Meet Our Team

Chief Executive Officer

Ms Jo Knight 

BA (Hons), LLB (Hons)

Jo is an Anglican with two decades’ experience in global justice and environmental sustainability initiatives, organisational strategy and operations, legal and compliance matters, resource generation, and church and public engagement. Prior to joining AOA she was Tearfund Australia’s Advocacy Director, a leader with the Renew Our World movement and Micah coalition, and headed the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Ecumenical Migration Centre. Other responsibilities have included being founding Board Chair of youth poverty movement Oaktree, Board member of Green Collect and Section Chair leading the Law Institute of Victoria’s administrative law, human rights and refugee committees. Jo currently serves on the ACT Alliance Membership and Nominations international committee.

Ms Kylie Wingjan

International Programs Manager
BA, Grad DipEd, MSocSc (IntlDev)

Kylie has more than 17 years’ experience in international development, working with partners in Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. She also brings corporate experience in financial services, people, culture and learning. Kylie builds close relationships with local partners to help support sustainable and impactful change. She is dedicated to seeing communities leading their own transformation through equality and justice, with special attention for women and girls.

Mr Darren Sterling

Marketing and Communications Manager

BA, BBus (Mkt), MSocSc (IntlDev)

Following 20 years in the corporate sector, Darren has worked in senior roles in international development for the last 15 years across disciplines including philanthropy, marketing, advocacy, education and field programming. He has worked in Australia, Cambodia and Vietnam. Darren is passionate about education for children, youth and supporting young leaders.

Mr Tim Hartley

Disaster Response and Resilience Coordinator
B EngSWS, M EngEnviron, GradCert DRR

Tim is an international development professional in the disaster risk reduction field, with more than 15 years’ experience in managing complex projects and stakeholders in Australia, South-East Asia and the Pacific Region. He has lived and worked in Samoa and is passionate about building resilience and reducing the impact of disasters on vulnerable communities across the Pacific. 

Ms Kelly Rae

Program Manager Quality and Innovation
BA (Devt Studies), MIntl&ComnDev

Kelly is an experienced development practitioner who has lived and worked in Cambodia. She brings executive leadership experience and has led teams supporting local partnerships across South Asia. Passionate about building connections, sharing learning and contributing to strengthened program quality, Kelly co-founded the Melbourne Development Circle, a networking group bringing together development professionals to discuss issues of importance in the sector.

Ms Leanne Ruthven

Operations Officer and EAMs
BA (Psych), GradCertDiv

Leanne has many years of ministry experience, having served in church leadership, management, personnel, editorial and governance roles. She is a published author who has lived and worked in Papua New Guinea, the United Kingdom and Romania. Caring deeply about gender justice, her desire is to see women and girls in particular reach their full potential.

Ms Katherine Davies

Communications Lead
BSocSc, AdvDip Screenwriting 

Katherine has experience in digital media production and writing, has worked in schools to support and equip young people with the tools they need to overcome adversity, and produced creative content for a youth organisation. Her passion is to deliver quality content that builds empathy, fosters hope and encourages meaningful change.

Ms Sarah White 

Engagement Operations Manager
BBus(HRM), GradCertDiv

Sarah has spent the last 15 years working in both Christian and Corporate sectors in Australia and the UK.  Sarah has managed events, technological campaigns as well as ensuring business efficiencies and engagement. With studies in Business, Theology, and Psychology, Sarah brings a rich tapestry of skills and experience spearheading engagement operations within the Marketing and Communications team.