After two years on the Board, John Kell has taken up the position of Chair. A partner with Hicksons, John has provided us with expert legal advice for years and is looking forward to finding new ways for Action on Poverty (AOP) to make a global impact.
Our sincerest thanks and appreciation go to John Rock, who served as Chair for the past 16 years and remains a valued member of the Board.
Q&A with John Kell
How did you hear about Action on Poverty?
Right now I am a partner with Hicksons, but AOP was a pro bono client of my previous firm, Hunt & Hunt.
Why did you want to become involved with us?
I have been involved with community groups in one form or another for most of my adult life. International development was my first love. In the mid ’80s, I spent a year in Korea and a year in Papua New Guinea. I hoped this would turn into a career but unfortunately that didn’t happen. When I became involved with AOP, I knew it was an opportunity to pursue these interests.
What experience do you bring to the Board?
Before I joined AOP, I was a director of two community housing providers which merged to become Bridge Housing, based in Redfern. I am involved in the firm’s pro bono activities, including organising a legal clinic for asylum seekers at the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown.
What have you enjoyed most about being on the Board thus far?
Learning about AOP, and working with the other directors and management. We held a strategy planning session late last year which was very interesting.
What has been the biggest challenge to being on the Board thus far?
For all charities, funding is a big concern. In the present environment, it is a particularly big concern for international development agencies. We spend a lot of time thinking about how we might get more funding.
What do you hope to achieve in your role as Chair?
I want to work with the other directors and management to continue the very good work we do. For an organisation like ours and the challenges we face, innovation is essential. I want to be a part of that innovation for AOP.
What do you think sets AOP apart from other charities?
We give people the capacity to develop in a way that they can control. There aren’t many charities as passionate about that as we are.