The Team


Ciara Sterling - CEO

Ciara is the Chief Executive Officer Thriving Communities Australia, with over 15 years’ experience working across government, corporate and the community sector addressing issues around hardship and vulnerability. Her experience, extensive network and vision for a better future for people experiencing vulnerability has catalysed Thriving Communities Australia. At Yarra Valley Water, Ciara developed pioneering approaches to customer support that have led to several ground-breaking programs and partnerships. She has also driven new organisational capability and capacity to respond to issues such as family violence, diverse language groups and other factors of vulnerability. She is a sought-after speaker, presenter and champion for responsible and sustainable approaches to address the drivers of vulnerability and hardship.


Emma Martin - General Manager, Partnerships and Thriving Communities Foundation

Emma has over 13 years’ experience in partnering in the not for profit sector and is passionate about bringing together partners that have a shared vision to solve complex and systemic societal challenges.

Inspired by the powerful change collaboration can bring to some of the significant global challenges we face in the world today, Emma’s partnering approach is centred around Partnership Brokering - and to continually aim to create value for all involved.


Katrina Moore - General Manager, Strategy & Programs

Katrina is a passionate social innovator, specialising in developing strategic programs in response to complex societal challenges and has run successful programs across the public, private and community sectors. She is in her element when experimenting with new ideas and exploring the impact that collaboration can make to embed sustainable and impactful change. These interests have driven her career so far and allowed her to work on some amazing projects addressing complex societal scenarios through innovative ways of thinking and approaching complex challenges globally.


Paul Oglethorpe - Head of One Stop One Story (OSOS) Hub Operations

Paul is an experienced People and Project Management professional with a proven record of accomplishment in planning and implementing people, customer and technology projects, predominantly in the corporate sector. He is experienced in customer process change and building teams in support of business goals and objectives, including through major transformation projects. Paul approaches work in a logical, objective and energetic way, who is action oriented and able to communicate directly and openly with people of all levels. He is a strategic thinker with the ability to remove complexity from everyday people management, customer process and operations through communication and a flexible approach. During his time at TCA, he has learnt more about the collaborative approach across the partnership and applied these learnings in his role at TCA.


Bridgette McManus - Innovation Lead

Bridgette joins the team as a Service & Strategic designer.  Her career started out in healthcare before moving into TV and design industries in Melbourne, UK & Ireland.  Bridgette brings experience in research, co-design, facilitation, ideation and delivery. 

Throughout her time at TCA she has led the co-design and community engagement strategy to support the launch of the One Stop One Story Hub.  She loves that human centred design is a practice that considers people, products, partners and processes holistically and how they interact;  and always tries to bring it into her work.


Alana Faust - Project Manager, Strategy & Programs

Alana is an accomplished professional with a strong alignment to the values of TCA. With a passion for community development, transformational partnerships, and human-centered design, she brings a wealth of experience to her role as the Programs & Strategy Project Manager at TCA.  

Her commitment to incorporating a human-centered approach and working in partnership with communities makes her a valuable asset to TCA's cross-sector collaboration. At TCA, Alana is eager to contribute to TCA's mission of driving systems change with some of Australia's largest organisations by incorporating the voice of lived experience and working collaboratively across sectors.


Sophie McKenna - Design Lead

Sophie has always gravitated towards the process of gaining user insight, building empathy and creating visual content to communicate a story. While studying a double degree at university, she volunteered at TCA and has since been involved in a number of initiatives that have grown her understanding of vulnerability and the importance of developing united, and accessible systems.

Now working as a designer, she is inspired by the culture of empowerment at TCA and is delighted to develop her career skills in such a creative and impactful field.


Maria Woodend - Office Manager and Executive Assistant to the CEO

Maria has over 16 years’ experience supporting CEO’s, CFO’s and Managers across corporate, utilities and not for profit organisations. Her mission is creating the environment for others to be able to excel in their roles in a collaborative, safe and creative way.

Maria is also a qualified Naturopath and brings a lens of holistic wellbeing to her work in supporting others.


Kerryn Jennings - Partnership Coordinator

Kerryn joined TCA as Office Manager and EA to CEO, Ciara Sterling, managing the growing team before stepping into her role as Partnerships Coordinator alongside GM of Partnerships, Emma Martin.

Working with the extensive and ever-growing list of TCA Partners, Kerryn has always enjoyed meeting and connecting people across the broad ecosystem of organisations within the TCA community and greatly values the lasting professional and personal friendships this has afforded her.



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