We envisage a sector that…

is governed by boards who live the principles of effective governance.


engages a workforce as diverse as the communities it serves.

attracts top quality talent who are inspired to make a difference.

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fosters innovation, creativity and visionary leadership.

Our team

We are a passionate and capable team driven by a desire to use our skills and experience to drive improved societal outcomes.

Rachael McLennan

Executive Director

“On the one hand I’d seen a wave of people wanting to contribute to something bigger than themselves and, on the other, so many charities needing access to great hearts and minds. We envisaged People for Purpose to play a role in enabling these connections.”

Rachael has consulted to many organisations across the for-purpose and commercial sectors including Greenpeace, Paul Ramsay Foundation, Telstra, Social Ventures Australia, Cure Brain Cancer, Myer Family Company, State Street, The Butterfly Foundation, Westmead Medical Research Foundation and Milk Crate Theatre. 

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Prior to People for Purpose, Rachael was founding CEO of Australian Philanthropic Services (APS), an organisation also connecting people to the sector through philanthropy. Working closely with the high profile APS board and the boards of 50 philanthropic foundations, she gained key insights about leadership and functional boards.

Inspired by people around her, including her mother who was raised by the Salvation Army, Rachael made a deliberate move from the corporate to the not-for-profit sector in 2004.

Melissa Macpherson

Melissa Macpherson

Executive Director

“We have seen improvements in the state of governance in the non-profit sector  over the last five years but we have a long way to go. Maximising social impact starts and ends with the board and I am passionate about getting boards to understand the role they play in setting the strategy and the tone for organisational culture, values and behaviours.”

Melissa is a specialist governance advisor working with Boards and Directors on talent acquisition and governance performance improvement for purpose-led organisations. She has worked with more than 100 organisations to consolidate their foundation and purpose, and improve their leadership and governance across strategy, purpose, impact and processes.

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Melissa began her career at KPMG and later worked in investment banking for more than ten years in London, New York, Sydney and Tokyo. Fifteen years ago Melissa volunteered as a Lifeline counsellor and found her new home in the for-purpose economy. 

At the Australian Charities Fund Melissa helped build corporate community engagement platforms for more than 20 major Australian and international companies and corporate foundations including RBS, Integral Energy, Deutsche Bank, Coca-Cola, Optus, FOXTEL and PepsiCo.

Melissa then moved to Social Ventures Australia using her knowledge of financial products and markets working at the forefront of social finance and supporting the growth of social enterprise in Australia.

Lindy Kingsford

Senior Consultant

Lindy joined the People for Purpose search and placement team at the beginning of 2018 after working with Third Sector People and Hattonneale. Lindy has spent the last five years working as a recruitment specialist, researcher and consultant in the non-profit sector and is passionate about improving access to talent in this space.

Lindy’s experience is broad and encompasses a diverse range of sub-sectors and roles spanning the senior management, C-suite and Non-Executive Director levels. Lindy spent most of her early career working in SMEs before moving into the for-purpose arena in 2013, working for the start-up Donate Planet Foundation.

Melissa Barrs

Business and Operations Manager

As well as managing the day-to-day running of People for Purpose, Melissa works closely with the search and placement team to manage the candidate process. Melissa also oversees People for Purpose’s workshops and events.

Prior to People for Purpose, Melissa worked closely with the founder of the Adara Group, providing organisational support for its two Australian corporate advisory businesses, and its non-profit international development organisation, Adara Development  which delivers health and education to women in need in Nepal and Uganda.

Communication and responsiveness are the cornerstones of People for Purpose’s service. These underpin their commitment to ensuring an outcome that exemplifies quality, integrity and client satisfaction.

Bernard Curran, Chair, Creche & Kindergarten Association & Chair, Prince Charles Hospital Foundation

Our partners

We believe in the power and importance of collaboration.
We work closely with our partners to create an ecosystem of support that delivers better outcomes for the organisations we work with.

Australian Institute of Company Directors

As part of our commitment to improving the quality of governance and directorship in the for-purpose sector, People for Purpose works closely with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

This partnership allows us to support individuals to become qualified and skilled directors and has culminated in our ‘Boards Seeking Directors’ event twice a year. The evening provides an opportunity for several organisations to present to aspiring directors in a relaxed networking environment. It has proved to be an extremely popular and successful event, with the majority of participating organisations successfully appointing a new director from the evening. To find out more or to register for the next event, visit our Boards Seeking Directors page.

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Leadership Space

Leadership Space is a social purpose specialist in the areas of executive leadership development, team leadership and career coaching. They provide sector-specialised coaching and facilitation services at board, CEO and senior management levels, and for those with career development and transition goals.

We join forces with Leadership Space when our client has a need for targeted coaching or mentoring for individuals or teams.

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Good Foundations

Good Foundations has expertise and a passion for the sector that complements ours. They help not-for-profit organisations create effective operational, financial and strategic platforms. Their team are practical and experienced, and like us, they put purpose before profit.

We have partnered with Good Foundations on several projects from workshop delivery to fundraising and governance reviews.

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Strategic Grants

Strategic Grants enables non-profit organisations to establish sustainable, cost-effective grant-seeking strategies to deliver projects that fulfil their organisational missions. They specialise in unlocking investments in trusts and foundations and have a product designed to help organisations secure this funding.

People for Purpose understand the importance of diversifying revenue streams for purpose-led organisations. We partner with Strategic Grants to build the capacity of non-profit organisations to apply strategic thinking to their service delivery and fundraising programs.

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Australian Scholarships Foundation

The Australian Scholarships Foundation provides free or discounted executive management, mentoring and training programs and scholarships in a range of management disciplines to directors and staff of not-for-profit organisations.

People for Purpose works with ASF to identify and connect its network to relevant training opportunities and funding.

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