Melbourne Development Circle aims to provide a warm, friendly forum, where people working, or interested in the development, social enterprise and humanitarian sectors in Australia and overseas, meet together regularly to do a combination of the following:

  • Interact with engaging speakers from the sector
  • Meet new friends and make professional connections
  • Share information
  • Possibly work together on useful outcomes for the development sector

The Melbourne Development Circle Theory of Change outlines what we want to achieve and how we can contribute towards that positive change in the development sector.



To find out about our next event, sign up to the newsletter, or visit our Eventbrite page.

You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @TheDevCircle.

Past events have featured discussion about:

  • Women in development
  • Shared value and public private partnerships
  • Working with Aboriginal Communities: Incorporating Traditional Knowledge into Practice
  • Innovation, Opportunity & Risk in Social Enterprise: An evening of food & conversation with YGAP
  • Melbourne’s 2015 Social Purpose Forecast – Networks and Practice for Social Change
  • What does gender have to do with it? A case study of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for all
  • Tumultuous Times: Aid Cuts & Partnership Impacts

With speakers from a wide range of agencies including:

  • International Women’s Development Agency
  • CBM
  • WaterAid
  • Plan International Australia
  • TEAR Australia
  • World Vision
  • Save the Children
  • Australian Disability and Development Consortium
  • Australian Volunteers International
  • Donkey Wheel House
  • Women’s Melbourne Network
  • Monash Sustainability Institute
  • Campaign for Australian Aid
  • Reconciliation Victoria
  • YGAP
  • Australian Youth Climate Coalition
  • Kinfolk
  • School of Life
  • Oxfam

Tell us what topics want to hear about or contact us if you have any questions, would like to get involved or speak at an upcoming event.

Leadership Team 2018

Martin Pritchard, President 

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Martin’s motivation to work in development began with the inequities of global trade and finance systems. A career in IT and sustainability evolved to co-founding Pacific Research & Evaluation Associates which focuses on consulting on project design, training and evaluation. Martin has held environment and social justice volunteer positions and now looks forward to making a difference in the development sphere as President of MDC’s leadership team.

Kelly Rae, Co-Founder and Vice President

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Kelly started out in the development sector more than 10 years ago after study, volunteering and just the right door (ok, crevice!) opening. She now leads TEAR Australia’s development programming in South Asia spanning Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and India. Kelly is one of MDC’s co-founders, is endlessly curious and is passionate about building meaningful connections across our diverse sector.

Lexi Randall-L’Estrange, Co-Founder

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Lexi found her place in the development sector in 2007 when, while studying Environmental Engineering, she joined Engineers Without Borders Australia… and she never left. Her work, study and volunteering combine technology, social innovation, design and governance. She loves being part of MDC to bring her networks and experience in international development & technology, and she loves meeting new people at every event!

Megan Jones, Treasurer

Megan Jones

Megan entered the development sector researching and advising on child protection matters in Nepal. She now works with community service organisations in Australia to ensure family safety and wellbeing programs meet various quality assurance requirements. Megan joined MDC to stay connected with the development sector and encourage others to do the same by sharing their experience and knowledge.

Rachael Wilken, Secretary 

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Rachael is a dedicated not-for-profit professional, with experience supporting social change internationally and in Australia. She has done a bit of everything from resource development and operational support, to quality management and governance. Rachael brings her experience in events and her love of a good process to keep the MDC team on track to create a vibrant community for MDC members!

Bianca Monteiro, General Member

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Bianca has always had a keen interest in development and social impact and has worked with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and Good Super. She is currently at Save the Children in philanthropy, managing their portfolio of trusts and foundations. Bianca believes MDC is powerful tool for knowledge-sharing in the sector with the hopes of maximising positive impact.

Ju-Lin Lee, General Member

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Promoting nutrition outcomes in rapidly urbanising lifestyles in Mongolia was Ju-Lin’s entry into the development sector. She now does similar work with disadvantaged communities in Melbourne leading the dietetics/diabetes education unit at a community health organisation, along with child public health research. Ju-Lin looks forward to sharing stories about reducing health and social inequities through MDC.

Lauren Goldsworthy, General Member 

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Lauren has always been interested in development, with a focus on health. She has volunteered for organisations such a Headspace and Save the Children and now works as a Volunteer and Programs Manager for a health promotion charity. Lauren joined the MDC to collaborate and share knowledge within the sector.

Sian Kilgour, Communications and Engagement Manager (Temporary)

A communications professional with experience across the corporate, academic and NFP sectors, Sian is a passionate advocate for human rights and gender equality. She has held various volunteer and work positions, in South and Central America, with the International Women’s Development Agency and currently managing communications at the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. Sian believes strong networks are so important and is very excited to support the work of MDC.

Jessica Plummer, Communications and Engagement Manager (On leave)

Jessica is a communications consultant who has worked and volunteered in the development sector in the UK, Australia and the Pacific since 2010. A trained project manager, she specialises in digital and social media, event coordination and partnerships. Jessica is looking forward to strengthening MDC’s relationships with its community and increasing its online presence.

MDC Co-Founders


Lexi Randall-L’Estrange, Convenor and Event Manager 2011-2013, Treasurer 2014, 2017-2018

Kelly Rae, Co-Founder, Convenor 2014-2015, 2017

Kelly Rae, Co-Founder, Convenor 2014-2015, 2017

Ian Jones, Social Enterprise Guru 2011-2014, Co-Founder

Ian Jones, Social Enterprise Guru 2011-2014, Co-Founder

Chris Piper, MDC Leader 2011-2013, Co-Founder Website:

Chris Piper, MDC Leader 2011-2013, Co-Founder

Foundation Steering Committee

Lexi Randall-L’Estrange, Chris Piper, Kelly Rae, Ian Jones, Lucinda Hartley, Kirk Fisher, Dr. Simone Buzwell.

Leadership Alumni

Emily Steele, Lucy Norton, Ángela Estévez Megías, Blaise Murphet, Sophie O’Halloran, Dan A’Vard, Ian Jones, Chris Piper, Chloe Piper, Melissa Reid, Petr Svoboda, Felicity Sowerbutts, Tanya Francis, France Pitt, Ashleigh Peplow Ball, Susanne Newton, Rebecca Green, Chrissy de Silva, and Charlotte Beresford.