Dialog Box

Our Leadership

Our team of passionate professionals come from a range of backgrounds and bring expertise in many fields surrounding the protection of children, providing a service that is thorough and evidence based. 

Our Leadership

Executive team 

Natalie Siegel-Brown
Managing Director

Prior to joining Child Wise, Natalie was the Queensland Public Guardian, an independent statutory appointment, and CEO of the Office of the Public Guardian.

Natalie is passionate about advocating for people experiencing vulnerability. Her career has been underpinned by her drive to protect the rights and interests of children and young people in the child protection system, in addition to adults who have impaired decision-making capacity. Before taking up the role as Public Guardian, Natalie was an Executive Director with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services where she led the child protection, domestic violence, carers, ageing and disability portfolios for the state.

Natalie began life as a lawyer but very quickly found herself working on the ground in Aboriginal communities on violence-prevention initiatives. Natalie has worked with communities from Cape York to the Western Desert.

Natalie’s work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and legal service policy has been published internationally and in 2002, she was awarded the inaugural Gowling Lafleur Henderson Award (University of Toronto). In addition to an Arts/Law Degree, Natalie also holds an Executive Certificate from Harvard University and holds a Masters of Public Politics & Administration).

Michael MacKay 
Director of Quality Assurance and Practice 

Michael is a social worker, counsellor and educator with extensive clinical and leadership experience in child protection, mental health, family violence, offender management and trauma-informed therapy. He has worked for Child Wise since 2016, supporting numerous organisations to build child safety capacity. He also represented Child Wise as a sector expert at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and authored a submission to the Commission in relation to child-focused complaints processes.

Prior to joining Child Wise, Michael spent 16 years working in the field of statutory child protection in the UK and Canada as a practitioner, manager and senior leader. He continues to work as a counsellor, and periodically lectures in the field of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Trained in systemic leadership, Michael is passionate about supporting child-focused organisations to foster learning-oriented approaches which create sustainable change.

As Director of Quality Assurance, Michael supports Child Wise Advisors, Trainers and Managers to deliver consistently excellent services.

Harriet Sheppard
Director of Operations & Safeguarding Technology

Harriet brings years of experience in senior management and a deep understanding of business strategy and compliance across a diverse number of industries in Australia and New Zealand. 

Harriet brings over 15 years’ experience in Education, Training & Operations, including Manager Curriculum & Training Services at the Australian Institute of Management, as well as over 20 years of experience in corporate environments. As School Board Chair for an elected three-year term at Aranda Primary School and Walking School Bus team leader, child protection and safety were always paramount, resulting in Volunteer of Year Nomination (ACT) in 2009. 

Tomas Lopata 
Director of Global Industry and Strategy

For over twenty years, Tomas has enjoyed a career in strategy, public policy and program development and implementation. His experience spans all spheres of government, management consulting and the tertiary education sector. He has worked in executive and operational leadership roles since 2007.

Tomas has content expertise in ageing, disability, crime prevention, criminal justice, health, housing, tertiary education, and youth employment. He has also led and contributed to numerous social research projects with a focus on issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

In addition, Tomas has operational expertise in all aspects of business leadership and management in both public and commercial contexts, including: Strategy development, execution and review; finance and budgets; operational reviews; human resources and recruitment; procurement; negotiations and brokerage and, business development.

Donna Webb 
Head of Global Safeguarding 

An experienced leader and manager in the Australian and international not-for-profit sector, Donna combines her expertise in tight portfolio, program and project management together with a passion for community-led design and monitoring. Donna has a background in training, coaching and development for staff, leaders and boards of small to medium sized organisations that deliver community based programming.

She is a passionate believer that community feedback is a critical component of a strong evidence base and has recently worked with Save the Children to promote and advocate for the rights of children to have an active voice in the programs and services that impact them.