Who we are

The GCP board is an eclectic group of like-minded people who are all passionate about peace building and are all working on peace initiatives locally and globally.

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”Malala Yousafzai From a speech at Harvard in September 2013.

 

Joan O’Connor – Chair

Joan has been working in the education development sector for over 30 years, with women, children and families from poor communities. Her focus has been on children and women’s empowerment through small micro medium enterprises (SMME) and advocating for gender equality though capacity building and change management. This has led to designing innovative peace projects, working with a diverse range of communities locally and globally.

Joan continues to develop International partnerships in the tertiary sector in peace studies, and has been a guest lecturer in community development and peace studies in Japan and Nepal.

The Earth Charter principles and the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, underpin the foundation for Joan’s ongoing work in education.

Cathryn Hammond – Deputy Chair

Integrating the concept of sustainability and more particularly socio-ecological sustainability has been a feature of Cathy’s work in the schooling and university sectors and now more generally in the community sector. She is of the belief that the social dimension of sustainability needs to inform peace initiatives and be recognised by us as a way of being.

Dr Alan O’Connor – Public Officer

I am married to Joan with three adult children and have lived in the Port Adelaide area for almost 40 years. I have had a life long interest in promoting affordable housing and was a founding member of Habitat for Humanity South Australia. I have a particular connection with Habitat’s global village work in Asian countries.

I have finished a long career in both the state and Commonwealth governments as a research and policy officer across a range of social justice arenas. In 2012 I completed a PhD on Indigenous enterprise development in remote Anangu communities. I am a member of the Friends of Torrens Island and also enjoy attending sessions of the Port of Adelaide University of the Third Age.

Gavin Jackson – Treasurer (ex officio board member)

 

Gavin comes from the land on the West Coast of South Australia, the youngest of seven children he started shearing at the age of seventeen which took him to various parts of the state including Ceduna where he met his wife, Tanya. He successfully applied for a position of wharf and jetty builders’ assistant with the Department of Marine and Harbours in Port Thevenard. Gavin and Tanya have two adult children who study and work in the Port Adelaide area.

He has remained with the Department of Marine and Harbours which transitioned to Ports Corp and then to Flinders Ports for over 30 years where he is now a Team Leader in the Marine Services branch of Flinders Ports based at Outer Harbour.

Over this time he has sought qualifications in the Bookkeeping and Management areas as he managed the financial side of his wife Tanya’s Hair and Beauty Salons. Gavin has taken the chance to “give back’ to the community by volunteering his time to help with GCP.

Kerrie Ashcroft

Kerrie has over 25 years’ experience in learning and development, with significant industry experience in the IT and Government sectors in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. In her most recent corporate role, Kerrie was the Director of Electronic Data Systems’ (EDS’) learning and development function for the Asia Pacific region.

She is a member of the board for The Community Living Project, a person-centred, values based disability service provider.

Susan Martin

Susan Martin has been working in early childhood education and management  for over 30yrs as a consultant and advisor. She has extensive experience in working with educators in remote Indigenous communities and is now working as a preschool teacher in a diverse multicultural community .

Susan believes in sustainable living and is conscious of delivering a peaceful education program for the children and families in her community.

Kath Milne

Kath has extensive experience in leading major operations, developing services and benefits for customers as an Executive in the financial services industry, information technology industry and in the not for profit sector, both internationally and in Australia.

She has an excellent reputation in the disability sector as an active member of two National Disability Sector Committees – Workforce and Sector Development Committee and the Community Sector Sustainability and Innovation Working Group. She holds a number of Fellowships being a Fellow of Australian Institute of Management, Fellow of Financial Services Institute of Australasia and Fellow of Governors Leadership Foundation

Andrew Plastow

Husband to Lori; Father to Isabella and Oliver. As a Kamilaroi man, Andrew is honoured to live and work on Kaurna Country and acknowledges the importance of Kaurna Country and culture and its modelling of harmonious living. He has been the Alberton Primary School Principal for 12 years, Andrew’s unique school is one of only 140 schools worldwide in the OECD’S Innovative Learning Environments project. Andrew is also the Co-founder of ‘Chalkies for Charity’, a committee for teacher fundraising collaboration for SA children’s charities and is a fellow of the Governor’s leadership foundation. Andrew has been working with GCP since inauguration.

Niki Wallace

Currently the Director of Niki Wallace Design and a tutor in Graphic Design at UniSA, Niki has been working closely with GCP since inauguration. Her creative flair and research interest in sustainable graphic design has led her towards many partnerships with like-minded organisations over the past 20 years. Her work is underpinned by ideas-based creative thinking and she strives to design sustainable communication pieces that engage audiences. Her passion for education has led her to commence a PhD where she is researching methods to foster sustainable design practices in emerging designers. Niki is also an Education Committee Member with the Adelaide Advertising and Design Club.

And she loves dogs.

Carol Biddiss

Early Childhood Educators are the main focus of my current work. I am the Founder and Director of Musical Child  — a music education publishing house dedicated to providing research-based music resources for early childhood. This includes our preschool music curriculum for babies, toddlers, pre-k, kindergarten and early school years.

My intention is to assist educators, including parents, to develop young minds holistically through music. From our small beginnings as an Early Childhood Music School, we have now become an international provider of services in early childhood music education to teachers, childcare professionals and parents. In development is our early learning in English through music series. This is part of our provision of early learning programs in China.

In addition to running the publishing house I also provide curriculum support and professional development in early childhood arts — music, dance and drama. My background is in junior primary teaching, music advisory in-service professional development, curriculum writing and distance education courses for state government.  I have also been an art gallery co-director and had a long stint as an academic in the School of Education at the University of South Australia where I first met Joan O’Connor.