Barnardos Australia has the support of some wonderful, high profile personalities who are generous and support our values and belief in putting the child first. We rely on our valued ambassadors to highlight the issues of child abuse and neglect in Australia. We are very grateful for their support and time.
James Mathison is a experienced and successful MC, TV presenter, radio host and part-time film critic. He has hosted local and international events. James shot to fame on Australian television as the co-host of the first series of the talent show Australia Idol in 2003, going on to co-host the record-breaking series for another six seasons.
During the Australian Idol years, James hosted three ARIA Awards. He became known for his quick wit, charm, comedic abilities and talent at chatting to people, and this, along with countless hours of live television, saw him gain a reputation for his ability to think on his feet.
James began his successful media career after entering (and winning) Channel [V]'s reporter search in 2000. In the following years James combined his Australian Idol and Channel [V] commitments, co-hosting the ARIAS. In April of 2006, James was awarded an ASTRA award for Favourite Male Personality.
In 2009, James decided to explore other pastures and landed his own new music show, Launch Pad, on Nova 96.9FM and a correspondent role on The 7PM Project. He also co-hosted The League Lounge on Fox Sports and reviewed films on The FOXTEL Movie Show and Seven's Weekend Sunrise. He filled in for Chrissie Swan on Can Of Worms and so impressed Network executives that a short time later he was offered the co-hosting role on TEN's breakfast show, Wake Up.
In September 2015 James joined the cast of Celebrity Apprentice, choosing Barnardos Australia as his charity.
Tina Arena is an internationally renowned artist with combined album sales topping 8 million. She was recently voted by her Australian musical peers as the greatest Australian female singer of all time. A generation of Australians grew up with Tina on their TV screens and radio making her a household name in this country. More recently she has enjoyed an extraordinary parallel pop career in her adopted home of France, where she’s sold over 4 million records and received that country’s highest cultural honour, a Knighthood of the Order of National Merit – a first for any Australian artist. Tina has also been critically acclaimed as a music theatre star on the West End in London. In 2005, Tina became a mother to son Gabriel. More recently, her hugely successful Songs Of Love & Loss tribute albums and national symphonic tours. Her new album RESET, is her first original English language release in 12 years.
The Australian music icon began her support of Barnardos Australia when she chose to dance for the charity on Dancing with the Stars last year, after being moved by the charity’s beliefs and mission. Tina salsa’d her way into third place to raise vital funds for Barnardos intensive family support, foster care and adoption programs.
On becoming a Barnardos Australia ambassador, Tina said “I am so proud take a stand against child abuse and neglect. Barnardos do such an important job in the community keeping children safe. As a mother I applaud their belief that every child deserves a safe and secure home.”
Confirming her commitment to Australian children, Tina has also announced that she will have Barnardos’ volunteers collecting donations at concerts on her “Reset” tour of Australia.
Samantha Harris is an Australian fashion model. January 2011, Harris was named a "young women's fashion ambassador" for Australian department store, David Jones along with Miranda Kerr and Megan Gale. Her Australian indigenous heritage struck a chord with the general public and the media at large. It was the platform that allowed Samantha to realise her modelling dream at a very young age.
Born in Tweed Heads, New South Wales, she currently lives in Sydney. Samantha has a strong following with the youth market and is one of Australia’s leading celebrity models supporting causes close to her heart.
Passionate about nurturing and protecting children, Heidi Middleton has been a long standing ambassador for Barnardos Australia.
As founder and creative director of sass & bide, Middleton (bide) is one half of the duo behind the label, together with Sarah-Jane Clarke (sass), which is an iconic Australian fashion label, recognised globally for its eclectic and bold design aesthetic. Their sense of free-spirited confidence and contradiction that defines their own personal sense of style has moulded the identity of the label and fuelled its success; evolving from a cult Australian favourite to an international design force.
Lisa Wilkinson, co-host of the Nine Network’s Today Show is one of Australia’s most admired and respected journalists and corporate presenters. For the past two decades, she has successfully applied her journalistic talents to magazine publishing, television and radio. Her communication skills have also made her one of the country’s most sought-after corporate presenters and conference and event facilitators.
Lisa was lured away from Weekend Sunrise and joined the Today Show and her relaxed and informative style has won her a legion of fans. Together with co-host Karl Stefanovic, they have taken the show to new ratings heights and their popularity now sees them hosting many of the Nine Network’s flagship programs and specials.
Lisa’s media career got off to an astonishing start when she was appointed editor of the national women’s magazine Dolly at age 21. Four years later she was head-hunted by the late Kerry Packer who appointed her as editor of Cleo magazine. Lisa and her husband, journalist, author and former Wallaby, Peter FitzSimons have three children.
Lisa says, “I am committed to doing whatever I can to help spread the Barnardos message. It’s an organisation that literally changes the lives of children who would otherwise be lost to an uncaring system. And the number of smiles they generate on a daily basis, probably says it all.”
Natarsha Belling is one of the most recognised and popular news presenters on Australian television. Natarsha has more than a decade of experience reporting and breaking some of the nation’s biggest stories. Her passion for news, warmth and sincerity has seen Natarsha enjoy a meteoric rise in a highly competitive industry.
She currently co-hosts Network Ten’s breakfast show Wake Up, she previously co-presented Network Ten’s National Weekend News at Five and regularly appears on The Circle and The Project. Natarsha uses her invaluable skills as an award winning journalist to interview the news makers and breakers. In 2011, Natarsha fulfilled a life-long dream to host a wildlife documentary, Delivering the Pandas.
Passionate about helping those in need, Natarsha joins Barnardos as an ambassador in 2011. “Children are our future and every child deserves the chance to be loved and grow up in a safe, nurturing environment. Barnardos ensures children in need receive that life saving support and have the chance to chase their dreams. As a mother of two young sons, I can’t imagine a greater organisation that protects the innocent and guarantees our future generation has a chance to be loved and nurtured.” Natarsha cites her biggest achievement to date as the births of her two sons. This life changing role now gives her invaluable insight into many of the issues confronting Australian families and the constant challenge of the work/life juggle.
Professor Kerryn Phelps
Professor Kerryn Phelps AM is Adjunct Professor at Sydney University in the Faculty of Medicine in the School of General Practice and Con Joint Professor at the University of New South Wales in the faculty of Public Health and Community Services.
Professor Kerryn Phelps AM has been a familiar face to many Australians over the last twenty years during which time she has appeared regularly on television, radio and the print media informing the Australian public on health issues. She has been the health writer for the Australian Women’s Weekly for 20 years and writes political commentary for Medical Observer Magazine. She is a regular commentator on general practice, public health, medical politics and human rights issues. She is a mother of three.
In May 2000 Prof Phelps was elected Federal President of the Australian Medical Association, becoming the first woman to head this organisation and serving a maximum term of three years.
Prof Phelps has two medical clinics in Sydney and her particular interest is in the area of Integrative medicine. In December 2009 she was elected President of the Australasian Integrative Medical Association and in 2010 was the author of a textbook on Integrative Medicine which was published by Elsevier. In 2003 she was awarded the Centenary Medal for services to Health and Medicine. In 2011 Prof Phelps was awarded the Order of Australia for services to Medicine. In 2013 Prof Phelps had her book Ultimate Wellness published by Pan McMillan. Prof Phelps works tirelessly for human rights and believes strongly in the rights of a child. She has three children and lives in Sydney with her wife of 16 years, Jackie, her 14year old daughter and two toy poodles.
Jackie Stricker-Phelps (MEd Sydney University) was born and raised in Sydney. She was a teacher for 23 years and has a Masters Degree in Education graduating with distinction.
In 1998 she left teaching after marrying her partner Prof Kerryn Phelps AM in a religious ceremony in New York. She then ran their medical clinics and their media consultancy company. Jackie helped to raise two step children and in 2009 together with Kerryn she fostered a nine year girl and after lobbying the NSW government to have the laws on same sex adoption changed, Jackie and Kerryn adopted their youngest daughter in 2012.
Jackie works tirelessly for human rights particularly those of same sex couples. She is passionate about the rights of all children to a safe and loving home.