Vanessa is a social change practitioner and strategist with more than 25 years experience working with the community, government and corporate sectors, in Australia and abroad. Vanessa has been at the forefront of growing social innovation and impact investing in Australia and the Pacific. She is currently the Principal Consultant at Social Outcomes, a for-purpose social impact advisory company. Her areas of expertise include social research, evidence-based social project design and management; payment by outcome and social impact bond design; theories of change and impact measurement frameworks; and social innovation and finance.

Vanessa spent many years in the human rights field, fighting for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, people with disabilities, people in same-sex relationships, children, factory workers and human rights activists around the world. While working for a New York-based NGO, Human Rights First, Vanessa led a range of global human rights projects involving global corporations, development banks, UN bodies, governments and civil society. In Australia, Vanessa worked with the Australian Human Rights Commission for 12 years, leading the Human Rights Program and its many national inquiries, including the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention in 2002. Vanessa was a founding Director on Impact Investing Australia’s Board and is currently a Director on the Board of the National Association of Community Legal Centres. Vanessa has a BComm/LLB from the University of New South Wales and an LLM from New York University. She is also an alumni of the Sydney Leadership Program.