Don Spencer, OAM, Founder and CEO
Don Spencer is well known throughout Australia. His career in entertainment has spanned film, television and radio for decades. Don is best recognised as the face of ABC’s ‘Play School’ and as a singer and as a singer and songwriter Don has published over 600 songs and released over 30 albums.
Don is a crusader for Australian music and through his work he has taught countless children much about Australia and their heritage. Don has performed throughout Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK and Canada and the appeal of his music continues to create demand for his work. With material released both nationally and internationally, he has received numerous awards for his musical works. He has received Gold and Platinum awards and multiple awards worldwide.
His passion and commitment to disadvantaged children is the very reason he founded the ACMF. He has been awarded:
- The Order of Australia Medal for his service to children’s music and television as a songwriter and performer and through the establishment of the Australian Children’s Music Foundation, 2007.
- Don was made a ‘Paul Howell Fellow’ by the combined Rotary clubs of Taree, 2013. This is Rotary International’s highest recognised award.
- The Heart of Variety Award for services to charity, 2005.
- Excellence in Community Support presented by Support Act Limited, 2008.
Don passionately believes in the power of music to inspire Australian children and enrich their lives.
Mark Ainsworth began his career as a psychologist working with young adults. He was an Executive Director of Aristocrat Leisure, as well as Creative Director of the same company. Mark currently provides a Contemporary Art Space in Rozelle for early career and disadvantaged artists which includes a recording studio attached to the gallery. Mark is committed to expanding the applications of music as a broad therapeutic tool and is proud to be involved with ACMF and is excited by the depth and range of services provided by the organisation.
Mikael is a founding shareholder of Beyond International in 1984. During an outstanding career in the film and television industry Mikael has executive produced a number of Australian award winning feature films and hundreds of hours of television produced by Beyond for broadcasters around the globe. His credits include a host of internationally successful shows. A highly regarded member of the Australian film and television industry, Mikael was elected to the council of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) in 1994, and appointed to the Board of the Australian Film Institute in 1997 – 2005.
Ian “Dicko” Dickson
Ian Dickson has worked in the music industry for more than 20 years in both the UK and Australia. Before moving to Australia in 2001 to take up the role of General Manager of Marketing for BMG Australia, Dicko held senior roles at several major record companies in the UK. Dicko is well known as a judge on Australian Idol, radio personality and winner of Celebrity Apprentice Australia 2012 where he represented the ACMF.
Melanie Mossman holds a degree in Social Science and Policy from the University of New South Wales and has worked as a case manager at City Women’s Hostel, tutor at Mission Australia and mentored with the Ted Noffs Foundation. She is currently director at Adam Spencer Enterprises.
Blainey North is the Managing Director of Blainey North and Associates, and Blainey North Collection, an international award-winning architecture and interior design practice. Blainey’s practice is recognized worldwide, specializing in luxury hotels, residences, commercial and retail projects around the world. A member of the ACMF Fundraising Sub-committee, Blainey is passionate about the importance of music in developing children’s creativity.
Shelly Rafferty is the founder and Managing Director of ExecRep, specialising in outsourced business representation and recruitment. Shelly has more than 15 years’ experience developing and driving distribution campaigns across the telecommunications, consumer goods and manufacturing sectors. As a mother of three, Shelly is passionate about children, their development and wellbeing and is committed to supporting the ACMF’s community involvement initiatives.
Brian Russell is the Founding Partner and Director of the Brooklyn Group and was previously the Managing Director of recruitment firm, Dunhill Management Services. Specialising in media and communications businesses, Brian is an industry leader with more than 30 years leadership experience in the recruitment sector.
Danielle Spencer is an Australian singer-songwriter and film and television actor. Danielle released her critically acclaimed debut album ‘White Monkey’ through EMI Music Australia in 2001 and in 2010, released her second album, ‘Calling All Magicians’, in the UK and Australia. Danielle has recently appeared on Dancing with the Stars on the Seven Network representing the ACMF. The daughter of ACMF founder and CEO Don Spencer, Danielle is passionately committed to the value and development of children’s music education.
Brian Wexham is the Chief Executive of SkillsOne, formally a Federal Government initiative with the mission to promote and advance learning, teaching and training in trades education. Brian is Chair of WorldSkills Australia. Brian’s background is extensive in media, advertising and publishing and he has held executive roles with The Times and Sunday Times, The Observer and Today Newspaper in London. He was also the CEO of Lonrho Media PLC in East Africa and is the author of several successful books and an international cartoon strip. Brian is a passionate proponent of music and committed to the ideals and mission of the ACMF.
Geoff Wilson is the founder and Chairman of the Wilson Asset Management Group and has more than 30 years’ experience in the Australian and international securities industry. Wilson Asset Management manages a number of listed investment funds including WAM Capital Ltd, WAM Active Ltd and WAM Research Ltd. In September 2014, the WAM Group listed the Future Generation Investment Fund, a ground-breaking listed investment fund with charitable purposes focused on supporting fourteen organisations working with children at risk, including the ACMF.