Skip to main content

Who We Are

Our Purpose

Anti-Poverty Week supports the Australian community to have an increased understanding of poverty and to take action collectively to end it. We are a diverse network of individuals and organisations who share this purpose and we focus our activity each year in the week around the United Nations Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October.

Everyone is encouraged to help reduce poverty and hardship by organising an activity during the Week or taking part in an activity organised by others. In 2019, Anti-Poverty Week will be held from the 13th to the 19th of October.

Governance and Structure

The Week is coordinated through a National Facilitating Group, with two honorary National Co-Chairs and two part-time staff. Our finances have been kindly managed by Uniting Communities SA for many years. Key organisational roles are played by honorary Co-Chairs and Facilitating Groups in each State and Territory. Our National and State Facilitating Groups represent a large range of community organisations working to fight poverty all around Australia.  Many of these have been our long term financial sponsors and we have also been joined by some philanthropic funds, a number of unions and the University of New South Wales.

National Facilitating Group 2019:

National Co-Chairs:

Eileen Baldry, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Criminology, UNSW Sydney

Eileen Baldry (BA, DipEd, MWP, PhD, FASSA) is Deputy Vice-Chancellor Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Criminology at UNSW Sydney. Professor Baldry has held senior positions in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and is the first female Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UNSW. Professor Baldry has taught social policy, social development and criminology over the past 30 years. Her research and publications focus on social justice particularly in relation to the criminal justice system. She is currently a Director on the Board of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre as well as the UNSW lead for their Poverty and Inequality Partnership with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and joined APW as National Co-Chair in May 2018. Professor Baldry was awarded the NSW Justice Medal in 2009 and in 2016 was named in the AFR/Westpac 100 most influential women in Australia.

Ian Carter, CEO, Melville Cares

Ian Carter is the CEO of Melville Cares, a community based not-for-profit that provides aged care and disability services to veterans in WA. This comes after 24 years of serving as the CEO of Anglicare WA from 1995 to March 2019.  Ian’s career in community service, particularly in community capacity building and social justice, has been extensive and prolific. He has been involved in both creating and governing a wide range of community organisations at local, national and international levels. Previously he was a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness, as Deputy Chairman of the Board of Anglicare Australia, Deputy President of the ACOSS and President of Family Services Australia.  Ian has also been appointed or served on numerous West Australian taskforces. He was appointed as the Co Chair of Anti-Poverty Week in May 2018 after serving on the National Facilitating Group for over 10 years. Ian was inducted into the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2009 and has been a member of the Board of White Ribbon Australia since April 2014.


Kasy Chambers, CEO, Anglicare Australia

Tony Keenan, General Manger, Community & Economic Development, City of Port Phillip

Jill Lang, Former QCOSS Director & APW National Co-ordinator

Paul O’Callaghan, former CEO, Caritas

Michael Perusco, CEO, Berry Street

Simon Schrapel, Chief Executive, Uniting Communities SA

National Staff:

Toni Wren, Executive Director

Toni Wren joined Anti-Poverty Week in the new role of Executive Director in early 2019. She was Project and Policy Lead at the Australian Network on Disability from 2015-2018. Prior to that, Toni spent a decade advising leading non-profit agencies across Australia on employment and social policy research, development and advocacy, as well as non-profit management and strategic thinking. Between 1995 and 2005, Toni worked in employment and social policy in Japan, the USA and the UK. During her earlier career in Australia, she was a consultant to a Ministers and Shadow Ministers across the political spectrum and worked for ACOSS and the NSW Welfare Rights Centre. Toni was a member of the National Facilitating Group for Anti-Poverty Week from 2009 to 2018. She has a Masters in Non-profit Management from the New School for Social Research in New York, and undergraduate degrees in economics and business communication from Australian universities.

Jenny Cao, Communications Adviser

Jenny Cao has joined Anti-Poverty Week as a Communications Advisor after working as the National Liaison Officer in 2018. She has a passion for social advocacy and is interested in how digital marketing and communications can amplify marginalised voices. Jenny’s experience in social marketing spans over a variety of not-for-profit causes including projects such as ‘Let’s Talk’, a localised Cervical Screening Awareness campaign aimed at women from CALD backgrounds in Sydney and The Pratto, a social enterprise which helps give newly arrived migrants and refugees experience in the hospitality industry. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Communication (Public Communication) at the University of Technology, Sydney and will graduate at the end of this year.

2019 Major Sponsors:


2019 Sponsors:

Anglicare Australia

Catholic Health Australia

Australian Education Union

Life Course Centre

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

United Voice

UnitingCare Australia

Uniting Vic. Tas

Caritas (tbc)

Anti-Poverty Week 2019 State Co-Chairs

Australian Capital Territory

Susan Helyar

CEO, ACT Council of Social Service

Mark Duggan

Regional Manager, Red Cross ACT

New South Wales

Nada Nasser

State Director, Mission Australia NSW

Joanna Quilty

CEO, NSW Council of Social Service

Northern Territory

Tessa Snowden

Policy Officer Alice Springs, NT Council of Social Service

Nicola Flook

Policy & Advocacy Manager, Jesuit Social Services, Northern Territory


Matt Gardiner

Head of Services, Save the Children

Sandy Paton

President, Capricorn Community Development Association

South Australia

Peter Sandeman

CEO, Anglicare South Australia

Greg Pattinson

CEO, Foodbank South Australia


Justin Cooper

Children and Families Stream Manager, Salvation Army Tasmania

Chris Demeyer

Family and Community Services Manager, Baptcare Tasmania


Jenny Davidson

CEO, Council of Single Mothers and their Children Victoria

Dave Wells

GM Innovation, Impact and Government Affairs, Melbourne City Mission

Western Australia

David Cain

Executive Director, Communicare

Bev Jowle

Executive Officer, Financial Counsellors Association WA