Raising Literacy Australia Inc. is governed by a professional board, each member bringing a unique set of skills to the organisation. Board members include:

Paul Lecher, Chair

Paul is the Regional Manager for Australia Post Retail Services in SA/NT & WA and the State Enterprise Leader for SA/NT.  Before moving to Adelaide five years ago, Paul held a variety of roles with Australia Post across Victoria and Tasmania.  In 2008 he was awarded Tasmanian Young Businessman of the Year and has supported many programs in conjunction with National Literacy and Numeracy Week and the Arts.  One program reached over 2000 children across Tasmania and was awarded an Australian Business Arts Foundation Community Award.  Paul is an active ambassador of reading with his three young children. Paul joined the Board in 2010 and became Chair in 2014.

Dr Kerry Kavanagh, Deputy Chair

Kerry is the Director of Workforce Development for the Department of Education and Children’s Services (DECD), SA.  In this position, Kerry’s responsibilities include strategic leadership development, teacher performance standards, induction and the DECD Enterprise Registered Training Organisation. Current priorities include managing system wide change initiatives in the area of performance and development, teaching quality and a renewed leadership strategy.

Kerry completed her PhD in 2004 in the area of Language and Literacy whilst Principal of Glen Osmond Primary School.  She has chaired and steered several government and non-government Boards and committees centred on education, leadership, women and literacy.

Kerry has two children, and has been a committed contributor to the Board since 2012.

Melvin Mansell

Formerly the Editor of the Advertiser newspaper in SA, Melvin is now the State Editorial Director for News Corporation in SA, WA, NT and TAS; with editorial responsibility for The Advertiser, Sunday Mail,, Messenger Newspapers, The Sunday Times, Northern Territory News, Sunday Territorian, The Hobart Mercury and The Sunday Tasmanian. Melvin’s career has taken him to The Telegraph and Observer in Britain, to The South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, and to senior positions on the news desk of the Sydney Daily Telegraph

With two children of his own, Melvin is a passionate advocate of early childhood literacy and has been closely involved since the organisation’s inception in 2004.

Matthew Holden

Matthew is a Partner at Brentnalls SA Chartered Accountants, working primarily with small to medium businesses in the areas of taxation and business advisory services.  He has developed an interest and specialises in clients within the medical professions, primary producers, retail industries and property developers.

Matthew graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2001 and became a Chartered Accountant in 2004. He has been involved with not-for-profit entities his whole career, serving as treasurer on various sporting and community organisations, and is actively involved as a member and Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Adelaide South.

Matthew joined the Board in 2012.

Nicholas Linke

Nicholas is the lead partner in Fisher Jeffries Insurance and Employment Groups. He practises in contentious insurance, employment and commercial law in the Australian and South Australian Industrial Relations Commissions, the Supreme and District Courts of South Australia and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission.

Nicholas has special interests in defending claims under anti-discrimination law and the enforcement of post-employment restraints. He has appeared in numerous matters before the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. He has also defended numerous OHS prosecutions.

Nicholas is an avid supporter of the arts and is on numerous boards and committees, heavily supporting the arts sector in South Australia through Fisher Jeffries.  Nicholas has been on the Board since the organisation’s inception in 2004.

Nicole Haack

Nicole has more than 15 years’ experience in the media, encompassing television, radio and print.  She has a strong network of contacts within all sectors of the South Australian media, government and corporate sector.  Most recently, Nicole was a presenter on talk back radio, leading discussion on news, current affairs and lifestyle issues.  Nicole is currently the Managing Director of public relations and strategic communications firm, The Message Bureau.

Nicole is also an active Board Member for Variety – the Children’s Charity and The Cora Barclay Centre for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, advising on marketing, sponsorship and PR strategies.

Nicole has been on the Board since the organisation’s inception in 2004.

Dr Ruth Starke

Ruth worked for two decades in marketing before returning to academic study at Flinders University, when she also began writing children’s fiction. She now has a PhD in English and has published 25 books for young people. She was appointed Writer in Residence at Flinders in 2005 and currently supervises postgrads doing PhDs in Creative Writing.

She is a past Chair of the SA Writers Centre, and a judge (2006-2012) of the Colin Thiele Literary Fellowship; she convened the 2013 judges’ panel for the Festival Awards for Literature (YA) and is the children’s fiction reviewer for Australian Book Review.

Ruth is a mother of two and passionate grandmother, joining the Board in 2013.

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