Dale Cleaver - Chief Executive Officer

Dale has been the CEO of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT since 2017. Dale’s history of working in the health, not for profit and charity sectors includes positions as CEO of Campbell Page, the Royal District Nursing Service as well as Australian Red Cross, where he led the organisation through the 2004 Tsunami Disaster.

Dale is originally from Tasmania and spent his formative years in Adelaide, gaining his Bachelor Degree of Social Work from the University of South Australia.


Dale Cleaver with yellow labrador.

Annette Clarke - Head of Client Services

Annette joined the Executive Leadership Team as Head of Client Services in 2018. Annette has worked extensively in the vision sector in leadership, operations, and intervention roles. She has a passion for making a difference in the lives of people with low vision and blindness; designing, transforming, and delivering services that meet people’s individual needs.

Annette has a background as a Speech Pathologist and started her career at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC). She has a Masters in Special Ed (Sensory Impairment) through Newcastle University and a special interest in research and practice in Deafblindness.


Annette Clarke side by side with yellow labrador.

Peter van der Heijden - Head of Dog Services

Peter recently joined the Executive Leadership Team as the Head of Dog Services, relocating to Australia from the Netherlands at the beginning of 2020. He brings operational and strategic experience gained during his time at KNGF – Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation, where he was the operations manager of Guide Dog Services, and then acting CEO.

KNGF is a service provider internationally acclaimed for their innovative dog programs and lean business approach. Before joining the not-for-profit sector in 2004, Peter worked in property management and commercial real estate investment.


Peter van der Heijden, Head of Dog Services

Tom Bodger - Chief Financial Officer

Tom joined Guide Dogs as CFO in November 2017. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte in London and then transferred with them to Sydney.

Over the course of his career, Tom has worked with a range of organisations, from multinational audit clients when he was with Deloitte, to small cafés and restaurants when he ran his own business as a Restaurant Consultant. More recently, Tom has transferred his commercial approach to the charity sector as CFO of the Westpac Life Saver Helicopter (2011-2017) and now Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.


Tom Bodger side by side with yellow labrador.

Gary Bristow - Head of Fundraising

Gary joined Guide Dogs in February 2020. His for-purpose roles include senior fundraising and marketing positions at Australian Red Cross and McGrath Foundation.

During Gary’s 10 years at Red Cross, over $1b in donations was delivered, highlighting the tremendous support and generosity that Australians are capable of offering to those less fortunate. Previously, Gary spent 15 years in advertising agencies consulting to a range of multinational clients.


Gary Bristow with yellow labrador in front of him.

Charlie Spendlove - Head of Marketing

With over 25 years’ experience marketing major brands across multiple industry sectors (both corporate and not-for-profit), Charlie now leads the Marketing and Communications Centre of Excellence for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and Victoria.

Charlie is a values-based leader and a passionate advocate for the widespread adoption of accessible practice, to ensure people with a disability receive equitable and inclusive customer experiences.

Charlie also leads the National Brand Strategy team, as the heritage brand enters a new era of spirit and innovation in support of its mission: to enable people with low vision and blindness to achieve their goals in life.


Charlie Spendlove.