Chris McDermott is the founder of Little Heroes Foundation, and is currently the Chairman of the Board and acting Chief Executive Officer. Chris is perhaps best known as the inaugural captain of the Adelaide Crows, after beginning his footy career with the Glenelg Tigers in the SANFL. It was through the Adelaide Crows that Chris was first introduced to Nicholas and Nathan, who were both battling cancer, and it was these two boys who inspired Chris and Tony McGuinness to form the organisation that became Little Heroes Foundation.
Since retirement from the AFL, Chris has continued working for the foundation while also working in many roles in the media, including breakfast radio. He currently works for The Advertiser and the Sunday Mail. Chris also has a background in hospitality and event management through his involvement in the hospitality industry.
Chris is married to Jo and has twins Harper and Fraser.
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Mark is currently the National Claims Relationship Manager for QBE Insurance, and for over 18 years, he has worked in a number of Management and National roles across a variety of businesses. Before that, Mark worked as a police officer; a job he started when he was 18 years old. He also regularly volunteers in the community at schools and local sporting clubs. A family man at heart, Mark has been married to wife Jennifer for over 30 years, and they have two children together – daughter Megan and son Tom.
Mark joins Little Heroes Foundation as a new board member, to lend his skills and expertise in management and relationship building.
“I very much look forward to joining the Board of Little Heroes Foundation and supporting Chris and the team to continue their amazing work in the community. We’ve obviously got a lot of history [Chris and I], but we’re both united and passionate about this cause, and I look forward to being more involved with the foundation in this role.”
On Mark’s appointment to our Board, Chris said he was looking forward to discussing some new ideas for the foundation with his older brother.
“Mark was the mature one of us three kids, and he has always been very supportive and a great sounding board for me. Him joining our board will be invaluable for Little Heroes Foundation as we move into the next era of our existence.”
For the last 12 years, Jane has worked as a Sales Representative in the pharmaceutical industry with Clearsales Australia. She has also previously owned and operated Hairdressing Salons, and is a natural networker. Jane also does a lot of work in her community, and she currently resides on the board at St Teresa’s School in Brighton. She was also previously on the fete committee for 6 years and still volunteers regularly at the school. Away from work, Jane is married to husband Nick and together they have three boys – Blake, Heath and Benjamin.
Jane's experience as a board member for other organisations, plus her ability to connect with people will be invaluable to Little Heroes Foundation moving forward.
“I’ve loved supporting Little Heroes Foundation for many years, and now to be a part of the board is a very exciting opportunity that I look forward to making my own. Plus, I know Chris better than most and we are both passionate about the same cause, which will drive the work I will do as a board member.”
On Jane’s induction, Chris said her natural charisma and understanding of people will be important for the foundation as we look to the second half of 2018 and beyond!
“Jane’s got an incredible ability to connect with people, which makes her a natural networker, talker and fundraiser. She’s been a guest at many of our functions over the last 22 years so she knows how far we have come over this time, and where we are hoping to go. I know that she is very excited about making a positive contribution to the foundation.”
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Mark and Jane are siblings of Chris McDermott, and their induction to the Little Heroes Foundation board comes at a special time in our journey. While children have been central to the decision making of Little Heroes Foundation since inception in 1996, we are currently undergoing some exciting new changes to how we deliver support to those in need. A renewed focus on the whole family is something we have been working towards for some time, and when an opportunity arose to introduce some new members to our board, Chris felt it was now the right time to turn to his siblings for their support and expertise.
When discussing the new additions to our board, Chris said he looked forward to seeing what his siblings can bring to the table, given their own tragic circumstances growing up and the impact that has had on them as adults.
“The three of us grew up together without our parents at a fairly young age, after they both passed away from cancer in 1979 and 1980. At the time, we were 14, 16 and 18, so while it’s not exactly the same situation that some of our Little Heroes families face, we can understand in some way the impact serious illness can have."
"I know that I can count on them [Mark and Jane] and our soon-to-be-announced new board members, to do what they do best, and use this experience to support families on their own journeys with cancer and serious illness."
Little Heroes Foundation is excited to be introducing some more new arrivals to our board very soon, as we move forward to a new and exciting chapter in our journey. We would like to thank departing board members Adam Koch, Kingsley Hall and Dennis Marjas for their amazing and ongoing support of Little Heroes Foundation.