Dialog Box

Our Leadership

GrealyOur 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. 

Executive team 

Tomas Lopata
Interim CEO & 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.

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. 

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.

Susan Walsh
Head of Communications

Susan has over 10 years communications management experience, a Bachelor’s degree in Business, post-graduate qualifications in marketing and journalism, and is a Certified Prosci Change Management Practitioner.

Susan has significant experience working with a diverse range of stakeholder audiences, including Aboriginal people and communities, a wide range of disability groups and all Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) audiences.

In addition to twelve years in the public sector, working in areas as diverse as supporting victims of violent crime, Aboriginal housing, child support and school infrastructure, Susan worked in the not-for-profit sector for over five years.

Susan has also consulted to disability organisations and other NFPs, developing strategies to provide support services for people feeling the effects of social exclusion.

Susan is an accredited bid writer with Shipley International, has extensive written communications experience and has recently finished writing her first novel.

Claire Grealy

Head of National Advisory Services

Claire’s career has spanned over twenty-five years in commercial, government, and non-government sector leadership. She has been a frontline social worker, an advocate, change agent, lecturer, trainer, manager, peer, colleague, role model and mentor.

Claire specialises in developing and improving responses to populations overlooked or excluded from mainstream services. This has included extensive work in evidence translation to inform program design, evaluation informed design, and a focus on partnership and governance arrangements. She has led and contributed to a significant body of work on the design and operation of person-centred human service systems, and multi-disciplinary and integrated models.

Claire is a skilled facilitator, with experience in training design and delivery. While a Partner with Urbis she led the Victorian Economic and Social Advisory Group, with responsibility for several portfolios, in a highly regarded professional services firm. She led the portfolios of education, early childhood, disaster recovery, and consumers at risk of exclusion. She has also worked with Aboriginal partners for 20 years to listen to and document practice and governance, and to evaluate state and federal investments aimed at closing the gaps.