I am delighted and honoured to have been elected the Chair of Skyline in 2017. I originally became a Director on the Skyline Board because I was so impressed with Skyline’s successful educational program for disadvantaged VCE students with unique and special needs. Over the past nine years I have been part of Skyline’s growth and have come to understand why this program makes a real difference to not only our students, but to their schools and communities as well. Our students are outstanding and their success in secondary and higher education defies the expectations of their backgrounds as compared with like schools.
In 1994 I completed a Masters in Education (Gifted) which focused on the social and emotional needs of gifted adolescents. I then joined the Gifted Students Program in the Department of Education and over the following 17 years I held executive positions in the Department of Education. More recently, I held the roles of Director of Global Education at Cisco and Education Lead for SingTel/Optus. I am currently a Consulting CEO , working with SME technology companies. I am experienced in working successfully across all three sectors, government, corporate and not-for-profit.
It is my absolute pleasure to have joined Skyline as Company Secretary in June 2018. All the successes I have enjoyed so far in my career have been as a result of one thing, education. For me it was so easy to understand and identify with the importance of the work that Skyline does for disadvantaged and special needs students.
I hold a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of International Hotel and Tourism Management (Hons) with the University of Queensland. I have worked with 2 large national law firms and advised clients across a range of industries (public, private and non-profit) with a particular focus on corporate dispute resolution and regulatory issues. Throughout my career in private practice I have taken pride in taking on many pro bono matters for disadvantaged clients. Having recently transitioned to the role of Legal Counsel within a wellness company, starting with Skyline has been the final piece of the puzzle in order to continue to contribute and give back to the community around me
It’s an honour and a privilege to be working with the great people and in the dynamic and friendly environment within Skyline, and of course to be a part of the great work they do!
Dr Elizabeth Hartnell-Young has been a school teacher and principal, and a research director in Australia and the UK. She is a passionate advocate for learning for all and enjoys mentoring emerging leaders and researchers as well as writing creative non-fiction. She is currently working in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne, following Director roles at the Australian Council for Educational Research and the Department of Education and Training, Victoria. In 2017 she co-founded Honour a Woman to ensure women’s achievements are justly recognised through the Australian Honours system.
As a graduate of the Skyline program, joining the Board represented to me a unique way of giving back to this amazing organisation that supported, and continues to support me in so many ways. I had no reservations about taking up the opportunity of learning from and engaging with the people who steer Skyline, and as a representative of the alumni of helping to inform the future of the program and its students.
I graduated from the Skyline program in 2011, and was subsequently involved in establishing the Skyline Alumni Association. I served as secretary to the Alumni Committee between 2015 and 2017 before becoming Co-Chair in early 2017.
I have a Bachelors with Honours in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, and a concurrent Diploma in French Language from the University of Melbourne, both of which focused intently on communication and the intricacies of interpersonal interaction. As part of my Honours year I completed an original research project including a 15,000 word thesis on the topic of language, agency and subjectivity with regards to violence against women in Australia. I am currently working as a research assistant at the University of Melbourne.
In May 2017 I was awarded the Rotary Club of Melbourne’s Young Achiever Award for Community Service Leadership based on my work with Skyline and my tertiary studies. I intend to continue my involvement with the alumni and the Skyline program for as long as I am able, and hope to provide an alumni perspective in discussions to inform decision making on the Board, as well as contributing my research skills and knowledge when possible.
Alistair is a globally experienced Chief Financial Officer and Finance Executive. He has led diverse finance teams across multiple geographic regions.
Alistair was previously with BHP for over 20 years and prior to that with Andersen for 10 years. Most recently he was Head of Risk and Assurance for BHP. His experience includes finance, risk management, insurance, capital projects, joint ventures, supply chain management and international taxation. Alistair previously held directorships of Australian, UK, Canadian and South African companies.
He has lived and worked in Australia, UK and North America
Wendy Bonnici is a company founder and innovator who has launched, built and led high-growth businesses as start-ups and within large enterprises alike. An experienced advisor, she has also contributed knowledge, capital, and connections to mid-market and emerging ventures. Wendy’s professional background includes 25 years’ experience in Human Resource Management across a variety of industries.
Wendy’s priorities today are specific but wide-ranging: Empowering female leaders in early-stage businesses through Scale, Australia’s only women-led angel investment group; collaborating with trusted non-profit organisations; as well as initiatives that build a more creative, equitable, and inspired society. Concurrently with her Skyline Board commitments, Wendy sits on the advisory board for Mpower Mecca Cosmetica and chairs her Family Foundation. Wendy also mentors young professional women who have begun their leadership journey.
Before joining the Skyline board, I had over five years experience as an engaged philanthropist with the Skyline Education Foundation. I was touched by the impact the program had, not only on the young Bursary winners but also on their families, their school and on our society in general.
I have extensive experience in marketing and management consulting and have worked with the Board to improve the sustainability of the Bursary Program. As a donor, I am also able to provide the Foundation with first-hand experience in donor expectations and access to other donor networks.
Beverley Brock has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
As a young student, I would have fitted the criteria for a Skyline Bursary, so I understand firsthand the challenges our students face. I am completely committed to the ideals and objectives of Skyline and the needs of our students.
I received a scholarship to train as a science teacher and undertook post graduate studies in Special Education, focusing on gifted students. After teaching, I helped to run a business that employed 80 staff and I also co-founded and ran a Foundation that cared for the disadvantaged in our community.
Dr Peter Hollingworth has been awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) and an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).
On returning home to Melbourne in 2003, I renewed my relationship with John Cheetham and was excited by the work he was doing with disadvantaged and talented young people in a pilot program managed by the Student Achievement Centre. The initial pilot project was coming to an end and refinements were being made for future expansion.
Having worked for much of my life with disadvantaged young people, I felt I could contribute to this new organisation which was providing a unique program in a highly professional way. I later joined the Board and served as Chair from 2007-2017. As Ambassador, I continue to enjoy working with a group of committed people who bring their particular skills to the organisation.
Emeritus Professor Kwong Lee Dow has been awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).
I am keen to support the approach which Skyline uses to build the confidence of talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds at a critical stage in enlarging their educational opportunities – both short term and long term. The combination of activities provided, and the encouragement of students with common aspirations from different schools to come together to share problems and possibilities is proving to be life changing for participants in this program. In addition, working consistently over time with Partner Schools, helps reinforce the benefits achieved with individuals, demonstrating that this can be generalised and is reproducible. Finally, Skyline has effectively connected with other Trusts and Foundations and so mutually strengthens our overall capacity to support Victorian students.
For many years as chair of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, and some of its predecessor bodies, I have been committed to easing and improving the transition which students make through the last years of school and in choosing courses and tertiary institutions for their subsequent professional careers and personal development. There are many aspects to this process, spreading over years, and Skyline highlights and successfully enhances student self awareness and knowledge of options and prospects. I have assisted with similar activities in other places and will be pleased to contribute to Skyline evolving and growing in this space.
Justice Lex Lasry has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
I sit as a judge in the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria. In most courts, on most days, we see the result of missed opportunities. We hear about the unexploited potential of young people who, through drugs or for other reasons, have been diverted into criminal activity. We see the tragedy that will accompany futility in the life of young people whose education has been token rather than real.
Skyline, and its ambition, is key in the modern community. The aptitude and talent of young people should not be inhibited by their circumstances. Skyline’s efforts to foster and encourage these young people is a vital investment, not only for them, but for the whole community.
It is such a great honor to be appointed as Skyline’s first Chief Executive Officer. I am inspired by the great work of so many to date and driven by the opportunity to contribute to a blossoming Skyline future enabling our students to realise their dreams. As a strategic and hands on leader, my commitment is to innovative commercial practice for social outcomes. I bring diverse leadership experience, most recently as Chief Executive Officer at Freemasons Victoria, steering growth and transformation. For close to ten years I led the Marketing and Program team at Fed Square and have also held leadership roles at Southgate Arts and Leisure Precinct, VicHealth and Kidney Health Australia. I am a Leadership Victoria fellow, graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Deputy Chair of the Victorian Tourism Awards Judges Panel.
Annie brings a Bachelor of Education (Fine Arts), a Post Grad. Dip. Marketing, a Masters of Business in Marketing and thirty years of corporate business strategy and communication experience to the position at Skyline. She also has a lifelong and abiding interest, and passion, for the power of education to challenge, enhance, elevate and transform.
Alongside her professional career Annie has remained committed to education. She has worked as a sessional, and guest, lecturer; was instrumental in developing several courses for the Diploma of Arts (Visual Merchandising) course at RMIT University; and has been an industry representative on the Steering Committee Executive for the aforementioned course where she is also currently serving, for the second time, as Chairperson.
“I equate education with enablement, opportunity and freedom and this is what attracted me to working with Skyline. It is an amazing organisation supported by a fantastic group of committed people, and it provides students the opportunity to dream big and ultimately fulfil their potential.”