Board Members

The Initiative Board is made up of representatives from the State Government, Minderoo Foundation and Telethon Kids Institute, with an independent chair and an independent deputy chair.

Ms Sue Ash AO, Chair

Sue Ash brings her significant experience as a Director, Senior Public Servant and Chief Executive Officer of community and human service organisations to the EYI Board. Sue joined the Board of Baptistcare in November 2017 after retiring in July 2017 from her role as Chief Executive of UnitingCare West.

Sue has worked in NSW, ACT and most parts of Western Australia and has strong connections with local, national and international networks. Sue’s work has been with a range of family and children’s organisations as well as indigenous and multi-cultural communities.

Sue was awarded the Order of Australia (AO) for services to community and public policy in June 2014.

Dr Sue Gordon, Deputy Chair

Dr Sue Gordon is a board member of The Graham Polly Farmer Foundation and served as its President from 2016 to 2018.

Sue has achieved many 'firsts' during her career: first Aboriginal person to head a government department in Western Australia as Commissioner for Aboriginal Planning; first Aboriginal magistrate in WA; and first full-time children's court magistrate (from 1988 to 2008). Sue was also Chairperson of the ‘Gordon Inquiry’ (2002); Chairperson of the ‘Northern Territory Emergency Response’ (2007-2008), and one of five commissioners appointed to the first board of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC).

Mr Colin Pettit, Commissioner for Children and Young People

Commissioner for Children and Young People Colin Pettit has spent his career working with children and young people in the education sector across Western Australia and Tasmania in teaching, administration and executive roles. A commitment to improving the wellbeing of children and young people is a hallmark of his career.

Colin was appointed Commissioner in November 2015 and has a statutory responsibility to monitor, protect and advocate for the wellbeing of the more than 585,000 children and young people under the age of 18 in Western Australia.

Ms Nicola Forrest, Chief Executive Officer, Minderoo Foundation

Nicola is the Chief Executive Officer of Minderoo Foundation and Minderoo Group. She is Chief Convenor of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, a member of the Telethon Kids Institute CoLab Advisory Council, Valuing Children Initiative Advisory Board, and Governor of the Forrest Research Foundation. 

Nicola was this year appointed Chair of the Black Swan State Theatre Company and was inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame.  She is Patron of the Kimberley Foundation Australia and Impact100 WA and is a Life Governor of Sculpture by the Sea.

Ms Tonya McCusker AM, Alternate Director, Minderoo Foundation

Tonya is the Administrator and a Director of the McCusker Charitable Foundation, working closely with charities, universities and research institutions across Australia.
After an early career dancing in Monte Carlo and then with the Australian Ballet Company, Tonya completed a Law Degree, Postgraduate Diploma in Management and fundraising qualifications. She worked in Hong Kong for five years and then with the Leeuwin Youth Development Sailing Ship and Chamber of Commerce.

Tonya is a Trustee for Telethon, an Ambassador for Children through the Office for Children and Young People, co-founder of the McCusker Centre for Citizenship and is passionate about medical research.

Mr Jeff Moffet, Chief Executive Officer, WA Country Health Services

Jeff Moffet is the Chief Executive of the WA Country Health Service and has worked in rural and remote healthcare management over many years. He leads the largest country health service in Australia, delivering hospital and community health services to more than half a million people in over 200 sites, including hospitals, health centres, nursing posts and remote clinics.

Prior to joining WACHS, Jeff was the Chief Executive of the Northern Territory Department of Health, providing leadership across the NT Health system and with national policy development through his membership of a range of key national bodies.

Ms Michelle Andrews, Director General, Department of Communities

Michelle Andrews is the Director General of the Department of Communities. An environmental scientist with 30 years’ experience in the public sector, Michelle previously led the Policy and Reform Division in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and headed the secretariat supporting the State Government’s Service Priority Review, a wide-ranging independent review that recommended a blueprint for reform of the public sector.

Michelle has served as Deputy Chair of the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia and is on the Boards of the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute and the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

Emeritus Professor Bill Louden

Bill Louden is chair of CoLab, a partnership between the Telethon Kids Institute and the Minderoo Foundation focused on improving the development and learning of young children. He is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Western Australia where he was Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Education. His research interests have included literacy, numeracy and science education, professional standards and initial teacher education.

Bill was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for services to education.

Mr Stephen Baxter

Stephen Baxter is Acting Deputy Director General, Public Schools at the Department of Education.

He is responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction for eight education regions and networks of schools across the State. All regional executive directors report to him.

He is a qualified teacher and has more than 35 years’ experience in public education. He has held a number of senior executive positions, including in regional Western Australia.