Meet The Team



Director, ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs

Academic & Professional Qualifications: B.Ed (Adult Ed) – Major HR – UTS Masters – Cognitive Science – UNSW Four years pre-doctoral work in Cognitive Psychology UNSW Accreditation Professional Speaker APS (NSAA) Accreditation Training Professional (MAITD) Accredited Prince2 Practitioner Psych / Behavioural Instruments: MBTI, DiSC, TMS, NLP. 2 years: Part-time Lecturer Postgrad Adult Ed, UTS Guest Lecturer University of Syd Postgraduate Diversity

Publications: Let’s Talk Gender, 2015 Employers Guide to Intersex Inclusion, 2014 (co-authored with Morgan Carpenter, OII) Managers Guide to LGBTI Workplace Inclusion, 2013 Engaging Allies for Change, 2013 Establishing and maintaining successful LGBTI networks in Australian Workplaces

Acknowledgements: 2014 100 Women of Influence Award – Australian Financial Review/Westpac

Dawn Hough is the Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs (Pride in Diversity, Pride in Sport, Pride in Health + Wellbeing). All programs provide employer support for all aspects of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) inclusion either within the workplace, Australian Sport or through health and wellbeing service provision.

Dawn started within ACON in 2009 specifically to develop and establish the national Pride in Diversity Program and to develop the Australian Workplace Equality Index (national benchmark on LGBTI workplace inclusion). Since that time, the program has grown substantially and gained an international reputation for its leading practice and gold standard index. Dawn has authored five workplace publications on aspects of LGBTI workplace inclusion and with her team, extended the Pride in Diversity Program to Sports incorporating a Pride in Sport Program and world first national sports index.

Dawn sets the strategic direction for all divisional programs, continues to author workplace publications and manages the indices across all programs to set and develop leading practices in LGBTI inclusivity.

Dawn currently participates on Corporate Diversity Boards and has spoken both nationally and internationally (UK, US, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, Amsterdam) on LGBTI inclusion. She meets regularly with international counterparts in order to monitor, gauge and shift practice in LGBTI inclusion gauging best practice internationally and contributing to international recommendations and discussions on future trends.  Dawn is passionate about the utilisation of indices and data to measure and drive practice.  Dawn lives with her partner of 32+ years, Judy and their two dogs in the inner city.


Associate Director, Pride in Diversity

Mark Latchford joins Pride of Diversity after a 35 year career at IBM, based in Sydney, Adelaide, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong. Key operational roles there included Vice President of Software ANZ; General Manager, Lotus Europe, Middle East and Africa; Vice President, Systems A/NZ and General Manager, Technology Services, Asia Pacific. While at IBM, he was also the Australian Executive Sponsor of the LGBTI community (at the time when IBM was placed Number 1 on the inaugural AWEI Index 2011) and sat on the Pride in Diversity Advisory Forum. Mark has also held a number of board positions including Mid-Summa Festival, the Australian Israel Chamber of Commerce, and the HeadOn Foundation and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mark is a Bachelor of Arts graduate from the University of Sydney (with majors in Government and Economic Geography) and has also attended  post-graduate programmes at Stanford University in the USA and INSEAD in France. His other interests include current affairs, history, travel, scuba diving, skiing and spending time with his three (nearly-grownup) children.


Relationship Manager, Pride in Diversity

Sarah joins Pride in Diversity with over ten years’ experience in the Health Insurance and Retail sectors.

Throughout her career, Sarah has always had a strong focus on people, learning and culture. She is an experienced facilitator with a background in designing and developing training content, leading strategic planning and championing cultural change. She is also responsible for the creation of an award winning reward and recognition program focused on positive workplace culture through social recognition.

She was a founding member of Bupa’s Pride Network and led the Pride Champion Network nationally for Bupa which entailed engaging a geographically diverse group of people on a regular basis to support Pride events.

Sarah’s passion for people and experience in cultural change allows her to partner with her members and empower them to create valuable inclusion strategies that initiate change within organisations.


Relationship Manager, Pride in Diversity

Brayden Crane joins the Pride in Diversity team with a demonstrated history working in both financial services and retail industries. He is skilled in leadership, coaching and development, and team dynamics. He has a strong leadership background and a passion for creating sustainable change in the workplace to ensure everybody is comfortable, confident and safe to be their authentic selves.

Prior to joining the Pride in Diversity team Brayden was the Victorian Lead for Commonwealth Bank’s LGBTI network, Unity. As part of this role he engaged with senior leaders and stakeholders to build on Unity’s increased visibility, inclusion and engagement in the Victorian branch network.

Brayden has a Bachelor of Arts in Sport Psychology, while also co-majoring in Sociology from Swinburne University of Technology, as well as Education Support: Teacher Aide/Integration Aide qualifications from Monash University.

As a Relationship Manager for Pride in Diversity, Brayden oversees a portfolio of clients across utilities, universities and the Victorian Public Sector.


Operations Manager, Pride Inclusion Programs

The former Fundraising Manager for the successful Marriage Equality Campaign, Elaine is now the Operations Manager for Pride Inclusion Programs at ACON.

She also has over 20 years experience  in a number of senior roles in the management consulting industry including Head of Recruitment APAC and Head of Business Development at L.E.K Consulting and a global role in Enablement with The Boston Consulting Group.

As an accomplished professional, Elaine has used her many years of corporate experience to support a number of NGOs and community groups as she is passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion:

  • Chair of the Events and Fundraising Committee for Australian Marriage Equality
  • Non-Executive Director at Out For Australia, a mentor program for young LGBTQI professionals transitioning into the workplace
  • Former Board Associate with Queer Screen who celebrate the diversity of sexualities and gender diversity through the power of storytelling on screen.
  • Volunteer for the Bingham Cup, Australia
  • ACON Rover


Relationship Manager, Pride in Diversity

Nicki has as over 15 years’ experience in a number of commercial roles across a wide range of sectors, both in the UK and Australia.

Nicki has a strong corporate background. She is skilled at the development and implementation of sales and marketing strategies, and is passionate about creating and managing relationships with industry KOLs and stakeholders, to achieve mutual goals.

Passionate about inclusion and diversity, Nicki was a foundation committee member of the Medtronic LGBTQI network, Pride.

Nicki has a BEng (hons) in Mechanical Engineering from University of Leeds, an MBA from Leeds University Business School and a Master of Marketing Communication from University of Canberra.

Her experience in strategy development and stakeholder engagement will see Nicki add value to her portfolio of members, from the corporate and NSW Public sectors.


Relationship Manager, Pride in Diversity

Jack joins us from the well-known international professional services firm, EY, where he worked in the Oceania Diversity and Inclusion team. Jack’s background in strategy development, human resource initiatives, design and execution, as well as enablement and training should be of significant value to our membership.

Jack was key in driving EY’s progress to Gold level within the AWEI, remain there for three consecutive years and now winning Employer of the Year at the 2018 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards. He further built the EY diversity & inclusion profile seeing them win the 2016 AHRI Michael Kirby award for LGBTI inclusion, maintain Employer of Choice with WGEA and consecutively achieve the Rainbow Tick in New Zealand during his time with EY.

Having worked overseas and with large organisations for his entire professional career, Jack has practical knowledge of the value of a global mindset and is passionate about harnessing the power of different viewpoints to strengthen organisations. Jack has also implemented policy change in relation to flexibility, domestic violence, parental leave, diverse abilities, wellness and cultural diversity and will be able to provide a unique lens to overall organisational inclusion.

His experience in the professional, technology, media, education and energy sectors combined with being a highly creative person, will see Jack in his role as Relationship Manager bring fresh insights and valued experience to the partnership between Pride in Diversity and our critical members in Sydney, Canberra and across the nation.


Senior Relationship Manager, Pride in Diversity

Chris Nelson is a senior Human Resources leader with over 20 years’ experience in the finance and insurance industry across both specialist and generalist areas, including talent management, succession planning, remuneration strategy, engagement, leadership, change and building diverse and inclusive businesses.

Chris was a foundation committee member of the Commonwealth Bank’s LGBTI network, Unity.

Prior to his career in Human Resources, Chris worked in various leadership business operations roles and as a project manager.

He is also an experienced executive coach and LGBTI counsellor.

Chris is a Certified Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute (CAHRI), a member of the Australian Institute of Management, a member of the Ethics Centre, and has been a NFP Board Director. Chris has a Bachelor of Theology, a Graduate Certificate in Adult Education and an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

Chris is known for his ability to keep Human Resources practical and human-centred. He has a strong corporate background and has a great passion for coaching executives to influence not only their leadership capability, but also to impact the business more broadly by changing the thinking on employee engagement and building the sort of culture that supports a great business.


Relationship Manager, Pride in Diversity

Ashleigh Sternes joins the Pride in Diversity team with a demonstrated history working in the financial services industry. She is skilled in customer experience, change management, and training delivery. She has a strong corporate background and a passion for creating sustainable change in the workplace.

Prior to joining the Pride in Diversity team Ashleigh acted as the Victorian State Lead for Commonwealth Bank’s LGBTI network, Unity. As part of this role she delivered LGBTI awareness training to a range of Commonwealth Bank employees from frontline staff to senior management.

Ashleigh has a Bachelor of Behavioural Science from the University of Queensland, and is currently studying a Juris Doctor part time through the Australian National University.

As a Relationship Manager for Pride in Diversity, Ashleigh oversees a portfolio of clients across the banking and financial services industry, and the legal sector.



Senior Relationship Manager, Pride in Diversity

Samantha joins Pride in Diversity as a Senior Relationship Manager, bringing over 20+ years of an extensive and multi-faceted career.

Honours degree qualified (B.Ed.), Samantha has a diverse professional and personal expertise in the UK, USA and Australia working with private, NFP and public organisations, specifically in Education, Employment, Sales, Sport, hospitality and 3rd Sector.

As a high-energy, results-oriented leader with an entrepreneurial attitude, Samantha has an instinct for growth and innovation. As a national client director, Samantha has worked with national and global firms to create and execute strategic human capital solutions. Through her own consulting business, Samantha has delivered strategic workshops and projects with senior executives regarding talent solutions, business growth strategies, diversity and inclusion programmes, training and facilitating, coaching and mentoring, EQ & leadership, board readiness, SaaS, operational and process improvement.

Post Graduate qualifications include a Diploma in Sports Psychology, Cert IV Training and Assessment 2012, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Team Management Systems Coach, as well as extensive professional courses and accreditations.

With an innate desire to be instrumental to the big picture and a passion to make a difference, Samantha will utilise her expertise in partnering with a diverse portfolio of members both in NSW and WA, from industry sectors like Higher Education, Resources & Mining, Professional Service, ICT, Law, Finance and Government.