Meet the Team

Our Team

Hannah George
Executive Officer

Hannah has been Executive Officer of Mary Ward International Australia since August 2020. She brings two decades of experience in advocacy, campaigning and programs that focus on progressing human rights, gender equity and social justice. 

She has spent the past decade in leadership roles at Amnesty International Australia, including heading its international and women’s rights campaigns, and most recently its philanthropy program. 

Prior to Amnesty, she spent eight years as a communications specialist for Pacific regional human rights projects, originally with Australian Volunteers International and later the United Nations Development Program and Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Hannah has lived and worked in Laos, Thailand, the US, and most recently Fiji with her daughter. 

Hannah, holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Political Science and a Masters in Communication for Development, and sits on the board of the Council of Single Mothers and Their Children.

Kirstin Del Beato
Manager, Project Administration, Compliance & Risk

Kirstin joined MWIA as the Programs Manager in 2015, having worked in Loreto Education since early 2011. She has 15 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, undertaking a wide range of roles. Most recently Kirstin was also responsible for both Federal and State Government tender and grant submissions in employment services programs. Her role also included marketing volunteer and training programs across Melbourne.

While studying a business degree at Monash University Kirstin focused on International Development and completed an honours thesis on culture shock experienced by International Development Consultants. The competencies identified in the research could then be used as a basis for future recruitment strategies for Development Agencies.

Michelle Gale
Fundraising & Marketing Coordinator

Michelle has been the Fundraising & Marketing Co-ordinator since May 2019.  She has 25 years’ experience specifically in fundraising within the International Development not-for-profit sector.   

Most recently Michelle was the Major Gifts Director at Opportunity International Australia. Michelle directed the fundraising strategy and led the Supporter Relations team, which cultivated emerging partnerships with major donors, corporates and trusts and foundations nationally.  

Michelle previously served at World Vision Australia for 21 years in various fundraising and leadership roles.  The latest role was leading the Major Gifts team as the National Philanthropy Manager within the Major Supporters division.  In her early years, Michelle was awarded a World Vision Youth Ambassador scholarship to represent Australia in Asia. 

Michelle has extensive experience in event management, the supporter partnership and engagement journey, hosted overseas supporter field trips, volunteer management and studied a Business Marketing degree. 

Board of Directors

Dr Leoni Degenhardt PhD MEd BA Dip Ed FACE FACEL GAICD
Chair - MWIA Board of Directors

Leoni’s background is in education and leadership. Leoni was the first lay principal of Loreto Normanhurst (1994-2008) and led the school through a strategic reinvention process. The school has since been widely acknowledged for its work in reinventing schooling to meet the needs of its students. After leaving principalship, Leoni established her own consultancy business and worked across and beyond Australia with corporate and not-for-profit organisations, as well as with schools and school systems, in areas related to learning, leadership, strategy and organisational change. She continued and expanded this work as Dean of the AIS Leadership Centre (2011-2016).

Leoni has been a member of a range of educational boards, commissions and committees, including the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC); the National Board of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA); the Loreto National Education Board and the National Council of Caritas Australia.

Leoni continues to work with school leaders, particularly through her work as Emeritus Dean of the AIS Leadership Centre within the Association of Independent Schools of NSW.

Sr Libby Rogerson IBVM B.Ed, B.A (Hons) Dip.KTC (Syd.)
Director - MWIA Board of Directors

Sr, Libby Rogerson joined the MWIA Board in 2017. Libby is coordinator of the Loreto Sisters JPIC and currently serves on a number of not-for-profit Boards including: Jesuit Social Services, St Francis Social Services (which has oversight of the House of Welcome), Jesuit Social Services NSW Committee, is Deputy Chair Loreto Normanhurst School Council and a member of the CLRI NSW Justice Committee.  At present Libby is the Delegate for the Pastoral work of the Jesuits in Australia.

During 2012 she was the Executive Officer of MWIA and has served as a member of the IBVM General Council in Rome. “To keep herself grounded in reality,” Libby runs an after-school homework program for South Sudanese children in Blacktown.

Sr. Wendy Hildebrand ibvm BA, Dip. Ed, BSW, B Theol.
Director - MWIA Board of Directors

Sr. Wendy Hildebrand ibvm joined the MWIA Board in 2015. Wendy was initially a secondary school teacher and taught at Loreto Mandeville and Loreto Normanhurst as well as being the Director of the Boarding School at Normanhurst. For the last seventeen years she has held a number of senior management roles in social service organisations, directing a wide range of programs responding to the needs of people who are marginalised and disadvantaged. Wendy also retains an active interest and involvement in a number of committees working for social justice and the integrity of creation.

Nicole Gibson BA (Hons), LLB, M.Teach
Director - MWIA Board of Directors

Nicole joined the MWIA Board in 2017 bringing significant experience in legal practice, financial services and education. Nicole maintains an active interest in Loreto social justice initiatives as a parent of three daughters and as a former member and Chair of the Loreto Toorak Development Committee.

Kelly Morrison BEHons(Civil) (Syd), MBA (AGSM, UNSW)
Director - MWIA Board of Directors

Kelly Morrison is an experienced financial and business analyst within the Mining and Banking Industry. Kelly is a founder and Director of Kore Business Solutions, a business consulting practice, providing analytical services and strategic advice to business owners and corporations. Kore Business Solutions undertakes detailed client analysis of market position and financial data; preparation of business and marketing plans; and conducts due diligence and feasibility studies. In addition to her commercial experience Kelly has ten years of governance as an experienced board member at Stella Maris College, Manly, where she also Chaired the Building and Resources Committee.

Mary Cook
Director - MWIA Board of Directors

Mary is Director of Development at Kincoppal-Rose Bay School and a member of the School Leadership Team. She has over 20 years’ experience in fundraising for bursaries and capital works. 

After some years of teaching, Mary first came to Kincoppal-Rose Bay as Careers Advisor in the 1980s, a position she returned to in 1991 until 1994. Mary then embarked on a new direction as Director of Development at Loreto Normanhurst, Development Officer at the University of Sydney and at Kincoppal-Rose Bay in 2007 as Director of Development. She gained further experience in fundraising as a volunteer with the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Fundraising Committee and the Fundraising Committee for Catholic Health Care. She was also a member of the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation.  

The role of Director of Development at Kincoppal-Rose Bay is multi-faceted, and includes fundraising for building programs and bursary funds, community building and fostering relationships within the school community, public relations, school publications and promotions.  

Mary has sought support for the School’s Bursary Fund, which provides students whose families are in financial need with the opportunity of a Sacred Heart education. She has worked with volunteers to raise funds for a number of capital developments, most recently the Year 12 Learning Hub.  

Chris Dureau
Director - MWIA Board of Directors

Chris is an experienced practitioner in international development and humanitarian assistance.  He worked as a Jesuit missionary in rural and social development in Indonesia for 15 years.  He Directed an Institute for Social Justice run by the Jesuits in Melbourne for 5 years and was Manager of International programs for Australian Volunteers for 10 years. He has managed and advised on the design, implementation and evaluation of projects in health, education, water supply and improving democratization during the past 22 years.  He has worked in many countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.  

In more recent years he has been working with Faith Based Development Agencies to design and monitor programs that help communities benefit from front line government services including health care, water, sanitation and hygiene, basic education and empowering village leaders to engage in their own development.  Chris was on the Board of Jesuit Mission for seven years including as Chairperson. Chris also acted as CEO of Jesuit Mission during its transition to greater lay leadership. 

Chris has been working with the people of Timor-Leste since the early 1980’s and especially during the past 18 years since Timor-Leste chose to become independent. Since retiring from paid employment, Chris has been lecturing, advising, writing and acting as Convener of the Friends of Baucau, a friendship association based in the Cities of Yarra and Darebin.  

Rebecca Walker
Director - MWIA Board of Directors

Rebecca has had over 25 years working closely with communities in Australia and in the Pacific. In her early career she worked for over 15 years managing theatre and arts venues including The Malthouse and Frankston Arts Centre.   She was then ready for a touch of adventure, ending up working in Papua New Guinea with Australian Volunteers International (AVI) with the Catholic Diocese in a village setting in Bougainville. Here she lived and worked with the community grassroots, with vulnerable groups, predominantly women and children who were victims of violence. 

Interested in community empowerment, Rebecca then returned to Melbourne and has worked in several communitybased programs at the Australian Red Cross and Brotherhood of St Lawrence before returning to AVI.  For 5 years she worked in Melbourne as a project manager, facilitator and professional debriefer returning to Papua New Guinea in 2015 with AVI to manage the DFAT funded Australian Volunteer Program across the country.    

In 2017 Rebecca returned to Australia working in a short-term contract at Emergency Management Victoria at the State Control Centre and is now engaged with the Safer Together program as Program Manager for Community First, a program working between CFA, DELWP and EMV, directly with communities and agencies empowering communities to manage and reduce their own bushfire risk across Victoria.   

Rebecca is thrilled to be appointed to the Project Operations Committee and the Board of MWIA and looks forward to continuing work across the globe empowering local communities.