Make A Wish Australia, Children's Charity - Archie wearing a cricket outfit and smiling to camera

Our Board

Our Board are responsible for the governance and stewardship of the organisation in Australia. Each Board member brings a diverse range of skills, expertise and experience to their role, and meet regularly throughout the year.

Meet our Board

Sally Bateman was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Make-A-Wish Australia in 2018.

A former Senior Publishing Executive, Sally was Penguin Random House’s inaugural Asia Pacific Director of Digital, Marketing & Publicity following the global merger of Penguin and Random House. Previously, she spent 17 years with Penguin Australia where she lead Marketing & Digital strategy during a decade of digital disruption.

A Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Sally is an experienced Non-Executive Director in the NFP sector. She holds a Graduate Diploma of Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations.

John joined our Board in 2018 and was appointed as Chair in August 2021. He brings more than 30 years of experience in various financial and commercial roles. His most recent executive appointment was as Chief Financial Officer at SEEK Limited, where he focused on SEEK’s Asian operations and investments, and prior to this, he held management roles at Carlton & United Breweries and Ernst & Young.

John has held numerous public company roles as Non-Executive Director of Blackmores and Lovisa Holdings, and in addition to his Make-A-Wish commitments, he is currently a Non-Executive Director of Brown Family Wine Group and a number of private company advisory boards.

Steve is a Partner at PwC specialising in large-scale business transformation, merger integration, change, and also strategic account management and business growth.

Steve has extensive business leadership experience through a career with Ernst & Young in the UK, Capgemini both as CEO Australia and Global Sales Leader and, most recently, 12 years with PwC, where he is a leader in the Consulting business and also leads major account relationships for the firm. Steve was previously a member of the Advisory Board of Oasis, The Salvation Army’s response to youth homelessness in Sydney’s inner city.

Sarah was appointed to the Board in 2020 as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.

Sarah is an experienced Corporate Tax Partner with PwC, a Chartered Accountant and registered Tax Agent, and brings extensive financial acumen, accounting and taxation knowledge to Make-A-Wish.

As a mum of two young boys, Sarah is particularly passionate about Make-A-Wish brightening the lives of and bringing hope to sick children.

Stephen has a long history with Make-A-Wish Australia, having originally joined the Board in 1997 and acting as Chairman from 2009 to 2014 and holding a second term as Chair from May 2016 to August 2021.

Stephen is a senior Banking and Finance and Property and Development Partner with Arnold Bloch Leibler, and has consistently been ranked a leader in his field in a prominent international guides such as The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Chambers Global and IFLR 1000.

Amanda French joined board in 2019 as a Volunteer Representative. She has been an active member of the Hobart branch of Make-A-Wish for almost 10 years holding a range of office bearer roles in that time.

Amanda has worked in the not-for-profit sector her entire career and is currently the CEO of Dress for Success Hobart, an organisation she helped established in 2019.

She has held a number of other board positions in the not for profit sector and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Make-A-Wish was thrilled to welcome Margaret to the Board in 2018. An experienced medical practitioner, Margaret brings a wealth of medical expertise from her work with critically ill children around Australia and the UK.

Even before officially joining the team, Margaret was a passionate advocate for Make-A-Wish after experiencing firsthand the impact wishes have on patients and families in her practice. She is currently a Paediatric Oncologist based at Queensland Children's Hospital in Brisbane.


Russell is chief revenue officer of Dubber Corporation and has previously held senior executive roles at Wolters Kluwer, IBM, Hyperion Solutions and Veda Advantage.

He brings his significant experience in the digital, enterprise software and business information industries to Make-A-Wish.

Melinda has had a long career in the communications industry in the USA and Australia. She was CEO of Leo Burnett Australia for five years, preceded by 15 years as CEO of the agency in Melbourne. Leo Burnett is one of the most successful and awarded creative agencies in Australia. Late last year, Melinda stepped down from her role, after 38 years with the company. She remains active in the industry as a mentor, coach and consultant, and was recently the recipient of an industry Lifetime Achievement award.

Over the years, Melinda has served on various industry bodies, advisory councils and not-for-profit boards. She has been a long-time advocate for greater diversity in the communications industry and regularly speaks on key areas of interest: authentic leadership and building creative and inclusive cultures. In addition to her current role with Make-A-Wish, she is a director of Wesley College in Melbourne.

Julie Blasioli joined the Melbourne branch of Make-A-Wish in 2003 and has served as Branch Treasurer and been on the organising committee for various events.

Julie holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne and is currently the General Manager Laboratory Research at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. She has previously held management positions in the education and not for profit sectors.

I’ve always had an affinity with Make-A-Wish… being a father has only increased this connection. While we can't change the diagnosis, we can make a difference, helping wish children face immense challenges with greater positivity. My only wish is that we could help more children in a time of real need.

John Armstrong, Board Member

My favourite wish to date is Andrea's - she wanted to have her art exhibited, and became the youngest artist to ever exhibit at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art in the process. From where her wish started to where it ended was an amazing, joyful journey...

Russell Smith, Volunteer Representative

Wish children whose images feature on this page:

Archie, 6, congenital heart disease - I wish to be captain of the Australian Cricket Team.