The People

Thomas Yates Benyon O.B.E

CEO ZANE International

Thomas Yates Benyon

Tom Benyon lives and works in Oxford, England. He was educated at RMS Sandhurst and for some years served as an officer in the British army. Tom was involved in local and national politics for thirteen years, serving as an MP at Westminster.

He founded ZANE twelve years ago having by chance discovered the extent of the acute problems facing Zimbabwe. Since then, ZANE has raised close to $30 million in the UK to assist the most impoverished communities in Zimbabwe.

In 2010 Tom received an OBE – Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from HM The Queen – for services to charity.

The Board of ZANE Australia comprises:

  • Mrs Tori Grimes – (Chair)
  • Mr Tony Passaportis – (Company Secretary)
  • Jon Sheppard – (Director)
  • Mr Charles Lenegan – (Director)
  • Mr Tom Benyon – (Director and ZANE UK Representative and CEO of ZANE International)
  • Mr John Hayns – (Director and ZANE UK Representative)

Administrators

  • Mrs Nicky Passaportis – (CEO)
  • Mr Richard Redman – (Treasurer)
  • Mrs Beverley Redman – (Administrator)

The Board:

Mrs Tori Grimes – (Chair)

Tori grew up in the UK, and got her first taste of international development work in Kenya and Southern Sudan when she was 18. After beginning her career in London with a boutique PR agency, Tori moved into marketing communications for both large and medium sized enterprises. She has been living and working in Australia for over 13 years, where she works in charity fundraising and corporate philanthropy. Tori and her husband live in Sydney and have three children.

Mr Tony Passaportis – (Company Secretary)

Tony was born, raised and educated in Zimbabwe, where he practised law with Honey and Blanckenberg, the oldest legal firm in the country, for his entire career. He specialised in commercial work and retired as senior partner in 2015, when he moved to Australia. Tony and Nicky have three sons, two of whom live in Melbourne.

Jon Sheppard – (Director)

Jon Sheppard was born in British India, and spent his childhood in Canada and southeast Queensland, Australia.  He was educated in Sydney and Brisbane before joining the Australian diplomatic service in 1967.  Jon has served in several overseas postings, including South Africa and the South Pacific, and was Australian Ambassador to Ethiopia (1985-87), Jordan (1993-95) and Zimbabwe (2004-07).  From 1996 to 2003, Jon was Director, Political Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.  Jon retired in late 2007 and now lives in Canberra.  He is married with four children.

Mr Charles Lenegan – (Director)

Charlie grew up in Zimbabwe and, after periods in England and Abu Dhabi, migrated with his family to Perth, Australia in 1980. Charlie joined the CRA at the Argyle Diamond Project in 1981 and had a distinguished 27 year career with CRA / Rio Tinto where he held various senior management positions across a range of commodities and geographies. Charlie lives in Perth and is married with two adult children.

Mr Tom Benyon – (Director and ZANE UK Representative and CEO of ZANE International)

Tom has served on the ZANE Australia Board since its inception in 2012.

Mr John Hayns – (Director and ZANE UK Representative)

John is Deputy CEO of ZANE UK. Alongside this he is a professional magician, juggler and fire-eater. He is Deputy Chairman and Honorary Chaplain of The Magic Circle and an Engineering graduate of Oxford University. He is married to an Anglican priest and has three teenage boys.

Administrators:

Mrs Nicky Passaportis – (CEO)

Nicky grew up in Zimbabwe where she taught for most of her professional life before heading up the work of ZANE in Zimbabwe for eleven years. In 2015 she moved with her husband, Tony to Melbourne. Her work with the elderly was recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours List in 2015 when she received an MBE.

Mr Richard Redman – (Treasurer)

Richard was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. On leaving school, Richard worked for many years in the cattle industry and ran a successful thatching company. For three years before he emigrated to Australia in 2015, he became chairman and a trustee of the Coronation Cottages and Flatlets Trust in Bulawayo which houses vulnerable pensioners. Richard and Bev live in Sydney and have two adult children.

Mrs Beverley Redman – (Administrator)

Bev was born in Zambia and moved to Zimbabwe at the age of 11. After completing her secretarial studies, Bev worked for the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe and then, having raised her children, she joined her husband in the family thatching business.