Board and Leadership

Our Board of Directors bring a wealth of experience, guidance and governance to the Foundation, in support of our mission to build brighter futures.

Bill James
Bill James - Director

Bill was born in Sydney and after completing an Economics Degree he travelled extensively overseas. After his arrival in London in 1973, Bill co-founded Topdeck Travel, now one of the UK’s leading youth tour operators and on his return to Australia in 1984, Bill was a founding director of FCTG. Bill retired from management in 2000 though remains a shareholder in the company. He now pursues his interests in history, travel, surfboarding, golfing, hiking and philanthropy.

Kelly Obst
Kelly Obst - Company Secretary

Kelly is now in her 14th year with the Flight Centre Travel Group. Having held various roles in risk management and procurement, Kelly is now a member of the company secretariat team, involved in governance and regulatory compliance. Kelly is newly appointed to the role of Flight Centre Foundation secretary (January 2015) and is loving her involvement with the FCF Board and its members, and supporting the excellent FCF initiatives.

Carole Cooper
Carole Cooper - Director

Carole is the EGM of FCTG’s Peopleworks (HR) area and has extensive senior leadership experience within the company, both in Australia and in Canada.

Carole joined FCTG as a retail travel agent in Vancouver In 1999 and progressed quickly to leadership roles and then Peopleworks as a recruiter. She became nation leader for Canada retail and Peopleworks where she oversaw all aspects of the company’s retail operations while strategically driving business growth and development. She was also responsible for developing their giving culture, incorporating contribution opportunities into the business' operations.

Moving to Australia in 2010, she was appointed EGM of the company's Queensland business before moving into her current position as global Peopleworks leader in 2012. Carole is delighted to join the board from July 2015 as the vital link between FCTG's operations and the Foundation's contribution to the community.

John Whateley
John Whateley - Chairman

John has been involved with FCTG since 1982 and during that time has been involved in range of aspects of the business from team leader to risk management, Company Secretary and establishing FCTG in new geographic regions, including the USA and India. Due to his strong belief in FCTG's commitment to giving back to the community, John has been integrally involved in the Foundation since inception in 2008.

John is also actively involved with St Vincent de Paul and working with the disadvantaged in the inner suburbs of Sydney. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Maureen Oakhill
Maureen Oakhill - Director

Maureen joined Flight Centre in 1991 as an accountant and progressed throughout the finance function to the role of Global Audit Manager responsible for the integrity of a turnover of billions of dollars. Maureen then moved into the vital role of developing our finance team of the future and in 2003 was inducted to FCTG's prestigious Hall of Fame, recognising her contribution to the company. While raising her young family, Maureen became involved in many fundraising activities in her local community as a well as volunteering with physically disadvantaged children. On her recent retirement, her fundraising activities have expanded and she now brings her wealth of expertise to the Foundation and our finances.

Belinda Breakspear
Belinda Breakspear - Director

Belinda is a partner of the prominent national law firm, McCullogh Robertson where she heads up Intellectual Property practice. She advises clients in a wide range of industries on intellectual property protection and management, the development of new brands, franchising and compliance, opposition and infringement disputes, privacy and compliance and trade mark matters in Australia and internationally.