NTA Australia is a largely voluntary organisation based in Canberra. It is overseen by an eight-person board with expertise in different fields of aid activity, and is chaired by Ron Thompson, a retired banker and businessperson. Colin Barlow is the CEO. The board is supported by three committees, in Finance, Operations and Membership and Marketing.
NTA’s two Australian paid staff are our Executive Officer, Phil Domaschenz, who is responsible for fundraising, and Operations Manager, Stephanie Heighes, who represents NTA Australia in implementing water and sanitation and education activities. Phil and Stephanie are backed by a team of volunteers, whose main objective is to raise money and organise activities in Australia’s major cities and Jakarta.
Chair of the Board and Treasurer: Ron Thompson
Ron is the former Group General Manager of Electro Optic Systems Pty Limited and a Senior International Banker with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Ron is the principal of Ron S Thompson & Associates Pty Limited.
Secretary: Jade Thinault
Jade is a young professional working in the field of International Development, currently at ActionAid Australia. Jade studied International Law and Languages (English, Spanish and Italian) and obtained a master’s degree in the Law of State Rebuilding in a Post-Conflict Environment from the University of Aix-Marseille, France. Jade has been volunteering with the NTA since June 2020.
Rob is Professor of Agricultural Development in the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Queensland. His research interests centre on rural development, agrarian change, and natural resource management in Southeast Asia, focusing on the evolution of farming systems, land tenure arrangements, and community-based resource management in a variety of agro-ecological zones. Rob holds a PhD from Monash University.
Ming is tax accountant (manager) in Kinsella Chartered Accountants in Canberra, Australia. He previously worked for Tailored Accounts (Canberra) and Khazanah Nasional (Kuala Lumpur). He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Australian National University. Ming began volunteering for NTA’s finance committee in 2013.
Wendy has over 15 years’ experience working with a range of public and private sector organisations in program and policy roles. She has worked in Australia and internationally with KPMG, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Agency for International Development. Prior to joining KPMG, Wendy represented the Australian Government in numerous roles and countries, including large multi-lateral fora and bilateral negotiations. Wendy speaks fluent Indonesian and intermediate French.
James Fox is an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University where he has been since 1975. He first visited Indonesia in the ‘Year of Living Dangerously’. He and his wife lived on the Island of Rote in 1965-66. Since then Jim has continued to maintain a close connection to Nusa Tenggara Timor. He has written books and papers on the social and culture life of many of the communities in the region and has been involved in various development projects.
Dr Ria Gondorwarsito
Ria is a sociologist who specialises in rural community development. Ria is a former development consultant to the World Bank. She has been a member of the Board since its formation in 2007. Ria holds a PhD from Bielefeld University.
Lesley is Chair of the Operations Committee and a member of the Board of the NTA. She has been a member of the NTA since 2008 and has participated in many field trips to check on the progress of various projects. She has forty years’ experience conducting research at village level in various parts of Indonesia, especially Kalimantan, and is especially interested in the welfare of small farmers. Lesley holds a PhD from McGill University, Montreal.
Nadine has had over 30 years’ experience in the technology sphere, both as a management consultant and in senior technology line management roles for a variety of private and public sector organisations, both in Australia and internationally (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, China, and Russia).
Nadine has significant experience in Business Transformational Program Management and delivery, IT/Business alignment, IT Transformation and managing IT departments from both efficiency and effectiveness perspectives. She understands the business challenges within an organization and is able to use technology to enable the proposed business strategies. Her ability to communicate a vision and establish a program delivery team to deliver on this vision is a skill that she has developed over the years.
Phil holds a degree focused on natural resource management. He was employed for 30 years within the Australian Government at local and national levels and worked in areas focused on the management of urban landscapes, forests, national parks and fisheries. His employment has covered Indonesian natural resource issues for 15 years and he was seconded to Indonesia for a year as Programme Management Specialist for a national coral reef management programme.
Simon Field has forty years of development experience, which started in West Timor in 1983. Through his long-term links to Nusa Tenggara Timur, he has been supporting NGOs, governments, and the private sector to tackle some of the region’s major challenges of a long dry season, climate change, and poor household nutrition, which together make this one of the poorest regions with the highest level of stunting in Indonesia.
Simon led UNDP’s mission in Aceh after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami to 2010, and over the last 12 years has been involved in development projects addressing the potential impact of climate change. He has extensive private sector experience and is currently the Managing Director of the agribusiness company PT Springfields.
Simon holds a MBA from Deakin University and a Master of Agricultural Science from Queensland University.
Laura has worked on natural resource management and community well-being challenges for the past14 years, with a strong interest in sustainable livelihoods. Gender equality, biodiversity conservation, social inclusion, and services access and quality. Laura holds degrees in Forest Ecosystem Science and Environmental Studies and Indigenous Studies , lives in East Flores. NTT, where she lives with her family and is a member of Sustainable Solutions International Consulting, a global consortium of consultants seeking sustainable solutions to the challenges that face our world today.
Chair: Ron Thompson
Members: Petrus Usmanij, Ming Wei Cheah CPA
Membership & Marketing Committee
Chair: Phil Domaschenz
Members: Bernard Morris, Dr Xi Wen (Carys) Chan
Members: Don Bosco, Frans Wayan, Tina Niat, Ian Nuberg, Dr Lesley Potter, Dr Ria Gondorwarsito, George Miller, Associate Professor John McCarthy, David Lever, Mark Hunter, Sally Goodspeed, Susanna Batchelder, Juris Jakovics, Michael Cox, Stephen Barry, Sheron Denoon, Anton Usmanij, Phil Domaschenz, Jacob Wray, Keith Gray, Graham Rady, Peter Walton, Tracey McMartin, Douglas Graham, Stephanie Heighes, Kate Sollis, John Wickett, Jade Thinault, Rebekah Smith, Tom Moore, Brolin Barr, Thilak Mallawaarachchi, Heidi Lipson, Jessica Cong, Stephen McMillan, Bill Andrews
Petrus is a La Trobe Business School academic (Melbourne) who has worked pro-bono as accounting adviser and auditor of the NTA in auditing, investigating, and reporting the financial aspects of the NTA's Indonesian counterparts in Kupang, Flores and West Timor since 2007. Petrus has successfully trained the local staff in Kupang in order to meet the accounting requirements of the NTA and DFAT. He has also been involved in a few DFAT accreditations and was a member of the ACFID Code of Conduct Committee.