Our Board

Richard Hill - Beyond WordsRichard Hill – Chair

Having been a biographer with Beyond Words since 2016 , Richard joined the Board at the end of 2020. Before retirement, Richard worked in the review, planning and improvement of community organisations both as a consultant and manager in QICSA. He also worked in training, university teaching, and for many years with local governments designing and managing youth policy and services.

Brigid Ryan – Secretary and Public Officer

Brigid Ryan - Beyond WordsBrigid is currently working as a lawyer for the City of Melbourne and is on the boards of two City of Melbourne companies. She has been involved in community volunteer work in many areas over the years including the Refugee Legal Service, migrant English tuition, Flemington Legal Service, legal advice work and board responsibilities as well as school and kindergarten boards. Brigid joined Beyond Words in 2018 and has loved the biography work.
She sees opportunities for expansion of this valuable work through Beyond Words for those in Aged Care who want to tell their stories and for volunteers who are interested in helping this happen.

Toby Hayes - Beyond WordsToby Hayes – Treasurer

With qualifications in public policy, experience as a biographer and current work expertise in strategic planning, Toby is committed to supporting and celebrating the volunteers and growing the reach of the exemplary biography program. Toby credits the high standing reputation of Beyond Words to its organisational leadership and processes and seeks to build on these strengths through innovation, strategic partnerships and sound decision making.

Austin Paterson - Beyond WordsAustin Paterson

Austin is new to Beyond Words, however has a keen interest in Aged Care, Community Heath, Community Development and Philanthropy. Austin has held various positions in these fields in Melbourne, Geelong  and the Bellarine Peninsula.

Our Patrons

Jenny Kearney, OAM is the creator of the original biography service under Eastern Palliative Care. For 20 years she was previously Executive Director of Open Doors, a community-based counselling and education program.

Dr Brenda Niall, AO is the award-winning author of nine biographies including the accounts of the Boyd family and True North her portrait of the Durack sisters. She supports Beyond Words because biographies tell us that individuals matter and celebrate their lives.

Our Founder

Francis Icasiano  was the founder and former CEO and Coordinator of Volunteers.  In 2011 he completed The School for Social Entrepreneurs and was awarded Project Achievement of the Year for setting up The Biography Program.

Probono Operations

We have been honoured to work with the following individuals and organisations who have provided probono assistance respectively in bookkeeping, rebranding/design, communication strategy, short film and legal trademarking, meeting rooms and training facilities: Sven Joschke, Emma Hutton, Lachlan Conboy, Tine Pia Jensen, Chianh Zeijing, Lisa Egan (K & L Gates)  Bendigo Bank and COTA Victoria.