TIA Australia

Our Management Committee

Our TIA Australia family is governed by our fanTIAstic committee who contribute their time, expertise, and skills to not only ensure sound governance of TIA as an Incorporated Association, but also to raise awareness and ensure we have sustainable strategies in place to help make TIA’s mission a reality.


Gillian Bester – Chair

DSC00464_GillianGillian is a business consultant based in Perth, Western Australia. She has 14 years experience in consulting and being born in Zimbabwe, she is familiar with the challenges of breaking the cycle of poverty in developing countries. When she’s not helping companies fix process problems, supporting change management initiatives, or facilitating training workshops, she’ll be jetting off to an exciting destination, preferably South America, New Zealand or outback Australia.




Gail Spark BA LLB (Hons)– Secretary

2771-Spark_-Gail-web-2011Gail is a senior corporate and commercial lawyer with over a decade of experience at major national law firms (Gilbert + Tobin and Thomson Geer) as well as Westpac Banking Corporation and Principals Australia Institute.  She is currently studying her Masters of Business Administration.  Gail’s expertise in corporate governance and law is a valuable contribution to TIA.  Gail’s involvement with TIA was driven by her commitment to social justice and her experiences volunteering overseas, particularly witnessing the lack of support and opportunities for young people leaving state care in Albania. She has fond memories of her travels in Bolivia – the beauty of the landscape, its people and culture. 


Robert Spurr – Treasurer

RobSpurr-PH346Rob has more than 25 years of experience in senior finance and commercial positions across Australia, South East Asia and South America. His last posting was to Santiago Chile where he was based from 2005-2009 with Pacific Hydro. Rob is a CPA and Graduate from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He currently resides in Melbourne with his wife Tara and their young family.





Jennifer Blake – Committee Member

JenniferBlakeJennifer Blake is an experienced Marketing and Communications professional and brings her skills in PR, strategic marketing, and campaign planning to the TIA committee. Jennifer is currently a Senior Communications Consultant for the Royal Automobile Association of SA (RAA). Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Commerce in marketing and has strong ties to South America through her husband’s family farm in Argentina.




Tessa Henwood-Mitchell – International Director

_SCZ0755Tessa is our inspirational Founder. She is now working with and guiding our TIA Bolivia Team. Read more about how Tessa founded TIA here and background about her and our other amazing members of the TIA Bolivia Team here.





Barry Mitchell – Executive Director

TIA BarryBarry was appointed as Executive Director in January 2016 but has been an important member of the TIA team since the NGOs inception. Previously Barry was the Head of Production at ABC International and Manager of Industry Programs at the South Australian Film Corporation. Currently he teaches English as a second language, and has been doing so for about ten years. He has also been lucky enough to visit Bolivia twice in the last three years.