The Foundation is structured as a company limited by guarantee, acting as trustee of a Public Ancillary Fund (“PuAF”). This structure enables a wide mandate for fundraising from organisations, staff and customers, allowing the funds to be given to up to 20,000 charitable institutions in Australia. The Foundation has also been granted Deductible Gift Recipient status, enabling donations over $2 to be tax deductible and undergoes an annual audit by Deloitte Australia. The Foundation’s administration costs are covered by members, which allows 100% of all fundraising activities to go towards community partners.
The Telco Together Foundation relies on the skills and expertise of the Board of Directors and a high-calibre Advisory Board to guide strategic direction and to ensure the Foundation has a measurable impact and a sustainable future.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is the primary governance body overseeing areas of fiduciary responsibility such as risk management & compliance, financial management & reporting, investment strategies, and organisational performance. As required by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, a Company acting as trustee for a PuAF must have a Board of Directors consisting of a majority of ‘responsible persons’ –that is, persons who are considered to have a degree of responsibility to the community because they perform a public function or they belong to a professional body. This may include doctors, judges, school principals, chartered accountants, or lawyers. As such, the composition of the Board of Directors is limited to a number and skill set that is appropriate to achieve efficient decision-making, whilst meeting the requirements of common law, tax law, good governance and statutory obligations.
Michael Stanley – Chair
Director of HR, Vodafone. Michael Stanley is a senior HR executive with substantial experience across the telecommunications and financial services industries as well as government and not for profit sectors. Commencing 2006 with Vodafone, Michael was the HR Director for Vodafone New Zealand between 2007 and 2012, for Vodafone Group Commercial (UK) between 2012 to 2014 and Vodafone Hutchison Australia from 2014 to 2017. Michael also has a passion for corporate philanthropy and Chaired the Vodafone Foundation Boards in NZ (2008-2012), Fiji (2010-2012) and Australia (2014-2017).
Renee Bowker – Executive Director
Renee is an experienced senior manager and strategic marketer with over 20 years in the telecommunications industry in Australia, Ireland and the USA. As founding CEO of Telco Together, Renee led the development of the Foundation’s strategic programs, including Text Giving, the Skills Exchange, and Small Change Big Change.
Renee transitioned to the Foundation Board as Executive Director in early 2018, with a specific focus on further developing industry-wide initiatives supporting disadvantaged communities within Australia.
Vaughan Bowen – Non-Executive Director
Vaughan’s former roles include being Chairman of Vocus Group Limited, which merged with M2 Group Ltd in February 2016. Vaughan founded M2 Group Ltd in late 1999 and was Managing Director / CEO for nearly 12 years, during which time he successfully steered the company from a start-up technology enterprise to become a fast-growing, profitable, ASX-listed, national telecommunications company. Vaughan holds a Bachelor of Commerce from UNSW, is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and was named as a finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year Southern Region in 2004 and 2009.
Philip Cornish – Non-Executive Director
Well-known for his involvement establishing Vodafone Australia in 1990, Philip was a director of Vodafone Australasia until 2001 and has continued industry involvement. Through his support of health and the arts, Philip is a Governor of Florey Neuroscience Institutes and a director of the NGV Foundation. He is also a director of various companies involved in telecommunications, property and general investments.
David Shewring – Non-Executive Director
David is an experienced partner in the Assurance Practice of Ernst & Young, where he has worked since 2002. Previously with Arthur Anderson in the UK, David transferred to Australia in 1995. David’s experience includes a diverse range of industries, markets and financial services in the UK, Australia and the US. He has led a large number of high profile due diligence and public listing engagements and has extensive experience in both external audit and a number of specialist reviews and assignments such as financial and acquisition due diligence, public listing and business risk consulting projects. David holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from University of East Anglia, and is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, and a Registered Company Auditor. He has also completed the Graduate of Leadership Victoria in 2002.
Jackie Solakovski – Non-Executive Director
Jackie is a Partner at Lander & Rogers in Melbourne, where she has worked since 2002. Her areas of expertise are mergers and acquisitions, capital raisings and the commercialisation and exploitation of intellectual property. She has a broad based commercial practice and advises listed and unlisted companies.Jackie holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law from the University of Melbourne, as well as a Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance from Chartered Secretaries Australia. She is also a member of the Law Institute of Victoria.Previously Jackie has been the Chair of Womensport and Recreation Victoria, Secretary of the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association, and a former member of the National Committee for GST Education for Sport.
The Board of Directors is supported by an Advisory Board that meets twice a year. The Advisory Board makes recommendations on the strategic direction of the Foundation by considering the fundraising and charitable funding initiatives submitted by the Foundation’s Executive. This includes considering the fundraising activities conducted by the Foundation and setting of fundraising targets, as well as considering which partnership and grants programs should be supported.
The Advisory Board consists of a number of experienced leaders from the telecommunications and not-for-profit sector. Invitations to join the Advisory Board is made to Chief Executive Officers of our Premium Members (key telecommunications providers). The Advisory Board meet half-yearly to consider Foundation activities, as well as presentations from thought leaders on social issues being targeted by the Foundation. Recommendations from the Advisory Board are passed to the Board of Directors to ensure compliance with the Constitution and other governance requirements.
Chair, Telco Together Foundation
HR Director, Vodafone
General Manager, Service Provider & Media, Australia and New Zealand, Cisco
Head of People and Culture, Vocus Group
Director, Group Sustainability, Optus
General Manager: Governance, Integration & Reporting, Telstra
Head of Government Affairs, Strategic Adviser, auDA
Chairman, Social Ventures Australia
Director, Financial Markets Foundation for Children