Debra Singh

CHAIR, INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SINCE 29 NOVEMBER 2021

Debra Singh

Debra has over 30 years retail experience in C-suite roles across business transformation, general management, retail operations, change management and human resources. Debra was the first woman to run a trading division at Woolworths where she spent 11 years working across supermarkets, operations and consumer electronics. Over the past 8 years, Debra was CEO of Fantastic Furniture and Group CEO of Greenlit Brands Household Goods. Debra is also a Non-Executive Director on the Shaver Shop and The Kids Cancer Project boards.

Special responsibilities:

  • Member of the People, Culture & Education Committee

Pejman Okhovat

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER & MANAGING DIRECTOR SINCE JANUARY 2023

Pejman Okhovat

Pejman joined G8 Education as CEO and Managing Director in January 2023.

Prior to joining the Group, Pejman has held senior leadership positions across a number of well-known retail organisations in Australia and internationally, including as the Managing Director of BIG W, Chief Executive Officer of NZX-listed retailer The Warehouse and as a senior leader at UK retailers Marks and Spencer, Sainsburys and ASDA/Walmart. He has extensive experience in leading large teams within geographically dispersed networks, with a strong focus on customer service, business transformation and delivering value for all stakeholders.

Pejman is committed to continuing G8 Education’s purpose-led approach to delivering meaningful societal impact through quality early childhood education delivered through a passionate and capable team of educators, teachers and support team.

He holds a BA Hons in Business Studies from Leeds Business School, with further executive education at Babson College (USA) and INSEAD (Singapore).

 

David Foster

B.App.Sci, MBA, GAICD, SFFin

INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SINCE 1 FEBRUARY 2016

David FosterDavid Foster has had a successful career in financial services spanning over 25 years, with his last executive role being Chief Executive Officer of Suncorp Bank, Australia’s 5th largest bank.

Since leaving Suncorp, David has further developed his career as an experienced Non-Executive Director with a portfolio of board roles across a diverse range of industries including financial services, retailing, local government, education and professional services. David currently serves as Director of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited and Star Entertainment Group Limited. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation.

Special responsibilities:

  • Member of Audit and Risk Management Committee
  • Member of the People, Culture & Education Committee
  • Member of the Nomination Committee

Prof. Julie Cogin

PhD, M. Law, M. Ed, B. Bus, GAICD

INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SINCE 1 SEPTEMBER  2017

Prof. Julie Cogin

Professor Julie Cogin has worked in the Australian education sector for more than 30 years. In addition to her Non-Executive Director responsibilities, Professor Cogin is the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Business and Law) and Vice-President at RMIT University, Australia’s largest multisector university, with more than 100,000 students. In this role she is accountable for financial, people, legal and student experience outcomes in Australian, Vietnam, Singapore and China.

Professor Cogin chairs the board of RMIT Training Pty Limited, is a Non-Executive Director for the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre and has held a number of senior academic leadership positions over the last two decades, including Dean and Head of UQ Business School at the University of Queensland and Director of the Australian Graduate School of Management, University of New South Wales.

Professor Cogin has made numerous leadership contributions while achieving substantial research and education outcomes. She is a recognised thought leader in strategy implementation, high performing workplaces, corporate culture and executive remuneration, having authored books and world leading academic articles.

Professor Cogin has received prestigious education awards at university, national and international levels and delivered education or consulting engagements for many leading companies throughout Australia, Asia and in the USA.

Professor Cogin has been engaged as an expert witness in a number of tribunals and courts of Australia. In 2016, she was named as one of Australia’s Women of Influence for her work to address gender imbalance in leadership. Professor Cogin is a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW).

Special responsibilities:

  • Chair of the People, Culture & Education Committee
  • Member of the Nomination Committee

Toni Thornton

B.A PolSCi Ec, GradCert AppFin, ADA1, LLM Ent Gov 

INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SINCE 29 NOVEMBER 2021

Toni Thornton

Toni Thornton has worked in corporate finance agencies for more than 15 years. She brings a strategic commercial focus to the G8 Education Board, having previously held senior positions with JBWere, Goldman Sachs JBWere and NAB.

Current directorships include Star Entertainment Group Limited, CS Energy (including Chair of the Finance Risk and Assurance Committee) and Millovate Pty Ltd as well as being a Founding Director of the private childcare enterprise Habitat Early Learning. Toni was previously a Board Member of South Bank Corporation, boutique developer Devcorp and the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation.

Toni has more than 10 years’ experience in audit at board level, is a licensed real estate agent and during her time at Goldman Sachs JBWere, was a responsible executive with the ASX holding both derivative and RG146 accreditation. She has also completed an Accelerated Executive Management program through AGSM (The Australian School of Business), the Goldman Sachs JBWere Non-Profit Leadership Program and the Goldman Sachs Executive Director Leadership Program. Toni holds a Master of Law in Enterprise Governance through Bond University.

During her time with a leading global investment bank, Toni gained significant strategic advisory experience with prominent Queensland listed companies, large private companies and Profit-for-Purpose groups including a number of Queensland’s major hospital groups.

Special responsibilities:

  • Member of the Audit & Risk Management Committee
  • Member of the Nomination Committee

Peter Trimble

B.Com FCPA GAICD

INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SINCE 13 MAY 2020

Peter Trimble

Peter Trimble is an experienced senior management and finance executive of publicly listed companies having held roles at CSR Limited, Rinker Limited, ABC Learning Limited and Sugar Terminals Limited. These roles have crossed a diverse range of industries comprising education, construction materials, manufacturing, infrastructure and agriculture and includes 12 years of experience in the USA. He is also an experienced Non Executive Director of a number of private companies.

Peter has an extensive background in childcare operations, having joined ABC Learning as Chief Financial Officer immediately prior to the group going into administration and being a critical part of the team that managed, restructured and prepared the childcare business for sale. Peter also has a background in governance, risk management, strategy and planning, merger and acquisitions and business restructuring and improvement.

Special responsibilities:

  • Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee
  • Member of the Nomination Committee

Margaret Zabel

MBA, BMath, GAICD

INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SINCE 1 SEPTEMBER 2017

Margaret Zabe

Margaret Zabel is a specialist in customer centred business transformation, brand strategy, innovation, digital communications, customer experience and change leadership. She has 20 years senior executive experience working across major companies and brands in FMCG, food, technology and communications industries including multinationals, ASX 100 and not-for-profits. Her previous roles include National Marketing Director Lion Nathan, VP Marketing for McDonald’s Australia and CEO and Board Director of The Communications Council.

Margaret has also served as a Non-Executive Board Director for the mental health charity R U OK? for 5 years, and is currently a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Select Harvests, The Reject Shop, Collective Wellness Group and Fairtrade AUNZ.

Special responsibilities:

  • Chair of the Nomination Committee
  • Member of the Nomination Committee
  • Member of People, Culture & Education Committee