Our Board

Anthony Mitchell (Chair)

Anthony Mitchell is the co-founder and Chairman of Bendelta, an advisory firm specialising in strategic planning, leadership development and organisational design.

Anthony is also a member of the Amnesty International Australia 2020 Council, and has a special interest in Indigenous rights. From 2011-16, he was Chairman of Amnesty International Australia.

Julie Coates

Julie is the National Managing Partner of PwC Australia’s Priority Clients and Segments Practice and a member of PwC Australia’s executive board. She is also the financial Services Industry leader and a member of the global Financial Services extended leadership team. Julie has a Bachelor of Arts (Accounting) degree from the John Moores University in Liverpool, England and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and England. She is a member of the professional services taskforce at committee for Sydney and a member of Financial Executive Women.

Anna Collyer

Anna is a partner and the Head of Innovation at Allens.  She has more than 20 years' experience in the energy sector. Her practice covers a broad range of work for government, industry participants and key market institutions, and has included significant privatisations, mergers and acquisitions, and project development, particularly in renewable. Anna has also acted as an adviser to Australia's peak energy body - the COAG Energy Council - as well as State Governments and key market institutions on significant industry reform. Anna is also a member of the Allens Executive Committee.

Shaun Ewen

Professor Shaun Ewen is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) at the University of Melbourne and Foundation Director of the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Associate Dean (Indigenous Development) at Melbourne University’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. In his role as PVC Professor Ewen has responsibility for institutional policy, strategy and advice in relation to all aspects of Indigenous higher education. As Foundation Director of the Melbourne Poche Centre he provides academic leadership to the Centre and maintains a strong sense of Indigenous leadership in the health and higher education sectors. Professor Ewen has also been involved in the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) project.

Charles Prouse

Charles is a Nyikina man from the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Charles has worked across Australia and has been involved in the delivery of various Federal programs including Environmental Management, Employment and Youth and Education Programs for Aboriginal communities. Charles has broad experience in Community Capacity Building, Business and Governance. He has recently retired as Chairman of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre. He provides leadership at Lendlease in the infrastructure and construction sector to support Indigenous suppliers. In 2017, Charles was awarded a Roberta Sykes Scholarship to undertake a Masters of Public Administration at Harvard University.

Craig Ritchie

Craig Ritchie is the Chief Executive Officer of The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies’ (AIATSIS).

Craig has held senior positions at AWABAKAL Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), ACT Health, the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and the Australian Government Department of Education. Craig Ritchie is a Dhungutti/Biripi man.

Leila Smith

Leila is a Wiradjuri woman from Cowra in NSW.  She graduated from ANU in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Sociology and Indigenous Australian Studies (First Class Honours).  Leila was a participant on the 2012 Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour. Leila received a Charlie Perkins Scholarship in 2013, and completed an MPhil in Public Policy, Politics and International Relations at St Edmund's, Cambridge.  Leila currently holds the position of Manager: Knowledge Translation at the Lowitja Institute in Melbourne. She is also on the Aurora Education Foundation board.  In 2018, Leila was awarded a Roberta Sykes Bursary to attend the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program at Harvard Business School.

Joanne Spillane

Joanne Spillane is an Executive Director and Global Head of Private Capital Markets. Jo is responsible for Macquarie Capital’s relationships with significant investors in real assets, including superannuation funds, foreign pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and specialist fund managers. In her roles she also drives cross divisional opportunities with these clients for the wider Macquarie Group.

Jo has been at Macquarie for 20 years, spending her first 12 years in Equity Capital Markets where she was responsible for the origination and execution of equity capital raisings for listed entities and Initial Public Offerings. Following this she joined Macquarie Group’s Investor Relations team, liaising with the Group’s own shareholders and banking analysts before re-joining Macquarie Capital in her current role.

Jo has a BA Communications from UTS and MBA from the Australian Scholl of Management at University of NSW.

Our Leadership Team

Richard Potok | Chief Executive Officer

Richard holds a BCom LLB from UNSW and a BCL from Oxford, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship. In 2017, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Canberra in recognition of his work in Indigenous education. Richard is the founder and CEO of the Aurora Project and the Aurora Education Foundation, and the executive director of both the Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust and the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation, all of which work to assist in transforming the lives of Indigenous Australians. Prior to his involvement in Indigenous affairs, Richard was a lawyer based in London with Potok & Co. As part of his law reform work, he made presentations in 35 countries in relation to indirectly held securities. Richard is also an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney and a Visiting Fellow at UNSW Law School.

Kim Barlin | Internships Manager

Kim has managed the Aurora Internship Program since June 2006. The program benefits from her strong organisational skills, stakeholder relationships and ability to coordinate the various components of the program. Kim’s experience as a senior administrator and project manager has seen her successfully undertake roles in a range of organisations in both New York and Sydney, as well as establish and operate her own educational business.

Margot Gould | Development Manager

Margot has worked in the not-for-profit sector internationally and in Australia for over 18 years.   She is a political scientist who has worked extensively in democracy support in Africa and the Middle East.  She has a strong background in project management having run large, long-term development projects internationally.  Most recently she worked for The Beacon Foundation, where she was responsible for fundraising and managing donor relationships.  At Aurora, she is a member of the executive management team and is the organisation’s development manager.  She holds a Masters Degree in Social Science from the University of Stockholm and Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Sydney.

Carol Lewis | Organisational Development Manager

With a background as a human resources practitioner and a consultant, Carol has extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector, working to help organisations deliver outcomes for their clients and communities. At Aurora, Carol’s focus is on sustaining the capacity and capability to enable strong delivery on all programs. She is responsible for leadership and career development, talent management, and organisational learning.

Carol’s qualifications include a master’s degree in Business (Employment Relations) from the University of Technology, Sydney. She holds memberships with the Australian Human Resources Institute (Certified Professional), the Career Development Association of Australia (Professional Member) and The Australian Workplace Practitioners Network.

Samantha Simmons | National Manager – The Aspiration Initiative

Samantha is of Wiradjuri descent and has more than 20 years’ experience working in Indigenous Affairs in roles that include policy development and the delivery of social and economic programs in rural, remote and urban settings.  She has held a range of senior management positions within the public service, higher education and community sectors and is committed to the overarching aim for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their respective cultures to have the opportunity to fully participate, contribute and prosper in broader Australian society.  As National Manager of The Aspiration Initiative’s Academic Enrichment Program, Samantha leads a team dedicated to increasing Indigenous university attendance and encouraging academic excellence.  Samantha has a strong commitment to higher education and knows first-hand the good that can come from attending university.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney together with a Graduate Diploma in Government (Policy) and a Masters in Cultural Heritage from Deakin University.

Kirsten Campbell | Finance & Operations Manager

Kirsten has worked in the Not-for-Profit and SME sectors in Finance and Operations for over 25 years. Kirsten has a track record of bringing stability and sustainability to the entities she works with through a combination of commercial acumen and strong financial management. Kirsten’s commitment to the not-for-profit sector has seen her work across a broad range of for purpose organisations including health, children’s services, environmental and community services. Kirsten is a CPA with a Bachelor of Applied Science and Graduate Finance & Accounting qualifications from the University of Technology, Sydney. She has held Not-for-Profit Board and Association positions in Children’s Services and Financial Counselling.