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Our team

Meet our team of dedicated staff. Working at Act for Peace is gives you the opportunity to use your skills to make a real difference to the lives of others. To find out about how you can join our team visit our jobs area.


Janet Cousens

Act for Peace - Janet Cousens

Chief Executive Officer

Janet was appointed as our Chief Executive Officer in June 2017 after 6 years as our Programs and Policy Director where she focused on building a team of humanitarian and development specialists passionate about supporting local partners to take leadership in addressing protection and resilience issues for communities affected by conflict and disaster.

With a background in psycho-social health and refugee resettlement and a past life in documentary television, Janet combines people focused management skills with a passion for community led change and a strong belief in the value and power of the individual.

Janet holds a Bachelor of Social Work Degree (honours in refugee resettlement), a BA Mass Communications, and is currently slowly moving through a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies.

“I firmly believe that we have a positive role to play in partnering with communities where we can fill the gap in the opportunities they have available to them to address the mechanisms that lead to injustices impacting on their lives. I’m constantly encouraged by the work of our partners and their belief that change is possible.”



International Programs & Policy Team

Geoff Robinson

Act for Peace - Geoff Robinson

Senior Programs Manager

Geoff joined Act for Peace in 2014 and currently oversees our Resilience and Emergencies and Sustainable Development programs manager.  He has been working in community-based, partner and government focused programming, including climate change adaptation, land use and environmental management, disaster risk reduction and emergency response since 1999. Geoff is an effective facilitator and project manager who has led strategic and program planning, monitoring and evaluation frameworks, policy development, consultation processes and training programs. Geoff has spent the last nine years working on a range of development, emergency preparedness and humanitarian response programs across the Asia-Pacific region.


James Thomson

Act for Peace - James Thomson

Policy & Advocacy Associate Director

James has served as National Advocacy Officer for the Program on Refugees and Displaced People, and is currently operating as the Associate Director of Policy and Advocacy. In 2007 and 2008, James was the Rapporteur for UNHCR’s Annual Consultations with NGOs, and he has attended the Ministerial Consultations and the DIAC-NGO Dialogue on Humanitarian Issues for the past seven years. James co-chairs the ACFID Protection Working Group, is the founding member and chair of the ACT International Protection Advisory Group, and is heavily involved in refugee rights work. Prior to his current position he spent five years in Ethiopia and Eritrea working as a journalist and in the development field.

“I find my work to be a continuous challenge, but am motivated and inspired by the work of our project partners. I've worked for Act for Peace for eight years, but I continue to be amazed by our collaborative partnerships and what can be achieved when sharing common goals.”


Sharon Edington

Act for Peace - Sharon Edington

International Programs Manager - Protection Programs

Sharon has worked in a variety of international development and humanitarian settings including in the Middle East, Africa, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Georgia, Chile’s Atacama Desert and Bosnia-Herzegovina. She holds a Master’s of Conflict, Security and Development degree from the University of Bradford, completed in her capacity as a Rotary Peace Fellow from 2013-2014. Prior to joining Act for Peace, Sharon held roles with ActionAid Palestine, CARE International in the Caucasus, and UQ International Development as well as placements and volunteer work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the British Red Cross, Shelterbox emergency response, Association Najdeh in Shatila refugee camp, the Chilean Ministry of Education and with the Rotary Foundation and clubs. Sharon manages a team working on international protection programs, including oversight of programs related to protracted displacement and conflict in Africa, Palestine, India and Sri Lanka, and South-East Asia.


Tamara Domicelj

Act for Peace - Tamara Domicelj

Regional Refugee Protection Adviser

Tamara was appointed to the newly-created position of Regional Refugee Protection Adviser in July 2012. She is also currently the Deputy Chair of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) – a civil society network dedicated to the advancement of refugee rights across the Asia Pacific region. APRRN is a growing and diverse network with over 160 mostly organisational members across more than 20 countries spanning New Zealand through to Iran. Tamara’s previous roles include: National Policy Director of the Refugee Council of Australia, Director of the Asylum Seekers Centre of NSW, consultant on immigration detention and asylum seeker policy to the Australian Human Rights Commission and Oxfam Australia, and manager of a psycho- social settlement education program with the Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Services NSW. Tamara has also managed a human rights organisation in Mexico City and worked with displaced indigenous communities in southern Mexico. Tamara has been on management committees of several organisations working to strengthen protection for refugees, including the Refugee Advice and Casework Service NSW. Tamara completed her Master’s degree in International Social Development with the Centre for Refugee Research at UNSW. She is an alumna of the Benevolent Society’s Sydney Leadership Program and received a Premier’s Award for her work with refugee youth in Western Sydney.


Tracey Robinson

Act for Peace - Tracey Robinson

International Program Coordinator

Tracey has a broad background in program management and has worked in government and non-government organisations and within the formal education sector for over 15 years. Prior to joining Act for Peace to support the implementation of a Climate Change risk reduction program in the Pacific, Tracey spent seven years working in the Pacific focusing on community engagement and human rights with organisations including Live and Learn and Save the Children. Tracey currently coordinates and supports Act for Peace's local partners in the Pacific through a variety of programs ranging from disaster response, community based protection, food security, WASH, resource development and program design and implementation. Tracey holds a Bachelor degree in Environmental Science and Cultural Heritage and a post graduate certificate in Education. She has a passion for working with people at the grass roots level.

“I am passionate about the implementation of quality sustainable programs that continue to benefit all members of the communities beyond the project funding cycles. I am humbled and privileged to be working with great people and in an organisation which is genuine in their desire to make a difference to those most in need.” 


Aruna Thebuwana

Act for Peace - Aruna Thebuwana

Program Finance Officer

Aruna is an experienced accounting and finance professional and joined Act for Peace in April 2012. Aruna is a Chartered Accountant and also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance. He has worked in both accounting public practice as an auditor and in the corporate profit and not- for-profit sectors. He has more than 13 years of experience in financial reporting, compliance and capacity building.

“I look for opportunities to apply my years of experience in finance to the organisations I work for and to continuously improve and add value.” 


Marketing & Communications Team


Ben Littlejohn

Act for Peace - Ben Littlejohn

Marketing and Communications Director

Ben joined Act for Peace after moving from the UK to lead the Marketing and Communications team in May 2012. He brings with him extensive marketing experience in the international aid and development sector. He has held a number of senior fundraising and campaigning roles, and for nine years prior to joining Act for Peace was Head of Innovation and Change Strategy at Oxfam GB.

Ben has managed high-profile fundraising initiatives in a range of disciplines including events, community, digital, corporate, direct marketing, and institutional fundraising and he has worked on campaigns tackling poverty, trade justice, arms control and climate change.

Ben has had the opportunity to visit Act for Peace programs in Jordan, Gaza, Ethiopia and India and feels privileged to be part of a network of committed people making a lasting difference through Act for Peace.


Tim Sadler

Act for Peace - Tim Sadler

Head of Digital and CRM

Tim joined Act for Peace in February 2017 in a management role that oversees our digital platforms, data systems, analysis and insight. Tim is a technology leader, having worked for over 15 years in senior management and more than 20 years in IT. He brings to Act for Peace a wealth of knowledge gained through his experience in a range of sectors including media, broadcast, education, retail, call centres and finance.

Tim is passionate about empowering people to improve the world we live in. Since shifting into the not-for-profit sector, he is excited about directing his skills and passion toward helping some of the most vulnerable in our world.


Claire Evins

Act for Peace - Claire Evins

Marketing Coordinator

Claire joined the team in 2014 and comes from a background in global brand marketing with experience in consumer products. Claire is receiving news from our partners on the ground to share their experiences with our Regular Givers through monthly Peace Mails.

“I want to share the stories of hope from children and families around the world. Our regular givers make it possible for people in refugee camps and war zones to have hope and rebuild their lives.” 


Howard Graham

Act for Peace - Howard Graham

Major Giving and Gifts in Wills Volunteer

Howard began a part time role with Act for Peace in 2004, following work with the Anglican Church in PNG, as well as some managerial assignments with United Church in the Solomon Islands. After a long corporate career, Howard was involved in promoting legacy gifts and then establishing regular giving opportunities for supporters. After a long break travelling in 2014, Howard now volunteers each week encouraging and thanking our wonderful supporters.


Karen McGrath

Act for Peace - Karen McGrath

Global Marketing Manager - Ration Challenge 

Since 2015, Karen has helped to grow the agency’s award-winning Ration Challenge and is currently playing a key role in taking the challenge to the international stage. Karen began working for Act for Peace in 2013 as the Media and Communications coordinator after graduating with honours from the University of Wollongong in Marketing Communications and Commerce. Karen previously worked at Student Marketing Australia, The ACT Conservation Council and Flight Centre. She has travelled throughout India and South East Asia teaching English and volunteering for a number of local organisations.

Karen is passionate about using digital marketing to empower communities to network, take action and create real change. She describes herself as a strategic thinker who promotes innovation and risk-taking.


Jess Xavier

Act for Peace - Jess Xavier

Media and Communications Coordinator

Jess started in 2015 as Junior Marketing Officer before moving into her current position. She holds a double degree in Media and Communication and International Relations with a Spanish major. Prior to joining Act for Peace, Jess worked as a Digital Media Designer, a varied role that spanned front-end web development, video production and graphic design. Jess has a personal and professional commitment to the pursuit of social justice and enjoys being able to work in an environment where she can combine her passion for storytelling with a love of all things digital.


Andy Corkill

Act for Peace - Andy Corkill

Relationship Fundraising Manager

Andy joined Act for Peace in 2017, after returning home to Sydney from years of living in Perth, Melbourne and New York. He brings experience working closely with Churches, community groups, and refugee families, as well as extensive knowledge in relationship fundraising and estate planning. Most recently, Andy was the Executive Secretary - Major Gifts and Planned Giving at the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, which includes UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, another Act Alliance Partner.

Andy is truly passionate about social justice and improving the lives of all people. He loves a challenge, and finding creative ways for people to engage with our work.


Susan Lorenzo

Act for Peace - Susan Lorenzo

Marketing Officer

Susan began working as an intern at Act for Peace in May 2010 and moved into her current position just four months later. She obtained a PhD in Chemistry from the University of New South Wales.

“I consider myself truly fortunate to work with people so skilled, enthusiastic and determined to help some of the most disadvantaged people in the world, and to be able to contribute to that work myself.”


Deirdre Ashe


Director of Business and Finance

Deirdre joined the National Council of Churches in Australia in December 2015 as Director of Business and Finance after a 20-year career with The Salvation Army. Deirdre also worked in the finance field in a broad range of roles in banking, manufacturing, import-export and the Air Force. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Accounting and a Master’s degree in Commerce and Accounting.



More ways to take action

Like all children, Alina has dreams for her future. Sadly, most children in rural Pakistan can’t get the education they need to realise their dreams and escape poverty.

Seven years on and Syrian refugees are still in urgent need of our help. Keep hope alive and help provide the food, medical care and support they need.

Together we raised over $3 million during Ration Challenge 2018 - enough to feed more than 10,000 refugees for a year!