Meet our 


Leadership Team

Our Executive Leadership Team

Nicola Stokes
Chief Executive Officer
(appointed January 2016)

Nicola has held national and international leadership positions in the corporate and for-purpose sectors as CEO, senior executive and director. Throughout her career, Nicola has supported individuals to achieve their potential and observed the importance of mental, physical and emotional wellbeing on their development.

This led her to work in the health arena, and with this in mind, Nicola became a member of the NSW Premier’s Council for Active Living and the Expert Advisory Panel of the NSW Office of Preventative Health.

Nicola is inspired by the children and families the Foundation supports. They give her the motivation to develop innovative fundraising solutions to increase the amount of funds raised for sick kids while strengthening her commitment to her family's and her community’s wellbeing.

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Mark Stewart
Chief Operating Officer
(appointed October 2014)

After studying Economics and Management at Deakin University, Mark’s knack for numbers looked set to put him on a path for a career in accounting, before he found his true calling in the not-for-profit sector.

He has worked with a variety of not-for-profit organisations across Australia, Europe and Asia including Save the Children and Greenpeace. 

His experience spans an extensive portfolio of fundraising, with a focus on the design and implementation of growth strategy, operational change and management. Mark currently serves on the Board of the Pinnacle Foundation and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

A strong strategic thinker, Mark’s focused on building a solid base from which the Foundation’s future can flourish.

Mark currently sits on the Board of WaterAid and chairs their Finance and Risk Committee.

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Kate Ferguson
General Manager, Engagement
(appointed September 2020)

Kate began her career in the education sector before moving to Edelman, a global marketing and communications agency, where she worked for seventeen years.

She advised global companies in the U.S., Asia-Pacific and Australia on the design of purpose-led brand, marketing and fundraising campaigns, and stakeholder engagement programs. She led the development of GE Australia's owned media channel and digital content marketing program (recognised as Best Brand Digital Platform at the APAC Sabre Awards in 2014). While living in New York, she managed
the Lower Manhattan Public Information Campaign (Digital Campaign of the Year, PR Week/PRSA) in the aftermath of 9/11.

Kate has been recognised with several industry awards including Mumbrella's Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign of the Year (2019) for her work building the KFC Youth Foundation. She is currently a Global Fellow with the International Women’s Forum studying leadership at INSEAD and Harvard Business School.

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Erica Nelson
Head of Leadership Development
(appointed March 2020)

As a registered psychologist, Erica has experience working in organisational development across the private, government and not-for-profit sectors.

Having started her career supporting disadvantaged adults to gain sustainable employment, she moved to the UK where she trained foster carers looking after children with disabilities.

On returning to Australia, Erica moved into the consulting sector and spent eight years working on leadership development, culture change, strategy and change management.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Erica spent six years in the finance sector leading organisational development strategies across leadership, culture, talent, transformation, innovation, and diversity and inclusion.

Erica brings with her qualifications in psychology, change management, innovation and social impact.

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Yvonne Stewart
Greenlight Program Director
(appointed January 2015)

A creative thinker and pragmatic problem solver, Yvonne has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, communications and fundraising.

Starting her career in commissioning and new product development roles with Thomson Reuters in London and Sydney, she moved into the not-for-profit sector with the YWCA’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Program. She also managed the national Children's Promise campaign for the Australian Youth Foundation.

In 2000 she joined The Benevolent Society where she spent fourteen years managing brand, marketing and communications and led an award-winning brand revitalisation campaign. As the 200th Anniversary Campaign Director she devised and delivered a year-long program of special events, including a series of innovation dialogues at the NSW State Library and an interactive installation in the Vivid Lights festival.

Yvonne is helping to build the Foundation's reputation through an innovation and impact lens. 

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Sydney Children's Hospitals Foundation raises funds for Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick , The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Bear Cottage, the Newborn and Paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS NSW) and Kids Research