an initiative of World Relief Australia

Who we are

Global Poverty Solutions in an initiative of World Relief Australia ( to efficiently link donors with innovative solutions to poverty.

Global Poverty Solutions is governed by a board of independent voluntary directors. The directors are:

Bob Mitchell (Chair)
Bob has been the Chief Executive Officer of Anglican Overseas Aid since mid-2012. He has been a solicitor for 25 years and was a partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers for 14 years. He has been a board member of several non-profit organisaitons including BlueCare and the PwC Foundation. Bob has served as a member of the Federal Attorney-General's International Pro Bono Advisory Group and is a director of Western Health. Most recently he has worked in senior executive roles at World Vision Australia, including as Director of Legal Risk and Governance, and as Chief of Mission. Bob's passion for development arose from church-based development projects in Timor-Leste. He has a deep commitment to aid and development as a ministry of the church, and is undertaking doctoral studies on the distinctive role of faith within international community development.

Deb Hoskings (Deputy Chair)

Deb co-owns and manages the Austral Group of companies, which includes Austral Tree Services, Project Green - Environment Management Services and, more recently, a social enterprise called Wood For Good. Over the past 20 years the business has grown to a sizable fleet and team of skilled staff who service South Australia and Victoria.

Deb possesses a strong background in strategic planning, business process engineering and operations management. She has an unyielding committment to embedding good business practice to best service the needs of the broader community. As a trustee of the Hosking Foundation, Deb is a passionate advocate for philanthropy in Australia.

Philip Good (Treasurer & Secretary)
Philip operates his own accounting practice on the Mornington Peninsula, southeast of Melbourne. His business has a mission to help small business owners value and achieve their business and personal goals. In the past, Philip has worked for the Weather Bureau in various observational, training, and pilot briefing capacities in Sydney, Canberra, Richmond, and Melbourne. He has also worked as an accountant for Kimberly Smith Partners, working with many non-profit organisations, and for Robbins and Co. public practice accounting firm. He has held the position of Treasurer for New Peninsular Baptist Church since 2005. He is also one of the founders of World Relief Australia.

Paul Madden
Paul is currently the Chief Executive of the Wyatt Trust, a major Australian philanthropic institution. His past appointments include Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity; Executive Officer, Child and Family Welfare Association SA; General Manager, Mission Australia SA Region; and Executive Director, Baptist Community Services SA. Past board appointments include SA Housing Trust; Foodbank SA; and Association of Major Community Organisations. In 2005, Paul and his wife Barbara founded Bright Futures Child Aid and Development Fund, a Christian aid and development agency through which they are involved in community development projects in India, Kenya, Pakistan, and Uganda. In 2001, Paul was awarded the Centenary Medal for service to the community.

Carl Ginger
Carl is currently the Business Development Manager for the NSW Land and Property Management Authority. He has a diverse range of experience as a senior executive in Government, and in the commercial and academic sectors. Carl's academic background is in civil engineering and business administration. His passion for development has seen him active in many countries and at all levels of society, from grass roots level to the highest level of government. Carl has worked on a broad range of community development projects across the world.

Fred Chilton
Fred is a solicitor at Emil Ford & Co., which is a small legal firm with a broad corporate and commercial focus. Prior to this, Fred was a partner at Allens Arthur Robinson for 29 years. He has assisted in the establishment of a number of non-profit organisations, including Worldwide Orphans Australia, Christian Surfers International, Centre for Public Christianity, HARR Australasia and Cape York Digital Network (CYDN). Fred is the Chairman of the Bush Church Aid Society, a Director of CYDN, and serves on the Northern Region Council and other church parish bodies.

Mark Fleming
Mark is a consulting engineer with RenewableFuture, working on financial modelling tariff development, pipeline modelling, energy auditing, and installation of various solar systems. Mark has over 25 years experience in the energy and environment sectors. He completed a PhD in solar energy in 1988 and worked for Siddins in heart pump research and development. This was followed by river modelling work at the Murray Darling Basin Commission and Natural Gas Pipeline modelling at VENCorp. Mark attends New Peninsula Baptist Church where he is involved in a Life Group and a Boys' Club in the local housing estate. Mark was President of Mornington Environment Association from 2002 to 2009.

Sarah Spiker

Sarah is an experienced manager of development projects both internationally and within Australia. She is currently Project Operations Manager of the Cotton On Foundation. She has worked with Bright Futures, Mission International, and World Vision Australia in development Planning, partnership management, and fundraising. Sarah has practical development experience through project involvement in India, Pakistan, Uganda, Kenya, and the Philippines. She also has tertiary qualifications in managment, international and community development, and a passion to see poverty and disadvantage alleviated across the globe through sustainable projects and innovative partnerships. 

Our Team

Global Poverty Solutions boasts a team of experienced development professionals.

Chief Executive Officer: Dr Donald Van Cooten PhD
Don's passion for alleviating the suffering of impoverished communities was ignited during a visit to West Timor some 30 years ago. Beginning his career as an agricultural scientist, he went on to spend 17 years in SE Indonesia working on a range of community development projects. Don's cross-cultural skills and commitment to helping the marginalised has enabled him to have a role in facilitating initiatives at a village, regional, national and international levels.

Don's research interests have resulted in the publication of reviewed papers in numerous international journals, as well as village farmer guides in local languages. Don's international experience includes his appointment as Australian Consul in West Timor, involving him in Australian-Indonesian ministerial forums and the promotion of bilateral joint ventures. In recent years, Don has managed hundreds of community development initiatives in over 45 countries. He has also been instrumental in developing a Code of Conduct for small Australian NGOs involved in overseas relief and development.

Manager, Consulting: Belinda Pratten
Belinda has worked in international development for 13 years. Her most recent role was with World Vision Australia, where she worked for five years as the Program Advisor for Latin America. Prior to this, Belinda worked for the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) both in Australia as a Policy Officer, and in Papua New Guinea as a Civilian Peace Monitor. Belinda has also implemented programs for International Medical Corps in Kosovo and East Timor. Belinda has a Master of Business and Administration (MBA), a Master in Public Health, and a Bachelor in Psychology (Honours).

World Relief Australia
Global Poverty Solutions is an initiative of World Relief Australia (WRA). WRA partners with over 50 Australian non-governmental organisations, which implement their international projects through in-country partners. For a small percentage of the donations, the Australian organisations benefit from WRA’s tax-deductibility, fundraising permits, development expertise, financial auditing, networking events, best practice toolkits, and online donation accounts. This enables all of the charities to benefit from pooled administrative and developmental resources, so that they can spend their time helping those in need.

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