GEKA is an incorporated association governed by a board of directors as required under the Rules of the Association. Board members are accountable to the Department of Education and Training (DET) and are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organisation, risk management and overall governance. GEKA’s board consists of representatives that are skills based professionals, with an interest in the local community and early childhood sector.
Board of Directors
Katie joined the GEKA Board in January 2017 and is the Chair of the board. Katie is a superannuation professional with over 20 years’ experience within the industry super fund sector. Her broad experience across a number of roles, means she has extensive expertise at both operational and strategic levels.
She enjoys working in roles that focus on ensuring the best retirement outcomes for members. Katie is currently the Chair for the Women in Super (WIS) Victorian committee and a director of the national WIS Board. She holds formal qualifications in superannuation management and financial planning. Katie is passionate about supporting and growing organisations that are focussed on high quality and affordable early years education. As such she has previously been the President and Approved Provider for a local community based child care centre, as well as the President of GEKA Glover Street Kindergarten.
Maxine is presently Executive Manager Governance and Company Secretary of an industry superannuation fund. She is responsible for executive management, implementation and improvement of regulatory compliance.
A proven leader with a range of corporate skills, Maxine demonstrates a key ability to provide both strategic guidance and thinking to improve performance and create sustainable value. These abilities translate across both corporate and community organisations with ease.
Maxine has volunteered on management committees of community-based organisations, including a local kindergarten as well as sporting and educational groups. She has also mentored refugees and vulnerable students one-on-one through work placements to assist them to develop vocational, employability and industry skills whilst also improving personal and social skills.
Believing that organisations can and should take responsibility to help create a positive and transformational experience, Maxine enjoys connecting with people to build a vibrant and inclusive community.
Sandra is a Chartered Accountant and a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors with over 13 years local and international experience as a finance professional.
Sandra is currently a Group Chief Financial Officer in the training and workforce solutions industry, and has high engagement with several Boards and Executive Management on strategy and financial sustainability. She has held senior roles in professional services and commercially in a large energy organisation. Sandra is passionate about education and held the position of Treasurer for the Zema Scholarship Fund, and is currently also professional mentor to aspiring Chartered Accountants.
Sandra is a Glen Eira local and has two young boys. She enjoys her coffee, yoga and nature. Sandra joined GEKA as Board member and Treasurer in November 2019.
Krithika has over 20 years’ experience across Marketing, Human Resources, Organisational Development drawn from various industries globally and locally – most recently in professional services. She has worked in senior global roles across America, Europe, South East Asia and Australia. Within Australia, her career has spanned within iconic Australia businesses both globally and nationally in HR & Change Management roles and she is now the Director of People Experience at Pitcher Partners.
She understands the pressures of fast paced, high performance work environments and is known for the strong, yet warm and empathetic approach she takes to her work, holding her stakeholders to account for the impact they seek to achieve. A proven leader and strong communicator, Krithika is adept at positioning risks and opportunities for influence and change with senior stakeholders, including boards, senior executives and partners. She brings a commercial acumen to everything that she does, with a focus on strategic, long term outcomes.
Krithika holds formal qualifications in strategy, planning and leadership. She is currently a board member at the Victorian Housing Foundation – an organisation that supports victims of domestic violence with housing and the Pitcher Partners Charitable Foundation – supporting low income students with university scholarships to achieve their business degrees.
Krithika joined the GEKA board in November 2020 and is passionate about quality and inclusive Early Childhood Education and supporting the board and management team to achieve its goals of a sustainable future for GEKA. She lives within Glen Eira council and is married with three young children. She enjoys her daily exercise with her two Labradors, reading, and the arts.
Francesca has over 30 years’ experience in senior management roles, working in the healthcare industry. With a breadth of experience across the pharmaceuticals, dental and health services sectors in Australia and the Asia Pacific region, she has led the strategic direction of teams responsible for commercialisation and launch of new products and services.
She brings a wealth of commercial, financial management and marketing experience, drawing on a combination of technical, operational and strategic expertise to provide business advice to inform decision making and business planning.
Francesca enjoys working with teams, developing, inspiring and motivating teams towards a common goal of value creation.
Francesca joined the GEKA board in November 2019 and is committed to contributing to the ongoing development and growth of GEKA and its vision to be the leading provider of innovative, professional Early Years Education.
Dirk has over 25 years of international experience in management consulting and delivering complex digital transformation programs for Financial Services and Technology Companies. He is an entrepreneur, C-Level advisor and accomplished business leader. Dirk is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dirk has a passion for Early Childhood Education as a father of 4 children and has been involved in community organisations for many years. Dirk is married and is a multi-talented musician with interests in travel, food, sports, cars and the arts.
Dirk joined the GEKA Board in November 2019. He is a member of the Finance Committee. He brings an “outside in” client perspective to the Board and is dedicated to helping the GEKA board and management team to further improve the organisation towards a sustainable and successful future.
Stuart currently holds the executive position of Business Operations Manager and Company Secretary within a regional independent college. He has been involved in the education sector for more than 23 years. He holds an MBA (Leadership), Bachelor of Business with double majors in Accounting and Marketing and is a graduate of the AICD.
His strengths in strategic governance, organisational change and culture, and enterprise risk management have helped shape past boards, committees, and organisations where he has been involved. He has assisted national educational institutions, primarily in the non-government sector, and continues to mentor aspiring educational leaders.
He is a father of four adult children and spends downtime cooking, gardening, collecting fine wine, and watching his beloved football team. His wife, Debbie, is an English teacher at a local Melbourne independent college.
Stuart joined the board in May 2021 and believes that education, at all levels, allows individuals to shape their genius and increase their capacity to improve society.