Our Executive Team
Susanne Legena, CEO
BA, MA (Professional Communication)
Susanne joined Plan International Australia in 2011. Prior to this appointment, Susanne had extensive senior management experience across a wide range of public policy, public sector management and communications areas.
Her previous roles include the Chief of Staff for the Victorian Minister for Energy & Resources and the Arts.
Susanne is a keen gardener and keeps bees that produce delicious, locally-sourced honey.
Dave Husy, Deputy CEO
Impact BA (Sociology/Politics), BA (Hons), MA (Development Studies)
Dave joined Plan International Australia in 2008, bringing with him nine years’ experience as a Program Strategy and Review Consultant with international development agencies in South and East Africa.
Prior to that, Dave worked for ten years as a senior NGO manager in southern Africa.
When he’s not overseas reviewing programs, you’ll probably find Dave training for a marathon.
Hayley Cull, Deputy CEO, Engagement
Hayley joined Plan International Australia in 2017.
She has led major national and global campaigns on child rights, international development and gender equality, working with UNICEF, Plan International and various other NGOs in Australia, the UK and internationally.
With a background in journalism, campaigning and communications strategy, she is passionate about working with young people to create change.
Ruth Kestermann, Chief Operating Officer
BEng (Hons) MA (Development Studies & Culture Change)
Ruth joined Plan International Australia in 2021. Prior to joining she held leadership roles in the community care sector, as well as consulting in the not-for-profit, private and government sectors.
Ruth is passionate about building the resilience and sustainability of communities both in Australia and overseas.
In her spare time Ruth loves ocean swimming and walking in the bush.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sally Treeby, Chair
Masters Business (Mkt), Bachelor Business, GAICD
Sally Treeby is an experienced non-executive director, whose board positions also include a private investment company and a philanthropic foundation.
Her career has spanned executive and non-executive roles in financial services, agriculture renewable energy and the philanthropic and community sectors in Australia and the United Kingdom covering the disciplines of strategy, marketing, line management, general management and ethics.
Sally serves on Plan International’s Member’s Assembly.
BComm (Accounting), MBA (Hons. List)
Jason Pellegrino is the Managing Director & CEO of Domain Holdings Ltd, a leading Australian publicly listed real estate media and technology business.
Prior to this, Jason spent a decade at Google across a variety of commercial, strategy and finance roles in Australia and Asia Pacific, most recently as Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand. Prior to Google, Jason spent over 15 years in Corporate Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions and Sales & Marketing in retail, technology and consumer product industries with LEK Consulting, PepsiCo International & KPMG.
Jason holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Wollongong and an MBA (Distinction) from The London Business School, where he served as President of the Student Association and as a member of the school’s Board of Governors.
Jason is a member of the Innovation Taskforce of the Business Council of Australia and a member of ASIC’s External Advisory Panel.
B.App Sci (Computer Engineering), MBA (Hons. List)
Jason Chuck is the Chief Commercial Officer at Hireup, a profit for purpose business focused on improving care in the disability sector. Prior to that, Jason was the Chief Consumer Officer at Domain Group and also co-founded and was Chief Executive Officer of LJ Hooker Avnu.
Jason has spent over 15 years growing and scaling international technology businesses, with a focus on strategy, sales and marketing with Houzz (as their Asia Pacific MD and AU founder), Etsy (as their MD ANZ), eHarmony (as AU founder and VP of International) and Google (as head of marketing for Australia and New Zealand).
Tim Lo Surdo
Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
Tim is the Founder and National Director of Democracy in Colour, Australia’s first racial and economic justice organisation led by people of colour.
Before starting Democracy in Colour, he worked with low-paid workers to set up Hospo Voice – a new union in hospitality. Previously, Tim was the Head of Campaigns at Oaktree, a senior adviser to two Senators, the Campaigns Director at Jhatkaa, the National Communications Director at UN Youth Australia, and co-founded Open Sky.
Tim is currently a Director of Plan International, No to Violence, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Environment Victoria, the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Inner Melbourne Community Legal, and the Victorian Government’s Sustainability Fund. For his work, Tim was appointed in 2020 as one of 17 UN Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals.
AssocDegBus, GradCert Mgt Nfp Org, GradCert Specialist Leadership
Abiola Ajetomobi is an experienced equity and inclusion consultant, social Innovator, service transformational coach and successful entrepreneur.
Abiola has more than 20 years of management experience in local and state government and not-for-profit organisations both here and overseas, coupled with a background in business, humanitarian, financial services, and social entrepreneurship.
Abiola has a Graduate Certificate of Management of Not-for-Profit Organisations from Australian Catholic University, where she was honoured with the Inaugural Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Innovation Alumni Award 2020. She is also 2021 alumni of the For-Purpose Executive Leadership Program at Melbourne Business School.
She is the founder and lead consultant of Leading Impact NOW, a lived experience-centred management consulting firm with equity and Inclusion at its core.
BA (Hons), LL.B (Hons), M.AppFin, CIMA®, GAICD
Marsha is an accomplished executive leader, driven by passion, purpose and results.
Over 20 years, Marsha has held senior roles across the financial services sector, leading change and driving innovation across product, marketing, sales and services initiatives.
Vanessa Ng is an experienced finance professional who has worked in the banking and professional services industry with a focus on leadership, strategy and change management.
Vanessa is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance) from the University of Melbourne.
Vanessa is passionate about social impact, equality and education.
BA (Hons), MBA, GAICD
Belinda Howell is an experienced director of not-for-profit boards with a deep interest in international development, mental health and education.
Belinda’s career as a senior executive has spanned higher education, financial and professional services, travel and government. She is adept at working across cultures and building successful multicultural teams.
She is a Deputy Chair of Dunmore Lang College (Macquarie University), a director of Bolong River Produce (horticulture business) and consults to education technology start-ups. Belinda is also an executive coach.
Natasha de Silva
Master of Global Law, BA (International Development), BComm (Economics)
Natasha de Silva is a human rights and gender equality professional with over 20 years’ experience in national and international policy development and law reform.
Natasha specialises in the rights of women and girls and has led major policy projects such as the Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplace at the Australian Human Rights Commission. Natasha is presently the Principal of Intersection, a consulting firm that assists organisations to be safe, respectful and inclusive.
Natasha is on the Board of Full Stop Australia and Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College.