Our Team

We are a passionate group of Indigenous leaders creating an inclusive economy.

We believe in a self-determined future for First Nations people. Together we are removing the barriers holding back Indigenous entrepreneurs, and creating a sustainable and inclusive economy for all Australians.

Leah Armstrong

Co-chairperson / Managing Director

Board Member

Leah, a Torres Strait Islander, has over 20 years’ business and not-for-profit experience working collaboratively with governments, community and the private sector. Leah is currently on the Board of Foundations for Young Australians; CSIRO Indigenous Strategic Advisory Council; and BCA Indigenous Taskforce. LinkedIn

Jane Pound

Executive Director, Impact Capital

Board Member

Passionate about supporting Indigenous-led change, Jane has 25 years’ experience providing strategic and legal advice across both the private and not-for-profit sectors. After working as a corporate lawyer for a decade, Jane has dedicated the past 15 years to supporting a number of significant Indigenous initiatives for social change. LinkedIn

Steve Stanton

Director, Business Development

Steve is a Gomeroi man from North West NSW. He has over 15 years senior executive experience across a broad range of industries, providing advice to governments, corporate organisations, non-profit sector, small and medium enterprises and startup businesses both nationally and internationally. Steve brings a deep passion for social impact and sustainability to his role at FAC.


Craig North

Impact Partner

Craig North is in the business of Indigenous investments with long-term positive impact. A senior Indigenous executive for over 15 years, Craig operates across government and commercial sectors nationally. Craig is passionate about the possibilities of Indigenous economic development and impact investment outcomes.

Wayne Reid

Chief Financial and Operations Officer

Wayne has over 16 years of Finance experience in the not-for-profit/government sector. He has also worked in local government, balancing financial management with strong, sustainable stakeholder relationships. Wayne completed a Bachelor of Commerce at The University of Newcastle, and went on to hold several accounting positions there. LinkedIn

Tiarne Shutt

Head of Strategy and Engagement

Tiarne Shutt is a proud First Nations woman with ancestral ties to the Worimi people. An experienced strategist and passionate storyteller, Tiarne has worked in both the private and not-for-profit sectors and is a social and environmental justice advocate dedicated to delivering impactful strategies that make Australia a better place for First Nations people. Tiarne is based on Yuggera Country in Meanjin (Brisbane). LinkedIn

Erin Levey

Impact Research Officer

Erin leads the development and implementation of the FAC Impact Management Framework. Erin has over 10 years experience in sustainable business management and worked in the UK and Australia as a Responsible Investment Analyst. Erin was born and raised on Awabakal lands and lives in Newcastle NSW.


Ruairidh Anderson

Senior Investment Analyst

Ruairidh was born and raised in Scotland and lives in inner-west Melbourne with his family. With a broad career in finance across four continents, and exposure to aerospace, hedge funds, retail and investment banking, Ruairidh has gained a rounded and global appreciation of financial markets. He understands the true value of investment extends much wider than a simple financial return.


Peter Gow

Investment Analyst

Peter has specialised in the finance, marketing and investment areas and has developed an extensive knowledge of funding companies and investment vehicles. Well known for his lateral approach and his ability to deliver strong commercial outcomes, Peter has worked with a range of small and medium sized companies, including fast growth hi-tech companies.

Paul Cobbo

Investment Analyst

Paul is a proud Wakka Wakka and Kamilaroi man and a passionate business builder, avid learner and pragmatic thinker. He is an accounting and finance degree-qualified corporate professional with deep knowledge and passion for the success of businesses and business owners, working with a wide range of businesses from small to medium enterprises to ASX listed companies, operating in diverse sectors and industries.

Isaac Distefano

Investment Analyst

Isaac was born in Newcastle NSW and is now located there after spending 10 years in Sydney. He has over 3 years’ experience as an Investment Analyst and graduated with a Bachelor of Property Economics at The University of Technology, Sydney. His passion is to empower and grow the Indigenous economy as his own personal values align with the purpose and values of First Australians Capital.


Tara O’Connell

Head of Business Development

Tara was born and raised on Awabakal lands and lives in Newcastle NSW. Tara brings over 25 years of diverse experience including 6 years as CEO of Hunter Wetlands; Chairman and Director on regional tourism boards; Head of Digital Transformation for a national NFP; and as a consultant to Government Departments and NGOs. LinkedIn

Garry King

Business Relationship Manager

A proud Bundjalung man by descent, Garry was born and raised on Gadigal lands and now lives on Wiradjuri Country in Temora, NSW. He has managed diverse enterprises, with over 30 years involvement in the building industry and experience in finance, engineering, tourism and aviation enterprises. Garry is a Chief Flying Instructor, training over 300 private pilots and over 200 commercial and military pilots.

Image of Michelle LIlley

Michelle Lilley

Business Relationship Manager

Michelle is an experienced, pragmatic, and innovative thinker who is passionate about empowering and equipping Indigenous business owners to live a life of impact and growth. Michelle has owned and run her own businesses for over 15 years in regional Victoria, and worked with a wide variety of businesses and not for profit community groups through coaching and mentoring.


Paul Hepburn

Business Relationship Manager

Paul lives on Pangerang country in North Eastern Victoria with his wife and daughters. With over 30 years’ experience, working from the factory floor to senior management, he is skilled in business planning, domestic and international sales, marketing, product and packaging design and development, manufacturing operations, and logistics. Paul looks to share this knowledge to support growing businesses.


Chris Tola

Business Partnerships Advisor

Born and raised on the Central Coast, now residing in Newcastle, Chris has a passion for helping people achieve their goals. Chris has a diverse work history, with many years active participation in professional and volunteer sectors, including key roles in community engagement and business development. Chris has a track record of transforming business development processes and building successful relationship pipelines.


Shane Hamilton


Shane is a Wakka Wakka and Bundjalung man from Queensland. Currently the CEO of Evolve FM, Shane is a respected leader with executive experience across corrective services, housing and professional services sectors in government and corporate enterprises. LinkedIn

Jocelyn King

Board Member

A proud Bundjalung woman by descent, Jocelyn was born and raised on Gadigal lands and now lives with her family at Djanaba Farm on Wonnarua Country in the Hunter Valley. Jocelyn has worked with many Indigenous organisations to facilitate economic development opportunities across Australia.

Carly Mohamed

Board Member

Carly is a proud Goreng Goreng woman who grew up on Yorta Yorta country. She has recently completed a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts (Politics) at Monash University. Carly’s interest areas are in Indigenous Affairs, Social Justice and Education.


Clive Ringler

Board Member

Clive Ringler is a Portfolio Manager and Financial Adviser with Morgan Stanley. He has over 25 years’ experience in the financial markets and covers both global and Australian investments across all asset classes including fixed interest and currencies.