Jeremy brings a wealth of business expertise cultivated over years in high-level corporate positions. With a natural talent for networking, he excels in forging valuable connections. Jeremy’s strategic acumen has played a pivotal role in the establishment of The Fig Tree Children, working closely alongside Jane to bring their vision to fruition. Jane attests that Jeremy’s unwavering support, expert guidance, and compassionate outlook have been instrumental in the organisation’s success. His dedication and sage advice have been invaluable assets, laying the foundation for the organisation’s impact and growth.
CEO, Secretary, Marketing & Fundraising
Jane, the founder of The Fig Tree Children, holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Business Management with a focus on Philanthropy/Not-for-profit studies from the Queensland University of Technology. She has earned lifetime membership in Nu Lambda Mu, an honour recognising her dedication to nonprofit management, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship/enterprise. Married to Jeremy and a mother to Harry, Jane’s journey with The Fig Tree Children began after a transformative trip to Sierra Leone in 2006, where she witnessed the plight of children living on the streets. Motivated to make a difference, Jane is committed to providing opportunities for vulnerable children and youth in Sierra Leone through her charity work. Her main goal is to raise awareness and gather donations to empower these individuals, working closely with Fr. Peter, Aminata, Massah and the dedicated team in Sierra Leone to fulfil their shared vision of creating a better future for vulnerable and orphaned children and youth.
Isobelle has been involved in the Financial Services sector for over 30 years. Educated overseas, she worked as a Foreign Exchange Dealer before moving to Australia. After an extensive career in Banking she chose to focus her energy on Financial Advising and stockbroking.
Isobelle has been a huge supporter of The Fig Tree Children since Jane mentioned it to her in its early days and her commitment with sponsoring some of the children and her experience in previous charitable work, she was the ideal person to invite onto our team and is an extremely valuable board member.
Jamie joined The Fig Tree Children Board in early 2019.
Jamie is an IT Professional with 30 Years experience across all facets of ICT Solution Delivery, and more recently as a Sales Director and Senior Account Executive – working for large multinationals like BHP, IBM, Gartner and now Talend. Much of this time in the past 10 years has been spent across the Asia Pacific region.
Jamie was very pleased to become a member of The Fig Tree Children Board in 2019, as it gives him a chance to do something for others, and channel his strengths of Business, Relationships and ICT toward a greater cause.
Nirvani has extensive experience in public practice accounting, with more than 10 years of accountancy and bookkeeping experience, as well as a Bachelor of Business (Accountancy). Her expertise lies in management accounting across a range of industries including energy, property development, health, agriculture, and hospitality. She joined BDO in 2018 after spending many years working with her husband running their restaurant. She has a passion for her clients and assisting them to streamline internal processes to grow their business.
Having recently completed professional education and with her 2 sons nearing high school age, Nirvani felt it was time to give back. She believes the Fig tree children provides an opportunity for children to believe in themselves and realise their full potential. She is excited to bring her passion and financial expertise to the team.
DR GREGOR H. MEWS
Dr. Gregor Mews developed a genuine curiosity to figure out what makes people feel cosy and comfortable in different environments around the globe.
He studied and lived through several different socio-political systems that have formed and shaped the built environment in various forms. Growing up in Germany, living in the US and working as an urban planner/ designer in Colombia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Netherlands and in Australia has defined and shaped his thinking.
Greg’s approach to human environments is a creative and non-linear process, in which spaces are socially produced while becoming products that ultimately influence how we behave and interact. With an integrated, efficient and holistic approach, we can ensure many generations to come can benefit from awareness and complexities that enable places where we can live fulfilling lives.
We are co-creating a ‘Pathway to Employment’ with Greg as our advisor.
- sustainable development
- sustainable mobility (public transport systems, personal mobility, bicycling and walking)
- play and play spaces
- healthy planning
- integrated urban design
- child-friendly cities
- strategic policy advice
- international knowledge exchange
TEAM SIERRA LEONE
REVEREND FATHER PETER KONTEH
Chief Technical Advisor
Fr. Peter founded St. Mary’s Children’s Home in 1999. He has been providing care, basic needs and schooling to orphans ever since. Fr. Peter is a Catholic Priest, Director of Caritas Sierra Leone and also the President of Priests in Sierra Leone.
Fr. Peter and Jane met in 2006 and have kept in contact ever since. Fr. Peter helped Jane develop the team in Sierra Leone and is influential in how the charity is run there. Nothing happens without his say so.
In-Country Program Manager
Aminata’s experience with GOAL Sierra Leone and World Vision ensures she brings much-needed skills to TFTC Team. Aminata reports directly to Jane in our Brisbane office and Fr. Peter in Freetown. She is helping us develop the processes we need which will allow us to help provide for and school many more orphaned or underprivileged children.
Aminata has prepared, organised and lead the data gathering and registration of children. She has experience of processing the correspondence received from sponsors to their sponsored children and from children to their sponsors. She has experience in ensuring the appropriate and timely preparation and submission of monthly reports. She will be responsible for organising our child follow-up system.
Assistant Program Manager
Massah’s extensive experience in program coordination and management brings much value to our team. Known for her energetic personality and service-oriented approach, Massah excels in organising and overseeing various initiatives. She is trained in program development, research, organisation development, and capacity building, bringing a wealth of knowledge to her role. With expertise in project management, data collection, and community development, Massah is adept at implementing strategies for positive change. Additionally, her understanding of human rights activities, business management, youth advocacy, and health safety further enhances her ability to contribute effectively to diverse projects.
Administration & Finance Officer
Theresa Kamara has been in the forefront of children issues for the past 13 years of working for Caritas Freetown and Bo as part of her initial responsibilities was to manage the finances of St. Mary’s Children’s Home working under the supervision of the Financial Adviser. She was directly responsible for the managing of the funds on a day to day basis in the home. Because of the passion she has and the number of hours on a daily basis she spends with the children. Over the period she has demonstrated compassion for children and this has lead her to adopt one of the children from St. Mary’s Children’s home as she currently serves as a caregiver for one of the children. Theresa though works under the supervision of the Finance Manager of Caritas, manages the accounts income and expenditure of Caritas Freetown projects and pays special interest on child-centred projects without any interest in remuneration from those projects. Being a mother of one and a caregiver, she has been involved in many community engagements on children affairs in her community, advising and supporting less privileged children within her community. In 2011, Theresa Kamara paid for four less privileged children to take their NPSE exams and they all made good grades. She remains passionate about children and has a keen interest in ensuring that they achieve their dreams.
Alfred is a multifaceted creative force, bringing a unique blend of photography and videography expertise to our team. With an innate talent for capturing compelling visual narratives, Alfred’s skills are indispensable in elevating our storytelling efforts. His keen eye for detail and knack for visual storytelling add depth and authenticity to our projects. Alfred’s passion for his craft shines through in every frame he captures, infusing our work with creativity and emotion. With his dedication to excellence and commitment to pushing creative boundaries, Alfred is an invaluable asset to our team, ensuring that our stories resonate with authenticity and impact.
ISHMEAL ALFRED CHARLES
Ishmeal (Charles) is a survivor of Sierra Leone’s 11-year brutal civil war. In 1997, when he was just 14, his mother sent him to Kono District, in eastern Sierra Leone, to live with his father. At the time, Kono was considered the safest place to be in Sierra Leone, but the relative security was short-lived. The rebels soon retreated from Freetown and into Kono, killing and maiming indiscriminately. With nowhere else to go, Charles was captured by the rebels and forced to join them as a child soldier and taught how to use a gun. He was forced into service as a labourer to carry loads on his head whenever the rebels would go looting.
Charles fled with relatives to the Guinea border, where he spent almost five months living in the bush. When peace was eventually restored and Charles was able to return to Freetown, he had to repeat two levels of school as a result of missed education. He persevered, graduating from high school and earning a Diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Sierra Leone. He has also earned a certificate in International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham University. Based on his experiences, Charles became a strong youth advocate by developing programs for post-conflict youths.
Charles is Healey International Relief Foundation’s Program Manager in Sierra Leone working with Caritas-Freetown. His passion for his job was driven by his past. Charles credits his personal determination and support from his mother who enabled him to overcome the many obstacles he faced.
Board Member and HR
Grace is a highly experienced administrator, manager and workshop facilitator who has worked in a range of industrial and social development roles in the private and public sectors as well as higher education establishments. As well as her wide operational experience Grace brings organisational skills and expertise in business development, change management and microfinance to The Fig Tree Children’s Sierra Leone Management Team.
DR ROBERT TAMBA MOIKOWA
Dr Robert Moikowa heads the Service Delivery and Performance Management Directorate for all Government Departments, Agencies and State-owned Enterprises in Sierra Leone. He holds a PhD in Political Science (TU Dortmund, Germany).
Robert built a reputation for professionalism and integrity spanning 20 years, about ten of which have been in the United Nations (UN) agencies. He supported Strategic Planning, Social Protection and Convergent approaches in poverty reduction, decentralized service delivery and Community Development, Livelihood and Resilience building processes in Ghana and Sierra Leone.
At the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Mission in Sierra Leone, he coordinated Political Affairs and Peace Consolidation, including Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democratic Elections management and supported the Joint UN Vision for Sierra Leone in planning and monitoring socio-economic development.
At UNICEF, he led Social Planning, Social Protection, Emergency Coordination, Recovery processes and Governance programming, including Local Governance and Decentralisation. At GIZ he advised the Employment Promotion and Reintegration program.
During the Ebola outbreak, the Mudslide and Floods disaster in Sierra Leone, he coordinated the Emergency Response, Recovery and Cash Transfer.
Previous roles include:
Technical Adviser (Consultant). Government of Sierra Leone – Jan – Oct 2019
Social Planning & Decentralisation Specialist, UNICEF; Sierra Leone; Jan 2016 – Dec 2018
Deputy Emergency Coordinator, UNICEF in Sierra Leone –October 2014 – June 2016
Program Specialist, Decentralisation, UNICEF in Sierra Leone –August 2014 – September 2014
Peace and Development Consultant, UNDP in Sierra Leone, May 2014 – August 2014
Coordinator, Political Affairs and Peace Consolidation; United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), March 2011 – March 2014
SAMUEL MOMODU KONTEH, ESQ
Samuel is a Barrister-at-Law and Solicitor of the Superior Courts of Judicature of the Republic of Sierra Leone, currently practising as Managing Partner (MP)/Head of Chambers (HOC) of Sisay and Associates Law Firm, Eyatunde Chambers. He is a holder of a Bachelor of Laws Degree with Honours and currently enrolled as a student reading for a Master of Science Degree in Security Strategic & Development Studies, both from/at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. He is also a development practitioner with over nine years working experience within the youth and development sector, with substantive knowledge in evidence-based advocacy and research, programming development and management, good interpersonal and communication skills, the ability to analyse, evaluate and communicate clearly and logically both in report writing and orally, strategic partnerships, small & medium enterprise development, capacity building, leadership development and proficiency in using Microsoft Office package.
Get in Touch. Get Involved.
Please contact us using the contact methods below. Thank you
PO Box 736, Paddington Queensland 4064
Call Us: +61 431 895 733
We acknowledge the First Nations People of Australia as the custodians and traditional owners of the land from which we advocate for improving access to quality education and providing opportunities for orphaned and vulnerable children and youths (boys and girls) in Sierra Leone. We pay our respect to Indigenous Elders, past, present and emerging, and acknowledge and uphold their continuing relationship to this land. This is, was and always will be Aboriginal land.