Our Governance Teams

Management Committee

The management committee that govern the operations of SCAI Australia are a group of professionals, each with their own connection and experiences of Nepal. They have a strong belief in what we do, and their personal financial support reflects their commitment and trust in the organisation and our impact.

Geoff Sam, OAM
SCAI Committee Chairperson

Geoff is a long-time supporter of Sunrise Children’s Association who reached out after spending a month trekking and climbing in remote areas of Nepal and seeing first-hand the opportunities to improve the lives of the Nepalese people, particularly the children, through education.

Geoff is the Co-Founder and Director of Healthecare Australia Pty Ltd, a private healthcare group of 34 hospitals in Australia and NZ. He also sits on a number of Company Boards, both listed and unlisted. He was awarded an OAM in 2003 for services to health care and the Arts.

Emma Taylor, OAM
Co-founder & CEO (Committee Member)

After working in Australia and overseas for almost ten years in various advertising/media agencies, in 2004 Emma followed her passion to work with children and ended up in Nepal, where she spent 3 months volunteering in a poorly run orphanage (which she now advocates against). Inspired by the spirit of the children and a desire to respond to their needs in a more meaningful way, she established SCAI in Australia and Nepal and moved to Nepal to work with locals who shared a similar vision. 

Emma is passionate about child rights and works tirelessly to give as many highly vulnerable children as possible a chance to go to school whilst remaining with their families and communities, rather than being trafficked or sent to orphanages in the hope of a better life and education, as was the plight of the children she initially volunteered with and thousands of other children in Nepal to this day.

In 2017 Emma was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to international children’s development organisations.

Dr Leigh-Anne Claase
Secretary (Committee Member)

Leigh is the CEO at Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd, a not-for-profit publisher based in Melbourne, Australia. Before embarking on her career in medical publishing, Leigh trained as a pharmacist and earned a PhD in neuropharmacology. 

Leigh left the British National Formulary in London 8 years ago to join the team at Therapeutic Guidelines, where she worked initially as Publishing Director for 7 years. She has a wide range of professional interests, spanning knowledge transfer, change management, guideline methodology, digital product development, and content management infrastructure.

Working for a not-for profit, Leigh is well versed in charity government including risk management. Leigh has also spent time in Nepal.

Ivo Kavelj
Treasurer (Committee Member)

Ivo has worked in the advertising/media industry in Australia and China for over 20 years. During this time he has worked across a wide range of clients across various industries, in various roles including Managing Director, Managing Partner-Investment, Head of Implementation Planning and Investment. 

Ivo is delighted to join the SCAI team in the role of Treasurer after being involved with SCAI for over 15 years, helping with fundraising events and as a regular sponsor. Ivo has visited Nepal twice so also has an awareness about the context in which we work.

Sarah Thom
Committee Member

Sarah has worked in the advertising/media industry in Australia for over 20 years. During this time she has worked across a wide range of clients in industries ranging from automotive, telecommunications to government, in various roles including Strategy Director, Group Account Director, Commercial Director and General Manager. Sarah is passionate about social issues.

Sarah has been involved with SCAI for several years, helping with fundraising events in Australia and coordinating volunteers in particular, and has visited Nepal on various occasions. Sarah has been a dedicated sponsor of SCAI for many years.

Public Fund Trustees

All donations, gifts and deductible contributions made for our charitable purpose are held in a separate SCAI Public Fund, administered by three independent trustees who meet the Australian Taxation Office’s Public Fund criteria of being a ‘Responsible Person’. 

Dr Sue Phillips
Chairperson – Public Fund Trustee

Sue’s professional career has encompassed work as a research scientist, senior government public servant and health executive. She graduated with an Honours degree in Biological Sciences from Sussex University and Doctor of Philosophy in Immunology from Oxford University. She is currently an Honorary Adjunct Associate Professor within the Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine at Bond University.

Sue is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors with extensive experience in governance and ethical management of public funds and charities. She was an elected Trustee of the Guidelines-International-Network for 8 years, and during that time served as Vice-Chair of the Board and Chair of the Finance and Risk Management Committee. As Chief Executive Officer and Company Secretary of Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd, she led the establishment of Therapeutic Guidelines Foundation, management of its public ancillary fund and expansion of its Guidelines International Program in low-and middle-income countries.

Sue was awarded an Australia Day Medallion in recognition of her work in closing evidence-practice gaps in Australian health care settings. For over thirty years, she has remained passionate about supporting charities that work with disadvantaged children to promote sustainable and inclusive futures for them and their communities.

Deborah Skyes
Public Fund Trustee

Deborah is passionate about active commitment to community involvement. She has wide-ranging experience as a board director for not for profit organisations and with working for the Victorian State Government public service. 

Deborah’s expertise is in the development of systems to provide good governance and accountability mechanisms for not for profit entities. Deborah has developed an understanding of how government and the public sector work, as well as the mechanisms to develop working relationships with government.

Corey Hale
Public Fund Trustee

Corey worked as the CFO and Company Secretary of the National Institute of Clinical Studies from 2001-2008. Her skills include Chief Financial Officer, Governance, Strategic Planning and Operational Delivery. She is an empathetic leader dedicated to making a difference and adding value. She is passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion.

Her current and previous positions include Independent Audit Committee Member, The Foundation for Young Australians since 2020; CPA Women’s Committee, Deputy Chair and Advisor since 2016; Director of Corporate Services, Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group 2017-2020; and Board Member, Emerge women and Children’s support Network, Public Officer and Company Secretary 2009-2019.