charities providing support for the homeless, individuals with mental ill health and drug and alcohol misuse. She has held senior roles with Home-Start UK (an organisation working with vulnerable families) and Odyssey House in the USA. She has served on the board of several schools and various other community groups.

She has experience in charity law, strategic planning, human resources, project management and service development.

Natasha Sekulic

Acting Assistant Commissioner - General Counsel

Natasha is the senior legal advisor to the ACNC Commissioner and Advisory Board and contributes to corporate and strategic leadership as a member of the Executive team.

At the Australian Taxation Office, Natasha has worked in a range of leadership roles including most recently as Service Delivery Director. Taxation law, charity law and government administration have been central to a range of executive level roles.

Previously at the ACNC, Natasha served as a lawyer and later as Acting Director Legal and Policy. She has been a volunteer and board member for several charities.

She is admitted to practice law and holds a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts, a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and a Master of Taxation.

Joanna Austin

Director - Legal

Joanna provides strategic advice and develops strategies to deal with and solutions to complex policy and operational law problems. She also provides leadership and direction to the in-house legal team.

Joanna started her career at Gadens Lawyers in Sydney before joining the NSW Crime Commission as a lawyer in law enforcement and integrity agencies. She then worked with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission in Sydney before moving to Melbourne in 2013 to take up a role at the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission.

Joanna is experienced in criminal law, administrative law and in managing the legal risk in compliance and investigations work in a law enforcement and integrity context. Joanna is pleased to be able to bring these skills to the regulatory environment.

Joanna holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales. She was admitted to practice as a lawyer in 2003.

James Bennett

Director - Compliance

James is the Director of the ACNC’s Compliance team, which works to ensure registered charities are complying with ACNC standards.

He has worked with federal and state agencies in Australia and overseas in compliance, audit and investigation roles for over 15 years. Most recently he worked with the Victoria Auditor-General’s Office on performance audits of the Victorian public sector. Prior to this, he has had multiple roles with the Department of Home Affairs including working at the Australian embassy in Jakarta.

James holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) and a Masters of Diplomacy and Trade. He has also spent a year volunteering overseas and engaged with multiple charities in government-NGO partnerships.

Rob Jackson

Director - Information and Technology

Rob leads ACNC’s Information and Technology team in managing and developing its cloud hosted business and enterprise systems.

Rob has broad industry experience in Information Technology spanning 18 years across Australia and Europe.

His most recent roles include leading technical teams within the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Prior to this, he has held multiple roles in professional services and software companies.

Rob holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and is completing a Masters of Information Technology Leadership.

Rachel Smith

Director - Advice Services, Education and Public Affairs

A member of the ACNC management team since the establishment of the Commission, Rachel has worked in leadership roles in not-for-profit regulation for state and commonwealth agencies.

She guided the consumer protection services strategy for vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorians. She has also served as the District Registrar of the Migration Review Tribunal and the Refugee Review Tribunal which conducts independent merits review of decisions made by the Australian Government relating to migration and refugee visas and visa-related decisions.

Prior to her public service roles, Rachel worked in the not-for-profit sector for ten years at Australian Volunteers International, a registered charity committed to achieving economic and social development outcomes across Asia, The Pacific and the world through sharing skills, knowledge and experience. Rachel has also served on several not-for-profit boards.

Mel Yates

Acting Director - Registration

Mel is temporarily responsible for leading the ACNC Registration Team. Mel has broad experience in public administration and joined the ACNC in 2016 to lead the collection of reporting from charities with a focus on reducing unnecessary regulatory obligations. Since 2018, Mel also ensured the ACNC had sound corporate governance arrangements.

Prior to joining the ACNC, he worked at the Australian Taxation Office for over a decade across compliance, internal policy, assurance, operational financial management and government tax management roles. Mel also worked for the Victorian Government in a finance role. After graduating from university with a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and Computing (Information Systems), Mel began his career at a large professional services firm and travelled and worked in England in a Social Services finance role.

Mel is a Fellow of CPA Australia.

Tim Liu

Acting Director - Reporting, Red Tape Reduction and ACNC Corporate Services

Tim’s team leads the collection of reporting from charities with a focus on reducing unnecessary regulatory obligations and ensures the ACNC has sound corporate governance arrangements.

Tim has been with the ACNC since its establishment, initially working as an analyst in the Registration area. He has worked across the public service for over 13 years.

Tim holds a Bachelor of Commerce/Arts (majoring in Economics and Finance) and is an accredited Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute.

Prior to his work in the public service, Tim volunteered for a range of charities, with a focus on charities that assist asylum seekers and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.