Skip to main navigation Skip to content
Goodstart homepage Goodstart Early Learning logo Goodstart Early Learning logo

Our executives

Meet Goodstart's executive team. Our executive team is a dynamic mix of passionate leaders committed to our vision and purpose.

  • Gains won in early childhood accumulate; disadvantage compounds

    Dr Ros Baxter, our Chief Executive Officer

  • Living by the principle of “more money, more mission” is fundamental to our long-term financial sustainability. It’s intrinsic to our ability to deliver ongoing, positive social impact for Australia’s children and their life-long outcomes.

    Jeff Harvie

  • Adopting new and more agile ways of working is an important enabler for us to help realise our 2025 ambitions for our children, families and communities. We are excited about the future and the opportunities this presents.

    Lynne Walker

  • Goodstart is a catalyst of positive change in the early years in Australia, bringing local and international academics in early childhood together to collaborate and translate evidence into practice to make the biggest impact to Australia’s children.

    Sue Robb OBE

  • We are using our unique strengths every day to improve the lives of children and families – within Goodstart and beyond. That’s why I love belonging to Goodstart.

    Myra Geddes

They take everyday responsibility for leading our organisation’s strategic direction – our roadmap for the ongoing delivery of social impact – to give Australia’s children the best possible start in life.

Fostering high quality early learning experiences within every centre, creating a great place to work for our people and ensuring great experiences for our families and children in our care – are all in a day’s work for our executive team.

Click here to learn more about decision making at Goodstart and our Centre-led approach. 

Dr Ros Baxter

Our Chief Executive Officer


Our CEO has dedicated her career to advancing early intervention and education for all Australia’s children. 

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. 

Jeff Harvie

Our Deputy Chief Executive Officer


Jeff provides both a strategic and day-to-day focus over our operational functions.

Jeff provides both a strategic and day-to-day focus over our operational functions and the delivery of our strategic goals, purpose and vision. Jeff joined Goodstart in 2014 as the Chief Financial Officer bringing many years of experience in senior commercial finance roles across not-for-profit, private and public sectors. During his tenure at Goodstart, Jeff has secured our financial sustainability to help us achieve maximum social impact – with our social purpose investments increasing from $12.5M to more than $47.3M in 2022. Jeff has been instrumental in leading our centre growth strategy and executing sector-leading capital projects, to helping establish our charitable cause the Early Learning Fund with Uniting (NSW/ACT) and The Benevolent Society, and overseeing the strategy and implementation of our child safeguarding framework. 

Jeff became the Chief Operating Officer role in early 2019 and led the transformation of a new way of working at Goodstart, placing centres at the centre of everything we do.  In early 2023 Jeff was appointed Deputy CEO, a role to which he brings his strong leadership focus to create a thriving organisation where all children and Goodstarters feel a strong sense of belonging.

Myra Geddes

Our Social Impact General Manager

BEd; BBus

Myra oversees Goodstart's social impact strategy, policy, measurement, research and evaluation and social inclusion programs and initiatives such as EChO (Enhancing Children’s Outcomes) and Family Connections. Myra and her team amplify the delivery of Goodstart’s social purpose and impact across the country.

Myra brings significant experience to Goodstart, as a driving force of social policy and reform that has helped transform and improve the quality of life of Australians. She has been the senior social policy advisor to two Australian prime ministers and has worked across early childhood education and care, schools, community services and health policy at state and national levels. Myra’s career began as a teacher in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. She is deeply committed to supporting those Goodstarters working closest with children and is a passionate believer in the power of early learning to transform children’s lives. Myra co-wrote Preschool – Two Years are Better Than One with Dr Stacey Fox at the Mitchell Institute which aimed to help compel Australia to pursue a national commitment to ensuring all three-year-olds have access to high-quality early childhood education by offering a second year of preschool. Myra has also been a Goodstart mum, with her children attending Goodstart Kedron.

Peter Gunn

Our Chief Financial Officer


Peter is an experienced CFO who enjoys working in a "for purpose" environment and is passionate about shaping a stronger future for Goodstart, bringing a strategic focus to financial sustainability, risk and assurance and the longer term success of Goodstart.

Peter is an accomplished finance and commercial leader with a diverse corporate and operational based career across health, aged care, retirement living, not-for-profit, financial services, engineering, construction/projects and mining/energy.  With expertise in finance, commercial operations, funding, procurement, IT, property, and governance, he excels in strategy, delivery and change. Peter's ability to lead high-performing teams, navigate complex change and employ broad financial skills in listed and non-listed entities sets him apart.  Recent roles have included working with a distributed network of services across 400+ locations and developing a deep understanding of diverse operations.  His strategic financial and risk leadership is instrumental in shaping a stronger future for Goodstart, ensuring stability, growth and the ongoing provision of nation-wide high quality early learning. Peter's dedication to excellence drives sustainable success and reinforces Goodstart's vision and purpose.

Nick Hansen

Our Chief Products & Enabling Services Officer

BA (Psychology); PGCert (Health Service Management)

Nick is instrumental in driving transformation and innovation at Goodstart as our Chief Products and Services Officer. 

With over 20 years of experience in the aged care and community sector, Nick oversees our expert products and services teams that are essential to supporting the success of our early learning centres. His portfolio includes Marketing, Brand and Family Services, Communications, Corporate Affairs and Partnerships, Data Analytics and Insights, and Centre Services teams.

Before joining Goodstart, Nick was the Chief Operating Officer at Anglicare Southern Queensland. He has had successful career in a range of not-for-profit and for-profit organisations, offering aged and community care, child safety, homelessness services, health and retirement living.

Nick's leadership style is people-centred. He is passionate about empowering individuals and teams to discover and achieve best practice, which is complemented by experience in change management, performance improvement and operations management, making him a vital asset to our organisation.


Sue Robb OBE

Our Chief Children's Officer


Sue leads a range of work and initiatives to bring our ambition of becoming a world leader in early years pedagogy and practice to life. This sees Sue and her colleagues on any given day working closely with educators in our centres, the sector, academics and national and international thought leaders to translate and embed early learning evidence into practice.

Sue is an international thought leader in early childhood pedagogy and OBE (Order of the British Empire). Prior to joining Goodstart, Sue was the Head of Early Learning at Action for Children in the United Kingdom (UK). As a complement to her role at Action for Children, Sue provided specialist advisory services on early years and childcare policy and quality to the UK Government and relevant Ministers. In her early career, Sue spent 14 years as a teacher, including three years in the British School, Athens, and six years as Early Years and Infant Lead in the British School in Manila, Philippines. She has also been a school principal and held the regulatory role of lead inspector for the Early Years Foundation Stage (the UK version of Australia’s Early Years Learning Framework).

Paul Ryan

Our General Manager of Network Operations

PostGradCert (Business & Marketing)

With a strong background in all areas of business operations – marketing, logistics to procurement and finance – Paul has a deep understanding of what is needed to support teams and centres to be their best to deliver great children’s outcomes. 

Paul is a highly accomplished executive with 40 years’ experience working for major national organisations as well as 20 years of board experience and strong operational and leadership expertise as the State Manager for Goodstart’s Victoria and Tasmania region – overseeing more than 170 Goodstart centres. Paul has a deep understanding of managing diverse organisational footprints and people and an unrelenting focus for Goodstart’s vision and purpose. He is highly passionate about people and making a difference in the communities we all live in – benefiting Goodstart communities and beyond as a volunteer and fundraiser for several charities across the nation.

Melinda Smith

Our Chief Operating Officer


Melinda is instrumental in supporting Goodstart’s 654-strong centre network and empowering our centre leaders and their wider teams each and every day to maximise the potential of every child through high quality early learning.

Melinda is a dynamic leader, who fosters innovation, is results driven and has extensive leadership experience in operations management, cultural change, business transformation and customer service.

With over 30 years of senior leadership and executive experience, Melinda brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Goodstart. Her background includes leadership roles at Woolworths Ltd and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), leading national service delivery and major change and transformation projects.

Natalie Townsend

Our Chief People & Culture Officer


Natalie excels in maintaining a great balance between organisational requirements and nurturing an exceptional employee experience to support our people to thrive.
Natalie leads our people and learning teams which maintain an unwavering focus on ensuring Goodstart provides an inclusive and thriving environment for both Goodstarters and the children we serve. Natalie brings significant HR expertise to Goodstart, with her career spanning across several roles within the Queensland Public Service, including Queensland Treasury and Queensland Audit Office. Prior to joining Goodstart, Natalie served as the Chief People Officer, leading a major HR transformation at Residential Tenancies Authority, where she also held acting positions as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Customer Experience Officer.

Goodstart Live Chat