Meet the faces at Act for Peace

We're a small but passionate team of listeners, thinkers,
advocates and doers.

We come from different walks of life, and believe that all people are created equal, and should be treated that way. Each day we turn up because we’re committed to making the biggest difference we can to create a more just and peaceful world where everyone has a safe place to belong.

Leadership team

Elijah Buol OAM


As a former refugee with extensive experience in human services, advocacy, people management and not-for-profit leadership, and a member of the Anglican Church, Elijah is well positioned to lead Act for Peace’s essential work in empowering people displaced by conflict and disasters across the globe.

Elijah brings a deep understanding of the issues people experiencing displacement face. After losing his parents to conflict when he was a child, he spent many years in refugee camps in South Sudan before coming to Australia in 2002 as a humanitarian unaccompanied minor.

In Australia, Elijah achieved university qualifications including a Master of Law, Master of Justice in Intelligence, a Bachelor of Human Services and is currently completing a Juris Doctor of Law at the Australian National University. He has also received numerous awards for advocacy and community services including an Order of Australia Medal and the Australian of Year QLD Hero Award (2019).

Elijah has held various leadership positions throughout his career, including Acting CEO with Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland, Executive Director of the Refugee Communities Association of Australia and most recently, the Queensland State Manager of Migration Support Programs for Australian Red Cross.

He sits on numerous committees and is currently the Chair of Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland and Member of the Settlement Advisory Council, Department of Home Affairs.

His extensive experience in strategic management and policy transformation combined with a genuine passion for our cause and his refugee background, makes Elijah an excellent CEO for Act for Peace.

Tricia Keys

Head of Operations

“I am inspired by the communities and partners whom we work with at Act for Peace, in supporting and enabling the millions of people around the work who are asylum seekers, refugees and displaced people.”

Tricia joined Act for Peace in November 2021, to lead the Business Services and Operations team. She comes from an allied health background and has been working in the not-for-profit and international development sector for over 15 years, including in leadership positions within Australia for UNHCR and the Brien Holden Vision Institute. She has a thorough understanding of development and extensive experience in regulatory compliance; plus has a special interest in effectiveness and shaping organisational culture.

Geoff Robinson

Head of Partnerships and Program Impact

“We all have a role to play when it comes to confronting injustice, working with Act for Peace gives me an opportunity to do my part and support others with lived experience tackle the challenges they face.”   

Geoff joined Act for Peace in 2014 and currently oversees our Resilience and Emergencies and Sustainable Development programs. He has worked in community-based, partner and government focused programming, including climate change adaptation, land use and environmental management, disaster risk reduction and emergency response for over twenty years.

Ruthann Richardson

Chief Fundraising and Marketing Officer

“I am continuely inspired by the strength and resilience of people forced from their homes, and I believe that we all have a part to play in creating a better world for the millions of people who have been displaced by conflict and disaster. By working together, we can ensure that everyone finds a safe place to belong.”

Ruthann joined Act for Peace in 2017, and since then, she has played pivotal roles within the fundraising team, now serving as Chief Fundraising and Marketing Officer. With nearly two decades of fundraising experience spanning two continents, she is driven by a passion for empowering ordinary individuals to create significant, tangible impacts in the lives of others. Ruthann’s unwavering dedication and expertise fuel her mission to cultivate meaningful opportunities for positive change through Act for Peace.

James Thomson

Senior Protection and Policy Advisor

James is the Senior Protection and Policy Advisor at Act for Peace, the aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, and heads AfP’s Strategic Engagement Department. Over the past 25 years, he has had extensive experience in regional and global level advocacy on refugee and humanitarian protection issues, and worked closely with local partners in conflict, disaster and displacement situations, leading program and policy development, research and advocacy, and providing technical support, training and advice on protection, displacement and durable solutions to help strengthen the design of programs. He is a founding member of the International Detention Coalition and the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network, has served on government delegations to UNHCR’s Executive Committee and engaged in a wide range of global displacement and protection forums. He founded and chaired the global ACT Alliance Protection Working and the Protection Working Group of the Australian Council for International Development. Prior to his current position, he was the National Advocacy Officer for the NCCA’s National Refugee Program in Australia and prior to that he spent 5 years working in Ethiopia and Eritrea as a journalist and teacher.

Other contacts

Kathy Arbuckle

Head of Marketing & Communications

Media contact

Curating one of the most important stories of humankind.

Kathy is a purpose-driven marcom strategist with extensive experience in building purpose-driven brands to engage people in meaningful ways through authentic marketing and communications. She has a strong background in not for profit and education having served in a number of agency and client-side roles over the past 20+ years.
Contact Kathy with any media enquiries or to request an interview with our CEO Elijah Buol.

Stephanie Lenert

Senior Development Manager

“When we come together and combine our efforts, the potential of our impact grows significantly. Alone we can only do so much.”

Stephanie is our Senior Development Manager at Act for Peace. She plays an active role in the Fundraising and Marketing Department and uses her relationship experience to develop meaningful connections with supporters to identify projects of interest for major gifts. Committed to Act for Peace’s values, she represents the organisation externally in churches, schools, and community events. Her professional experience and passion for helping others drives her to advocate for global communities. Known for her strong relationship skills, she guides supporters on a meaningful journey, elevating their commitment in creating a world where people uprooted by conflict and disaster find a safe place to belong.

Interested in joining our team?

As our team and portfolio expands, exciting challenges lie ahead; new partnerships, projects and innovative ways of working to achieve greater impact. We’d love for you to join us.