Leigh Mathews is a highly experienced non-profit practitioner and independent consultant with over a decade’s experience across Australia and Asia. An expert on child rights and child protection, Leigh has spent her career fighting for children to be protected from all forms of harm.
Leigh’s experiences as a volunteer, charity founder and consultant working in international development led to a realisation that a lot of the time, the way we ‘help’ children overseas was not only ineffective, but harmful.
As co-founder and Coordinator of ReThink Orphanages: better solutions for children – a cross sector initiative that works to prevent the unnecessary institutionalisation of children overseas by shifting the way Australia engages with overseas aid and development, Leigh has been instrumental in engaging diverse stakeholders in ending orphanage tourism and keeping children in families.
As the founder of Alto Global Consulting, Leigh works closely with clients from the philanthropic, non-profit, corporate and government sectors globally to ensure that all children are protected from harm. She provides expert technical advisory services on issues impacting children, with a special interest in children living outside of family care.
At the age of 23, Leigh founded a non-profit organisation, Future Cambodia Fund, delivering innovative community development solutions to Cambodia's most marginalised communities and has worked in diverse range of areas including philanthropy, social enterprise, human rights, homelessness, corporate social responsibility, and business.
Leigh is the recipient of the Victorian Young Australian of the Year Award 2009, the Australian Leadership Award 2009, and the JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award (Human Rights and World Peace) 2009, holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration from Deakin University and is a 2014 alumni of the Asialink Leaders Program run by the University of Melbourne.
Victorian Young Australian of the Year, 2009