Our Executive Team

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Meet the executive
John Hickey
Chief Executive Officer

John joined Baptist World Aid as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2010, with more than 20 years of experience in leadership, general management, and CEO roles, primarily for international and regional financial institutions. He has led various organisations successfully to build vision, strategy, and sustained impact.

John has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with majors in political science and law. He has postgraduate qualifications in financial services and other studies in international business leadership. He is also a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).

Aside from his professional responsibilities, John has played active roles in local church governance and held Chair and Director roles in Christian schooling prior to taking up the leadership of Baptist World Aid and, then, Transform Aid International.

He and his wife Tracey have been involved with the Australian Baptist church since 2005.

Given the scope of our alliances and relationships to achieve impact both nationally and globally, John also performs governance and leadership roles related to furthering this mission. He has been appointed as a Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance for 2020-2025 and he is Chair of the Baptist World Alliance Forum for Aid and Development (BFAD), which he helped to establish in 2015. John also serves on the Board of the Integral Alliance (a global group of 22 faith-based agencies collaborating in disaster management) and on the National Council of Australian Baptist Ministries. He is also a Board member of Micah Australia.

John is a passionate family man and lives in the Lake Macquarie area with his wife Tracey. They have two adult sons.

Reverend Melissa Lipsett is our Chief Operating Officer
Rev. Melissa Lipsett
Chief Operating Officer & Director of Missional Impact

Melissa is an experienced executive with a wealth of experience in the Christian not-for-profit space. Her skills in leading and managing diverse teams and complex organisations were developed in the Australian military, refined in executive leadership within the contemporary church context, and further developed in the Christian for purpose sector. She has extensive cross-cultural experience and a deep appreciation and respect for working alongside First Nation peoples.

Melissa is a strong professional and servant leader and plays active roles in governance across the church and for purpose Christian sector. She holds a Bachelor of Ministry and a Bachelor of Applied Science, and is also a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Melissa is passionate about helping people know – and reflect – the love of Jesus. She is ordained in the Uniting Church but has extensive cross denominational experience, and is a sought after public speaker in this space bringing together her passions of excellent leadership, advocacy, pastoral and practical theology. Melissa truly believes that the ending of poverty is possible and is determined to work toward and inspire others that together we can make a better world for all.

Miriam Sherwin
Miriam Sherwin
Chief of Staff, Director of People, Culture and Performance

Miriam joined Baptist World Aid as Human Resources Manager in January 2013 and was appointed Associate Director of Strategic Development in January 2019.

Miriam holds a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology, Sydney and has over 10 years of experience in Human Resources in the Banking and Finance and Not for Profit sectors in Australia and the UK, working with leaders to develop and implement the most effective human resources strategies for their people and their businesses. When Miriam was appointed as the Baptist World Aid Human Resources Manager in 2013, she was tasked with building a best practice Human Resource function. Since that time, Miriam has delivered strategic, business-aligned Human Resource initiatives that have achieved results and positively influenced culture and staff engagement. Her new role exists to support staff and leadership to more effectively and efficiently achieve individual and department goals across the entire organisation.

Miriam is using her gifts in an active response to poverty, contributing to the work that Baptist World Aid does to transform the lives of people and communities in desperate need.

Natasha Thompson
Chief Financial Officer & Company Secretary

Having transitioned to the NFP sector from a senior corporate career within finance and governance, Natasha is committed to making a difference at a senior executive working for a Christian organisation. A mature and committed Christian herself, her faith journey including a passion for justice and a desire to see vulnerable people flourish that has fuelled her desire to work as an executive in the not for profit sector. Natasha has strong commercial acumen, strategy development and engagement skills and has direct experience in International Development across Africa, India and South East Asia.

Natasha holds a Bachelor of Commence and a Graduate Diploma in Finance and Investment, is a qualified Chartered Accountant and is ACID qualified. Natasha’s experience also includes serving on and chairing not for profit boards and committees. Natasha is currently studying a Master of Laws.

Peter Keegan
Director of Advocacy

Peter joined Baptist World Aid International Programs team in 2017 and then became the Director of Advocacy in 2019. He has worked in the global development sector for over 15 years, previously with World Vision UK, Uniting World, and Micah Challenge, with experience in both program and advocacy roles. Peter is passionate about development that puts the priorities and voices of vulnerable people at the center. And looks at the policies and systems that need to change in order for vulnerable people to experience the flourishing life God intends.

Jane Alfred
Director of Innovation & Change

Jane joined Baptist World Aid as Marketing Analyst in 2010, moving to Information Systems Manager in 2015 and more recently Director of Innovation and Change in 2020. She successfully established the current IT capability leading the implementation of a 5-year digital transformation strategy to update internal systems and build a cloud based technology ecosystem to enable the organisation to drive greater impact.

Prior to her current role, Jane worked for 15 years in the corporate sector with responsibilities including commercial management, business analysis, project management and business process improvement. Her experience working in constantly evolving business environments, has given her a great background for leading change at Baptist World Aid and building the existing capabilities to create efficiencies and infuse innovation as a core part of the way of working.

Jane holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Graduate Diploma in Marketing and is currently studying a Micro-Masters of Corporate Innovation.

Jane is passionate about identifying opportunities to enable innovation, partnering collaboratively, designing solutions to business problems and enabling new ideas or new ways of working to create greater impact for the communities Baptist World Aid serves.

Rebecca Oates
Director of Marketing and Communication

Rebecca Oates is the Director of Marketing and Communication at Baptist World Aid Australia, where she’s served for the past three years. She is passionate about mobilising Australian Christians towards a healthy relationship with people living in poverty. For over twenty years Bec owned her own hairdressing salon, growing her business to such a point that she was included in Vogue’s top 10 salons in Australia. As a result, Bec was also a finalist in the Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year awards. Bec now draws on her marketing and leadership skills to oversee over twenty staff in working toward ending poverty.

Dan Skehan
Director of Programs

Dan joined Transform Aid International as an International Program Coordinator in October 2009 and was appointed Director of Programs in 2019.

In his various roles at the organisation, Dan has overseen grants management, the Baptist World Aid child sponsorship program, and led the development of its disaster management program. Dan enjoys collaborating with Baptist World Aid’s alliances, including Integral Alliance, the Church Agency Network, and the Asia Pacific Baptists.

Dan has a background in agricultural extension, leading projects throughout Queensland from 2003 to 2008. He then worked in the Philippines for two years supporting a faith based organisation in its program delivery and organisational development.

Dan holds a Masters of International Community Development, a Masters of Environmental Management, and a Graduate Certificate in Humanitarian Leadership.

Dan is passionate about supporting Baptist World Aid’s local partners to deliver quality programs that empower communities to lift themselves out of poverty, challenge injustice, and build resilience.

I’m constantly encouraged by the progress we are making to end poverty – but there is much more to do and I’m passionate about this challenge.

John Hickey, Chief Executive Officer