Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees exists to ensure good governance and financial integrity, and that Live & Learn’s focus remains true to its intended purpose. The trustees provide their time and expertise on a voluntary basis.

Christian Nielsen - Executive Director Live & Learn

Christian has over 25 years experience as a development practitioner and has worked in Indonesia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Maldives, Cambodia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Christian lived and worked in the Pacific Islands for a decade, where he supported the establishment of Live & Learn’s country programs. He has long history with the Solomon Islands and supported the Solomon Islands government delegation in international climate change negotiations.

He has consulted for the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, European Union and United National Development Program on issues relating to natural resources management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, environmental education and environmental conflict resolution. He is a Company Director of Social Entrepreneurs International, a global network bringing together social entrepreneurs.


Derek Mortimer - LL.B, Grad Dip Legal Prac., Grad Cert Dispute Res. 

Admitted to practice in the Supreme Courts of NSW and Victoria.

Derek Mortimer is principal of DF Mortimer & Associates, a Melbourne based boutique law firm practising exclusively in not-for-profit and charity law. 

Derek has a reputation for patience, diplomacy and fairness when assisting with the resolution of internal disputes within not for profit organisations. He is the author of the chapters “Formation” and “Dispute Management” in the Thomson Reuters Not for profit Best Practice Manual (2013) and contributes presentations, articles and submissions to a variety of public forums and peer reviewed journals on matters affecting the practice of not-for-profit and charity law. 

Derek began his professional vocation in not for profit law law in the late 1990’s undertaking a research project in north east Victoria to develop farm forestry microfinance program. Derek’s report is called “The Landcare Revolving Loan Fund: a development report”, published by RIRDC. 

Derek founded and currently chairs the Law Institute Victoria Charities and Not for profit law Committee and is a member of the Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission professional user group. 


Iris Silva Brito - Lecturer, Navitas, ACAP, School of Social Work

Iris is a Brazilian-born Australian who is passionate about social justice, human rights and equal opportunity. She currently holds a lecturing position with Navitas-ACAP School of Social Work, Sydney, NSW. 

Iris brings to Live & Learn a wealth of experience in the social development, education and management areas. Her capabilities and skills in international development draw on a life-long involvement in theducational and social services sectors in the northeast of Brazil working with economically disadvantaged communities. 

In addition, Iris brings experience and skills developed through her professional practice in service development, policy analysis, policy development and implementation, quality assurance, research and service evaluation in both the public and non-government sectors.   

Iris holds the following Australian qualifications- BA Hons Social Work and Social Policy, Master of Business Administration and Grad. Certif. Applied Science Statistics. 


 John Fien - Executive Director, Swinburne Leadership Institute

John Fien is the Executive Director of the Swinburne Leadership Institute, and previously was Professor of Environmental Education at Griffith University and Professor of Sustainability at RMIT University. 

He has been a member of the Australian National Commission for UNESCO and led research, policy development and training projects for UNESCO, UNICEF, UNEP, World Wildlife Fund International, the World Bank and the OECD. 

He specialises in Education for Sustainability and facilitated the development of the UNESCO Action Plan for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.He has led teacher education programs on Education for Sustainability in many countries in Asia as well as in South Africa and Kenya. 

His current work focuses on leadership problems, and seeks to develop ways of clarifying and enhancing leadership for the greater good, leadership development, and leadership in a greening economy.