The Team

Ciara Sterling - CEO

Ciara is the Chief Executive Officer Thriving Communities Partnership, with over 15 years’ experience working across government, corporate and the community sector addressing issues around hardship and vulnerability. Her experience, extensive network and vision for a better future for people experiencing vulnerability has catalysed the Thriving Communities Partnership.

At Yarra Valley Water Ciara developed pioneering approaches to customer support that have led to several ground-breaking programs and partnerships. The establishment of the highly regarded WaterCare program, and innovative partnerships with community organisations such as Uniting Kildonan have positioned Yarra Valley Water as a leader in supporting vulnerable community members. She has also driven new organisational capability and capacity to respond to issues such as family violence, diverse language groups and other factors of vulnerability.

Ciara’s expertise is called on by companies from across the services industry, and she recently completed a secondment to the Essential Services Commission to develop amendments to the Customer Service Code arising from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.  She is a sought-after speaker, presenter and champion for responsible and sustainable approaches to address the drivers of vulnerability and hardship.

Victoria Thom - Partnership Broker

Victoria Thom

Victoria has twenty years' professional experience across the corporate, government, and not-for-profit sectors as a strategic adviser, partnership broker, trainer and facilitator. She specialises in enabling organisations to understand and address complex social and sustainability challenges. Victoria’s global, cross-sector experience in business consulting, international development and social impact strategy are the foundation for her role in driving strategy and defining the partnership architecture for the Thriving Communities Partnership. Victoria is an accredited Partnership Broker and Trainer with The Partnership Brokers' Association, and holds a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact from Melbourne Business School and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Emma Martin - Head of Partnerships

Emma has over 13 years’ experience in partnering in the not for profit sector and is passionate about bringing together partners that have a shared vision to solve complex and systemic societal challenges. Inspired by the powerful change collaboration can bring to some of the significant global challenges we face in the world today, Emma’s partnering approach is centred around Partnership Brokering - and to continually aim to create value for all involved.

Tracy Collier - Head of Strategy and Programs

Tracy Collier has joined the Thriving Communities Partnership as Head of Strategy and Programs. With many years’ experience developing cross-sector partnerships and people-centred programs, both within Australia and internationally, she blends innovative thinking with project management to turn big ideas into action. Tracy is exciting too work with a network of partner organisations that are pushing boundaries to achieve social change.

Gabby Sundstrom - Head of Innovation

Gabby has over 10 years experience in transformational change and managing programs within corporates, and in partnership with government and community sectors. She is passionate about improved societal outcomes and has experience implementing initiatives that create better support for people experiencing financial difficulty in the energy sector. Gabby joined the Thriving Communities Partnership in October 2018 and is leading the breakthrough project on the One Stop One Story Hub.


Jacinta Oakley - Project Coordinator

Jacinta Oakley joined the Thriving Communities Partnership as a Project Coordinator and holds a Bachelors in Communication Design, and has experience in graphic design, Customer Experience Design and UX Design. Jacinta is dedicated to taking a collaborative, people-centred approach and designing ‘with people not for people' to co-create and deliver impactful projects. She is particularly passionate about Universal Design and the importance of working together to shape a system that is inclusive for all.

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