Our People

Our Staff

Stephanie Exton, Executive Director
Executive Director

Stephanie is the Executive Director of the Mornington Peninsula Foundation. Since 2017, she has led the organisation’s growth and transformation with her pioneering approach to systemic change led by local community.

With a unique combination of personal engagement, targeted support, data analysis, government partnership and community empowerment, Stephanie’s approach to place-based philanthropy provides people experiencing disadvantage with relief from short-term crisis, then access to networks that foster long-term, systemic change.

Stephanie has built this approach over a 15-year career in philanthropy, where she has worked with marginalised populations, grass-roots organisations and major donors in metropolitan Melbourne and around regional Victoria, in roles with Igniting Change, the Sir Andrew and Lady Fairley Foundation, the Reichstein Foundation, and MPF’s antecedent, the George Hicks Foundation.

In her earlier music and arts administration careers, Stephanie has held positions in four of Australia’s six symphony orchestras, and remains an active and passionate cellist.

Bethany Travers, Project Assistant
Project Assistant

Bethany Travers joined MPF as Project Assistant in October 2020. She completed her Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) and Masters of Public Policy at Monash University, which included internships with data analytics company WhyHive and as campaign assistant in the 2019 Federal election campaign. Bethany has extensive experience in customer service and is interested in developing projects and influencing policy through community consultation and data analysis.

Our Associates

Gitz Naidu, CFO
Chief Financial Officer

Gitz is Chief Financial Officer of MPF and has been working for the past 9 years within Ian Hicks Family Office – Applied International.  A passionate accountant and Chief Financial Officer with 20 years experience in Finance and Accounting. She started her carrier in public accounting and prior to this, she served as a Chief Financial Officer in Retail Industry and in IT Tech firm.  She has a strong background in Finance and Tax with her Masters degree in Taxation and is a fellow of CPA Australia and Tax Institute of Australia and a graduate member of AICD.

Dr Genevieve Timmons, Honourary Strategy Advisor
Honourary Strategy Advisor

Dr Genevieve Timmons is Honourary Strategy Adviser with MPF. As one of Australia’s most experienced philanthropic executives, Genevieve was a founding director of the Mornington Peninsula Foundation with Ian Hicks AO and Andrew Fairley AM and helped lay the fundamental principles upon which the work has rapidly developed. We are grateful for the wisdom, vision, expertise and wonderful commitment from a leader in the sector.

Our Board

Ian Hicks, AO, Chair

Ian is Executive Chair of Applied International Pty Ltd (a private investment group based in Melbourne), Chair of the George Hicks Foundation and in June, 2021 was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of his community and philanthropic work. Ian has a strong interest in the arts, is a major supporter of the Australian Ballet and an enthusiastic collector of Australian art and sculpture. He has a vineyard, avocado farm and sculpture park on the Mornington Peninsula in Shoreham. Ian holds a Bachelor of Economics.

Andrew Fairley AM, Deputy Chair
Deputy Chair

Andrew Fairley AM, LLB (Melb), Hon Doc (Deakin), is a commercial and equity lawyer at Hall & Wilcox in Melbourne.  He has a deep involvement in the philanthropic sector as Chair of the Sir Andrew Fairley Foundation and former Chair of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.

He is an Industry Director of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority and a Director of Qualitas Securities Pty Ltd.  He is a former Chair of Equip Super, an Industry Superannuation Fund managing $30b.  He also formerly Chaired Parks Victoria and is the former Deputy Chair of Tourism Australia.

Christina McGuffie

Christina brings to the MPF extensive knowledge of the communities on the Peninsula and experience in media and communications, local and federal politics. Originally a journalist and for many years Adviser to the Member for Flinders and Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt, Christina is now speech writer at the Mornington Peninsula Shire and a Commissioner on the National Mental Health Commission.

Elina Wilson

Elina is a Co-Founder and Director of SALT Catalyst – a private company established in 2018 to manage the investments and philanthropic activities of her family. SALT Catalyst operates with the ethos of using intellectual, social and financial capital to catalyse a more just, kind and compassionate world.
Prior to establishing SALT Catalyst, Elina had a long career in brand and corporate marketing spanning across her native Finland, several European countries and Australia.
Elina is passionate about education, especially early childhood and language development. Other areas of interest for Elina are socio-economic, gender and indigenous equality, mental health, empathy and environmental sustainability.
Elina currently serves on the Zoos Victoria Foundation Advisory Board, Wolf Foundation board and several advisory boards of privately held companies. Elina holds a M Sc. in Economics and Business Administration.

Sarah Jordan

Sarah has an extensive sales and digital marketing career spanning over 20 years in the corporate and education sectors. Having worked with News Limited, Australian Consolidated Press and Murdoch Magazines, Sarah led sales for some of Australia’s leading publishing brands including donna hay, madison magazine, Harpers BAZAAR and INSIDEout.
In the last 8 years Sarah has advised to the Peninsula’s leading educational institutions including Chisholm TAFE, Chisholm Online and Monash University, Peninsula campus where she was instrumental in developing campus led strategy to raise awareness of the education opportunities within the area by engaging the local community. Sarah is particularly passionate about the importance of education for all.

Andrew Wheeler

Andrew is Chair of Sentinel Foundation, and has had a long and successful career in the financial services industry. As the creator of both Lonsdale Ltd and Lonsec Ltd, he provides research integrated client software, and share broking services to Accountants and Financial Planners. Andrew is active as a philanthropic donor and close supporter of a number of not for profit organisations. He is a resident of Mt Martha. 

Paul Thomas Hicks

Paul-Thomas Hicks has an diverse range of experience in local and international business roles obtained over 25 years specialising in Entrepreneurial, Commercial Management, Supply Chain and Logistics.  PT is a director of the George Hicks Foundation and Applied International Group and is heavily involved in local and community sports organisations.  Having grown up holidaying on the Peninsula and with children of his own he is passionate about breaking the cycle of disadvantage and creating long term sustainable change on the Mornington Peninsula.

Brett Watson
Brett is a Peninsula local, currently residing in Mount Martha and brings to the MPF strong business knowledge and experience in leadership, complex problem solving and technology innovation. With a history starting as a research scientist with the Alfred Hospital, Brett has had roles in product, strategy, digital and technology across financial services and consulting, leading to his current position as a Partner at KPMG where he is currently the Banking lead for Advisory.
Georgia Dawson
Georgia Dawson is a Lecturer and Research Fellow at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Centre for Program Evaluation. She has extensive skills in quantitative data analysis including item response theory, structural equation modelling and path analysis.

Community Partners

  • Bittern Primary School
  • Community Kinders Plus
  • Crib Point Kinder
  • Crib Point Primary School
  • Eastbourne Primary School
  • Hastings Primary School
  • Homeground Cafe 
  • Mornington Park Primary School
  • New Peninsula Community Caring Inc.
  • Rosebud Secondary College
  • Seawinds Community Hub
  • Southern Peninsula Community Support Centre
  • St Vincent de Paul
  • Tootgarook Primary School
  • Tyabb Railway Primary School
  • Wallaroo Primary School
  • Western Port Community Support Centre
  • Western Port Secondary College
  • Willum Warrain

Pro-bono Partners

Business Partners

Government Partners

Our Donors

Trusts and Foundations

Collier Charitable Fund
Equity Trustees
Helen McPherson Smith Trust

The Hugh D.T. Williamson Foundation
Igniting Change Foundation

Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund
RM Ansett Trust
Sentinel Foundation

The Ross Trust
The Myer Foundation

Family Foundations

5 Point Foundation
59 Foundation
Alan and Kate Gibson Foundation
Antipodean Family Foundation
Barr Family Foundation
Bertalli Family Foundation
Bowness Family Foundation
Chasam Foundation
Dodge Family Foundation

Erdi Foundation
Fouress Foundation
George Hicks Foundation
Grace and Emilio Foundation
Gray Family Charitable Trust
Grosman Foundation
Grosvenor Foundation

John and Myriam Wylie Foundation Pty Ltd ATF
Johnstone Family Foundation
McNamara Family Foundation
Mellett Family Foundation
Morris Family Foundation
O’Nibbs Family Fund

Orloff Family Foundation
Swann Family Foundation
Yulgilbar Foundation
Zagora Foundation
Tarascio Family Foundation


Alandal Consulting
Balnarring & District Community Financial Services Ltd
HDL Legal

Life Fitness Australia

Right Lane Consulting
River Capital Foundation
The Bays Hospital

Rye & District Community Financial Services Ltd
SALT Catalyst Pty Ltd


Nicholas and Lisa Barnett
Clive and Jenny Batrouney
Doug Bartley
Miffany and James Blythe
Georgia Brick
John Calvert-Jones AM
Janet Calvert-Jones AO
Angie Carter
Colin Carter
Caroline Clapham
Gordon Clarke
Roger Colman
Jan Armstrong Conn
Chris and Liz Cooper
Debbie Dadon AM
Tony and Sue Darvall
David Dyer
Ted Egan
Martin Fry


Gaylard Family
Carol Grieg
John and Jo Grigg
Julie Gunersen
Angela and Neil Gunn
Susan Hamilton
Mike and Susie Hamson
Peter and Neroli Hansen
John Harris
Ann Hicks
Ian Hicks AO
John and Noelle Howell
David Kaufman
Peter Kent
Cecilia Kimber
Peter Kopke
Alan Kozica
Robert Lang
Richard and Janet Launder

Janet Limb AO
Tractor and Caroline Marshall
Fiona Mason
John McGuffie
Peter and Liz McKeand
Amanda Milledge
Laura Missingham
Sarah and Baillieu Myer AC
Guy and Sally Nevett
Geoff Nicholson
Inge Nieman
Candace Ormerod
Lady Primrose Potter AC
John Prescott
Susie Rachcoff
Dr. Melissa Razuki
Adrien Reis
Carol Richardson
Andrew Robbin

Nicholas Rogers
Janet Rudd
Adam and Yoko Ryan
Shelley Shergold
Geoff Slade
Darcy and Jenny Smith
Bronwyn and Malcom Stewart
Tim and Kimberley Swann
Harvey Tartakover
Charles Tegner
Peter and Mandy Vial
Melissa Vukelic
Rob Ware
Geoffrey Webb
Christopher and Christina Wigan
Christopher Wright
Janet Yencken
Anita Zeimer

MPF is a Public Benevolent Institution with Deductible Gift Recipient Item 1 tax status. All donations are tax deductible. As all operational costs are covered by the George Hicks Foundation, 100% of donations are distributed as community grants.