The Board

Jane Hewitt

Chair

Jane has been a Director since March 2014 and Chairperson since November 2017 and has over 28 years’ experience in real estate development and asset management.  She founded UniLodge in 1996 and pioneered the corporatisation and professional development and management of student accommodation facilities in Australia and New Zealand. As an entrepreneur and founder Jane has extensive operational experience in developing successful partnerships in real estate and business ventures.  She developed UniLodge into an operation with assets of approximately $1billion. Jane has worked with Social Ventures Australia, and currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Mirvac and the National Housing Finance Investment Corporation

Scott Harris

CEO and Director

CEO Beacon Foundation
Scott has been a Director since January 2008 and has held the position of Chief Executive with Beacon since 1999. Prior to joining Beacon, Scott had a successful career in sales and management in Tasmania and Victoria. Scott holds strong relationships in the corporate, for purpose and government sectors across Australia. He has a track record of creating practical and real-world collaborations that create measurable impact. Scott's work has been acknowledged nationally with scholarships to study at Harvard and the Macquarie Group's David Clarke Fellowship to study education systems in Europe. Scott is passionate about lifting the aspiration and motivation of our young people to ensure they can make informed decisions to transition from school into further education or a meaningful career. Outside of Beacon, Scott is a Board Member of the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers and Chair of SHE Gynaecological Cancer Group.

Jeremy Bolt

Director

Jeremy has been a Director since November 2017 and comes from a background of professional services, marketing and high growth start-ups. Initially working as a Deloitte partner in the consulting space around technology, digital transformation and outsourcing before moving into digital marketing and e-commerce. Jeremy co-founded one of the largest SEO and digital marketing agencies in Australia in 2007 before becoming Co-CEO of Resolution Digital in 2013 and then CEO of Hearts & Science, an Omnicom advertising agency in 2019. Jeremy is now the Founder of Old Bull Health, a start-up focussing on the health and longevity of men over fifty.

Nikki Dawson

Director

Nikki has been a Director since July 2018 and was born in Sydney’s western suburbs, moving to Hong Kong when she was 10. Upon returning to Australia she finished school at Everton Park State High (a former Beacon school). Nikki has a B.Econ (Hons) from the University of Queensland and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management in Sydney. After starting as a graduate economist with the RBA, most of Nikki’s subsequent career has been spent in professional services, including CS First Boston, McKinsey & Company, and more recently as a consultant with Egon Zehnder, where she has been for over 18 years. Nikki has been working pro bono with Beacon for over 12 years, helping with professional development matters. She is also the CEO of The Katrina Dawson Foundation, a non-profit focused on ‘finding, funding [education] and mentoring inspiring young women.’

Carl Harris

Director

Managing Partner – Deloitte Tasmania
Carl has been a Director and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee since July 2021.  Carl is a partner at global professional services firm Deloitte. He has over 30 years of experience in internal and external audits and has been a partner at Deloitte for over 15 years. Carl is a registered company auditor and chartered accountant. Carl was the Deloitte Tasmania Managing Partner from 2013 to 2021 before stepping down from the role to enable him to focus on other areas – including pursuing a passion of his, which is assisting, in any way he can, in enhancing education outcomes in Tasmania.

Kirsty Bloore

Director

Kirsty has been a Director since October 2022 and is a strategic data and insights professional with extensive experience managing, mentoring and leading high performance teams across APAC. With particular expertise in consumer insights (particularly amongst kids and families, teens and young adults), Kirsty has a strong track record in strategic planning, consulting and measuring and tracking performance. Kirsty is an experienced professional having worked with ViacomCBS (Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central), Fairfax Media, Macquarie Bank and also serving on the board of Nickelodeon Australia.

Executive

Scott Harris

Director and Chief Executive Officer

Scott has been a Director since January 2008 and has held the position of Chief Executive with Beacon since 1999. Prior to joining Beacon, Scott had a successful career in sales and management in Tasmania and Victoria. In July 2007, Scott was awarded a scholarship for excellence in social venture, leadership and management to attend Harvard Business School. Outside of Beacon, Scott is a Board Member of the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers and Chair of SHE Gynaecological Cancer Group.

Brent Walker

Chief Financial Officer

Brent joined Beacon in July 2017 and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Tasmania. He brings nearly 30 years of finance experience working for large multi-nationals in senior management roles across various industries and countries. Brent is passionate about the Beacon vision and hopes his extensive project experience, strong governance and focus on driving efficiencies will benefit the organisation as it enters the next exciting growth phase.

Ruth McArdle

Head of Delivery

Ruth joined Beacon in November 2022 and is the Head of Delivery. Ruth has extensive experience across a breadth of organisations and functions. After starting her career as a teacher Ruth has held various roles across state and federal government and has a genuine passion for mentoring and developing staff and making a positive difference in the lives of young people. Most recently Ruth worked at Anglicare as General Manager, Disability Services to ensure the delivery of high-quality client care, ongoing service growth and continuous business improvement.

Bill Lawson

Past Chairman and Beacon Founder

In 1988, frustrated with the Government’s inability to address generational welfare dependence, Bill Lawson AM realised that if he wanted to change employment outcomes for young people, he needed to challenge the policy makers to stop focussing on consequences and consider addressing causes.

Beacon Foundation was established from this need to find and examine the causes of youth unemployment and ways of cutting it off upstream.

In 1995 Beacon’s first school program, named ‘No Dole’ was conducted at Brooks High School in Launceston, Tasmania and achieved remarkable results. Real progress was immediately made to significantly lower levels of welfare dependency.

For over 27 years, under Bill’s guidance, Beacon continued to maintain a strong track record of success and in 2000 the Beacon model was rolled out nationally. Developing and trialling new approaches, Beacon continues to position itself as a respected and trusted not-for-profit by raising awareness and providing support to young people to help them successfully transition from education to meaningful employment.

Bill Lawson

Past Chairman and Beacon Founder

In 1988, frustrated with the Government’s inability to address generational welfare dependence, Bill Lawson AM realised that if he wanted to change employment outcomes for young people, he needed to challenge the policy makers to stop focussing on consequences and consider addressing causes. Beacon Foundation was established from this need to find and examine the causes of youth unemployment and ways of cutting it off upstream. In 1995 Beacon’s first school program, named ‘No Dole’ was conducted at Brooks High School in Launceston, Tasmania and achieved remarkable results. Real progress was immediately made to significantly lower levels of welfare dependency. For over 27 years, under Bill’s guidance, Beacon continued to maintain a strong track record of success and in 2000 the Beacon model was rolled out nationally. Developing and trialling new approaches, Beacon continues to position itself as a respected and trusted not-for-profit by raising awareness and providing support to young people to help them successfully transition from education to meaningful employment.

Patron's Message

The Beacon Foundation was formed in 1988 to take a preventative approach to the problem of youth unemployment and associated social issues. In doing so, the Foundation reaches around 20,000 students per year. The Foundation understands, cares about and is motivated to support young people successfully transition to further education or meaningful employment.

One of the primary means of engagement is via the High Impact Program, designed to ease the transition from education to employment. Using a graduated program with dedicated mentors, students are supported throughout high school from “Prepare”, to “Polish” and finally “Perform”.

Beacon programs are all aligned to the organisational vision:  “All young people empowered.” As Patron, I am proud of the important work being done by the Beacon Foundation and commend the programs to you.

Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC

Governor of Tasmania