Dr Cassandra Goldie is CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service, the national peak body for the community sector, and an advocate for tackling poverty and inequality. She has deep public policy expertise in economic and social issues, civil society, social justice and human rights and is a regular media and public commentator and conference presenter. Prior to joining ACOSS, Cassandra held senior roles in both the not-for-profit and public sectors at local, national and international levels, including with the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Darwin Community Legal Service, Legal Aid Western Australia and the global Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions.

Cassandra is Adjunct Professor with the Law Faculty at the University of New South Wales. She has a PhD from University of New South Wales and a Masters of Law from University College London. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She serves on the Advisory Committee for the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, the UNSW Law Advisory Committee, the Australian Climate Roundtable, the Pinnacle Foundation Board and the Energy Charter Independent Accountability Panel.

Photo by Richard Wearne.


CHRYL PERRY, Executive Assistant to the CEO

Chryl joined ACOSS in November 2018, after working for many years in the book publishing industry, where she developed and honed her communication, administration and project management skills. An expat American with a Master of Arts degree in Social Anthropology, Chryl is thoroughly delighted to be supporting Cassandra and the ACOSS team as they work towards a more equitable Australia, in which everyone truly gets a fair go.



Policy & Advocacy

JACQUELINE PHILLIPS, Director of Policy and Deputy CEO

Jacqueline Phillips joined ACOSS as the Director of Policy and Advocacy in August 2013. From 2010-13, she was the National Director of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR), a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights and reconciliation advocacy organisation. Jacqueline has a long history of involvement with the COSSes, having previously worked as a Policy Officer at ACOSS and the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS). She has policy expertise across a range of areas including social security, housing and homelessness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy issues, community development, human rights and justice.


KELLIE CAUGHT, Senior Advisor (Climate and Energy)

Kellie joined ACOSS in 2017 to provide expert policy advice and advocacy in energy and climate. For the last ten years, Kellie managed WWF-Australia’s climate program where she specialised in international climate negotiations, domestic climate and energy policy, and raising awareness of climate change issues and policy solutions within the Australian community. She has strong skills in cross sector collaboration and political advocacy, gained from working in academia, the United Nations, government and the not for profit sector. She has collaborated with scientists, researchers, businesses, unions, climate groups, and community members to develop long-term plans and policies and build support among decision-makers for a cleaner, more sustainable future. Kellie has a Master in International Business and a Bachelor of Science. She also carries post graduate qualifications in Psychology.


CHARMAINE CROWE, Senior Advisor (Social Security)

Charmaine  joined ACOSS in June 2016 and leads ACOSS’s social security policy work. Charmaine gained her expertise in social security policy working for Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA), where she was a Senior Policy Advisor and Policy Coordinator. She has also worked as a legislative advisor in the NSW Parliament. Charmaine has a Master’s in International Health and Welfare Policy from Oslo University College and her policy expertise also covers the areas of ageing, health and housing.


DR PETER DAVIDSON, Principal Advisor

A recognised expert in social security, employment and tax policy, Peter’s research and policy interests include employment assistance, the labour market and unemployment, income support, poverty research, taxation and superannuation policy. He has served on a number of Government advisory bodies and contributed to major reform efforts in these areas. ACOSS publications prepared by Peter cover such topics as reform of the personal income tax system, an analysis of tax concessions for superannuation and proposals to make them fairer, and reform of employment assistance for long term unemployed people. He is currently undertaking a PhD in social policy at the UNSW Social Policy Research Centre.


JOHN MIKELSONS, Senior Advisor (Community Services & Health)

John currently leads ACOSS policy advocacy in the community services and health policy areas. John has significant experience working in the non-government sector, including periods working at QCOSS, NCOSS, the Queensland AIDS Council and in the trade union movement. John has also worked in government, in policy areas as broad as education, health, industrial relations, community services and youth justice. John has a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts, and is currently completing a PhD in social policy at the University of Queensland.


PAS FORGIONE, Raise the Rate Campaign Coordinator

Pas Forgione is the Raise The Rate community organiser, working closely with people on Newstart (now JobSeeker and JobKeeper) and Youth Allowance, to support them to share their stories, as well as with other supporters and organisations. Before this, he spent over 5 years coordinating Anti-Poverty Network SA, a grassroots campaigning organisation led by people directly affected by poverty and unemployment, that advocated on a wide range of topics related to social security policy, included the inadequacy of Allowances and Pensions, cashless welfare, robodebt, Job Active, Centrelink call waiting times, and other issues.


ALYSSA SHAW, Raise the Rate Campaigner

Prior to joining ACOSS, Alyssa has led advocacy and campaigns on gender equity, racial discrimination and economic justice. Alyssa brings a range of experience across Not-For-Profit, Federal Government and the political arena, including managing national projects, and as a CEO and board director.




Media & Communications

Contact: 0419 626 155 or [email protected]

MONIQUE VANDELEUR, Director of Media and Communications

Monique joined the ACOSS team in October 2018 as the Director of Media and Communications. She has ten years of experience in professional communications, spanning journalism, the public service, the not-for-profit sector and politics. Before joining ACOSS, Monique was an Account Manager at Essential Media Communications, where she worked with a range of not-for-profit and union clients, including ChildFund, Lock the Gate and the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Monique has worked as Press Secretary to a federal Senator, whose portfolio responsibilities included the environment and gender equality. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism, a Bachelor of Environmental Science and a Graduate Certificate in Philanthropy and Not-for-Profit Studies.


PENNY DORSCH, Communications and Information

Penny is responsible for ACOSS publications and member communications. She provides an information service for ACOSS, including research and information management. Prior to joining ACOSS, Penny worked in Information Services at Fairfax Media and as a consultant for the National Parks Association. She has a BA (Hons) from the University of Sydney, a Diploma in Design from TAFE and an MA (Information Management) from the University of Technology in Sydney. She is an Associate of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).


CAMERON LUM, Digital Communications Officer

Cameron has been with ACOSS since August 2019. After completing his studies at UTS, Cameron went on to pursue artistic endeavors and remains a passionate creative. With an extensive background in Illustration, Visual Communication and Digital Design, Cameron aspires to apply his creativity, knowledge and skills toward a worthy cause. A strong belief in universal and equal rights for all has lead Cameron to become the Digital Communications Officer at ACOSS.




WILL MARTIN, Communications Officer

Will came to Australia as a child refugee from Chile. He is an award winning filmmaker and has worked in the communications department for UNICEF, Amnesty International, The Wilderness Society and others. Working at ACOSS now, Will believes all of his passions and NGO interests have been happily consolidated.






AMY SIMMONS, Director of Operations and Engagement



RENATA FRANZ, Operations Manager

Renata joined ACOSS in 2012 July and currently holds the position of Operations Manager.  She has global experience in Management, Customer Relations, HR and Administration and has worked in wide range of industries including construction, hospitality and sport.  Renata studied Economic and Sciences at Technical School and holds an Advanced Diploma in Human Resources. She completed her Postgraduate Certificate in Management in 2011 and gained her Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) in 2015. Renata is committed to the principles of equity and diversity and passionate about sport.


MAI NGUYEN, Finance Officer

Mai Joined ACOSS in 2017 with a number of years experience working in Accounting and Finance in the Charity and NFP sector. She is currently completing her CPA. Before joining ACOSS, Mai worked in different industries including pharmaceutical, hospitality and education. She has a Masters Degree in International Marketing and Bachelor in Business Administration with full scholarship. Before moving to Australia, she worked as a lecturer in International Trade and International Marketing in a leading economics University in Ha noi, Vietnam.


BRENDAN WYLIE, Membership Coordinator and Policy Support Officer

Brendan joined ACOSS in March 2017. Prior to joining ACOSS Brendan coordinated various offices, campaigns and projects within campaign organisations in Sydney NSW. He holds a Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Science from the University of Sydney. A plucky young fellow just starting his career, Brendan is passionate about helping to create a more socially just world.