On Tuesday 21 November Australian Schools Plus announced the appointment of David Friedlander as the new Chair of the Board, replacing Angus James after a nine-year tenure as founding Chair.
This followed the appointment of Sherrill Nixon as the new Chief Executive Officer of Schools Plus. Sherrill has also spent nine years in the team under former CEO, Rosemary Conn, and recently took over the role.
David Friedlander is the Chairman of King & Wood Mallesons Australia, one of the country's leading law firms. Over the course of his career, David has demonstrated a strong commitment to corporate governance, ethical leadership, and community engagement.
He brings deep expertise and passion for equality of opportunity in education, having been a Director of the Public Education Foundation for 10 years (the last 4 as Chair), and is also a director of Sydney Dance Company.
Friedlander succeeds Angus James, who has led the Board since 2015. Angus, alongside CEO Rosemary Conn, took Schools Plus from an idea recommended by the first Gonski Review into an organisation that has raised over $60 million, impacted over 500,000 children and young people, and worked across 1,500 school communities.
When asked how he sees Australian School Plus furthering its substantial impact on education quality, particularly when it comes to supporting disadvantaged schools, Friedlander said driving innovative change in teaching programs that support education will remain front and centre.
“Personally, I hope to see Schools Plus deepening and diversifying who we collaborate with to focus on a multiplier effect that scales those programs to the points of greatest disadvantage,” Friedlander told The Educator.
“This requires substantial co-operation with many stakeholders across both public and private sectors.”
To foster greater collaboration between the charity and the schools it supports, Friedlander said having open and transparent dialogue is always crucial, as well as collaborating with stakeholders who hold a similar passion.
“People who realise that it’s more of a long-term game plan than a ‘success overnight’. The Board’s job is to be the best mentors and sounding board we can be to the management team. And that team is now well established to drive into.”