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 Humanitix page.

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

Past events have featured discussions about:

  • Co-design
  • Ethical storytelling
  • Women in development
  • Shared value and public-private partnerships
  • Working with Aboriginal Communities: Incorporating Traditional Knowledge into Practice
  • Localisation in Practice
  • Innovation, Opportunity & Risk in Social Enterprise: An evening of food & conversation with YGAP
  • Inclusion for people with disability
  • Speaking Truth to Power
  • 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 2021

Ju-Lin Lee, President

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.

Rachael Wilken, Vice-President / Volunteer Coordinator

Rachael Wilken resize

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!

Danyel Walker, Secretary 


Passionate and dedicated health promotion and communications professional, Danyel has a rich experience across a range of community environments including health, international development and not-for-profit sectors in Bangladesh and Australia. She is now working within the Victorian government and is a health promotion and public health teaching associate at Monash University. Danyel brings strong coordination and organisational skills to ensure the effective running of MDC.

Sophie Souchon, Treasurer 

Sophie headshot

While completing a commerce degree, Sophie volunteered with multiple international and community-focused social enterprises. This provided Sophie with insight into a new method of operating, focused towards inclusive social change which led her to the role of Business Transformation Co-Ordinator with the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA). She has joined MDC to meet new people working in different ways and to expand her understanding of the opportunities to advance methods of international development.

Toby Feldman, Partnerships Manager 

toby-feldmanAs a specialist in experiential and immersive event design/delivery with extensive experience in mass participation cultural events/festivals throughout Australia and beyond, Toby is passionate about user journeys and lived experiences. While new to the development sector, Toby brings his strengths in community/stakeholder engagement, design-led innovation, and strategic development to the MDC and is very excited at the chance to participate in such a worthwhile undertaking.

Kristy Tong, Communications Manager

With a background in marketing and communications, Kristy has worked with a range of non-profit organisations focused on vulnerable communities, refugee and asylum seekers, children, and youth and social justice issues. She has volunteered with environmental groups and is driven by making a positive impact. Kristy brings her international expertise to MDC and is looking forward to learning more about the development sector and connecting with passionate change-makers.

Bardie Barclay-Sutton, Events Manager

Bardie Barclay-SuttonBardie has spent the past decade working with NGO’s focusing on social justice advocacy, including assignments with Australian Volunteers International (AVI) in Indonesia and Mongolia. To further her interest in gender-sensitive design and inclusive practice she is currently pursuing her Masters in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development. Starting her career journey with volunteer-led organisations such as World Vision’s youth movement, Oaktree and AYCC, Bardie brings experience in volunteer management, project coordination and evaluation, and is motivated by her passion for deep conversations on everything development.

Bec Joiner, Collaboration Coordinator

Bec Joiner

Bec has a background in economics and law. She has worked in a range of policy positions in government and not-for-profit organisations, and is currently working in education policy. She is passionate about using economic policy as a driver to improve wellbeing and reduce inequality. Bec has also previously volunteered with not-for-profit organisations assisting recently arrived migrants and refugees, and has worked as a paralegal in immigration law.   

Ellie Hewitt, Game Changer Convenor

Eleanor Hewitt Head Shot

Ellie is passionate about equality committed to creating innovation within the NFP sector. Through her role as Purpose and Impact Coordinator at The Funding Network, Ellie supports non-profits to build their capacity and provide new opportunities for growth whilst increasing collective giving and connection between sectors. Ellie has a background working within non-profits in a variety of capacities, focusing on social areas such as education, poverty, people seeking asylum, and people with disabilities. 

Sanjna Ullal, Community Building Convenor

Sanjna resize

Sanjna brings experience in communications and community development in a South Asia context. Currently pursuing her Master of Environment and Sustainability at Monash University, and with an economics background, she intends to continue working internationally in sustainable community development in order to apply her MDC learnings. Previously she has volunteered with organisations working in food waste and food security, and improving waste collection systems in India, and with ACF in Australia.

Martin Pritchard, General Member

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 a member of MDC’s leadership team.


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, Charlotte Beresford, Jessica Plummer, Menaka Radhakrishnan, Megan Jones, Jess Kitchen and Dr Tanja Rosenqvist.

Annual Reports

MDC Annual Report and Financial Statements FY19-20

MDC Annual Report and Financial Statements FY18-19