Governance - Adara Group

Adara’s Ambassador Programme

At Adara, we believe in using the power of business and partnership to change the lives of people in poverty. One way we are doing this is through our Ambassador Programme.

The Adara Ambassador Programme invites staff from our corporate partners and supporters to use their time and expertise to transform the lives of people in poverty. This takes the form of six- to 12-month placements in some of Adara’s core functions, including legal, finance and corporate advisory. This support allows Adara to save financial and human resources, while also amplifying our impact and reaching more people with our health and education services.

We currently have three secondees working with Adara. We asked them about the programme, what they’ve found surprising, and what they’ll tell their colleagues about their experience.

Meet Our Ambassadors

Vanessa Lamborn

Vanessa Lamborn

Vanessa began a six-month secondment with the Adara legal team from MinterEllison in March.

Vanessa’s background is as a commercial dispute resolution lawyer. She has extensive experience providing complex advice to clients across a broad range of commercial areas, including in a litigious context. Vanessa also has a strong passion and interest in human rights law, volunteering and working in the community.

Vanessa, what attracted you to the ambassador programme?  

I was interested in the Ambassador Programme as an opportunity to experience something a little different to my day job and to meet a new group of people who are so passionate about what they do. I was interested to have the opportunity to ‘sit on the other side of the fence’ as an inhouse lawyer and to understand the different motivations and approaches from an in-house legal and business perspective. I was also attracted to the idea of using my legal skillset in a different environment and in different circumstances and to be a (small) part of the inspiring and life changing work that Adara undertakes.

What most surprised you about the Ambassador Programme?

I was surprised at how varied the work is, you need to be prepared to get out of your comfort zone and advise the business on areas that aren’t normally within your areas of expertise. This is naturally the case with a company operating in several jurisdictions that needs to keep up with the regulatory framework not just in Australia, but in Nepal and Uganda. The business team works with a panel of Australia’s most senior leaders in corporate advisory services and having an opportunity to get exposure to, and work alongside, them has been a unique experience.

Charlotte Wylie

Charlotte Wylie

Charlotte began a six-month secondment with the Adara legal team from MinterEllison in March.

Charlotte provides legal support to the Business and Development teams within the Adara Group. Charlotte’s background is in corporate law where she has worked in MinterEllison’s Pro Bono and Social Impact team which advises for purpose and not-for-profit social enterprises, charities and Indigenous businesses on governance and commercial matters. Charlotte is interested in access to justice and co-coordinates the firm’s Access to Justice programme providing legal assistance to disadvantaged individuals through partnerships with community legal centres.

Charlotte, what do you like most about working at Adara?

The Ambassador Programme is an amazing opportunity to get involved in the day-to-day work of an international not-for-profit organisation. The work is extremely diverse and the team at Adara are very supportive and great to work alongside. Adara has a very unique and clever business model that addresses issues many charities may face in obtaining long-term and sustainable funding. It has been really valuable to gain a closer insight into the business model and how the for-purpose business arms support Adara’s international development work. A particular highlight for me has been the monthly ‘Snack ‘n’ Share’ sessions in which we are able to hear firsthand from members of the team working on project sites in Nepal and Uganda about the amazing work that is being done in Remote Community Development and Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

How do you think the Ambassador Programme has supported your career development?

The Ambassador Programme has given me a really valuable insight into what it is like to be the client and allowed me to obtain a more holistic understanding of how a not-for-profit organisation operates on a day-to-day basis. During my secondment, Adara has received professional advice on bespoke areas of law from MinterEllison. Being on the receiving end of this advice has allowed me to appreciate the external considerations of a commercial organisation and understand that legal advice is usually just one part of the bigger picture. I have also had the opportunity to get involved in a broad range of varied work during my time as a secondee, which has allowed me to develop skills in legal research, drafting and negotiating contracts and undertaking regulatory compliance projects. In particular, the secondment has given me the opportunity to consider legal issues in a multijurisdictional context, and gain insight into how these issues are managed by the team and the legal and regulatory framework of international jurisdictions in which Adara operates.

Stacey Proudfoot

Stacey Proudfoot

Stacey has just completed a 7-month secondment to Adara Partners as the EY Ambassador.

Stacey is a Senior Manager in EY’s Valuation, Modelling & Economics team with over 10 years of valuations and corporate finance experience. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has been involved in providing a range of valuation engagements in Australia and South Africa, specialising in the valuations of businesses, equity interests and intangible assets for commercial, transactional, tax and financial reporting purposes.

Stacey, what attracted you to the Ambassador Programme?

From a professional/career development perspective, Adara has provided the opportunity to gain exposure to a wide range of corporate advisory engagements and to work directly with some of Australia’s leading and most distinguished corporate advisors. I have also had the opportunity to expand skillset and grow my network through the secondee programme.

What do you like most about working at Adara?

In addition to growing both professionally and personally, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to use my skills for such an excellent purpose. A key highlight for me has been the monthly ‘Snack ‘n’ Share’ sessions. During these sessions, the Australian and US Adara teams connect with the local Adara teams in Nepal and Uganda, where we get the chance to hear and see first-hand how using our skills ‘for purpose’ directly and positively impacts the lives of those living in remote communities.

If your business would like to know more about Adara’s Ambassador Programme, please contact us on

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…to bring quality health and education services to people living in some of the world’s remotest places.

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