Just as children need to be held in committed and caring relationships to grow and thrive and have opportunity and hope, so too, do we at the Foundation. It’s why we’re so appreciative of the support of a passionate and loving team of ambassadors, our dedicated and hardworking Board, and Life Governors whose commitment is steadfast and enduring.

Patrons & Ambassadors

Patron, Rosie Batty

Rosie Batty (Patron)

Rosie Batty, for the past four years has pushed on in an unrelenting pursuit for social change, on the issue of family violence. Rosie’s grief and loss, has been expressed in an incredible willingness to speak out, touching the hearts of the Australian community. After becoming Australian of the year in 2015 her determination to drive reform in responses to family violence, has seen Rosie’s life catapulted into the public sphere. Establishing the Luke Batty Foundation to honor her son, Luke Batty, Rosie launched the “Never Alone” campaign to ensure the victims of family violence like Luke were not forgotten. “We started Never Alone with a mission to make sure that victims could not be forgotten, putting them at the centre of a national conversation about family violence, we shone a light on an issue that needs to be prioritised. “I am so proud of everything we have achieved. Together we gave victims a voice and demanded our leaders act.” Rosie says. The Luke Batty Foundation closed on the 16th of February 2018 to allow Rosie an opportunity to prioritise her own care and wellbeing. The demands of running a National Foundation are considerable and since starting this Foundation in her son’s name, Rosie has had little time to rest. “I realized, that I couldn’t keep going at the pace I was forever. It is unsustainable and I was tired. I am now prioritising my self-care and working through how I can contribute best toward the protection and care of children. The funds from the Foundation have been distributed to a number of family violence foundations to help them execute programs and projects. Over the past four years Rosie has engaged and supported a number of like-minded organisations, focused in on family violence. “The Australian Childhood Foundation has always held a strong resonance. The Foundation has a very clear focus on children impacted by family violence and abuse, and over the years we have talked about how we might together ensure that children’s voices are heard in the midst of this maddening violence”, says Rosie. When it became clear that winding up the Luke Batty Foundation was the right choice, I began to talk with the team of the Australian Childhood Foundation, about how my voice and journey could help us continue the fight for children, together. In November last year, I made the decision to sign on as a Patron, and It feels right. My hope is this move will allow me to find a better balance, whilst being able to contribute and ensure that children like my Luke are not forgotten. Dr Joe Tucci, CEO of The Australian Childhood Foundation said having Rosie join the Foundation, as Patron, alongside our existing Patron Chris Hemsworth, feels extremely important. Rosie’s personal journey is one of pain, courage and commitment. Rosie’s contribution to the Royal Commission, and the issue of family violence in this country has undoubtedly and significantly changed the way the Australian community engage and view these issues. We appreciate the incredible demands of running a Foundation as it takes significant ongoing resources, funding and in our uniting forces we hope to able to support Rosie to continue a very important role in this conversation, and the fight for reform and change. Rosie is such a powerful influencer in this national conversation and a personal inspiration to those struggling with deepest of grief. Says, Dr Joe Tucci. Together the Foundation and Rosie will continue to work to ensure that the community prioritizes children safety amidst the violence, and to change the life stories for the children impacted by this violence and abuse.

Ambassador, Clint Newton

Clint Newton

We are thrilled to announce and welcome Clint Newton, the Chair and General President of the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) as the newest ambassador to join the Foundation. As a White Ribbon ambassador, Clint has been highly vocal throughout his sporting career serving as an empowered voice. He spent a long time leading the charge against domestic violence in Australia, and now is being the change he wants to see for children who suffer abuse. “Our responsibility as parents and as a society is to not only look after our own children but all children and keep them safe from abuse, violence and neglect,” he says. Clint encourages the importance for men to undertake a role of responsibility and leadership and he utilises his standing within the game to help drive social change and awareness. As a committed family man with a young daughter of his own, Clint is motivated to be a positive influence in his community and is honoured to be associated with the Foundation. Born in the United States and raised in Australia, Clint has played for the Newcastle Knights, Melbourne Storm and Penrith Panthers in the National Rugby League. Clint represented the United States in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, helping the team progress to the quarter-finals in their first world cup experience. “Honesty, respect and equality are all part of the rugby league ethos and with these values, players can be a positive asset in society and influence change,” he says “As a community we can help raise awareness, spread the message and continue to make sure that not another child will miss out on their childhood.”

Ambassador, Nadine Garner

Nadine Garner

Nadine is a much-awarded and lauded veteran of Australian (and UK) film, television and stage, as both an actor and director. Her more recent TV series include City Homicide and The Doctor Blake Mysteries and she received four nominations (winning two of them, including the Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical) for Cabaret in 2003. Nadine, a parent of two boys, and Foundation ambassador since 2008, has always felt strongly about the importance of protecting children. “To me, it’s the cornerstone of a civilised society; if we cannot protect our children behind closed doors then we as a society are failing. I want to be proud of how we look after our children and keep them safe.
“I get so frustrated that people find child abuse distasteful and don’t want to talk about it… and so child abuse becomes this invisible evil that they don’t feel they can tackle. I want to help pull the rug off it continually and force people to examine the issues around child abuse because it is the only way we as a society will face up to it and do what is needed to break the cycle. “I feel very driven to helping the Australian Childhood Foundation raise awareness of the impact of child abuse and, importantly, helping the community to face up to it and understand how we can put a stop to it.” Nadine’s selfless and committed contribution to the work we do is critical to helping us engage with the Australian public. She has lent her face and voice to fundraising and awareness campaigns and events, and recently, with her husband Cameron Barnett, produced and narrated our Thoughtful Parenting DVD. She is a much loved and respected member of the Australian Childhood Foundation family. A Special Project Nadine and Cameron have been involved in a number of Foundation projects. Their most recent project was to produce, direct and develop with the Foundation the Thoughtful Parenting booklet and DVD for our Bringing Up Great Kids and Kidscount parenting programs “Our reason for getting involved with the production of this DVD was very simple,” says Nadine. “We both feel strongly about protecting and keeping children safe. We also feel strongly about educating adults. We know, only too well, as busy parents, that we don’t always react the way we should. While it’s ok to explain our responses away, we all need to take the time to stop, reflect on what we are doing and be the parents we want to be.
Working on this project was incredibly helpful for us and we hope that other people find it useful too.”

Ambassador, Casey Burges

Casey Burgess

Casey’s first television appearances included Home and Away and the TV movie Scorched. At the age of 15, she was also a presenter for Girl TV. She was a much-loved member of children’s entertainment group Hi-5 from 2008 – 2013. She says she jumped at the chance to be an ambassador for the Foundation because she identifies strongly with the anxiety and fear that children feel when not all is well within a family. Although her own mum and dad divorced when she was a baby, Casey says she was very much loved by both parents. “I didn’t go without and there was a lot of fun in my childhood, climbing trees, making cubby houses, playing with the children in the street and around the corner, and I’m very grateful for that,” she says. “But when you’re in a split family, things are a bit different… with my stepmother, there were times when I was anxious and a bit scared and didn’t want to say anything, so I feel like I understand just a bit about what that is like for children. I would like to learn more about how the Foundation helps children to deal with the anxiety and fear that the trauma of abuse creates for them, through being a part of it.” Casey firmly believes that children should have childhoods that are free of worry. “There is so much worry, so many things that we have to organise, be responsible for and do when we grow up, that childhood should be the time in our lives when we are free of that, when we are free to imagine, to create stories for ourselves, to have fun and to go to bed looking forward to getting up in the morning and playing,” she says.

Australian Childhood Foundation Board member, Justin Smith

Justin Smith

Justin is a broadcaster, journalist and writer. Born in Echuca in country Victoria, Justin started in his radio career at 17. As the executive producer of the Neil Mitchell radio program on 3AW, he was part of breaking and covering some of the biggest stories of recent years – including the closure of Ford factories in Australia, which won the program a Walkley Award. As a broadcaster himself, Justin hosted a series of programs from Afghanistan for the Fairfax Radio Network. He is now the host of the Drive program on Sydney radio at 2UE, appears on Seven’s Sunrise program, and writes for The Daily Telegraph. “As a journalist and broadcaster, I hear and cover some of the most tragic things that happen to our children. No matter how long I’ve been doing this job, it continues to shock and sadden me. And as a father, I believe we all need to have an understanding of the issues around children and their safety. Through awareness we can stand up and make sure no more children have to suffer,” says Justin. As a broadcaster himself, Justin hosted a series of programs from Afghanistan for the Fairfax Radio Network. He is now the host of the Drive program on Sydney radio at 2UE, appears on Seven’s Sunrise program, and writes for The Daily Telegraph. “As a journalist and broadcaster, I hear and cover some of the most tragic things that happen to our children. No matter how long I’ve been doing this job, it continues to shock and sadden me. And as a father, I believe we all need to have an understanding of the issues around children and their safety. Through awareness we can stand up and make sure no more children have to suffer,” says Justin.

Australian Childhood Foundation Board member, Nick Pelham

Nick Pelham

Nick began his career as an Officer in the Royal Australian Navy. After graduating from the Defence Force Academy in Canberra, he undertook Navigation training in Sydney and then served on Guide Missile Frigates (WA) and Patrol Boats (Cairns), and worked on the Collins Class Submarine project in Canberra. Since leaving the Navy in 2001, he has worked on a number of large infrastructure and engineering projects across Australia and in the region.  From 2007 to 2012 Nick was a Senior Executive for the Department of Treasury and Finance in Victoria, focused on improving the delivery of major infrastructure projects. More recently, he has moved in to the Transport sector, where he is involved in constructing and maintaining rail infrastructure for freight, mining, resources and passenger networks. Nick is currently undertaking a PhD part time though the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Melbourne. Nick’s connection to the Australian Childhood Foundation is through his involvement with Rotary International. More than 25 years ago, the Rotary Club of Melbourne supported the creation of the Foundation. He is proud to be able to continue the links between these two organisations. “Talking about neglect and abuse of children is no longer a taboo topic,” says Nick. “It has significant downstream effects that are taken through to adulthood. Every child deserves to have a great childhood, to dream, play, have fun and feel safe. Through the work of the Foundation, we are helping children to be kept safe and recover from the trauma of abuse and neglect.”

Ms Susan Halliday


Mr Jamie Perrott


Mr Laurie Wilson


Dr Anne Small


Mr John Sheehan


Mr Ted Garland


Mr David Rosback, AM

Retail and Former Rotary District Governor