Paul Zahra Chair
Paul Zahra is a 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 CEO and Managing Director of David Jones Limited as well as senior leadership roles at Target Australia and Officeworks Superstores.
Paul currently works as an independent Global Retail Advisor where he is focused on helping Australian brands achieve omni-channel transformation and global expansion as well as assisting international retail brands entering the Australian marketplace.
Paul is also the Chair of PwC’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, providing leadership on the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy.
A powerful champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Paul has also led numerous high profile LGBT+ campaigns and initiatives.
Paul is also a Non-Executive Director of Nexba Beverages P/L and Aesthetics Australia P/L.
Paul is an alumni of Stanford University, CA.
Claire Spencer Non-Executive Director
Claire was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Arts Centre Melbourne in November 2014. Since that time she has steered the organisation through a major restructure to ensure their role as a leader in Melbourne’s cultural precinct and a major contributor to Victoria’s creative economy.
Claire is a Member of Chief Executive Women – the pre-eminent organisation representing Australia’s most senior women leaders from the corporate, public service, academic and not-for-profit sectors – and is on the Executive Council of Live Performance Australia, the national peak body formed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Australian live performance industry.
Claire has worked in the not for profit sector for 14 years and has a particular 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 opportunity to open these opportunities up to young people in the LGBT+ community is what attracted Claire to the Pinnacle Foundation.
Claire lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children.
Tanya Matthewson Non-Executive Director
Tanya has been advising large corporate clients in Australia, Europe and the U.S.A over the past twelve years. She specialises in customer-centric strategy and translating strategy into successful implementation and effective change. Tanya was responsible for leading the Australian integration of Strategy& (formerly Booz&Co) which was successfully achieved within six months from commencement of planning. She is currently the Chief of Staff for PwC’s Consulting Business in Australia.
Prior to consulting, Tanya held senior management roles for British Telecom in the U.K. She played a significant role in the company’s global expansion plans by setting up new subsidiary businesses and international Joint Ventures in Europe, Asia and the U.S.
Tanya is passionate about values-led strategy and diversity and inclusion. She is the Victorian State Leader of GLEE (Gays, Lesbians and Everybody else), PwC’s employee-led LGBT+ network. Tanya has led a myriad of initiatives in this role, including playing an instrumental role supporting the Victorian Government to commence the Pride Centre initiative in Melbourne. She is regularly asked to speak on the topic of Diversity and Inclusion, has published a report on ‘LGBT+ Inclusion in the Workplace’ (May 2016) and personally delivering ‘Sticks & Stones’ LGBT+ inclusive language training to over 350 people within PwC.
Tanya is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and is also a Board Member for Melbourne based community radio station, JOY 94.9. Tanya joined the Pinnacle Board as a Non-Executive Director in September 2016.
Andrew Staite Non-Executive Director
Andrew is a non-executive director of The Pinnacle Foundation and non-executive chair of executive search and outplacement firm SHK. In July 2019 Andrew will assume the role of CEO of The Pinnacle Foundation.
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 executive 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. The business then had revenues in Australia and New Zealand exceeding $440 million and approximately 1,300 staff across Australia and 100 in New Zealand. Andrew resigned from this role to establish Staite Henningsen Klein (now SHK) in 2007.
Andrew was managing director of SHK for almost nine years. SHK has grown significantly from its start-up days. It is now recognised as a leading provider of executive search and executive outplacement services.
Andrew was a non-executive director of Victoria’s Midsumma Festival from 2013 until 2016. He secured substantial corporate support (sponsorship) for Midsumma to reinforce its financial sustainability and facilitate an expansion of its program. Andrew was also involved for many years in the judging of the National Business Women’s Awards and Business Awards programs.
Andrew lives with his partner, Mark, in Melbourne. They are getting married in June 2019.
Madeline Richardson Non-Executive Director
Madeline is a senior executive in the South Australian public service. She holds a Masters of Public Administration and Bachelor of Laws and is a leader in policy design, engagement and delivery.
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. Over 50,000 people had their say during the consultation with 17,000 face to face conversations and 135 events held. The Aboriginal engagement program was awarded the 2017 Project of the Year by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).
She now heads up the Delivery and Engagement Division in the Department of State Development where she provides pathways for industry and business to grow and thrive. This includes overseeing a pipeline of industry projects, best practice engagement and economic analysis.
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.
Madeline is passionate about delivering change and public value. 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
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 the 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 of senior roles in public hospital and health system leadership and management. He also participates on the boards of Family Planning Tasmania and OAK Possability,
Tasmania’s largest disability services provider.
Past roles have included Council membership of the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC), membership of the inaugural Victorian Ministerial Advisory Council on LGBTI+ Health and leading the development of Australia’s first policy and decision-making 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.
Brenda Appleton OAM Non-Executive Director
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 LGBTI+ communities in Melbourne (for nearly 20 years).
She is the Chair of Transgender Victoria and is co-chair of LGBTI+ Taskforce set up by the Victorian Government. Brenda is also a member of the Victorian Elder Abuse Roundtable and was a member of the last Victorian Mental Health Expert Taskforce.
Brenda is passionate about using her lived experience in an effort 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 was a graduate of the company directors course of the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 2018.
Brenda 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 LGBTI+ people, and I look forward to being involved in this important work.”
Russell Date Non-Executive Director
After graduating from medical school Russell (pronoun he) worked for several years in sexual health before training in psychiatry.
Since then he has accumulated over 25 years of experience in mental health in a wide range of settings, often assisting LGBTI+ individuals, and teaching and supporting doctors and others working with LGBTI+ people.
Despite having seen significant advances in the rights and status of members of the LGBTI+ community in his lifetime, Russell knows that unfortunately and indefensibly, we continue to be at risk of being some of the most disadvantaged members of the community.
Russell still hears stories of LGBTI+ folk experiencing familial rejection, bullying, discrimination and social marginalisation and exclusion which have major negative impacts on health and well-being and prevent them from achieving their true and full potentials.
“My commitment to social justice, and addressing the at-times unrecognised and unacknowledged social determinants of health are perfectly aligned with the work of the Pinnacle Foundation.
My clinical and personal experiences are important in ensuring that Pinnacle adequately addresses the emotional well-being of its scholars.”