Elena was appointed as Chairperson in November of 2020.
Elena’s career spans across academia, philanthropy and the not for profit sector. In her current role as CEO of CoDesign Studio, she is working on data-driven innovations to improve mental health of all Australians. Previously, Elena was the CEO of St Kilda Community Housing, helping some of the most marginalised people in our community to secure affordable accommodation.
As a Senior Executive with The Myer Foundation and the Sidney Myer Fund, Elena managed an extensive portfolio of programs including Education, Sustainability & Environment, Myer Innovation Fellowships, Impact Investment and overall strategic direction.
Elena is deeply passionate about improving the educational outcomes and wellbeing of all students.
Sam Rosevear was appointed as a Non–Executive Director in 2020.
Sam is Executive Director of Strategy, Impact and Policy at Headspace, an organisation that supports the mental health and wellbeing of young people. He joined Headspace from Beyond Blue, where he played a similar role.
Sam has a strong commitment to education. He worked on strategy, policy advocacy and government relations as Chief of Staff to Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis at the University of Melbourne. He worked closely with government to help to secure ongoing funding for Teach For Australia, an organisation that recruits Australia’s top talent to be teachers in schools in low income communities.
Sam has been a Policy Deputy Secretary in the Victorian Government, and worked for 15 years in the Federal Government in departments including Treasury, Finance and Prime Minister and Cabinet.
David Barwise has over 20 years legal, regulatory and compliance experience within the legal industry in Australia, Europe and Asia.
David was a partner in a leading global law firm for 15 years, a member of its European management board, held a variety of product, client and regional management positions and acted as the relationship partner for a number of financial institutions.
David is a director of Gyrostat Capital Management, Gyrostat Capital Management Advisers and Gyrostat Downside Protection Australian Equities Advisers.
He has worked in Australia, London and Singapore, and holds a variety of post graduate qualifications in law, business, accounting, finance, corporate governance and risk management.
Non Executive Director
Master of Management, MBA, GAICD
Appointed in 2022, Sabine is a Senior Executive and Company Director with experience in Financial Services, Angel Investing and the Education Sector.
From her 12 years at a world leading insurance company, Sabine gained a strong risk management background as well as an authentic approach to enterprise culture. She has developed a genuine interest in accompanying start-ups and SMEs growth, having spent over 15 years in cash-flow finance and seed investment.
She is the Founder of BabelBooks, an online bookstore that encourages the reuse of books within Australia and funds publications in First Nations languages, to preserve Australia’s unique heritage. Having been educated in five different countries, Sabine values multi-culturalism and is committed to supporting EdConnect Australia in its ambition to improve educational and wellbeing outcomes for disadvantaged or at-risk young people across Australia.
BA Dip Ed MBE AM Cit WA
John was appointed to the Board in 2021. John has taught for 36 years in Perth, Adelaide and England, the last fourteen years as Headmaster of Hale School. John then went on to teach at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle and was Warden of St George’s College at UWA for six years. He became State Manager for WA of Teach for Australia in 2015 and held this position for three years. John is currently an Ambassador for Teach for Australia.
John played first class cricket for Western Australia and South Australia over a period of 23 years. He played six Tests for Australia and captained WA to four Sheffield Shield trophies.
Non Executive Director
Ben was appointed to the EdConnect Australia Board in November 2018.
Ben is founder of Republic of Everyone, a company that pioneers innovative ways to make social and environmental causes more commercially compelling. He is co-founder of the Garage Sale Trail, Australia’s number one community day and Grow it Local, a grassroots movement to encourage more people to grow food in their own backyards.
He believes strongly in both the experience of age and energy of youth and is especially enamored by the possibilities when the two are brought together.
Ben is also Director of the Future Business Council and the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute.
Non Executive Director
Master of Education, Bach. of Education, Dip. of Teaching
Lesley is an experienced and enthusiastic educator, who as principal in four Australian secondary schools and two international schools, all with diverse contexts, has gained district, state and national recognition for delivering successful outcomes for students.
Lesley is the current Principal for Mount Lawley Senior High School. Mount Lawley SHS is a large, complex multi-cultural school with 1985 students and approximately 200 staff and offers a breadth of curriculum choices. It has a rich history of student success and achievement, including where the EdConnect program originated from in WA.
Lesley is a strong communicator with well-honed change management, negotiation and public relations skills. She prides herself on her collaborative work to maximise student learning outcomes to enable them to become successful, confident global citizens.
Non Executive Director
Yawar Zoeb was appointed as a Non–Executive Director in 2022.
Yawar Zoeb specialises in Public Sector Governance, Assurance and Financial Management. He has spent over two decades across the Western Australian Public Sector within senior roles in Governance and Assurance across the Departments of Health, Education, Agriculture and Land Administration. He has also taught at Murdoch University Western Australia and the Aventis Learning Group in Singapore. He has assisted in strengthening governance across the Papua New Guinea’s central and provincial administrations as part of an AusAid initiative to strengthen accountability and build governance capability in central institutions. More recently he was involved in strengthening governance and accountability within a NfP Aboriginal Corporation within the East Kimberley region. He has also worked in various commercial enterprises in India. He is a fellow of CPA Australia, a Certified Information System Auditor and has a keen interest in Funds Management, running his own private company.
Yawar strongly believes in the power of education in transforming lives, especially within the youth. He is a keen advocate and supporter of rights for women and children escaping domestic and family violence. He also serves as a Board Director for Starick, a charity supporting women and children escaping domestic and family violence.