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.
Louise: Interim CEO
Louise brings a strong culture and growth focus to Spark. She has spent the last 30 years navigating life and business across the globe, revelling in the challenges, loving the highs and learning from the lows. Louise has a diverse background with extensive experience in governance, strategy, implementation and innovation in the private sector, business, government and not-for-profit sectors. This includes the development and delivery of major strategy, behaviour change and prevention programs in health, education, finance, technology and cyber safety. An active mentor, advisor, executive director and board member, Louise has a deep understanding of and interest in the management, operations, funding, and perceptions of the for-purpose sector, including co-founding and chairing Housing All Australia (HAA). At and outside of work, Louise is focussed on connecting with people, helping them to think differently and making them laugh.
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.
Kuppal: Senior Strategic Advisor
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.
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.
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.
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.
Junaita: Business Manager
Junaita brings a pragmatic perspective to the team at Spark Strategy after being a stay at home mum for the last 10 years. She brings along her expertise of coordinating and juggling demands with ease, supporting both clients and colleagues. After making the move from sunny Singapore, Junaita seeks the best in people with her kind nature and inner strength, supporting her fellow Sparkies professionally and personally. During her free time Junaita enjoys elevating her yoga practise, running and cooking up a storm for her family & close friends.
Elizabeth: Strategic Advisor
Elizabeth brings a unique perspective to the myriad 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 Associates bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that complements the strengths of our core team. They deliver subject matter expertise and industry insights spanning several sectors and issue areas, helping our clients to better understand and respond to complex problems.
Catuscia is fiercely passionate about equity and social justice and has encompassed this in her experience across the not-for-profit, government, private and academic sectors. She has led the development and implementation of internationally recognised change management initiatives in hospital, primary care, and community settings, and has publications reflecting this work. As a strong systems and strategic thinker, and active mentor, she gets a real buzz building individual and organisational capacity for greater community benefit. In addition to her Associate partnership with Spark, Catuscia runs her own consultancy focused in the areas of welfare, health and disability, cultural diversity, and international development. When not immersed in her rewarding work, she’ll be on a long destination drive to good food and wine, out on an adventurous walk, or planning her next overseas cultural experience.
Caroline has been part of disruption and innovation for social and environmental change for over 30 years. Her career has spanned executive and non-executive director roles in business, venture philanthropy, philanthropy, impact investing and non-profit organisations in Australia and internationally. Organisations where Caroline has held leadership roles include Accenture Strategy, the US-based impact advisory firm New Sector Alliance, Social Ventures Australia and SVA Consulting, and the national catalytic philanthropy organisation, The ten20 Foundation. Caroline is an active board member and advisor to a range of organisations in Australia, Asia and Europe that tackle issues ranging from gender equity, the arts, poverty and slum renewal and bio tech innovation. Caroline holds an MBA from IMD, Switzerland and a diploma in Managing Non-Profit organisations from Harvard University, USA, and is an Honorary Senior Fellow at The University of Melbourne where she graduated B.A (Hons).
For over 25 years, Greg has established himself as a highly regarded business leader, entrepreneur, innovator and commercialisation expert in corporate and government business both domestically and internationally. Greg specialises in strategy, growth and commercialisation advisory, capital raisings and digital technology applications and ecosystems. As a deep, curious and expansive thinker, Greg challenges existing ways of working to help leaders find new pathways and opportunities to reposition, collaborate and grow. Greg is a collaborator and prioritises his time supporting purpose-led organisations with a vision and commitment to deliver widespread impact; delivered ethically and sustainably. Across his career, Greg has been the recipient of multiple business, industry and innovation awards, achieved multiple exits of companies he founded, including listing a technology business he founded on the ASX in 2016. He Chairs and sits as a Non-Executive Director on numerous company boards and is a sought-after speaker and mentor.
Professor Jane Burns
Jane Burns is a health strategist passionate about mental health, wellbeing and innovation. She is Chair of Open Arms, Veterans Families Counselling Service, Chair of Swiss8 and a Board Member of the National Disability Insurance Agency. She has over twenty years’ experience as a C-Suite Executive with high profile organisations, beyondblue: the national depression initiative and reachout.com and was the founder and CEO of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre raising over $100M in capital. She is the Founder of InnoWell and a Non-Executive Director with the Applied Positive Psychology Learning Institute. She was a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy at the University of California, San Francisco, a VicHealth Fellow in Health Promotion at Orygen Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health and an NHMRC Fellow in Suicide Prevention at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, University of Melbourne. Professor Burns has a PhD in medicine from the University of Adelaide. In recognition for her achievements in entrepreneurship she won the category of Social Enterprise for 2015’s Australian Financial Review and Westpac Group 100 Women of Influence, and was a Victorian Finalist in the 2017 Telstra Business Women’s Awards. Professor Burns is currently a strategic consultant to TogetherAI and Clarity+ and an enterprise professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne.
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.