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Our Board members

Meet Goodstart's Board members. Goodstart’s Board is committed to best practice corporate governance and processes.

  • Goodstart is passionate about providing all children, from birth, with the best opportunities to develop into wonderful people.

    Lynelle Briggs AO

  • Goodstart’s strong commitment to deliver high quality early learning and ensuring positive outcomes for all children in partnership with their families is evident in all we do.

    June McLoughlin

  • Goodstart’s commitment to research is advancing the national and international evidence base on the value of early childhood education.

    Sir Kevan Collins

  • Ensuring all Australian children can regularly attend high quality early learning – no matter what barriers they face – is a vital part of Goodstart’s work.

    Natalie Walker

  • Ensuring that all children have access to high-quality education in their early years is a vital part of addressing intergenerational disadvantage in Australia. Goodstart has a unique capability and opportunity to help make this goal a reality.

    Chris Harrop

  • Investing in early education for all Australia’s children is the best investment Australia can make.

    Philip Coffey

Goodstart’s Board ensures the organisation’s behaviour is consistent with its Vision, Purpose and Strategic Priorities. The Board of Goodstart has ultimate responsibility to the Member organisations for the strategy and performance of the company in general. The Board is dedicated to fulfilling these duties in a lawful and professional manner, and with the utmost integrity and objectivity.

Paul Robertson AO

Goodstart Chair, Non-executive Director. Member, Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. Chair, People and Culture Committee. Member, Quality and Social Purpose Committee, Member, Safety, Health and Wellbeing Committee.

B Comm; FCPA

Appointed 01 December 2019

Paul Robertson has extensive experience as a Non-Executive Director and Chair in a wide variety of commercial and not for profit organisations across Australia. He is the immediate past Chair of Social Ventures Australia, St Vincent’s Health Australia and Alzheimer’s Australia (NSW). He was also a Director of Dementia Australia, Sydney Theatre Company Foundation and Telco Together Foundation. He is currently Chair of Tonic Media Network, SIPfHER Precinct Council, Grace Papers, Kinela, Able Foods and Founder and Director of the Financial Markets Foundation for Children. Paul has broad experience in finance including 27 years as Global Treasurer and Executive Director at Macquarie Bank.     

He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2018 for distinguished service to the community through ethical leadership and management of, and philanthropic contributions to, health, social enterprise, research, education and arts organisations.


Natalie Walker

Non-executive Deputy Chair. Member, Quality and Social Purpose Committee. Member, People and Culture Committee, Member, Safety, Health and Wellbeing Committee.

BA (Psych); LLB

Appointed 01 December 2018

Natalie Walker is the founder and managing director, of Inside Policy, a privately-held boutique public consultancy and data analytics firm that advises government, corporates and not-for-profits on a range of social and economic policy matters. She is a committed advocate for reconciliation and was previously the chief executive officer of Supply Nation, a start-up greenfields company focused on increasing the participation of Indigenous business in the supply chain of Australia’s largest companies. Ms Walker has held roles at KPMG Australia, the Australian Human Rights Commission and in the Queensland Government.

Lynelle Briggs AO

Non-executive Director. Chair, Safety, Health and Wellbeing Committee. Member, Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. Member, Quality and Social Purpose Committee.

B Econ; GAICD

Appointed 15 December 2015

Lynelle Briggs was a Commissioner on the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.  She is currently an Independent Director with Maritime Super, and independent member of the Government’s Aid Governance Board.  Lynelle is also conducting a review for the Australian Government of how to reduce politicisation of government board appointments. She was Chairperson of NSW’s Planning Assessment Commission and Independent Chairperson of the General Insurance Code Governance Committee.  Prior to joining Goodstart, Lynelle was a Councillor with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and a non-executive director with the Australian Rail Track Corporation. Lynelle is a former Australian Public Service Commissioner and former chief executive of Medicare Australia. She has extensive experience in the Australian Public Service, working in a wide range of fields, including social security, health and community services, transport, external territories, employment and labour market support and veterans’ affairs. Lynelle became an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2013 for distinguished service to public administration, particularly through leadership in the development of public service performance and professionalism.

Philip Coffey

Non-executive Director. Member, Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. Member, Quality and Social Purpose Committe. Member, Safety, Health and Wellbeing Committee.

B Econ (Hons); GAICD; SF Finsia

Appointed 06 December 2021

Phil Coffey is a highly regarded senior executive leader who has deep financial services experience. For over 20 years, Phil worked at Westpac Banking Corporation including three years as the deputy CEO of Westpac Group. Prior to this role, Phil held a number of executive positions including Chief Financial Officer and Group Executive, Westpac Institutional Bank. A passion for education led to Phil’s involvement in the Westpac Scholars program and his appointment as the inaugural Chair. Phil has over 30 years of senior executive experience – from leading significant investment decisions, large technology projects to mergers and acquisitions. Phil began his career at the Reserve Bank of Australia and he has also held executive positions at Citibank. Phil is serving on two boards in addition to Goodstart; Macquarie Group Limited and LendLease.  He recently retired from the Board of Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Professor Sir Kevan Collins

Non-executive Director. Member, Quality and Social Purpose Committee. Member, People and Culture Committee. Member, Safety, Health and Wellbeing Committee.

Ed.D

Appointed 01 December 2018

Kevan has had a long career in education and public service. After stepping down from full time work as the Chief Executive at the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), he now supports a range of UK and international child and youth focused organisations. Prior to joining the EEF in 2011 as its first CEO he was Chief Executive and Director of Children’s Services in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Kevan is now a Board member of the EEF. Kevan started his career teaching in east London. He went on to lead schools in Yorkshire and London and became the National Director of the Primary National Strategy in 2002. Kevan is a Board member at the Youth Endowment Fund, Executive Vice Chair at Learning by Questions and sits on the Board of Cognita schools. Kevan is also a Board member of the Australian Education Research Organisation. Kevan completed his doctorate in 2001 and is a visiting professor at the University College London Institute of Education. He was knighted for his services to education in 2015.

Chris Harrop

Non-executive Director. Chair, Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. Member Quality and Social Purpose Committee. Member Safety, Health and Wellbeing Committee.

MBA (Hons), B Comm (Hons)

Appointed 01 January 2019

Chris Harrop is an Advisory Partner in the Sydney office of Bain & Company where he has worked for over 30 years in the US, UK and Australia. Bain is a global strategy consulting firm with over 14,000 staff across 65 offices in 40 countries. Chris has specialised in the services sector and on projects addressing corporate strategy, customer experience improvement and broad-based transformational change. Chris formerly served on Bain’s global Board of Directors, is a Non-executive Director at Social Ventures Australia and was a long-serving board member of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. He is a co-founder of Restacking the Odds, a not-for-profit partnership between Bain, SVA and MCRI working to address inter-generational disadvantage in Australia, and is a strategic advisor to For Purpose Investment Partners. Chris earned an MBA with Honours from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, and a Bachelor of Commerce with First Class Honours in Marketing from Otago University in New Zealand.

June McLoughlin AM

Non-executive Director. Chair, Quality and Social Purpose Committee. Member, Safety, Health and Wellbeing Committee.

M.Ed

Appointed 15 December 2015

June McLoughlin is the Executive Director Services at Our Place, a Colman Foundation Initiative. June has extensive experience in both policy and service development, research and practice in the early childhood, family support and children’s services fields, which has given her a broad and deep understanding of issues relevant to the needs of parents and their children. June has managed many state and national projects designed to refocus early years services to provide more integrated support for families with young children with a particular interest in vulnerable children.

In 2023, June became a Member in the Order of Australia for significant service to child advocacy and early learning.

Dr Ros Baxter

Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

PhD; LLB; BSW; BA

Appointed March 2023

Ros is a leading Australian education executive who has spent the last 25 years working and partnering around the idea that early intervention and education are the keys to addressing intergenerational disadvantage. Since starting her career as a frontline social worker in child protection, Ros has worked across government and with partners in the community and research sectors to maximise understanding, investment and effective interventions for children and families. Before joining Goodstart, Ros was the Deputy Secretary for the Australian Government Department of Education and former First Assistant Secretary, Social Policy Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.  
 
With a strong background in public policy as both a leader and policy analyst, in addition to consultancy experience, Ros brings a deep understanding of issues affecting children, families and the sector, benefitting Goodstart’s vision and purpose and ongoing focus to deliver on our strategic goals. In designing solutions, Ros is an advocate of partnering closely with families, educators and early learning services who know and understand children the best. With four children of her own, she believes that every person is different and differently capable, and that everyone has the right to a great start in life. 

“What Goodstart’s founders, board and CEO have achieved after purchasing the failed ABC Learning business empire some nine years ago is nothing short of extraordinary. Their shared belief and conviction about early learning in the first five years, and its impact on lifelong educational and social outcomes has propelled their journey from day one. Goodstart is a story of what’s possible with entrepreneurism, and a strong vision closely tied to strong corporate governance.

With significant founding debt repaid ahead of schedule, Goodstart has become a successful billion dollar for purpose organisation, a leading early learning provider and Australia’s largest social enterprise. Many lessons can be taken from Goodstart. Their vision has remained constant, however their ability to continually adapt and refine its strategic direction to thrive, despite the most competitive sector conditions, is testament to building a solid foundation built on leadership, governance and accountability.”

– John Atkin FAICD, Chair, Australian Institute of Company Directors

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