Barnardos Australia has the support of some wonderful, high profile personalities who are generous and support our values and belief in putting the child first. We rely on our valued ambassadors to highlight the issues of child abuse and neglect in Australia. We are very grateful for their support and time.
Lisa Wilkinson is one of Australia’s most admired and respected journalists and sought-after television presenters.
A dedicated and passionate Barnardos ambassador for over 15 years, Lisa says “I am committed to doing whatever I can to help spread the Barnardos message. It’s an organisation that literally changes the lives of children who would otherwise be lost to an uncaring system. And the number of smiles they generate on a daily basis, probably says it all.”
Natarsha Belling is one of the most recognised and popular news presenters on Australian television.
An ambassador since 2011, Natarsha says “Children are our future and every child deserves the chance to be loved and grow up in a safe, nurturing environment. Barnardos ensures children in need receive that life saving support and have the chance to chase their dreams. As a mother of two young sons, I can’t imagine a greater organisation that protects the innocent and guarantees our future generation has a chance to be loved and nurtured.”
Samantha Harris is an Australian fashion model, who became the second Aboriginal model to front Vogue Australia at the age of 19. An ambassador for four years, Samantha was inspired to get involved after seeing the impact Barnardos made on young lives. “I grew up in a loving and supportive family and I think every child should have that opportunity. I’m really inspired by the work Barnardos do to support vulnerable children and families in crisis."
Heidi Middleton (bide) is the founder and creative director of Sass & Bide, an iconic Australian fashion label that is recognised globally for its eclectic and bold design aesthetic. Passionate about nurturing and protecting children, Heidi has been a long standing ambassador of Barnardos, and says she feels fiercely about child protection and child welfare.
Tina Arena is an internationally renowned music artist with combined album sales topping 8 million. She was recently voted by her Australian musical peers as the greatest Australian female singer of all time. A generation of Australians grew up with Tina on their TV screens and radio making her a household name in this country. More recently she has enjoyed an extraordinary parallel pop career in her adopted home of France, where she’s sold over 4 million records and received that country’s highest cultural honour, a Knighthood of the Order of National Merit – a first for any Australian artist. On becoming a Barnardos Australia ambassador, Tina said “I am so proud take a stand against child abuse and neglect. Barnardos do such an important job in the community keeping children safe. As a mother I applaud their belief that every child deserves a safe and secure home.”
James Mathison is an experienced and successful MC, TV presenter, radio host and part-time film critic. He has hosted local and international events. James has been an ambassador since 2015 and believes "Barnardos provide safe havens for abused and neglected kids and raised the issue of the thousands of children in Australia who suffer abuse every year and as a dad, that just breaks my heart”.
Professor Kerryn Phelps
Professor Kerryn Phelps AM is Adjunct Professor at Sydney University in the Faculty of Medicine in the School of General Practice and Con Joint Professor at the University of New South Wales in the faculty of Public Health and Community Services. Professor Kerryn Phelps AM has been a familiar face to many Australians over the last twenty years during which time she has appeared regularly on television, radio and the print media informing the Australian public on health issues. In May 2000 Prof Phelps was elected Federal President of the Australian Medical Association, becoming the first woman to head this organisation and serving a maximum term of three years. Prof Phelps works tirelessly for human rights and believes strongly in the rights of a child.
Jackie Stricker-Phelps (MEd Sydney University) was born and raised in Sydney. She was a teacher for 23 years and has a Masters Degree in Education graduating with distinction. In 1998 she left teaching after marrying her partner Prof Kerryn Phelps AM in a religious ceremony in New York. She then ran their medical clinics and their media consultancy company. Jackie helped to raise two step children and in 2009 together with Kerryn she fostered a nine year girl and after lobbying the NSW government to have the laws on same sex adoption changed, Jackie and Kerryn adopted their youngest daughter in 2012. Jackie works tirelessly for human rights particularly those of same sex couples. She is passionate about the rights of all children to a safe and loving home.