Act for Peace welcomes Leigh Cleave as Chair of the Board.

Leigh Cleave, Act for Peace’s recently appointed Chair of the Act for Peace Board. Act for Peace

Leading the Way: A Conversation with Leigh, Act for Peace’s recently appointed Chair of the Board.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Leigh Cleave as the new Chair of the Act for Peace Board, bringing over 25 years of expertise to lead our organization towards a more just and peaceful world. 

Leigh is a seasoned professional dedicated to creating healthy and sustainable futures. Having navigated roles in teaching, fundraising, and marketing across Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and North America, Leigh brings with her a wealth of experience that will serve her beautifully in this new role.  

Her position on the Act for Peace Board began in 2018, driven by a deep appreciation for the organisation’s vital work, particularly through initiatives like the Christmas Bowl. As we welcome her into her new role, Leigh discusses her passion for the sector, the organisation’s journey, and the optimism she holds for the future.  

We would also like to thank and acknowledge our outgoing Chair, Ginie Udy, who was Chair of the Board during 2021 and 2023 and is remaining as a Director on the Act for Peace Board. 

Please tell us a little about yourself, Leigh. 

I have worked in the not-for-profit sector to create healthy and sustainable futures for over 25 years.  After some time, teaching, my first fundraising role was for The Salvation Army in Singapore and Malaysia. Since then, I have had the opportunity to lead fundraising and marketing teams in Australia and North America. I now work as a philanthropy advisor. My original training was in performing arts, and I still engage in creative activities whenever I find the time. I also love to travel and loved that I could continue being on the Board while cycle touring in Europe for six months. Recently I moved back to live in Brisbane to be closer to my family. 

How long have you been on the Act for Peace Board, and what does your role as Chair of the Board entail? 

I have been a Director of Act for Peace since 2018; I am committed to our values, vision, and mission and my role in creating a just and peaceful society. I recognise the increased responsibility as Chair to lead the Board to maintain our focus on supporting the Act for Peace team. A crucial responsibility of the Chair is establishing and maintaining a productive working relationship with the CEO and acting as a liaison between the Board and the CEO. I look forward to working with our new CEO during this important time.  

How did you first get involved with Act for Peace?  

As a member of the Salvation Army, I have been aware of the vital work of the Christmas Bowl for many years. In more recent years, as a fundraiser, I became aware of the inspiring work of the Act for Peace team.

What is it about Act for Peace’s work that gets you excited?  

We are on a journey to continue our vital work with local partners and displaced communities and live out our vision of ensuring a world where everyone belongs. Like many charities and international development organisations, we have faced some challenges over the past five years about the sustainability of our model and how we truly help and empower people. We have a tradition of talented and passionate team members, which has been most evident over the past year. Critical decisions have been made, and we are now in a strong position, and I am optimistic for the future. We have a great Board and staff team, and a new CEO will soon join the organisation. It is an exciting time at Act for Peace! 

What are your hopes for Act for Peace’s future? 

Over the past decades, Act for Peace, and our member the National Council of Churches Australia have made significant global contributions working with local churches and community partners. In such times of transformation, it is good to reflect on key truths. I believe all people are created in the image of God, and all people are created equal, and we should treat each other that way. A just and peaceful world is our vision, so I hope that working through the challenges ahead, Act for Peace will continue to play a role in achieving that vision. 

Please join us in congratulating Leigh in her new role with the Board, we look forward to her incredible leadership and vision as we continue to work towards creating a world where everyone has a safe place to belong.  

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