After an extensive search, EdConnect Australia is pleased to announce Michael Pailthorpe as the organisation’s new CEO. Michael brings a wealth of senior executive leadership experience, commercial strength, and interpersonal attributes to lead EdConnect Australia into the future.

An experienced business leader in organisations including housing, overseas aid, sport and recreation, children and youth services, mental health and wellbeing, Michael will succeed retiring CEO Gerri Clay and assume responsibilities on 26 April 2023.

“I am delighted to join EdConnect Australia at such an important time in its recovery phase following a downturn in volunteers due to covid-19. I look forward to growing EdConnect Australia’s focus on securing new corporate and government support to conserve and expand the program and grow into new geographies,” Michael says.

Before joining EdConnect Australia, Michael held Executive leadership positions with five organisations over the last two decades, most recently as national CEO for Sports Chaplaincy Australia and previously as CEO with Variety WA.
Michael’s early life was spent in the dairy industry before commencing a marketing career that took him to Sydney with World Vision. While in Sydney, he completed his MBA at the Macquarie Graduate school, leading to his first CEO appointment with Habitat for Humanity Australia.

Michael takes this role as EdConnect Australia celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. “EdConnect Australia can be very proud of what it has achieved to date, and this provides a strong foundation to build upon. We are fully committed to EdConnect Australia’s mission to prepare and connect volunteers with disadvantaged or at-risk young people for educational success and personal well-being,” Michael continues.

The EdConnect Australia story began over 25 years ago with four volunteers in one Perth school. The program now operates in WA, Victoria and NSW with around 900 volunteers in 250 schools. EdConnect volunteers work in local schools with young people who might otherwise struggle to realise their potential in school and in life.

Elena Mogilevski, EdConnect Australia’s Chairperson comments: “On behalf of the EdConnect Australia Board, we are excited about the appointment of Michael to this pivotal role at EdConnect Australia, and we are looking forward to the many opportunities that are ahead of us, particularly in reaching our milestone of 25 years in operation in 2023.”

Michael is the Vice Chairman of the Global Sports Chaplaincy board and serves on the board as P&C President of his local High School (Rossmoyne Senior High School). He also has a keen interest in sports, serving in various coaching and administrative roles, including as a State-wide Game development committee member for WA Cricket.

He is married to Jodi and has three sons and one daughter. Michael is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.