Our Executive Team

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Meet the executive
Reverend Melissa Lipsett is our Chief Operating Officer
Rev. Melissa Lipsett
Acting CEO, 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, playing 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. She is a sought after public speaker who brings together her passions of excellent leadership, advocacy, pastoral and practical theology. Melissa believes that ending poverty IS possible and is determined to work toward and inspire others so that together we can make a better world for all.

Natasha Thompson
Chief Financial Officer & Company Secretary

Having moved to the not-for-profit sector from a senior corporate career within finance and governance, Natasha is committed to making a difference as a senior executive working for a Christian organisation. A mature and committed Christian, Natasha has a passion for justice and a desire to see vulnerable people flourish, both of which fuel her desire to work as an executive in the not-for-profit area. Natasha has strong commercial acumen, strategic 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. She 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.