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

Executive 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.

LinkedIn

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

Associate Director – Business Advisory

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 Measurement 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.

LinkedIn

Vanessa Alford 

Executive Administration Support Officer

Vanessa has worked in both private and not-for-profit sectors and is a passionate person who is dedicated to helping and empowering others in society who are disadvantaged and less fortunate. She has over 25 years’ experience of high-level professional administration experience as an Executive Assistant, mainly in the legal sector. Vanessa is currently based on Dharawal land in Sydney.

LinkedIn

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.

LinkedIn

Peter Gow

Fund Advisor

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.

LinkedIn

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

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.

LinkedIn

Paul Hepburn

Business Relationship Manager

Paul lives on Pangerang country in North Eastern Victoria with his wife and daughters. With over 30 years of 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.

LinkedIn

Tarni Fisher 

Business Relationship Manager

Tarni is a Kuku Nyungkal woman from Cairns, who is currently living on Yuggera Country (Brisbane). Inspired by seeing First Nations’ culture and values thrive in modern business practices, Tarni seeks to empower economic justice through her work, and as a Board Member for the AILC. As a member of Chartered Accountants ANZ, she has an accomplished background in corporate finance across a diverse range of industries.

LinkedIn

Ebony

Ebony Caldow

Business Relationship Manager

Ebony Caldow is a descendant of the Ballardong region (in Western Australia) on her mother’s side. She has over nine years’ experience in banking and finance in a variety of roles. Ebony is passionate about range of issues within the Indigenous community including economic development, domestic violence, health, and education. Ebony also supports organisations such as Yokai which strengthen cultural connection and healing for survivors of the Stolen Generation.

LinkedIn

Shane Hamilton

Co-chairperson

Shane is a Wakka Wakka and Bundjalung man from Queensland. The Managing Director of Inside Policy, Shane is a respected leader with executive experience across corrective services, housing and professional services sectors in government and corporate enterprises.

LinkedIn

Carly Mohamed

Board Member

Carly is a proud Goreng Goreng woman who grew up on Yorta Yorta Country. Carly is currently a Manager at PWC’s Indigenous Consulting. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts (Politics) from Monash University. Carly is passionate about removing historical and structural barriers to wealth accumulation for Indigenous entrepreneurs. Carly is based in Naam (Melbourne).

LinkedIn

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.

LinkedIn

Liandra Gaykamangu

Board Member

Liandra Gaykamangu is a Yolŋu woman from North East Arnhem Land. She is the co-CEO and Board Director of Enterprise Learning Projects, the Founder and Creative Director of Liandra Swim and a former English and history high school teacher. Liandra’s career focuses on creating opportunities for remote Indigenous entrepreneurs.  Liandra is based on Larrakia Country.

LinkedIn

Gordon Cole

Board Member

Gordon Cole is a Noongar man recognised for his leadership and contribution to Australia’s Aboriginal Community. He is the Managing Director of G Cole Consulting and CEO of Cole Supplies. Gordon specialises in Indigenous Services, Business, Economic Prosperity, Wealth Creation, Coaching, Mentoring and Leadership, along with exploring Global Markets. He led the establishment of the Noongar Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Gordon is based on Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar (Country) in Boorloo (Perth).

LinkedIn

Abhilash Mudaliar 

Board Member

Abhilash is the Chief Portfolio Officer at the Paul Ramsay Foundation. He has over 17 years’ experience in impact investing, philanthropy, research, evaluation, and social enterprise. At the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Abhilash focuses on breaking cycles of disadvantage by deploying impact investments and undertaking evaluations to inform future strategies. Through his background, Abhilash brings to FAC a wealth of experience in structuring and managing an impact fund, measuring, and managing (financial and impact) performance, and learning through ongoing monitoring and evaluation.

LinkedIn