The founders, Linda Wong and Chris Ardrey, have over 50 years of combined corporate experience. They decided it was time to combine their life skills, corporate experience and their passion for the mental health and well-being of people, in order to address complex social issues in regional areas.
Hands of Change is supported by a dedicated and voluntary Board of Directors.
Chris has had the opportunity to work in various organisations (from start-ups to multinational organisations) across different industry sectors. Having grown up in rural New Zealand, Chris has always felt a connection with the land and this grounding was something he saw missing in many of the people that he has encountered on his journey.
In today’s fast paced society, it is difficult for both business teams and individuals to find a space where they can reconnect with themselves and remember how to communicate and be active in a community. Chris aims to change that through the programs delivered under Hands of Change.
Linda was born in Canada and moved to Australia in 1999. She is an experienced executive and facilitator of strategic thinking that combines real-world learnings to deliver actionable plans. As such, her facilitation style promotes collaboration, complex problem solving, consideration of multiple dimensions, investigation and time for reflection. These activities combined create authentic learning experiences for individuals and teams.
Linda began her journey with horses in her early 20s. She has now found a way to combine her two passions – people and animals. In her on-going professional development, Linda is working towards completing a PhD with Deakin University. Her primary research topic is to determine best practice techniques/approaches for using horses in learning to influence individuals’ health and wellbeing. Supplementing this research will be a study of how virtual reality can be used to extend the reach to those who cannot physically attend as well as improving learning outcomes in general.
Board of Voluntary Directors
Director since March 2016.
Linda is the chair of Hands of Change Limited.
With 20+ years of professional consultancy and industry experience, Linda has developed into a well-rounded, dedicated and astute business woman. Leveraging these skills, she and her husband have followed their passion and formed this NFP and charity.
Living in country Victoria with her husband, she keeps grounded with a menagerie of five horses, three dogs and two cats.
Director since May 2016.
Mary is a Deloitte Consulting Partner with a broad experience base developed over 25+ years with a range of large and mid-sized listed as well as, privately owned organisations. She has a passion for advising organisations on how to improve business processes through the use of technology and advising IT organisations on how to become effective business partners.
In her current role, Mary has built a solid reputation for her ability to coach, mentor and develop talent and is viewed as a role model for women in IT. As a leader within the business, who leads by example, she has built a loyal following.
Director since August 2017.
Wes is CFO at GMHBA Limited and prior to his current role was Commercial Manager of Digital Business, responsible for running the health.com.au and Frank Health Insurance businesses. Prior to this he was Group Financial Controller, overseeing a team managing financial reporting, payroll, compliance, commercial analysis, due diligence and acquisitions.
Wes is a Chartered Accountant with over 8 years at KPMG working in Private Enterprise, with a focus on privately-owned client groups, incorporation and establishment of Australian subsidiaries of multi-nationals, financial reporting, taxation and audit.
Director since July 2020.
Chris is a Director of his private consultancy business that he established in 2001. He brings a diverse background of working in various industries and roles. An advocate of hands-on learning, he understands the art of facilitation to enable a learner-centered approach.
As an active member of the community, Chris volunteers in CERT and the Lions Club. In his spare time, you can find him enjoying one of the many chores on the property.
Director since August 2020.
Liz has a strong background in Leadership and Management in the NFP sector. Over the past three decades she has worked as a CEO, Deputy CEO-Strategy, COO and manager in Community Organisations and earlier in State Government.
Liz has qualifications in Disability, Business and Leadership. She undertook the Williamson Community Leadership Program with Leadership Victoria in 2002 and received a scholarship from the Harvard Club of Victoria in 2008 to undertake the short course at Harvard in Strategic Perspectives in Not for Profit Management. In 2012, Liz completed the Advanced Diploma of Group Facilitation with the Groupwork Centre.
Our Charitable Purposes
As a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission, Hands of Change Limited has been approved under the following charitable purposes.