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Northern Ireland committee members

Meet our Northern Ireland committee members
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Julie Harrison - Northern Ireland Chair

Julie has helped to shape community regeneration and social inclusion programmes in Northern Ireland for more than two decades.

More about Julie Harrison

"I have seen the impact that projects supported by the Big Lottery Fund can make in communities across Northern Ireland and the UK. I am delighted to join the Fund at a time when the people in the lead vision begins to take shape. I am looking forward to hearing what matters most to people and how we can help them to make a difference."

In a variety of policy, grant-making and advisory roles, she has worked with local and central government, independent funders and VCSE organisations to support social change.

Her grant-making experience includes the provision of funding and advice to VCSE led projects with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, the Special EU Programmes Body and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

Julie previously served on the Big Lottery Fund’s Northern Ireland and UK Funding Committees and was a Director of the Building Change Trust, chairing the ‘Inspiring Impact’ advisory group.

She is currently an advisor with the Strategic Investment Board.

- Dr Michael Dobbins -

Dr Michael Dobbins is the Principal of Ardnashee School and College and is founder and Chair of Liberty Consortium in Derry/Londonderry, an award-winning, nationally recognised, multi-sectoral body promoting inclusive play, community infrastructure and quality services for children and adults with learning disabilities.

More about - Dr Michael Dobbins

"I am very excited about joining the team at the Big Lottery Fund and supporting our work in enhancing local communities. It is also a great honour to be able to work for an organisation that puts communities first and I look forward to taking up my responsibilities."

He has published several papers in internationally peer-reviewed journals in both Europe and North America, authored and co-authored several reports and is the author of the book ‘Learning to Enable’.

He serves on a range of public and community sector boards and is actively committed to community leadership.

Michael is a regular speaker at conferences throughout Ireland on educational matters.

- Tony Doherty -

Tony Doherty is the Regional Co-ordinator of the Healthy Living Centre's Alliance. His previous role from 2002 to 2014 was General Manager of the award-winning Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum in Derry.

More about - Tony Doherty

"I am delighted to be appointed to the Big Lottery Fund's NI Committee. Over the years of working within the community sector I have witnessed how neighbourhoods, towns and villages have been transformed by the Fund’s support. I am particularly interested in how the Big Lottery Fund can continue to work with others to overcome the grinding effects of social inequality in our society."

Tony was instrumental in setting up the Health Forum in 1999 while working as Project Co-ordinator of the £2m capital project to re-develop the disused Gasyard site in the Brandywell area for community use.

Tony has been central to the development of a vibrant community network in the Bogside and Brandywell area since the early 1990s. He also served as co-chair of the Western Investing for Health Partnership from 2009 to 2012 and was an active member of the Later Years Sub Group. He currently chairs the north west Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), a key driver in the Transforming Your Care strategy.

- Charlie Mack -

Charlie has worked as a director in a number of large UK voluntary sector organisations and is currently Chief Executive of the Extern Group. Previously he worked at RNIB as NI Director and subsequently UK Group Director.

More about - Charlie Mack

"I am privileged to be appointed to the Big Lottery Fund to play my part in building a better Northern Ireland. The Big Lottery Fund has an important role to play in empowering people most in need across Northern Ireland. I am looking forward to helping to make decisions that will support people to improve their lives and build better communities."

He has worked at a senior level in local government and the private sector in England before taking up a career in the voluntary sector. He is a Non Executive Member of the Local Government Staff Commission and was previously a Committee Chair at the NI Social Care Council. Charlie is also a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

- Sandra McNamee -

Sandra is Director of McNamee Consulting and has a wealth of experience, spanning over eighteen years, of working in the community and voluntary sector, in particular the children’s and women’s sectors.

More about - Sandra McNamee

"I am absolutely delighted to be appointed to the Big Lottery Fund NI Committee. Over the years I have seen the huge impact the Big Lottery Fund can make in tackling disadvantage and bringing real improvements to those who are most in need. I look forward to taking up this role and to playing my part in the delivery of our new and exciting strategic framework and vision, which clearly puts people in the lead."

In her current role, Sandra works with a wide range of clients, in the areas of training development and delivery, design and implementation of evaluation frameworks and strategic and business planning.

Her previous roles include Management Co-ordinator at North Down and Ards Women’s Aid and Business Manager at NSPCC. She has also worked as Education and Training Coordinator for the Children’s Law Centre. Additionally Sandra has held the position of Non Executive Director for two well-established charities in Northern Ireland.

Sandra has a keen interest in promoting children and young people’s rights, in particular rights relating to participation and engagement. She also has a passion for working with children and young people, to raise awareness of keeping safe, and to empower them to access support when needed. She has been central to the development of preventative education in Northern Ireland through her work with Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland.

- Eileen Mullan -

Eileen has worked within and for the public, voluntary and community sectors for over eighteen years. During that time she has been privileged to be a part of many projects that impacted greatly on communities across Northern Ireland. They have included projects focused on access to education, the environment, enterprise development in areas of social disadvantage along with equality and diversity.

More about - Eileen Mullan

"I am delighted to have been appointed to the NI Committee of the Big Lottery Fund. I have watched the impact this Fund has made across communities over the last ten years and have seen the real tangible benefits from it. I look forward to continuing this great work and being a part of the Big Lottery Fund’s next chapter.”"

Eileen is Chair of Age Northern Ireland, Chair of Audiences Northern Ireland and is Principal Consultant with Strictly Boardroom, which provides governance interventions and support to boards across the public, voluntary and private sector. Eileen is an Independent Board Member of the Agriculture and Wages Board for Northern Ireland.

Eileen’s expertise is in governance, board assurance and developing resilient organisations and ranges across the private, public and voluntary sector. She is a highly accomplished trainer on best practice and public sector governance and was responsible for the materials design and delivery of the first accredited governance training programme in the UK to prepare people for positions on public boards - ‘Get On Board’.

Eileen has an MSc in Management and Corporate Governance and an Institute of Directors’ Diploma in Company Direction. She is Associate with CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting) in London and Belfast and is an Associate with the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Leadership Centre.

Her previous roles include: Independent Board Member and Audit Committee Member for the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (executive agency for the Department of the Environment), and Company Secretary and Board Member for Ormeau Baths Gallery.