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Variety the children’s charity is privileged to benefit from the extraordinary dedication, experience and abilities of our volunteer board of directors.

Bruce NeweyBruce Newey: Chairman/Chief Barker

Bruce Newey founded the Neway Group of Companies and the Premier Group in 1985 providing a high quality transport and distribution service to the specialised requirements of high technology manufacturers and distributors.

Bruce is the current Board Chairman of this national organisation. His community involvement includes Founder and Chair of The King’s School Art Prize (10 years), Executive Committee Member Landcare Australia and President of Auburn/Lidcombe Business Club (three years).

In 2002, Bruce joined the NSW Variety Bash as a Crew Member and now has completed six NSW Bash Events. His commitment and support to Variety continued as a Member from 2003 and as a Crew Member in 2005/06, and he has been elected to the Crew again in 2008.

As Chair of the Liberty Swing Committee in 2006, Bruce’s passion and commitment to ensuring a better quality of life for special children was realised, achieving the installation of 14 Liberty Swings throughout NSW. During his time as Committee Chair in 2006, Bruce strategically facilitated corporate assistance from the NSW Motor Accident Authority resulting in the installation of a further three swings during 2007.

David Kirk: Director

David Kirk is currently the Executive Chairman of the Hoyts Corporation and serves on the Board of Forsyth Barr, New Zealand’s leading funds management and stock-broking business.

David was the Chief Executive and Managing Director of Fairfax Media Ltd from 2005 to 2008 and served in the same position for PMP Limited from 2003 to 2005. David’s prior working experience includes senior executive roles in the paper and energy industries, three and half years as Chief Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand and as a Management Consultant with McKinsey & Company in London.

David graduated as a Medical Doctor from the University of Otago in 1985 and subsequently took a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. David is a Rhodes Scholar.

David played for the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team from 1983 to 1987, captaining the team for two years and leading New Zealand to victory in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987. David was created MBE in 1987.

Russell IrvingRussell Irving

Russell has a wealth of knowledge in Sales, Marketing and Strategic Business Development over his forty years in corporate life

Over recent years Russell has headed sales operations as for Canon Australia and Konica-Minolta in the office technology industry.

Most recently Russell has been operating his own business in Leichhardt in the Telecommunications industry “Telstra T [life] Retail and a Telstra Business to Business sales operation in the inner west of Sydney.

Throughout his career Russell has always held a keen interest in the well being of his associated industry and community, for several years was the President of the National Office Dealers Association and has held a keen interest over the past (14) years in Variety as both a Corporate sponsor and Basher Car (25). And collectively has raised in excess of $500,000 for Variety

Following the 2009 bash Russell, made a submission to the crew to look into extending Variety’s reach through the new technology of Tele-Health across New South Wales.

Support by the Crew he formed a steering committee to explore the possibilities.

That exploration has now become the “Variety Vision for Life” project and is now well underway and taking shape to provide Tele-Health across the state and has the potential to be adopted in other parts of Australia.

Russell was recently co-opted to the NSW Crew to further the development and continue to lead the “Vision for Life” crew as the project continues to develop into a statewide project, to bring much need vision to the bed side of Children and their special needs.

Russell is eager to become more involved in the life of Variety and to be of greater assistance to young Australians in need of the support provided be Variety. 

Peter HebbesPeter Hebbes AM: Director

Peter Hebbes has been a member of Variety since 1987 and during the past 20 years has held a number of positions on various management and fundraising committees including the Melbourne Cup Lunch, Heart Awards, Hot to Trot, various race days and tribute dinner functions. He has also acted as Membership Secretary and Functions Chairman.

In 1990 Peter became Chairman of the NSW region and in 1999 was elected Chief Barker of Tent 56. For the past 15 years Peter has been an active member of the Bash Committee and is the current chairman of Motoring Events for NSW and Deputy National Bash Chairman.

In 2003 Peter was made a life member of Variety and in 2006 was awarded the Medal of Australia (AM) for his services to Charity and the Music Industry. Peter is also the co-founder and trustee of the Golden Stave Foundation and a director of the Nordoff - Robbins Music Therapy Association of Australia.

Frances MartinFrances Martin: Director

Frances Martin joined Vodafone Australia over a decade ago, as a Corporate Account Manager. In March 2004, Frances was appointed to lead Vodafone’s operations in its highest performing states as the General Manager of NSW/ACT.

Having commenced her career as a teacher, Frances has also had an extensive six-year career in sales and marketing in the freight industry.

During her career Frances has been: a member of the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce, member of the NSW Chamber of Commerce, member of AmCham and Vodafone’s AMTA Board member representative.

Frances brings an incredible sense of passion and dynamism to anything in which she is involved.

Amanda MeadAmanda Mead: Director

Amanda Mead has been an active Tent 56 Crew Member for three years, most recently as Co-chair of the Planned Giving Committee, working on the Giving Day Grants Committee and the Variety International Marketing Forum.

Amanda is currently a PhD student at Macquarie Graduate School of Management, researching corporate culture and the roles and effectiveness of participants in change meetings.

Amanda brings to Variety expertise from over 10 years commercial experience in senior marketing and strategic planning roles. She consults in strategic management, consumer marketing and branding.

Paul Mullaly: Director

For almost 20 years, Paul has actively supported Variety in numerous ways including:

  • Sunshine Coach Committee member for over 7 years, seconding for the Chairman when required;
  • 15 B to B Bashes, 12 of these as an official, leading the Bash Air Crew and providing his company aircraft for use during the Bash at no cost to Variety;
  • Entrant in five Newcastle Splashes;
  • Attendance at three Variety International Conventions;
  • With other members of his family, receipt of an International Presidential Citation for their support of Variety;
  • Volunteer at the annual Darling Harbour Children’s Christmas party for more than ten year;
  • Attendance at numerous Variety functions including Heart awards, dinners, events and fund raisers.

Presently, Paul manages his family’s construction business and has recently completed a Masters degree in Engineering Management.

Bernt Schindler: DirectorBernt Schindler - Director

Bernt has been involved in Variety, the Children’s Charity for over five years. Initially getting involved in the Young Variety committee. In the last 2 years he has taken on the role of YV Chairperson transforming the committee to maintain an active role in fundraising and increasing exposure in the younger generations. He has produced record fundraising through the YV events and built a sustainability platform for Variety in the future.

During his career Bernt has held varied roles in sales, marketing, management and recruitment. He is currently the General Manager of the recruitment and labour hire firm Abacus Proactive. He has secured major preferred supplier agreements and helped build a subsidiary business that specialises in work safety and OH&S using inescapable messaging. This business has managed to secure the Australian rights to The Simpsons Safety Products from Fox Studios in the US. His company is expanding rapidly opening another office in the Surry Hills area and Brisbane in addition to their Liverpool office.

Bernt has been a director since 2010 and still sits as chair of the YV committee. He is also involved in the Santa Fun run event and sits on the executive committee. He is determined to create sustainability for Variety and sees this as being an important step in the success of the charity.

Susan Warda: DirectorSusan Warda: Director

Susan became a solicitor in 1993 and has extensive experience in the practice of family law. She is an accredited specialist who joined Coleman Greig in 2000, became an Associate with the firm in 2006 and a Principal in 2007.

Susan has been involved in cases dealing with all aspects of family law. These include complex financial matters, Hague Convention Applications, the separate representation of children, matters concerning parenting arrangements, child support matters and de facto relationship cases.

Susan has completed training in mediation and collaborative family law which enables her to assist clients to resolve their disputes without having to be involved in costly and time consuming litigation. Susan’s commitment to providing clients with an alternative to court-based separation has seen her become a founding member of Western Sydney Collaborative Family Lawyers, a network of respected legal professionals with expertise in the non-court based approach. This approach is particularly beneficial to separating couples who may have complex financial issues and are looking for both speed and privacy during the separation process.

Susan’s active role on the Executive Committee of Austlaw, an association of independent law firms located throughout NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT, has now led to her appointment as Chairperson of the network.


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