AOP is guided by a team of development experts skilled at developing innovative partnerships and managing complex programs.


Brayden Howie


Brayden firmly believes that the international development sector can and should be more accessible to new participants. He has held senior leadership roles in the international development and social services sectors for 15 years across both commercial and non-profit organisations, based in Sydney, Bangkok, and Pyongyang. Outside the world of international development, Brayden is a company director, photographer, occasional adventurer, and daggy dad.

Meghal Shah


Meghal believes lasting and scalable social impact occurs when purpose-led organisations are powered by sustainable business models. He uses his commercial acumen to help solve society’s most pressing problems and has been recognised as one of Chartered Accountant Magazine’s 20 under 35 future leaders in 2020. Outside Action on Poverty, you will find him camping, enjoying cricket, or geeking out (studying for MBA and NFP Director).

Christine Murphy

International Programs Advisor

Christine has worked with a variety of international and civil society organisations across Africa, Asia and the Pacific on programs funded by Australian Aid, USAID and the European Union. With Action on Poverty, she has held various positions, including International Programs Director, Executive Director, Africa Program Manager and technical advisor for rural integrated development programs. Christine lives on the Central Coast with her family and rescue dog, Phil.

Ta Van Tuan

Asia Regional Director

Tuan is a social researcher and development professional with more than 20 years of experience in the fields of poverty alleviation, social justice, and governance. Some of his research has been published in international journals and books. Under Tuan’s leadership, AOP in Vietnam received the Order of Friendship in 2019 - the President of Vietnam's highest honour for foreign organisations, recognising AOP's significant contributions to poverty reduction and sustainable development in the country. Tuan is based in Hanoi and he loves playing soccer.

Carrie Cochrane

Head of Partnerships

Carrie is an expert in fundraising and partnerships, specialising in international development and humanitarian aid. Working with UNHCR, Plan, and ChildFund, Carrie has led national fundraising campaigns, established face-to-face and telemarketing programs, and developed fundraising and operations plans that raise millions of dollars per year. Carrie has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and loves true crime shows.


Merrilyn Clancy


Merrilyn is an experienced director, helping non-profit, private, and public organisations operate in highly regulated environments with funding challenges and complex stakeholder relationships. Her recent work focuses on lessons learned from the banking and aged care Royal Commissions, and how to implement an adaptive and positive culture. Merrilyn is a graduate of University of Sydney (BAppSc) and University of California Santa Barbara (MA, PhD).

Giles Dickenson-Jones


Giles is an applied economist with over a decade of experience working on public policy and international development issues in government, the private sector, and the not-for-profit sector. He has worked as an economist in Australia’s Federal Government, Senior Economist at the London School of Economics’ International Growth Centre, and Senior Economic Advisor to Myanmar’s union parliament. Giles has a nuanced understanding of the practical challenges faced by communities seeking to encourage economic, social and political development. He holds a Master of Development Studies from the University of Sydney and an Honours degree in Economics from the University of New England. Currently, Giles works as an independent economic consultant based in Sydney.

John Kell


John joined the AOP Board in 2015 and has been chair since 2016. He is currently a Partner at Hicksons Lawyers, where his expertise includes corporate and commercial law, competition and consumer law, financial services licensing, and compliance. John has worked as a teacher in Papua New Guinea and was previously a Director of Board of Bridge Housing Limited, a not-for-profit community housing provider.

Tim Lovitt


Tim held Head of Digital, Head of Research, and Head of Data and Analytics roles prior to joining PwC as an Associate Director. A short stint as Partner at MacMorgan prefaced his founding of The Iani Group. Since 2017, The Iani Group has worked with founders and investors to ensure aligned strategy, funding, and outcomes, delivering over $100m to early and growth stage businesses. Tim plays an advisory role in a range of start-ups, scale-ups, and NGOs, where he focuses on the intersection of solid strategy, strong governance, and sustainable business models.

Claire Mallinson


Claire has over 30 years of senior leadership experience with environmental, human rights, disability, and cancer research NGOs in Australia and around the world. She was the National Director of Amnesty International Australia (AIA) for 12 years, overseeing significant human rights win in Australia and globally. She also sits on the board of The Sunrise Project, and is a mentor to CEOs, senior executives, and boards. She has a Welsh Terrier called Monty.

Alice Xu


With over 18 years of financial services experience and more than 10 years of leadership experience at senior and executive level, Alice brings strong and seasoned experience across diverse areas to the AOP Board. Working in the strategy, finance and risk consulting space, Alice is innovative, collaborative, and supports strong working relations with key stakeholders in the business to identify, assess and mitigate business risk.