Our Board

The Guide Dogs Victoria Board consists of nine directors. The Board is responsible for our strategic direction, organisational performance, and overseeing governance and risk requirements. The Board operates four subcommittees:

  • Audit and Risk Management
  • Membership and Remuneration
  • Marketing and Fundraising
  • Social Reform
Guide dog

Meet the board

Charles Thompson

Charles Thompson President

Charles joined the Board in November 2014. He has a Bachelor of Economics and Laws (Honours) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Charles is a senior executive with Australia Post, which he joined in late 2010 as its Head of Corporate Finance. He is now head of Australia Post’s International business and a Director of its China Post JV.

Previously, Charles was a senior executive with Toll Holdings Limited, where he played a key role in Toll’s growth throughout Asia. Charles also holds experience as a management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group and a Senior Associate Lawyer in Mergers & Acquisitions with Herbert Smith Freehills and Clayton Utz.

Charles has extensive not-for-profit experience. Outside of work he enjoys time with his partner, young son and daughter, and their dog Frankie.


Iain Edwards

Iain Edwards Chair

Appointed to the Board in June 2011 and elected Vice President in 2015, Iain is a physiotherapist who has twenty years’ experience in the public health system across both rural and metropolitan health services. Iain is the current Director of Integrated Care and Dental with Peninsula Health.

Iain has been involved with Guide Dogs Victoria since early 1993 and completed his Orientation and Mobility instruction, training with his first Guide Dog in 1995. Iain is currently partnered with his forth Guide Dog, ‘Olympia’.

Iain’s extended family is also very involved with Guide Dogs Victoria. His brother is partnered with a Guide Dog and the Edwards family have been involved in several fundraising initiatives, including sponsoring Guide Dog puppies. During 22 years of association with Guide Dogs Victoria, Iain has assisted with a number of Public Relations, fundraising and promotional events.


Bruce Porter

Bruce Porter Honorary Treasurer

Appointed to the Board in October 2011, Bruce Porter has extensive experience in external financial reporting, external auditing and corporate governance. He retired from Deloitte in May 2011 where he was an audit partner and head of the firm’s National Accounting Technical Group for over 15 years.

Bruce is a past member, deputy chairman and acting chairman and acting CEO of the Australian Accounting Standards Board, and a past member of the Victorian Divisional Council of CPA Australia. He is currently a director of Holmesglen Institute and AutoCRC Limited. He and his wife Rachel enjoy traveling, caravanning and 4 wheel driving, while only Bruce enjoys fishing and Rachel textile art.


Bruce Brook


Harish Rao

Harish was born in Chennai, India but grew up in Melbourne, where he attended Melbourne Grammar School before completing higher studies at the Australian National University and Monash University. He has an MBA (Finance) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Professionally, Harish is the face of the Sundaram Finance Group, a US$4billion financial services conglomerate, based in Chennai, India. In Australia, the group is involved with Financial and Business Process Outsourcing through its subsidiary, Sundaram Business Services Limited.

Harish is currently the Chair of the Australian World Orchestra and currently sits on the Board of the Australian Friends of ASHA, the India Australia Business & Community Awards and the Advisory Board of the Australia India Institute. He was also past National Chair of the Australia India Business Council. He was appointed to the Board of Guide Dogs Victoria in November 2018.


Jenny_Gray

Jenny Gray

Jenny Gray is the Chief Executive Officer to Zoos Victoria. She has a background in Transportation, Engineering and Ethics which provides a unique set of skills to tackle the challenges of transforming the three zoos of Zoos Victoria.

Jenny’s career history boasts a strong mix of commercial and public sector roles. Her work within the transport sector delivers an in-depth understanding of infrastructure maintenance and development management, while her work in the financial sector delivers strong fiscal management skills. This combination of strengths has proven invaluable.

Jenny has Masters Degrees in Ethics, Engineering and Business Administration. In 2015, she was awarded a PhD in Ethics from Melbourne University.


Angela Wheelton


David Cochrane

David joined the Board in March 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Economics, Master of Business Administration, and a Doctor of Business Administration.

 David is the Director of Cloudstreet Economics, a recently established consulting company. Prior this this he spent nine years at Ernst & Young, where he was a partner and the inaugural national leader for the Economics, Regulation and Policy practice.  He has also spent over 30 years at PWC in various roles including audit, business management and strategy, corporate finance and economics. 

 David is an economist and accountant with over 35 year’s practical experience in both disciplines with extensive experience in: advising Government and the private sector on commercial, economic and financial policy.  He also has extensive experience in public land management, water, environment and natural resources, tourism and infrastructure.


Anthony Kearns

Anthony Kearns is the Managing Consultant, Strategy Performance and Leadership at global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. He works within the firm and with the firm’s strategic clients to design and implement strategy, develop leadership capability and unlock performance.

Anthony commenced his career as a lawyer working in large multinational firms for 6 years. Since then he has held executive leadership roles and had the opportunity to develop expertise across a number of different disciplines and industries. In the last 15 years, Anthony has focused his career on developing deep expertise in strategy facilitation, adult learning and executive coaching and is now an acclaimed keynote speaker and lecturer throughout the world. He has completed a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, is studying a Doctor of Philosophy, Education and Positive Psychology, is trained in facilitating design thinking and has worked with a number of universities including Harvard Law School to develop innovative programs.

Anthony has had a long association with Guide Dogs Victoria having fostered guide dogs, provided pro-bono services and as the father of Gabriel, a client of Child Mobility Services.

Vale Betty Amsden AO DSJ. 1926–2017

The Guide Dogs Victoria Board of Management, staff and volunteers mourn the loss and celebrate the life of the remarkable Betty Amsden AO DSJ. Vice Patron, Board member and generous benefactor of Guide Dogs Victoria.
Betty has been an inspiration to us all. Her immeasurable kindness, searing intellect and pioneering spirit made the world a better place.
Betty’s legacy will live on in the thousands of Victorians who now live independently as a result of her exceptional generosity.

Betty, we will always cherish and salute you. May you rest in peace.

Betty’s story