Meet our Advocacy board here to add value through an appropriate mix of skills and experience

Dr Jessica Gallagher
Jessica is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) at the University of Adelaide, and oversees a diverse portfolio, with a focus on contributing to the growth and sustainability of the University through leadership of strategic partnerships, recruitment, community outreach and internationalisation initiatives. She is responsible for leading the strategy and delivery of key services in domestic and international student recruitment, global engagement, alumni relations, philanthropy, industry and government relations. Jessica has managed teams across multiple countries to establish and execute innovative global strategies that have fostered high performing partnerships. With extensive experience in business development and strategic partner engagement initiatives, Jessica is highly regarded for her global outlook and community mindset, working to better serve the University and its stakeholders through diverse engagement initiatives across private, public and academic sectors. Jessica is the Chair of the Children’s University Advocacy Board, and a Director of Multicultural Australia and the Kokoda Track Foundation.
Elaine Bensted
Elaine is Chief Executive, Zoos South Australia commencing in 2012. Since being in the role Elaine has led an improvement in the financial position of this conservation charity and an increase in Zoos SA membership base from 26,000 to over 45,000. She also led the work that culminated in the release of a 20 year Master Plan for Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park. This has recently seen the opening of new Visitor Centre at Monarto and exciting plans for new accommodation and safari experiences. Elaine is Vice President of the Zoo and Aquarium Association and Board member on a number of local and international Boards.
Professor Steve Larkin
Professor Steve Larkin is a Kungarakan man from Darwin in the Northern Territory. He is a Stolen Generations descendant and is currently the Pro Vice Chancellor of the Office of Academic and Student Engagement at the University of Adelaide. A former social worker, Steve has worked in urban, rural, and remote Aboriginal communities with state and federal governments, the Australian Medical Association and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in the areas of social health, substance misuse, and men and prisoners’ health. Steve holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from QUT, a Masters in Social Science from Charles Sturt University, and a Bachelor of Social Work from University of Queensland. He also holds appointments on a number of other Boards.
Commissioner Helen Connolly
Helen Connolly became South Australia’s first Commissioner for Children and Young People in April 2017. The position was established under the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016. The Commissioner promotes and advocates for the rights, development and wellbeing of all children and young people in South Australia, with a special focus to engage with and listen to children who aren’t usually heard. Helen has 30 years’ experience as a leader in human services. Throughout her career, Helen has taken an active advocacy role on the main policy issues that impact on the wellbeing of Australian families and children, with a strong focus on early intervention and prevention strategies.
Mayor Glenn Docherty
Glenn Docherty is a proud Playford local. He has spent his life serving the Playford community in a variety of professional, volunteering, and elected roles. Glenn has spent 19 years in Local Government, first elected in 2003 as a Councillor, then Deputy Mayor from 2006 to 2010. Elected Mayor of the City in 2010 at the age of 27 years, and now in his third time as Mayor. Glenn heads a council which is one of the fastest growing and diverse communities in Australia. In his time as Mayor, Playford has seen large growth and new investment in the Playford CBD, Health Precinct and Sports Precinct, along with rapid urban growth. He has been a strong advocate for improving outer suburban growth communities and has been the Chairman of the National Growth Areas Alliance. He has also had extensive Board experience as a Director currently with Netball SA, Mark Oliphant College, Playford International College and Riverbanks College and previous experience as the Deputy Chairman and Director of St John Ambulance SA and a number faculty advisory Board roles with the University of Adelaide. Glenn holds a university qualification in Nursing and works as a Registered Nurse in South Australia’s public health system.
Mr Bruce Djité
Advocacy Board Member and CUAA Ambassador (Sports) Bruce is the Executive Director of the SA Division of the Property Council of Australia. He is currently the Deputy Chair of the West Beach Trust and sits on the boards of the South Australian Multicultural Commission, Children’s University Advocacy Board and is a South Australian Regional Committee Member of the Winston Churchill Trust. Bruce is also a Football Analyst on Paramount+ and Network 10 and a Beyond Greatness Champion for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Prior to taking the Executive Director role at the Property Council, he was the CEO of the Committee for Adelaide and Adelaide United Football Club’s Director of Football.
Sarah Meyer
I am a biomedical student at the university of Adelaide. I was one of the first graduates from Children's university in 2014, this experience opened me to a life at university in the future. I joined Children’s University board to import a student’s opinion/ideas to the group to expand opportunities for Children University.
The Honourable Lea Stevens
Lea has held a range of senior leadership and management positions in South Australia in education, politics and community development. She has been a secondary school Principal, state MP, Shadow Minister and Minister and, following retirement from politics in 2010, Director of Northern Connections, a state agency working to improve economic and social outcomes in northern Adelaide. This work included establishing and supporting a large network of schools implementing positive education to build levels of engagement and aspiration in young people through improved wellbeing and resilience, She was closely involved with establishment of the Children’s University in South Australia and the first school communities to be involved. She currently sits on profit for purpose boards and is actively involved in other community activities.

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