The Founding Committee has provided the initial infrastructure required to establish the Queensland Giving Circle. The Founding Committee Members are:



Genevieve Fraser

The Fraser Foundation

Genevieve Fraser has twenty years’ experience in public affairs in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has worked as a senior adviser in the resource and energy industry managing crisis issues management, government relations and community relations. Her experience also includes working as a ministerial adviser in the Queensland State Government and as a spokesperson for ASX 50 listed companies.



Jo Garner

Jo Garner

Director, Strategic Grants

Jo Garner is the Director of Strategic Grants, which works to bridge the divide between grant-seekers and grant-makers across Australia and New Zealand. Nothing gives Jo greater job satisfaction than helping to increase the capacity of nonprofits to win grants and deliver vital community projects and to encourage effective grant-making. Jo has had the privilege of working with dozens of charities across Australia to help raise millions of dollars in both philanthropic and government grant funding. Jo holds the international accreditation Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and a Bachelor of Commerce with majors in Marketing and IT, is an Executive Member of the Fundraising Institute Australia and is a regular presenter on best practice grant strategies at NFP Conferences and professional development activities



LeslieLesley-Anne Houghton

Director, Conexus Consulting

Lesley-Anne Houghton is a founder and director of Conexus Consulting, an award winning organisational and leadership development consulting business operating across Australia and internationally.  Lesley-Anne is also Chairman of Act for Kids, a not for profit organisation preventing and treating child abuse in Australia; and Queensland Chapter Leader of Room to Read, an international charity supporting literacy and gender equality in education around the world.  Lesley-Anne is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; the Harvard Club of Australia; and Queensland Leaders

Fiona Maxwell

Fiona Maxwell

Queensland Manager, Philanthropy Australia

Fiona is the Queensland Manager for Philanthropy Australia, working to grow giving in Queensland.

Her career has spanned the non-profit, government and university sectors in Australia and the USA. Roles included Queensland Manager, Artsupport Australia; CEO, Next Wave Festival; and Chair, Theatre Network Victoria.

Fiona is also an active community volunteer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from QUT, and a Masters from the University of New South Wales.


Lesley RayLesley Ray

Executive Director – Fundraising, Mater Foundation

Lesley is the Executive Director – Fundraising at Mater Foundation and has the pleasure of working with individuals and community to raise funds for Mater Health Services and Mater Research. Lesley holds a Master of Business (Research) degree from the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) and her thesis explores the emergence of giving circles and their relationships with nonprofit organisations. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), a Fellow and past national Chairman of Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) and continues to serve as a volunteer to her profession’s peak body.


Heather WatsonHeather Watson

Partner, McCullough Robertson Lawyers

Heather is a Partner at McCullough Robertson Lawyers and leads its specialist Social Infrastructure group.  In her legal practice she regularly provides advice on legal and tax structuring for charitable and non-profit organisations and on risk and governance issues.  She has broad experience in the non-profit sector, acting for, and as a member of a wide range of community and charitable organisations.  She has recently completed a maximum term of nine years as a board member of UnitingCare Queensland (including 7 years as its Chair). UnitingCare Queensland is one of Australia’s largest health and community service providers.

Currently she is also a director of the following boards:

  • McCullough Robertson Foundation Ltd;
  • Community Services Industry Alliance Ltd (Chair);
  • Trinity Health Services Ltd;
  • Board Connect Ltd (Chair); and
  • Australian Legal Sector Alliance Ltd.

The Queensland Giving Circle has initially been established as an unincorporated association, operating as a sub fund of the McCullough Robertson Foundation, which has established arrangements to operate in this way.

The $1000 gift will be made in one annual payment, to minimise administration, and is payable at any time.

Outcomes of the funded projects will be shared with the membership via e-newsletter and will be celebrated through the twice yearly meetings of the group.

The Founding Committee will take recommendations from the Circle, of charitable organisations to be invited to submit an application for funding.

Grants are limited to entities which have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) 1 status.

Women & Change arrangements will be documented under Terms of Reference, which will include when members will meet, how decisions will be made, the appointment of an executive committee, and the grant-making process.

If you would like to become a member or would like more information, please download and complete the form.

Women & Change Membership Form