Paul Zahra

Chair of the Board of Directors and Member of the People, Remuneration and Nominations Committee

Paul Zahra was appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of The Pinnacle Foundation in February, 2016 after serving on the Board since June, 2015.

Paul is a CEO, Non-Executive Director, Board and Company Advisor and one of Australia’s most influential diversity advocates. A leading force in the Australian Retail Industry for over 35 years, Paul’s corporate roles have included Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of ASX listed, David Jones Limited as well as senior leadership roles at Target Australia and Officeworks Superstores.

A powerful champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Paul was previously Chair of PwC’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board and has led numerous high profile LGBTIQ+ campaigns and initiatives.

Paul is currently CEO of the Australian Retailers Association, a not for profit that is Australia’s largest retail association, representing a $325bn sector employing more than 1.3 million people. He has recently been appointed an Ambassador for Honour a Woman, firmly believing that exceptional Australian women need to be recognised on the public record through the highest level of public recognition in our country; the Australian honours.

Paul is an alumni of Stanford University, USA and a Graduate of The Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He lives with his husband, Duncan and Norwich terrier, Oliver in Sydney.

Elizabeth Jameson AM

Non-Executive Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors; Member Audit & Risk Committee

Elizabeth is a non-executive director and lawyer of over 30 years standing, a nationally respected governance consultant of almost 20 years standing and a longstanding Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2002, from her prior 15 year legal career, and then a partner of a national law firm, Elizabeth founded national corporate governance consultancy Board Matters and associated firm Board Matters Legal. Over the course of her 30+ year career she has served on the boards of more than 20 organisations in the private, not-for-profit and public sectors and has consulted to hundreds more. This lens has given her a strong belief in the importance of diversity and inclusion in key decision-making roles in society.

Based in Brisbane where she lives with her wife, Abbe, Elizabeth is also currently Vice President/Deputy Chair of RACQ, Chair of Queensland Theatre, and a Director of John Villiers Trust and the Australian Major Performing Arts Group.

In 2020 she was awarded a Member of The Order of Australia for significant service to business and the community, especially in the Arts and Education sectors.

Andrew Staite

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Andrew is Managing Director and CEO of The Pinnacle Foundation. He is also Non-Executive Chair of search and outplacement firm, SHK.

After completing Law and Arts degrees at The University of Melbourne, and being admitted to practice, Andrew joined Melbourne Theatre Company, and subsequently, the Victoria State Opera and Australian Opera companies (now Opera Australia), where he worked in a range of sales and marketing roles.

In 1997 Andrew joined recruitment and human resources consulting firm, Morgan & Banks. Andrew was promoted through a series of leadership roles with the publicly-listed business (through various ownership and name changes) to ultimately lead the company across Australia and New Zealand.

In 2007 Andrew founded Staite Henningsen Klein (now SHK). He was the firm’s managing director for almost nine years. SHK is now a recognised leader in search and outplacement services.

Andrew was a non-executive director of Victoria’s Midsumma Festival from 2013 until 2016. He joined the Board of The Pinnacle Foundation in 2016, chairing the People, Remuneration & Nominations Committee until 2019 when he was appointed as the Foundation’s CEO and Managing Director.

Andrew lives with his husband, Mark, in Melbourne.

Brenda Appleton OAM

Non-Executive Director; Chair Audit & Risk Committee

Brenda retired in 2009 after 35 years working in the corporate sector and is now heavily involved volunteering with a wide range of community groups, including the LGBTIQ+ communities in Melbourne (for 20 years).

She is the Chair of Transgender Victoria and has recently stepped down after two terms as the Co-Chair of the LGBTIQ Taskforce set up by the Victorian Government. Brenda is a member of the Victoria Mental Health Ministerial Advisory Committee, the Victorian LGBTI Taskforce Health and Human Services Working Group, the NWMPHN Suicide Prevention Taskforce and the Victorian Elder Abuse Roundtable.

Brenda is passionate about using her lived experience to improve the health and wellbeing of trans and gender diverse people across Victoria. She was inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2017 and received a COTA Senior Achiever Award as part of the 2018 Victoria Seniors of the Year Awards.

Brenda is a retired chartered accountant. She has a Bachelor of Commerce, a Master of Sustainable Practice and GAICD, and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in January 2019.

“The opportunities provided by The Pinnacle Foundation can be significant for the future success of many young disadvantaged LGBTIQ+ people, and I welcome being involved in this important work.

Greg Livingstone

Non-Executive Director; Chair Investment Committee

Greg is a director of The Pinnacle Foundation and chairs Youturn Youth Support Limited – a Sunshine Coast based charity focused on Mental Health, Child Safety, Homelessness and Suicide Prevention.

Following a corporate career in finance, strategy and general management in Australia and New Zealand, Greg has worked with a range of organisations in the fields of sustainability, economic development and the support of vulnerable members of the community. He holds a Bachelor and a Master of Commerce from the University of New South Wales.

“The decision to join The Pinnacle Foundation was an easy one, driven by the focus, dedication, and passion of the team and the truly inspirational stories that scholars tell of their experience with the Foundation. I am really looking forward to contributing to its future success.”

Greg is a keen traveller and splits his time between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.

Claire Spencer AM

Non-Executive Director; Chair People, Remuneration & Nominations Committee

Claire is CEO of Arts Centre Melbourne and since her appointment in November 2014 has steered the organisation through a major restructure to ensure its role as a leader in Melbourne’s cultural precinct. Key projects included: the launch of the Asia Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts (Asia TOPA), Australian Music Vault, and the establishment of the Arts Wellbeing Collective, which promotes strong individual wellbeing for those in the sector.

Claire is leading a major redevelopment of Arts Centre Melbourne, including refurbishment of the Theatres Building and the addition of a new campus, an expanded Australian Music Vault, and a major new gallery celebrating Australia’s performing arts history. The project is the centrepiece of a $1 billion transformation of Melbourne’s Arts Precinct.

Claire is also a Member of Chief Executive Women –representing senior women leaders from the corporate, public service, academic and not-for-profit sectors.

Claire has worked in the not for profit sector for 14 years and has a passion for inclusion and the democratising of creative experience, regardless of background, geography or financial means. The transformative power of education is something that is of ongoing interest and the chance to open these opportunities up to young people in the LGBTIQ+ community is what attracted Claire to The Pinnacle Foundation.

Claire lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children.

Dr Cassandra Goldie

Non-Executive Director; Member Investment Committee

Dr Cassandra Goldie is CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service, the national peak body for the community sector, and an advocate for tackling poverty and inequality. She has public policy expertise in economic and social issues, civil society, social justice and human rights and is a regular media and public commentator and conference presenter.

Prior to joining ACOSS, Cassandra held senior roles in both the not-for-profit and public sectors at local, national and international level, including with the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Darwin Community Legal Service, Legal Aid Western Australia, and the global Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions.

Cassandra is Adjunct Professor with the Law Faculty at the University of New South Wales. She has a PhD from University of New South Wales and a Master of Law from University College London. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Cassandra is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, the UNSW Law Advisory Committee, the Australian Climate Roundtable, and the Energy Charter Independent Accountability Panel.

Madeline Richardson

Non-Executive Director; Member People, Remuneration & Nominations Committee

Madeline is a senior executive in the South Australian public service. She holds a Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Laws and is a leader in policy design, engagement and delivery.

Madeline is the Executive Director, Skills and Workforce Capability within the Department for Innovation and Skills where she is focussed on skilling South Australians to succeed. This includes increased participation through apprentice and trainee pathways, focus on a responsive training system and strengthening industry’s voice in skills and workforce development.

Prior to this role, Madeline led the Delivery and Engagement Division in the Department of State Development supporting industry and business growth and major economic projects.

In her role as Chief Executive of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency, Madeline and her team delivered the largest engagement program in South Australia’s history involving over 50,000 people. The Aboriginal engagement program was awarded the 2017 Project of the Year by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).

Madeline has also held a wide range of senior leadership positions across the public sector, with experience in portfolios such as health, industrial relations and within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.
When not at work, Madeline loves to tackle the hills of Adelaide on her road bike and spend time with her partner and their dogs.

Dr Craig White

Non-Executive Director; Member People, Remuneration & Nominations Committee

Craig personally experienced the uplifting experience of education. As a teenager, growing up in a small country town, he was sure ‘there must be more to the world’. A scholarship was the beginning of a journey leading, many years later, to his involvement with The Pinnacle Foundation.

Going on to gain qualifications in medicine from The University of Melbourne and business management, specialising in leadership and organisational dynamics, from Swinburne University, Craig has had 30 years in senior roles in public hospital and health system leadership and management as major hospital CEO, State Chief Health Officer and Chief Medical Officer. He also participates on the Boards of Family Planning Tasmania and OAK Possibility, a large disability services provider operating in three states.

Past roles have included Council membership of the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC), membership of the inaugural Victorian Ministerial Advisory Council on LGBTIQ+ Health and leading the development of Australia’s first policy and decision-making national framework for bloodspot screening of newborns.

The rest of time you will find Craig enjoying travel as well as life in Tasmania with his partner and various dogs, chooks, ducks, geese and miniature goats.

Karen Brown

Non-Executive Director; Member Partnerships Committee

Karen is National Director at strategic communications firm Cannings Purple. A trusted advisor and expert communicator, she has worked at the very highest levels of politics, media and business. With experience across multiple industries, Karen brings practical, expert knowledge to resolve complex issues. She devises and manages political and issues-based campaigns, formulates effective government engagement strategies and provides crisis communications and litigation support to a diverse range of clients.

Prior to joining Cannings Purple, Karen enjoyed a successful career in the media, serving as Chief of Staff and Deputy Editor at The West Australian newspaper and WA Editor at The Australian newspaper. She went on to work at the highest levels of politics at both the State and Federal level, serving as a Senior Media and Policy Advisor, and Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Government in the Senate and Federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research.

Karen is a Non-Executive Director on several not-for-profit, community and charitable organisations. Away from the office, Karen is a keen cyclist, an average banjo player and enthusiastic West Coast Eagles supporter.

Mark Stewart

Non-Executive Director; Member Partnerships Committee

Mark has spent the past 20 years working in the not-for-profit sector in Australia, Europe and Asia as an executive level manager, after building a career in finance and accounting across a variety of industries.

His experience in driving growth through strategic and operational initiatives spans an extensive portfolio of organisations, with a focus on delivering superior leadership, stakeholder management and operational change. Having developed fundraising and donor supporter engagement programs as well as working with boards and executive teams to lift strategic ambition and governance, Mark is now bringing his experience to an organisation to which he is truly aligned.

Mark has previously served on the Board and as Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee of WaterAid Australia.