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Bushfire advisory panel

An independent panel of experts informed and validated decisions on using funds donated for the FY19/20 bushfires

Anne Leadbeater OAM
Anne is an independent national consultant specialising in disaster recovery and community resilience. Her background is in community development and adult education, working first in the neighbourhood house sector and then for 16 years in local and state government.    Anne has worked with communities recovering from drought, fire, flood and cyclone in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland, and in 2014, she headed an international team to evaluate the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal for New Zealand Red Cross.   Anne delivers national training for recovery practitioners and last year she completed a review of the Community Recovery Handbook for the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience. Anne lives in Kinglake, Victoria and was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her work in the aftermath of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. 

Hon Patrick McNamara
Patrick is the former Deputy Premier of Victoria. He has served as Minister for Police, Emergency Services, Corrections, Tourism, Agriculture and Resources (Including Water, Fisheries, Forestry, Mining, and Energy).

Patrick was appointed Chair of the Bushfire Appeal Fund in 2009, and Chair of the Victorian Bushfire Appeal in 2020. He has also been Chair of Goulburn Murray Water, has been the longest-serving former President of Rowing Australia, and President of the Commonwealth Rowing Association. He provides advice to various businesses and does voluntary work for community not-for-profit organisations.

Ivan Simon
Ivan is the Co-Chairperson of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Authority (NATSIHA), President of the Aboriginal Children’s Advancement Society (ACAS) and a member of the Board of Management of the Biamanga National Park. 

He has a wealth of experience and knowledge of issues faced by Australia’s First Nations Peoples gained through his work and his own early life experiences in La Perouse. He has worked across the country in youth, child protection, childcare, family support, accommodation and aged care. This includes work with Aboriginal Hostels Limited, the Department of Community Services and the NSW Office of Juvenile Justice. 

Ivan has worked in Aboriginal Housing and was the Director of the Division of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. He was seconded to the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs to assist with the management and administration of the Aboriginal Communities Development Program. He is currently with the Aboriginal Resource Unit, assisting Aboriginal people in public, community and private sector rental housing.  

Hon Karlene Maywald 
Karlene is a former South Australian State MP and served as Minister for the River Murray and Minister for Water Security during one of the worst drought periods in living memory. She has served on numerous national ministerial councils including the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council, the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, the Primary Industries Ministerial Council and the Regional Development Ministerial Council. 

Karlene was also the Local Recovery Coordinator for the Sampson Flat Bush Fires in South Australia 2015-2016, and a Recovery Duty Minister following the Wangary Fires on Eyre Peninsula in 2005.

She is now the Managing Director of Maywald Consultants Pty Ltd, providing water policy and government relations advisory services. She has been a board member of the South Australian Water Corporation, together with related SA Water Board Committees and is currently the Deputy Chair of ICE WaRM.

The panel also includes key Red Cross staff members:

Judy Slatyer, CEO (to October 2020)
Kym Pfitzner, CEO (from October 2020)
Noel Clement, Director Australian Programs 
Belinda Dimovski, Director Engagement and Support
State and Territory Directors, contributing as required

Bushfire 12-month report

Read our full report on the progress you made possible.

Read the report

Financial assistance

Grants provided after the bushfires and how we paid each grant.

Learn more