Our Board of Directors

Mary Waterford

Mary Waterford AM holds the position of Chairperson of Sydney Alliance and is a Board member of Sydney Community Forum.

She has worked in the community sector in Sydney in Management, Policy and Advocacy roles for over 40 years and knows well both the challenges of Sydney and the power of working together as a united voice for inclusion and social justice.

Mary was Executive Director of Western Sydney Community Forum from 2008 to 2015 and most recently worked as a volunteer in Timor-Leste at Rede Feto, the peak advocacy network for women’s organisations. She has been a member of Sydney Alliance since 2009. In 2014 she was recognised as one of Australia’s 25 most influential leaders in the NGO sector and in 2016 was awarded an Order of Australia Award (AM) is for significant contribution to the community through social service and welfare organisations as an advocate for equity, human rights and dignity. Mary is a lifetime member of the Australian Services Union (ASU). She has a BA in Sociology and History.


Reece_Proudfoot_80x120.jpgReece Proudfoot

 Reece Proudfoot is Manager of Community Organising at WWF Australia and Chair of the Sydney Committee for the  People’s Climate Movement. Reece holds the position of Secretary as well as Director within the Sydney Alliance.  Reece holds a Masters Degree in International Development (UNSW), and first began working on climate change  during the two years he spent working in community development in the Kingdom of Tonga. Since joining WWF in  2012, he has worked in climate change advocacy, campaigning and organising and brought countless new audiences  and communities together around the issue. He is an alumnus of the Centre for Australian Progress fellowship  program, and is passionate about exploring the ways relational organising, behavioural economics and digital mobilisation can work together to broaden and strengthen participation in democracy.


Charles Rich

Charles has worked with Settlement Services International since 2012 in various management roles related to the provision of housing services for newly arrived refugees, people seeking asylum and other at-risk community members. Most recently, Charles took on the Housing Coordinator role in the Humanitarian Settlement Program. Charles provides leadership to his team who assist newly-arrived refugees with temporary accommodation and guides them through the process of securing long-term housing. Charles brings to the board his experience in operations management, budget and asset management, business planning and organisational policy development. Charles has a Bachelor of Political Science and holds qualifications in Social Housing management. Charles has been involved with Sydney Alliance since 2013, has completed 6 day National Training and currently holds the position of Treasurer and Director within the Alliance. Charles is passionate about social justice issues, in particular fair and affordable housing policies, refugee issues, climate change and access to quality public transport and community infrastructure for all Sydneysiders.



Fr Peter Smith

 Peter Smith has been a priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney since 1985. After leaving school he studied  Economics before training to be a priest. Since ordination he has served in various parishes in the Archdiocese and is  currently the Parish Priest of St Columba’s Leichhardt North.

 Peter has lectured in ethics and served on various ethics committees including Sydney University, the NSW Cancer  Council and the Board of The Sisters of Charity Health Services Auburn. He has always been active in social justice  issues and more recently in the promotion of the Sydney Alliance. Fr Peter holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology.


Deborah_Burt_80x120.jpgDeborah Burt

 Deborah's involvement in the Sydney Alliance has been as a Friend of Sydney Alliance for the past two years,  focused on fund raising.  She recently joined the Board of the Sydney Alliance as a non-Executive Director.  Prior to  this Deborah has had an extensive career in the corporate sector as a Human Resources Director, Chief Information  Officer, and Chief Executive of a human resource consulting company.  Her experience has covered start ups,  successful Australian companies and large multi nationals across the IT, financial services and professional services  sectors.  She currently works as a freelance consultant specialising in coaching; workshop design and facilitation;  and mediation. 



Mark Lennon

 Mark is a Director of First State Super, First State Super Financial Services Pty Ltd, Sydney Financial Forum and  McKell Institute. He previously was a member of the WorkCover NSW Board. Mark is a former Secretary of Unions  NSW, from October 2008 until January 2016, having served as Assistant Secretary since June 2001. During his  tenure as Secretary he steered Unions NSW as a founding partner organisation of the Sydney Alliance. More  recently, Mark is a Director of icare (Insurance & Care NSW), a public financial enterprise that delivers insurance and  care services to the people of NSW.


Kent_Crawford80x120.jpgKent Crawford

 Rev. Kent Crawford is the Executive Minister for Sydney Presbytery of the Uniting Church NSW/ACT. Kent also serves  on the Board of the Wayside Chapel and the School Council of MLC Sydney. Trained in Psychology and Theology,  Kent is passionate about developing healthy, thriving and inclusive communities.