Who We Are
Our team’s experience weaves a rich tapestry of insight, which we proudly bring to all of our work. Having held senior positions across all sectors and having done the consulting rounds with firms from the top end of town to sole traders, we bring both technical excellence and deep sector insight. We started Spark because we identified a lack of transformational strategies and a lack of financially sustainable solutions to social challenges. We firmly believe that with the right ideas, capability and capital, we can change the narrative. We have curated our team to ensure that we have deep knowledge and networks across sectors so that we can help our clients align the jigsaw pieces for large-scale impact.
Spark Strategy works with leaders who are as excited by ideas as we are, who want to take action and transform. And we stick with you to achieve outcomes, favouring long-term relationships over draft and dash plans. Our approach is highly interactive and all about bringing energy into the process through team-based workshops and activities that spark moments of discovery. We do the heavy lifting behind the scenes, stretching and probing the ideas before rigorously planning out the execution with you and building the organisational stamina required for your transformation. We employ both traditional consulting tools (without the consultant-speak) and creative tools to help unearth ideas that are practical yet innovative.
We recongise each sector has a role to play in social change. While the majority of our work is with the not-for-profit sector, we also work across the other sectors on projects to improve social outcomes. Leveraging our unique positioning, we work with individual organisations and we also bring coalitions together for collective strategies, be they place-based solutions, sector reform or system change.
From health to the arts, education to justice, disability to family violence, our work spans the entire Not-for-profit sector. We work with bold leaders in this space to generate greater impact and build financial strength.
Adopting a systemic view, we work across all altitudes of government to innovate social policy. We have internationally sought-after experience in co-design with lived experience as well as design of the enabling environment to support policy implementation.
Gone are the days where shareholder return is the only measure of success of the private sector. We work with our Corporate clients to ensure their community investment is strategic, social license to operate is authentic, and cross sector partnerships drive shared value.
We address both sides of the coin in our work with Australia’s most significant Foundations. We assist with fundraising strategies to grow corpus funds, and we develop granting strategies to maximise the impact of contributions.
We are here to be the trusted advisor, to help inject creative ideas, challenge thinking, and create alignment between the conceptual and the practical. Here is what you can expect of Spark.
We always tailor our approach to deliver bespoke solutions. At Spark, we don’t come to our clients with a predetermined solution for their particular problem. We get to truly understand your organisation and work with you to created solutions that are tailored to your needs.
We’re straight shooters who offer useful truths rather than telling you what you want to hear. This is our tough love approach. It can mean an uncomfortable journey, but one that is necessary to build long-term vitality and viability. It’s about being authentic. We will challenge you to realize your potential.
Spark and Dynamism
We deliver innovative yet practical solutions and we ensure that the model is executable. As a people-focused organisation ourselves, we care about your satisfaction and success. Furthermore we have the industry experience and business acumen to gain insights, draw connections and drive and deliver improvements.
While our team comes from all different backgrounds, we are bound by our common drive to reduce inequity. We care about our culture, the work we produce and the solutions we create. We’re for sparking brighter futures for our clients and the societies in which we live.
George: Founder and Chair
George’s experience spans 25 years and well over 10,000 hours helping people get impactful, aligned outcomes. Whether it’s retreats, panels, face-to-face and remote workshops or large-scale events, George brings calm confidence and experience to any environment. George has been a speaker for over 20 years, ranging from large scale tech conventions in the USA to community driven charity and not for profit gatherings. He speaks from the heart, from his life experience and for impact on a broad range of topics and to a wide range of audiences. George writes frequently about social change and is currently writing his book, Net Contributor where he taps into science and research, interviews change makers and shares his own journey from profit to purpose in order to help more people re-balance their lives and realise their own profit and purpose equilibrium.
Felicity: Chief Executive Officer
As a co-founder and the CEO of Spark Strategy, Felicity is a strategist, facilitator and public speaker, leading Spark’s national strategy team. With deep expertise in the fields of income diversification, innovation and collective impact, Felicity specialises in not-for-profit strategy and business models. Straddling multiple sectors, Felicity is a movement builder and super networker, passionate about reducing inequity. A graduate of the Peking University MBA program, and AICD Company Director, Felicity has held various positions on boards and networks in the for-purpose sector, and is currently a Board Director at WaterAid Australia. Felicity’s dream dinner party would involve eating doughnuts with Kate Raworth, discussing sustainable economics.
Our Director Richie oversees and drives much of our project portfolio. Everyday at Spark, Richie brings energy, a solutions mindset and expertise in strategic planning, organisational design, transformation and change management, and resilient business models. With strong interpersonal skills and an unshakable sense of humour, Richie’s committed to supporting and equipping leaders with the ideas, capability and capital to drive significant impact. His experience spans the not-for-profit, government, social enterprise, university and philanthropic sectors. Richie is also a Prince II accredited practitioner, and has 15 years of experience in operating model design and execution, change transformation and strategy. Outside of work hours you’ll find him at home, attempting to deliver a sustainable strategy for dealing with excitable young children.
Heather: Associate Director
Drawing on her experience in the not-for-profit and private sectors, Heather’s focus is on creating solutions that blend purpose, profit and pragmatism. As the Associate Director at Spark, Heather has worked with over 80 for-purpose teams, organisations and collectives on strategies and models that blend greater impact with financial resilience. Heather has strong expertise and interest in: not-for-profit strategy; social enterprise and social business; systems thinking; health and mental health; gender equity; and primary prevention and early intervention. Collaboration is key to both Heather’s approach and the models she develops, taking into account that developing and maintaining authentic partnerships takes time, energy and consideration. Otherwise, you’ll come across Heather on the tennis court or making misshapen mugs at the potter’s wheel.
Kuppal: Senior Strategic
Kuppal supports the social sector to create great strategies, uplift technology capability, and implement future-proof business models for long term sustainability. As well as being a Senior Strategic Advisor at Spark, she also sits on the Steering Committee of the NSW chapter of the Social Impact Measurement Network of Australia (SIMNA), which aligns well with her strong experience and expertise in demonstrating and assessing outcomes and impact. Passionate about building a more equitable society, Kuppal brings a keen eye to challenge the status quo and help for-purpose leaders to re-imagine what’s possible. Her approach is highly collaborative, with a focus on building meaningful relationships with her colleagues and clients. Outside of Spark, Kuppal has co-founded a social enterprise called Soulful Shoes, and enjoys cooking up a vegan storm, bushwalking and hitting the gym at F45.
Mike: Senior Strategic
Mike is an experienced strategy and impact measurement professional, who draws from his diverse experience in government, business and at not for profits. He has a strong background in health and social policy, mental health, start-ups and ethical business. Purpose is at the heart of everything Mike does. In 2016 he founded Purposeful, an award winning B Corp and social impact consultancy, that worked across a range of sectors delivering strategic planning and social impact measurement. He is the founder and host of the popular Humans of Purpose podcast, weekly conversations with local purpose-driven leaders. He has also consulted extensively across the mental health sector producing the Mental Wellth podcast mini-series. He holds a Masters of Law (Human Rights), is studying an MBAx (Social Impact) at UNSW Business School. Mike is a Director at not for profits SIMNA Ltd, Australia’s peak social impact measurement network and L2R Dance. In his spare time, you will find Mike enjoying a quiet infra-red sauna, enjoying a long walk in nature, playing indoor soccer or watching his football teams the Hawks and Tottenham Hotspur get regularly beaten.
Matt : Senior Strategic Advisor
Matt loves working for purpose. After 10 years working in the corporate sector with IBM, EY and supporting start-ups, he now works to help not-for-profits define and deliver better strategies. Having led consulting teams across Berlin, Sydney, and Canberra, he’s experienced in understanding how to help organisations make better use of their next $100k, or their next $100M. Matt’s deeply involved in the social and environmental justice movement, running a not-for-profit that educates people in climate change, volunteering across a number of climate action groups, and working with local food co-ops in Redfern to help build community. Outside of work, you’ll find Matt trail running, playing the hand-pan, or cooking too much food for his friends.
Sarah : Senior Strategic Advisor
Sarah’s commitment to the for-purpose sector spans more than 20 years working in and around health and community services. Her particular focus has been in stakeholder management, service innovation and marketing. Sarah’s approach is highly collaborative providing strong leadership and direction with a responsive, flexible and approachable manner. Sarah is passionate about co-designing services to create innovative responses and build capacity to meet the needs of the community while ensuring long term sustainability. Sarah is a Director at not-for-profit WIRE, an organisation responding to the needs of women, non-binary and gender-diverse people. When not at Spark, Sarah is happiest when hiking on a new trail and spending time being creative with her family.
John: Strategic Advisor
John weaves a commitment to social and environmental sustainability with 20 years of professional experience and the insight and acumen of an MBA. With a creative and innovative thinking style, John draws upon two decades of experience working for government, corporate, not-for-profit and the in-between realm of social enterprise. He brings big picture systems thinking to his work, considering factors such as climate change, digital disruption and community voice. John’s roots lie in the youth sector, where his passion for supporting young people flourished into broader public engagement and community development. When John is not at Spark, he is happiest riding mountain bike trails and spending time in nature with his family.
Aqilah: Strategic Advisor
Aqilah is committed to supporting for-purpose leaders disentangle the wicked problems grappling our society. Prior to Spark, Aqilah worked in international development for a Big-4 consultancy in South Asia. This role saw her work across the SME & IT sectors on strategic projects that encompassed capacity-building, diversity and inclusion, and economic empowerment. More recently, Aqilah completed her Master of Public Policy and Management. Her academic journey has informed her approach to addressing and creating macro-level positive change to society through a political and policy-driven lens. Aqilah is passionate about inclusion and diversity and she embeds a co-creation and collaborative approach in her work. When she’s not at Spark Aqilah’s probably designing ethical fine jewellery at her start-up Mylstonx; painting; or providing couch commentary on the latest Netflix series.
Shaun: Strategic Advisor
Shaun believes that all businesses have a responsibility to drive positive social and environmental change, and is committed to supporting purpose-led leaders in their quest for greater impact. With a commerce degree and experience co-founding a government grants consultancy, Shaun has a passion (and a knack) for strategy and a desire to leverage it for positive change. Having worked extensively with clients spanning health, local government and community services to name a few, he has a focus on equity, intersectionality and practicality. This means Shaun designs solutions that balance aspiration, inclusion and pragmatism. Shaun’s inclusive approach to collaboration and facilitation makes him a standout in any workshop or project team. If Shaun could be anywhere other than here, right this minute, he would be under a palm tree at the beach reading a good book.
Grace: Strategic Advisor
Grace is passionate about the power of effective collaboration, transformative ideas and meaningful action to impact the lives of vulnerable people and build more resilient communities. Her experience spans more than a decade working in not-for-profit and commercial organisations, including aid and development and the Australian disability sector. Grace brings creativity of thought and a strong strategy skillset that she has honed through her MBA studies, including excellent project management and analytical ability. Grace values the opportunity that collaborative working brings to unearth insights that evolve into game-changing ideas. Fascinated by people and what makes them tick, Grace is adept at building authentic relationships which she believes are key to any successful strategy. When she’s not on Spark business, Grace enjoys long-distance running and live music.
Elizabeth : Strategic Advisor
Elizabeth brings a unique perspective to the myriad of problems faced by organisations seeking to maximise their positive social impact. With a double degree of Arts (International Relations) and Laws, Elizabeth has a strong understanding of public policy and the interface between government and society. Prior to Spark, Elizabeth was a consultant at a planning consultancy that specialised in affordable and social housing projects. She has worked with various environmental not-for-profits and completed projects that focus on protecting freshwater resources in the Murray-Darling Basin, implementing school garden programs that improve learning outcomes and increasing public engagement with permaculture. When she’s not at her desk, Elizabeth is tearing it up on a netball court or tending to her growing collection of indoor plants.
Spark Strategy acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Country on which we work, and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community.
We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to Elders past, present and emerging.