Leading our organisation forward. Senior Leadership Team

Our Senior Leadership Team is responsible for implementing the strategy set by the Board. The Team ensures that performance goals are met and that our work and programs are undertaken efficiently, effectively and sustainably.

Meet the team.

Karen Hayes Chief Executive Officer

“To be presented with the opportunity to join one of Victoria’s most iconic and trusted organisations was a dream come true for me. Add to that the chance to lead a talented team of committed and passionate people who do truly extraordinary work: it made the decision to join a very easy one.

The CEO role enables me to use my corporate skills, my not-for-profit experience and my community background to lead Guide Dogs Victoria through a process of significant change and challenge within the sector.

Building on a solid foundation, we are taking Guide Dogs Victoria into the next phase. As a result of the ageing population, our dedicated and talented team is “Taking the Lead”: working to respond to a significant increase in the number of people with low vision who require our support.”


Joanna Stavrou General Manager People & Culture

“Joining this team was an opportunity to get involved with transformational change, particularly in re-establishing the importance of the People and Culture aspect of such an iconic organisation.

I am very keen to work in an organisation that is both well-respected and delivers exceptional service. I’m passionate about using my broad skillset to make a positive contribution to such positive initiatives.”


Rod Wealands General Manager Commercial Operations


Alastair Stott General Manager Client & Guide Dog Services

“I started my working life as a veterinary surgeon before venturing into the corporate world and then the community sector with Carers Victoria, supporting family carers. Coming to work for this organisation combines two passions – it feels like I’m coming home.

I want to support people with low vision or blindness to have a positive life and enjoy independence, thanks to the hard work of our amazing Guide Dogs and highly talented mobility staff.”


Charlie Spendlove General Manager Marketing & Communications

“It is a privilege to work for Guide Dogs Victoria and to promote the life changing services we provide. Every adult and child with low vision or blindness has the right to an equitable life, full of opportunity and community.

Seeing people achieve their goals in life and be part of their journey makes it easy to come to work each day.”


Sophie Wild General Manager Strategic Growth


Rachel Knight Financial Controller

Having started my career in corporate and big-4 accounting I quickly discovered a passion for being involved with for-purpose entities. It is incredibly rewarding working for Guide Dogs Victoria and being able to contribute to their mission.

Good governance and evidence-based decision making facilitates the delivery of our first choice services to our clients, donor and stakeholders, meaning that Guide Dogs Victoria will always remain a trusted partner.


Evan Gordon General Manager Fundraising

“It’s not every day in your career that you get a real opportunity to ensure that when someone loses their sight, they don’t also lose their independence, confidence and freedom of movement.

To achieve this through an organisation that the community regards with such enormous respect is a real honour and privilege.”


Hannah Dale Executive Assistant