Senior leadership team

A yellow labrador dogs face. The dog has a red collar and is looking to the left of the camera,

Senior Leadership Team

Leading our organisation forward.

Our Senior Leadership Team is responsible for implementing the strategy set by the Board. The Team ensures that performance goals are met and that our work and programs are undertaken efficiently, effectively and sustainably.

Chief Executive Officer

Karen Hayes AM DSJ (FAICD)

“To be presented with the opportunity to join one of Victoria’s most iconic and trusted organisations was a dream come true for me. Add to that the chance to lead a talented team of committed and passionate people who do truly extraordinary work: it made the decision to join a very easy one.

The CEO role enables me to use my corporate skills, my not-for-profit experience and my community background to lead Guide Dogs Victoria through a process of significant change and challenge within the sector.

Building on a solid foundation, we are taking Guide Dogs Victoria into the next phase. As a result of the ageing population, our dedicated and talented team is “Taking the Lead”: working to respond to a significant increase in the number of people with low vision who require our support.”

Guide Dogs Victoria Chief Executive Officer, Karen Hayes with a yellow labrador dog. Karen is behind the dog and both are looking at the camera.

General Manager People & Culture

Joanna Stavrou

“Joining this team was an opportunity to get involved with transformational change, particularly in re-establishing the importance of the People and Culture aspect of such an iconic organisation.

I am very keen to work in an organisation that is both well-respected and delivers exceptional service. I’m passionate about using my broad skillset to make a positive contribution to such positive initiatives.”

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victorias General Manager of People and Culture, Jo Stavrou. Jo is looking at the camera smiling.

Head of Marketing & Communications

Charlie Spendlove

“It is a privilege to work for Guide Dogs Victoria and to promote the life changing services we provide. Every adult and child with low vision or blindness has the right to an equitable life, full of opportunity and community.

Seeing people achieve their goals in life and be part of their journey makes it easy to come to work each day.”

Headshot of Guide Dogs Head of Marketing and Communications, Charlie Spendlove. Charlie is looking at the camera smiling.

General Manager Strategy and Business Improvement

Sophie Wild

“It is incredibly rewarding to play a role in delivering the best services possible to our clients, and to support them to live safe and independent lives. Looking to the future at GDV I am excited to oversee the programs we are delivering to be the best possible provider for people with low vision or blindness, and to meet the increasing demand for our services.”

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victorias General Manager of Strategy and Business Improvement, Sophie Wild. Sophie is looking at the camera smiling.

Head of Canine and Supply Chain Services

Paul Lemlin

“Most of my career has been in Operations and Supply Chain in the corporate sector and I am delighted to have joined the Guide Dogs team. I feel privileged to be part of such a trusted and highly respected organization and to work with a truly committed and enthusiastic team, all passionate about supporting our clients in maximizing their independence.”

Chief Financial Officer

Rachel Knight

“Having started my career in corporate and big-4 accounting I quickly discovered a passion for being involved with for-purpose entities. It is incredibly rewarding working for Guide Dogs Victoria and being able to contribute to their mission.

Good governance and evidence-based decision making facilitates the delivery of our first choice services to our clients, donor and stakeholders, meaning that Guide Dogs Victoria will always remain a trusted partner.”

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victorias Chief Financial Officer, Rachel Knight. Rachel is looking at the camera smiling.

General Manager Fundraising

Evan Gordon

“It’s not every day in your career that you get a real opportunity to ensure that when someone loses their sight, they don’t also lose their independence, confidence and freedom of movement.

To achieve this through an organisation that the community regards with such enormous respect is a real honour and privilege.”

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victorias General Manager of Fundraising, Evan Gordon. Evan is looking at the camera smiling.

Executive Assistant

Hannah Dale

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victorias Executive to CEO, Hannah Dale. Hannah is looking at the camera smiling.

Will you help us achieve even more this year?