Meet the Team

Professor David Hayward
Future Social Service Institute Director

Senior Advisor, Public Policy and the Social Economy, RMIT University
Professor David Hayward was Dean of the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies from 2009-2016. Between 2007 and 2013 he was a member of the Board of Directors of Melbourne Health, the second largest health service in Australia, incorporating the Royal Melbourne Hospital. In 2015 he was on the expert panel appointed to review the University of Western Australia’s undergraduate degrees and was invited by VCOSS to become a seconded member of its governing board.  He is a life member of VCOSS in recognition of three decades of policy advice, education and training for the Victorian not-for-profit sector and in 2016  was appointed to the Panel of Experts for the Hong Kong Council of Vocational and Higher Education Qualifications.
Sally Thompson, Deputy Director Sector Engagement & Capability Development
Black and white headshot of sally thompsonSally Thompson has worked in leadership roles in TAFE, Higher Education and in the not for profit Adult and Community Education sectors. She began her career as an adult literacy teacher in communities characterised by intergenerational disadvantage, including remote Indigenous communities. She is the former President of the Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council and former member of the Victorian Adult Community and Further Education Board. She has worked for the Australian Education Union in women’s policy and is a Governance Group member of the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria
Paul Ramcharan, Deputy Director Research
Associate Professor Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University
Black and white photo of paul ramcharanPaul Ramcharan has been involved in research for and with people with disability for over 20 years and has maintained an interest in self advocacy, including acting as an Australian Research Council link with colleagues at La Trobe University and Reinforce (a self advocacy group).  Since arriving in Australia in 2006 from the UK Paul has undertaken research around the views and experiences of people with disability and family carers of restrictive practices and has  developed a Roadmap for Achieving Dignity Without Restraint.  Paul maintains a keen interest in disability research, human rights and inclusive research practice.
Lee Newnham, Executive Officer
black and white photo of lee smilingLee Newnham provides executive and administrative services to the FSSI Director and staff, and acts as a liaison between FSSI, RMIT University and VCOSS.  Lee was previously Business Development/Marketing Manager at Moores, a legal firm with a focus on the not-for-profit sector.  Lee has a strong understanding of both the opportunities and the challenges faced in the sector and is passionate about assisting FSSI in achieving its goals.
Anthony (Tony) Graham, Acting Director Education and Training
VE Manager, Industry Enagement & Partner, RMIT University
Black and white photo of Anthony GrahamTony Graham has 20 years’ experience in the health and community services sector in governance and senior management roles. His sector experience includes acute health, youth, aged care, disability and mental health service provision at a state and regional level.  Anthony has acted as a workplace consultant educator in the design, delivery and evaluation of leadership and management programs focused on community service workforce strategies. His academic interests include community service workforce development fundamentals and the relationship between workplace culture and learning.
Dr Jess Lee-Ack, Senior Advisor, Social Innovation
Jess Lee-Ack has worked in higher education as a researcher and lecturer in history and more recently in senior administrative roles related to strategy, policy, planning and governance. Jess has managed a number of RMIT university-wide projects and was part of the project team that developed RMIT’s Ready for Life and Work strategy.  Jess has an interest in evidence-based policy that supports social justice and has authored policy submissions related to research funding, partnerships, evaluation and sustainable growth of the social service workforce. Jess represents FSSI on the Project Lead Working Group for the Victorian Government’s  Keeping Our Sector Strong strategy and supports FSSI with strategic advice, policy analysis, planning and project management. 
Dr Alen Keirnan, Research Fellow, Co-design and Service Evaluator
Alen Keirnan has been involved in design research projects across Victoria’s health and ageing sectors for the past six years. He has co-published research on technology use by older adults; lived-experiences of aged care residents and has offered policy recommendations to design better aged care residential services in Australia. He is an advocate for involving end stakeholders throughout the design process, and adopts a co-design process in his work to evaluate health services, new technologies and experiences. Alen maintains a strong interest in unravelling best practice co-design processes and evaluating services and experiences through a design lens.
Shae Allen, Event and Administration Coordinator
Shae Allen has previously coordinated the delivery of domestic and international industry training programs for the RMIT School of Media and Communication in Australia and Vietnam. She is inspired to deliver innovative educational projects and events and nurture strong stakeholder relationships that link people, projects and causes for progressive social change. Shae also has a background in change and personal transition consulting, managing clients through significant cultural change and unique career transition requirements.
Kellee Nolan, Communications Advisor
Kellee Nolan has worked in communication roles with the Victorian Council of Social Service since 2014, producing publications including Insight magazine, State Budget Submissions, and research and policy reports, as well as assisting with website, social media and media management. Kellee has 15 years’ experience as a journalist, at Australian Associated Press and Fairfax Community News, and has worked as a communications consultant to business, government and not-for-profit organisations. She has also worked in communication, membership and fundraising roles with not-for-profit organisations including the Australian Conservation Foundation and Oxfam.