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The Board

Equality Australia is governed by a Board of Directors who bring diverse experiences and professional skills to the organisation.

Fiona McLeay, Co-Chair

She/Her

Fiona is the Co-chair of Equality Australia. She was appointed Victorian Legal Services Commissioner and CEO of the Legal Services Board in September 2017 and commenced her tenure as regulator of the Victorian legal profession in January 2018. Fiona’s belief in the fundamental equality and dignity of all people, regardless of who they love, underpins her long commitment as an ally of the LGBTQI+ community.

Fiona is the former CEO of the access to justice organisation, Justice Connect. A lawyer by training, she has previously held the positions of General Counsel and Company Secretary at World Vision Australia and Special Counsel at Clayton Utz. Fiona has a BA (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, an LLB from the University of NSW and an LLM in public and international law from the University of Melbourne. She also has an LLM in public service law from the New York University Law School and has studied at both the Harvard and Stanford Business Schools. 

Fiona brings a wealth of governance experience to the role of co-chair. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has served on many for-purpose boards over many years. This includes as founding Chair of Health Justice Australia from 2016 to 2022 and a board member of the Human Rights Law Centre from 2010 to 2017. She was the inaugural Deputy Chair of the Australian Non-for-Profit and Charities Commission for five years.

Leonard Vary AM, Co-Chair

He/Him

Leonard is CEO of The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund.

Leonard was closely involved with the Australian Marriage Equality campaign and in 2016 was named as one of Australia’s 50 outstanding LGBTI role models in Deloitte Australia’s inaugural list. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a member of the advisory board of Kin Group, a former board member of Creative Partnerships Australia, Malthouse Theatre and of Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership, a past Chair of the Centre for Contemporary Photography, and a past Vice President of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Leonard was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2024 for significant service to the philanthropic sector, to the LGBTIQA+ community, and to the arts.

Prior to his role with The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund, Leonard was an Executive Director of the Fox Private Group and the General Counsel, President Human Resources and a Director of the Linfox Group. Earlier in his career, Leonard was in private practice at Clayton Utz, a leading Australian law firm. He holds a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Law from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia. He has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and is a graduate of the Cranlana Colloquium.

Ryan Phillips PSM, Director

He/Him

Ryan Phillips PSM is Associate Secretary at the Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety.  

Prior to joining the Department in 2017, he was employed in senior executive positions at the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, including as Executive Director, Social Policy and General Counsel.  Ryan commenced his legal career at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Sydney and following that worked with Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley region of Western Australia to achieve economic development outcomes.

Ryan joined the Equality Australia Board as a Director in 2019. He was awarded a Public Service Medal in the 2014 King’s Birthday Honours for outstanding public service in fostering a safe and equitable justice system. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University and a Master of Laws (Distinction) from the University of Dundee, Scotland.

Ryan is a proud trans man from Western Australia, and lives in Melbourne on the lands of the Wurundjeri People with his partner and children.

Hayley Conway, Director

She/Her

Hayley Conway is the CEO of Pride Cup, and has over 15 years of experience working for LGBTQI equality in Australia and overseas. 

Prior to joining Pride Cup, Hayley held a range of roles across the for-purpose and private sectors specialising in communications and campaigns. She holds a Masters with Distinction from RMIT, is a 2022 Leadership Victoria Williamson Fellow, and volunteer firefighter with the Victorian Country Fire Authority. 

Mark Coulter, Director

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Mark Coulter is the co-founder and CEO of online furniture retailer, Temple & Webster, Australia's largest online retailer for the home. He champions diversity and inclusion in the workplace and is a proud gay business leader. Mark lives with his husband in Sydney. Mark holds a B.Sc., (Hons) and a Dip Psych.

David Lane, Director

He/Him

David is the former Chief Executive, Americas for Perpetual Limited.  At Perpetual, he also served as the Group Executive M&A & International Asset Management as well as Group Executive, Perpetual Investments.  During his tenure at Perpetual, David was a member of the Perpetual Executive Committee and the Executive Sponsor of the Diversity and Inclusion Council. 

Prio to joining Perpetual, David was the Chief Executive Officer of Count Financial.  During his 30+ year executive career, David has held various other roles including General Manager - Strategy for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's Wealth Management Division, Chief Operating Officer of Neuberger Berman's global hedge fund business and, for his sins, was an investment banker. 

David is a graduate, with honours, from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  While originally from the United States, David moved to Australia in 1996 with his Australian wife.  He is the proud father of a trans daughter and the equally proud son of a lesbian mother. 

Melissa Tandy GAICD, Director

She/Her

Managing Director of Strategic Shift Consulting Melissa Tandy is a strategist with a reputation for solving business critical problems in Diversity and Inclusion, Risk Management and Cultural Change.

Specialising in creating bespoke strategies, multi-year implementation plans and facilitated workshops, Melissa is known for her collaborative approach and her passion for empowering people she works with to be their best. Her energy and curiosity in others helps organisations, Boards, Leaders and teams to expand their own thoughts and explore different avenues.

She is involved in educating and influencing workplaces, and this included Marriage Equality in Australia and she has been extensively involved in Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. A proud LGBTIQ+ ally, Melissa is often sought for her guidance on diversity and inclusion in the workplace and communities. She has been awarded and recognised for her work in this area.

Melissa is a speaker and MC and is also a Director of Equality Australia, Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of Equality Australia, and Strategic Advisor for Pride In Diversity Executive Advisory Forum. She is a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and has an MBA and BA.

Adrian Kennedy, Company Secretary

He/Him

Adrian is a commercial lawyer with over 17 years’ experience in private practice, regulatory and in-house environments. He has particular experience in US Class Actions, and regulatory investigations in Australia. Adrian currently specialises in managing regulatory risk in the financial services sector by identifying product failure from data.

Having assisted in the campaign for Marriage Equality, Adrian took advantage of the new law to marry his long term partner-in-crime in December 2018. Together they’re foster carers to two wonderful girls.

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