“After experiencing first-hand the terrible plight of some of the world’s most at risk children, I felt compelled to make a difference”. – Founder Geoff Hucker
Founder and Chairperson of the Board, Australia
Twelve years ago, Geoff’s professional career as an international pilot dovetailed into his vocational calling – founding and directing Beyond The Orphanage (BTO).
After taking a chance trip to Ethiopia, and experiencing first-hand the extreme hardships facing the country’s orphaned children, Geoff felt emotionally compelled to create change.
Since the inception of BTO in 2007, Geoff has balanced senior positions in the aviation industry (both in Australia and internationally), with his managing director duties at BTO.
Geoff’s attention to detail and innovative management of all aspects of the organisation is complemented by his ability to attract and utilise global experts in the fields of development, child protection and policy.
Under Geoff’s leadership over the past decade BTO has taken over 1,000 children off the street, and provided them with the support and skills necessary to become independent young adults. His continuing commitment and dedication to the growth of BTO is reflected by the expansion of the program to Nepal in 2015.
Dr Raymond Kirk
Chairperson of the Board, USA
Dr. Kirk is president of RS Kirk and Associates, consultants in human services management, research, program evaluation, and training, focusing on evidence-based practice in human services. Dr. Kirk retired in 2014 as Director of the Division of Research and Program Evaluation at Independent Living Resources, Inc, of Durham North Carolina. Formerly a Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, he has held teaching, professional and administrative positions in academe and in government, and has worked with private sector organizations and foundations in relation to their participation in the publicly funded human services.
He was the Deputy Commissioner of Social and Rehabilitation Services in Vermont during the administrations of Governors Snelling and Kunin, and served as both the Program Director and the Executive Director of the National Child Welfare Leadership Center.
His writing, research and administrative activities have focused on child welfare, child protection services, and other youth and family programs, as well as respite care across the lifespan. His present work involves evaluations of human service delivery systems and consultation with national resource centers in the Children’s Bureau and the Administration for Community Living. He is principal author of a series of family assessment scales used in child welfare practice settings, including the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale (NCFAS), the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale for Reunification (NCFAS-R), and the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale for General Services (NCFAS-G). He is the external evaluator of the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention. Recent publications include works on outcome evaluation methods, and the reliability and validity of the new Trauma and Post-Trauma Well-Being scales of the NCFAS.
Director, Australia & USA
Kate has more than 20 years’ experience as a lawyer and currently works as in-house legal counsel for one of the world’s largest financial institutions. Prior to this she worked for an international law firm with roles based in Singapore, London and Hong Kong. Kate is driven by a desire to give back to the world we all share; especially vulnerable children, believing that they too deserve every chance at life, hope and happiness. Outside of volunteering her time to various charitable institutions, she has participated in a number of not for profit projects including school renovation in Nepal, the establishment of a global travel company intended to return money to local communities and housing/building projects for women and girls in crisis across Asia.
Director, Australia & USA
Peter is a partner of Banki Haddock Fiora, a firm specialising in intellectual property, IT, entertainment and media law. He is an experienced lawyer and advisor negotiating contracts and representing clients in disputes in copyright and related areas in Courts and Tribunals. Peter is chairman of the Australian Copyright Council and a member of the Intellectual Property Committee of the Law Council of Australia. He has been a member of several government advisory committees on copyright and communications law and is a former chairman of the Copyright Law Review Committee and member of the board of Copyright Agency Limited.
Alex’s mission is to help important movements increase their impact with effective and creative content and engagement campaigns. She thrives when helping causes and communities tackle complex social and environmental issues through creative communication and storytelling strategies.
Alex currently leads communications and engagement for the redevelopment of the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick. Previously, she’s worked at The Bravery – one of Australia’s most prominent businesses within the purpose-communications sector. She is a highly proficient practitioner within the areas of corporate communications, PR and media relations, issues management, stakeholder and consumer engagement, digital marketing, sustainable-event production, and content creation.
Alex has also recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact from UNSW Sydney where she hopes to apply her new skills in social entrepreneurship, innovation and measurement to lead sustainable and systemic change for Beyond the Orphanage.
Dr Bobbie Legg
Dr. Bobbie Legg, (BSW, MSW, and PhD) or Doctor Bobbie as she is fondly known to the children, is a specialist in trauma treatment. She is also a clinically certified juvenile treatment specialist. Dr Bobbie has been acting as BTO’s Clinical Director and has travelled regularly to Nepal to deliver psychological treatment and trauma counselling for our partners.
Dr Natalie Conner
A native Charlottean, Natalie graduated from Charlotte Country Day School and went on to receive her BA in English Literature from UNC Chapel Hill. She was awarded her Master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, and her Ph.D. from UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work.
In addition to being a researcher, Natalie also holds her clinical license, having worked as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist with adolescents for nearly 20 years. She has served locally and domestically as an evaluation and strategic planning consultant for an array of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, and internationally under USAID and UNICEF, helping to create and shape child welfare systems in developing countries.
Joining the team at BTO is a coming home of sorts: Natalie has volunteered with BTO since 2008, “I had the honor of working with Geoff Hucker and the Ethiopia team, and saw firsthand the daily commitment to serving not only the children with whom they were directly helping, but also a dedication to the systems level work on behalf of all children at risk for homelessness.”
Yasenia has a degree in Science majoring in Non-profit Leadership & Management. She has worked in donor management and most recently with a food bank coordinating with partners and community groups. Yasenia has been on a Board for the LGBTQIA+ community and is a long-term volunteer for a children’s program in Arizona. She is passionate about working with disadvantaged youth and believes it is important to be part of the solution when it comes to children’s rights and development. Most recently Yasenia was an active volunteer on BTO’s Youth Advisory Committee.
“My personal mission is to continuously grow and contribute what I can to help those that need it. I want to share knowledge and encourage sustainable changes that will provide opportunities and hope for everyone in every walk of life.”
David’s passion is ensuring every child has the opportunity to live a happy and healthy life. David initially volunteered with BTO in 2011, developing a fundraising videogame based on art from kids around the world, including those in BTO’s programs.
Since then David spent time as a Senior Engineer at Google working on mental health research. He currently leads technology standards at Thorn, a non-profit that works to defend children from sexual abuse.
Chief Executive Officer, Australia & USA
As our CEO, Amy is passionate that all children should have a safe place to call home with someone who cares for them and provides not just basic needs but also the ability to pursue their dreams.
Amy has been with BTO since 2014 and has a background in finance, business development and leading teams with many major corporates around the globe. She believes wholeheartedly in working collaboratively and fostering her team’s unique talents so that together they are effective and impactful.
Amy lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and three daughters. She feels it is a privilege to serve the children in BTO’s programs alongside a dedicated BTO community.
Anete is an international development professional with extensive experience in advocacy and project management. Whilst living and working in various European countries, Kazakhstan and India, she transitioned from a career in international relations and diplomacy to one focused on international development and public health, and has never looked back.
She is passionate about the BTO kinship model. She believes that individual-centred care and long-term commitment is crucial, not just for a child’s immediate well-being, but more importantly for developing self-esteem and self-reliance in the future. Anete feels fortunate to work with such a dedicated team and partner organisations, able to make a visible difference in children’s lives. She currently lives in Sydney, with her husband and young son.
Donor Support Manager
With over 23 years of customer service and business management, Jane brings her extensive relationship management skills to BTO in the role of Child Support Manager. After learning of BTO and Geoff Hucker’s important work in Ethiopia in 2012 Jane and signed on to become a child sponsor and volunteer.
Now in the role of Child Support Manager, Jane is humbled to serve the remarkable children in the BTO family and feels fortunate to work with incredibly talented and committed people who make up the BTO team and partner organisations. She hopes through a collective effort that each and every child is able to build a fulfilling life.
Sarah uses her creative skills to inspire empathy and action for good causes.
With over 15 years’ experience contributing to her skillset, a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Marketing and a Master of International Development, Sarah’s passion lies in helping vulnerable children have the best possible start in life. Working with young people in remote Aboriginal Australia and in East Timor provided her with invaluable insights into cross-cultural communications, belonging and the amazing human spirit.
Sarah is thrilled to be working with BTO for the betterment of vulnerable children in Nepal and Kenya.
With over 25 years of experience in business administration, Trish brings her extensive skills to support the team at BTO in an administrative capacity.
Trish was drawn to BTO after learning of its inspiring work that is taking place in supporting children in all areas of their young lives. BTO is making an incredible impact in the communities of Nepal and Kenya and it is a privilege to be working alongside an amazing team of like-minded people committed to making a difference to the lives of others.