Meet our founder

CEO and Board Member

Sally Beard is the Founder of Backpacks 4 VIC Kids Inc. She is passionate about people realising their true potential and living authentically.   

As a strong NFP Leader endorsed by the VIC Premier, and with a strong social conscience, community development/management background and personal experience in Foster Care and Informal Kinship Care, Sally is leading the way for change in the children’s safety sector with insight and business intelligence. Collaboration with like-minded organisations enables Sally to solve the challenges of NFPs with increasing obstacles and rising need for their services.

Sally has been leading the direction and team of Backpacks 4 VIC Kids for eight years, working towards a stronger and brighter future for local children, believing that “You have two hands, one to help yourself and a second to help others.” 


Meet our staff

Bio coming soon!

Rachel joined the B4VK team in early 2023 after a rather fortuitous turn of events. She heard about B4VK and the great work we were doing on the Radio and was moved to get involved, making B4VK a charity partner at an event she was hosting. As a thank you, a tour of our Headquarters was organised and that was it, Rachel was hooked! She decided to leave a successful career in the Corporate sector behind her and join us as our Operations Manager.

Rachel comes to us with a wealth of diversified experience across multiple sectors including Health, Aged Care and the Public Service. She has expertise in analytics, finance, change management and business improvement. This genuinely adaptable technical skill set coupled with her strong social conscience, her infectious personality and ability to literally organise anything, makes her the perfect fit for B4VK.

Each day you will find Rachel at the coalface, in the warehouse coordinating our wonderful volunteers receiving & sorting donations and packing much needed backpacks.

Hi! I’m Shion — a traveller, foodie and passionate people person. I’ve been incredibly lucky to journey to many places and meet inspiring individuals, from artists helping distressed children through art therapy in Palestine to language schools for orphans in remote India.

I want to make a difference in my backyard, which is why I joined Backpacks 4 VIC Kids.

My career has involved primarily working in startups in various roles. I’ve led teams to bring life-changing travel products to the market and launch young people’s careers in sales. I strongly believe in organisations power to improve people’s lives.

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with me if your organisation can make a difference.

Bio coming soon!

We are a registered
Not For Profit charitable organisation run by volunteers.

We keep our overheads minimal, relying heavily on the time and skills of volunteers.Our purpose is to aid displaced children by providing the essentials needed most urgently, long before any arrangements have been made to further support them.  Often children are placed quickly into foster or kinship care, for example, without much more than what they are wearing at the time. We provide displaced children with a few essential items to help resource them, restoring dignity, self-worth, and to show them someone cares.

In November 2014  Backpacks 4 VIC Kids operated from our Founder’s home until June of 2016, when we moved to a commercial premise in Cranbourne, and more recently to a larger premise in Cranbourne West. We operate solely on donations sought through fundraising, grants and sponsorship. 


Meet our dedicated committee

Volunteering for B4VK  is a fulfilling and impactful way to make a positive difference in your community. By donating your time, skills, and resources, you can help provide support, care, and resources to children who have experienced trauma and loss. There are many opportunities to get involved and make a meaningful contribution. Together we can make a difference. 

Bio coming soon!

B.Ec. LL.B.

Stephen joined the Backpacks 4 VIC Kids committee in 2022.
He has over 30 years’ experience as a commercial and property lawyer.

His current focus is on residential and lifestyle developments, golf courses, commercial and industrial parks, hotels and motels, tenders and expressions of interest, retail, and commercial leasing; including advising on joint ventures, owners corporations, off-the-plan subdivisions, water, planning, land tax, capital gains tax, GST and GAIC.

He is a past trust member of the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust and its predecessor the Necropolis Springvale. During this period, the trust led the organisation from a government utility to a reimagined, customer centric, holistic, community organisation; building on existing capability and developing new offerings and markets. This included strengthening industry and community partnerships; new reflection spaces; fresh food, floristry, and hospitality services; an innovative centre for care and wellbeing; and property development; for the honouring and celebration of life, consistent with needs of Melbourne’s diverse community.
Stephen’s passion is supporting local community organisations. He is the past president of the Mornington Peninsula Lawyers’ Association, the Rotary Club of Seaford-Carrum Downs, and the Frankston Primary School council.

Bio coming soon!

Bio coming soon!

Bio coming soon!

Marianne joined the Committee of Management in 2021.

Marianne has a Bachelor of Business (Professional Accountancy) from RMIT University and is a Chartered Accountant. In addition Marianne has experience in internal audit across the health care and financial industries. Marianne feels strongly about the cause of B4VK and wants to contribute to the organisation achieving its objectives and continuing to grow.


Leading Volunteers

Jenny Rooney – Prepacks Manager

Lenise Thorne – Operations Officer

Suzy Armstrong – Operations Officer

Ingo Shroeter – Logistics Manager

Mark Guthrie – Presenter

Read Our Latest Annual Report

We can do so much more - with your help