Starfish Governance

Starfish is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. [Click here for details about our purpose.]

We are governed by a professional Board of Directors (see their profiles below), who are in turn accountable to our voting members and the Australia Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission.

We would welcome your interest in becoming a voting member. Contact us if you would like to apply.

Starfish Initiatives is trustee for Starfish Foundation, which is is listed on the Australian Government’s Register of Environmental Organisations. Donations to Starfish Foundation of $2 or more are tax-deductible (click here for details).

  • A copy of Starfish’s Constitution can be downloaded here
  • A copy of Starfish Foundation’s Trust Deed can be downloaded here
  • Copies of Starfish’s Strategic Plans and Annual Reports are on the Publications & Reports page

Starfish’s work is led by our Associates ~ who are freelance contractors, sustainability entrepreneurs and change facilitators.

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“The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.”

~ Norman Vincent Peale

Director Profiles

Andrew Kirk

Andrew Kirk

President

Andrew is a Chartered Accountant and registered tax agent with more than 20 years experience. He has a Bachelor of Financial Administration from UNE and is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia. Andrew is a Principal with accounting and financial advisory firm Forsyths.

Carol Mackerras

Carol Mackerras

Vice President & Treasurer

Carol brings a broad interest in rural sustainability from a wide range of community roles. Carol has farmed on the Liverpool Plains with her husband for some 30 years, though recently relocated to the New England High Country. Carol has a background in teaching and financial management with roles in accounting, financial and counselling organisations. Carol was also President of SOS (Save Our Soils) Liverpool Plains for two years and was an organiser of the influential and successful ‘Taste of the Liverpool Plains’ events. Carol is a partner in Paddock Pantry.

Adam Blakester

Adam Blakester

Executive Director & Sustainability Entrepreneur

Adam is a sustainability entrepreneur and social change strategist with diverse environmental, community, business and government experience.

With qualifications originally in accounting and taxation law, Adam blends strong business and organisational acumen with expertise in leadership, management, community development, facilitation and communication.

adam@starfish-initiatives.org
m: +61 (0) 419 808 900
t: +61 2 6775 2501

Kelly Smitham

Kelly Smitham

Director

Kelly is passionate about seeing rural areas thriving ~ with employment, services and education opportunities that are comparable to metropolitan standards.

With fourteen years experience in human services, Kelly is particularly interested in providing great services to our most vulnerable populations by way of building the capacity of service providers through strong business and quality management systems.

Kelly has a Master‘s degree in Human Services Management and Policy (Charles Sturt University) and Bachelor’s degree in Social Science & Psychology (University of New England).

Kelly is currently NSW/ACT & QLD Operations Manager for St Ives Group.

Stephen Gow

Stephen Gow

Company Secretary & Director

Stephen Gow spent his career in urban and regional planning, principally in NSW local government, having graduated and worked initially in private practice in the UK. Prior to his retirement in 2014 he was Director Sustainable Planning and Living at Armidale Dumaresq Council. Stephen is a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Steve has maintained an interest in sustainability throughout his working life, particularly the area of energy. He completed a research thesis on energy efficient housing after moving to Armidale, which subsequently provided a platform for a number of award winning projects.

He is currently the Deputy Chair of the New England Regional Art Museum.

Dr Tanya Howard

Dr Tanya Howard

Director

Tanya has diverse experience and expertise across governance, organisational management, media, communication and facilitation ~ and has worked in management, research, remote area conservation, with youth and Aboriginal communities as well as being a freelance communications professional.

Tanya is especially passionate about building community capacity to participate in decision-making and governance, through knowledge and open communication.

Tanya holds a PhD (University of New England) in community engagement in Australian natural resource governance, a Masters of Environmental Education, Environmental Education (Macquarie University) and Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and History (University of NSW).