The Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund (SESF) Committee regularly reviews the corporate governance framework to ensure continued best practice. The committee endeavours to add value to the organisation by bringing to the meetings their broad range of skills and experience. SESF has its own independent Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status and as such, all donations are tax deductible.


To become the premier sporting charity for emerging Australian athletes, by growing our fundraising reach.

Board Members

Andrew has had a distinguished career in post-secondary education, providing digital content, systems and academic services to more than 30,000 students across Australia each day. 

Andrew is also actively involved in Australian high performance swimming and for more than 12 years was Chair of Melbourne Vicentre – the high performance swimming club based at MSAC.

Andrew sits on a number of sports, academic and corporate Boards where he brings more than 30 years of operational and governance experience.

Nick has spent a lifetime in education, sport and school sport. As the founder of the Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund Nick has enabled hundreds of students to represent their state or country who would otherwise not have been able to. Nick spent 10 years as strategic manager of School Sport Victoria and has held numerous directorships in education and sport.

Steven completed a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) at Swinburne and is a member of CPA Australia. He completed a Masters in Business (Sports Management) at Deakin University in 2015. Steven has over 16 years’ experience working in finance at BHP/BlueScope Steel and started his own CPA Public Practice in 2011 that provides a variety of business services to corporations, small business and sporting organisations – Jadestone Business Services / Sports Accounting Australia. Steven has worked at Netball Victoria in various executive roles since 2014. Steven has recently taken on the position of Chief Financial Officer at Paralympics Australia. 

Mel Hopkins is the Chief Marketing and Audience Officer, responsible for driving audience numbers and growth across Seven West Media. Her portfolio includes brand strategy, consumer and trade marketing, audience research, promotions, publicity, social media and corporate communications.

One of Australia’s most successful and acclaimed marketers, Hopkins was previously Vice President Marketing CMO at Optus. In 2021, Optus was recognised as Australia’s strongest brand (Campaign Asia) and awarded ‘Marketing Team of the Year’ (Mumbrella).

With over 25 years’ global experience both agency and client side, Hopkins has deep consumer and enterprise experience across a wide range of sectors and high-profile brands, and in November 2022 was named #4 in CM050 2022, and in 2021 was awarded ‘APAC Marketer of the Year’ (Campaign Asia).

Hopkins is also a strategic advisor to the National Mental Health Commission and an advisory board member at ADMA. 

Bridget brings her experience as Marketing Manager across several health funds to the committee as well as skills developed whilst, working in the sporting environment at SEDA and Netball Australia.

Warwick’s current role as National Manager Australian Olympic Team Appeal for the Australian Olympic Committee, combined with 20 years’ experience in sports administration with a number of organisations ranging from grassroots to elite performance pathways enables him to bring a wealth of knowledge to the SESF, specifically in the area of raising funds.

Nathan Burke is the current coach of the Western Bulldogs team in the AFL Women’s competition. Inducted into the AFL Hall of fame in 2019, the St Kilda Football AFL Player, is a champion of the AFL .

In 2019 he was elevated to Legend status in the St Kilda Hall of Fame, one of only 9 Saints to achieve this honour. He set the club record for most games at his retirement, with 323 games.

Burke not only understands the sporting world, he has three daughters who have been through the School Sport Victoria pathway and represented Team Vic at School Sport Australia Championships.

Former principal of Koonung Secondary College, current president of the Australian Council for Health Physical Education and Recreation Victoria branch and Life member of School Sport Victoria.

Life Members

Peter is a founding member of the SESF board and has contributed an enormous amount to the SESF over the past 10 years.

It is thanks to his tireless efforts that the SESF has able to awards to hundreds of school students across the country, enabling them to continue to participate in their sporting endeavours.

Awarded an AM for significant service to athletics as a marathon runner, administrator, and mentor to young athletes in 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Steve is an Athletics Australia Board Member and Athletics Victoria Life Member. Additionally, Steve was also Chef de Mission 2010, 2014 and 2018 Australian Commonwealth Games Team.

Steve began his athletics journey in 1976 at age 14 and achieved various career highlights including Commonwealth Games gold, silver and bronze medals.

Steve has been an instrumental ambassador and mentor for the SESF over the last 8 years. His professional resume is second to none and he has been an exceptional spokesperson for the foundation. He has given an enormous amount of his time in providing guidance and support the next generation of athletes.

Ash finished up her gymnastics career as a two time Olympian, dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist and a three-time world championship team member.
Since retiring after the London Olympics, Ash has now completed a Master in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation) and remains involved in the sport, speaking publically where opportunities present and introducing primary school children to gymnastics to show them the benefits of building strong foundations through these skills.

Ash is a wonderful SESF ambassador who has participated in our mentorship program, offering wonderful insight on her experience as a student and elite athlete to the next generation of stars. She has shown great commitment to SESF over the years and was presented with a life membership in 2023 in recognition of her hard work on behalf of the charity, for which we are very grateful.  


Pieter is a sporting administrator and events professional, currently working at School Sport Victoria where he has held a variety of roles across the team, most recently managing the Victorian Teachers’ Games event

Kate recently completed her Master of Global Media and Communication at the University of Melbourne and is currently working in communications within the sports technology sector. A lover of sport all her life, Kate is eager about helping others reach their goals and enabling all athletes to pursue their dreams.

National School Principals Advisory Committee

Matthew GriningPenguin P-12 / President Tasmanian Principals AssociationTAS
Fiona TaylorWestern Heights CollegeVIC
Kendall ClarkeThe Grange P-12 CollegeVIC
Tim EastBatchelor Area SchoolNT
Rob LawsonDarling Range Sports CollegeWA
Sacha BradleyWilletton Senior High SchoolWA
Ken BatesMount Annan High SchoolNSW
Andrew HooperEmu Heights Public SchoolNSW
Steven RichardBolwarra Public SchoolNSW
Jess EdwardsNaracoorte South Primary SchoolSA
Wade HaynesBrisbane State High SchoolQLD
Simon MurphyBlackheath & Thornburgh CollegeQLD


The SESF was founded in 2012. We have strong governance in place across all areas of the charity:

  • The SESF is a Registered Charity with Deductible Gift Recipient Status. Our programs are Tax Deductible. We welcome your support.
  • We are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
  • ABN: 27 226 736 755
  • Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) – 653 084 201
  • The SESF is an incorporated association, registered with Consumer affairs Victoria. Click here for our certificate
  • To view our model rules, click here
  • The SESF is independently audited annually through Stannards Accountants and Advisors
  • To view our committee members click here
  • All committee members have current working with children’s checks
  • To view our policies click here
  • To view our application terms and conditions click here
  • To view our annual impact statement click here
  • To view our Child safe and mentoring agreement, click here
  • Notice of 2023 AGM here