Act for peace is the international humanitarian agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia.

We are governed by our Board of Directors, which is responsible for providing leadership, strategic guidance and overseeing the implementation of Act for Peace’s strategic initiatives. 

The Board is accountable for the performance of Act for Peace and aspires to excellence in governance standards.  

Current board of directors

The following Directors have been confirmed by the Board of the National Council of Churches in Australia.

Leigh Cleave

Chair – BMus, Grad Dip Teaching, MBA, CFRE, FFIA

Leigh is a fundraising and marketing consultant with over 20 years experience of leading teams across diverse organisations. Leigh is internationally accredited with CFRE and is a Fellow of the Fundraising Institute of Australia. Leigh was appointed to the Board in 2018 and was appointed as Chair in December 2023. She is a member of our Finance, Accountability, Innovation and Risk Committee and Policy, Partnerships and Programs Committee.

Ginie Udy

BEd, MA (Hons), MBA, GAICD

Ginie is an experienced executive and non-executive director in the children and family services and community sectors. Ginie joined the board in November 2018, and served as Chair from 2021 through 2023. She continues her role as our lead director for safeguarding, and as a member of the Policy, Partnerships and Programs Committee.

Paul Nichols


Paul is an international development consultant specialising in design and monitoring and evaluation. Paul was formerly an executive at the Department of Foreign Affairs, and senior executive of non-government organisations in Australia and overseas. Paul was appointed to the Board in 2018, and serves as our Treasurer and Chair of our Finance, Accountability, Innovation and Risk Committee.

Samuel Richards

BA Business/Commerce

Sam brings over 20 years as an experienced investment advisor, with a specific focus on leveraging capital for social and environmental impact to enhance economic development and empowerment. Sam serves on several for-purpose Boards and investment committees and is currently the Managing Director for Brightlight Impact Advisory. Sam joined the Act for Peace Board in November 2022 and is a member of the Policy, Partnerships and Programs Committee.

Alison Preston

BA Journalism

Alison has more than 20 years’ experience working with faith-based humanitarian and development agencies, in both communications and programs roles and represented Australian churches on the World Council of Churches for seven years. Alison was appointed to the Board in 2017 and leads the Board’s Professional Development Initiative. She is also a member of the Finance, Accountability, Innovation and Risk Committee.

Jamieson Davies


Jamieson has over 20 years of experience managing international aid and development organisations in Africa, Asia, Australia and the USA, with a focus on strengthening partnerships with faith-based institutions and reducing inequality. Jamieson was appointed to the Board in November 2018 and is the Chair of the Policy, Partnerships and Programs Committee.