Leadership team

Learn more about the people supporting our teams to foster lifelong learning across ECMS.

Board of Directors

Our board of directors comprises diverse professionals with various skills and expertise from different backgrounds in health, youth justice, finance, education, IT, local government, and First Nations.

Members of the Board

Dr Vanda Fortunato – Chair

PhD, Masters A, BA, FAICD

Vanda Fortunato joined the ECMS Board in March 2021, was appointed Chair in March 2023 and is the Chair of the Governance & Remuneration Committee.  Vanda has over 20 years experience in executive and strategic leadership roles in Australia and overseas, with significant experience in public health, primary care, not-for-profits, medical training, academia, pharmaceuticals, health insurance, banking and consulting. Vanda has been the CEO of two not-for-profit organisations and held senior executive roles with a private equity firm, Medibank, and a clinical research organisation. Vanda has also held roles with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.


Vanda is currently Chair of the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, AMES Australia, Deputy Chair at Integrated Living, and is a board member of BreastScreen Victoria and Vasey RSL Care.

Amanda Watkinson

Masters Public Sector Management, BA, Cert Advanced Assessment Skills, Cert Advanced Casework Practice

Amanda Watkinson joined the ECMS Board in March 2024 and is a member of the Finance Committee. Amanda is an experienced public policy, organisational development, community engagement, and service innovation leader. Amanda has a strong knowledge of the regulatory environment. She brings community and social services leadership experience, having held several senior leadership roles in Government in crime prevention, consumer affairs, prisons, offender behaviour, youth justice and Aboriginal Child safety. She has held leadership positions with the Victorian Government, Jesuit Social Services, Office of Aboriginal Affairs and as a Lecturer in Social Sciences at ACU and RMIT University.


Amanda is currently Senior Advisor – Strategy, Sustainability, & Service Development with Jesuit Social Services.

Celia Pollard

GAICD, BA(Hons), Grad. Cert. Business

Celia Pollard joined the ECMS Board in May 2016 and is a Governance and Remuneration Committee member. Celia is an experienced senior leader, consultant and coach with extensive executive-level experience in strategic and operational human resource management, organisational development, industrial relations, talent acquisition, inclusion, equity and diversity, specialising in gender equality. Celia has leadership experience in health, transport, tertiary education and industrial relations. Celia held executive roles with Public Transport Victoria, the Department of Transport and Planning, Monash Health, EY and Alchimie Consulting.


Celia is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Women’s Leadership Forum and currently owns and operates her consulting business, Inclusio.

Ellen Hooper

Masters Management, LLB

Ellen Hooper joined the Board in October 2022 and is a member of the Risk Committee. Ellen is an experienced executive coach and the Co-Founder of The Growth Collective who specialise in workshops and training for new and emerging leaders. Ellen has held executive and leadership roles with accountability for talent management, performance, learning and development, culture and change with organisations including Bank First, Monash College, NDIS and Department of Education and Training. Ellen started her career as a lawyer, specialising in employment, discrimination and safety law  at Herbert Smith Freehills.


Ellen is currently an Integrity Commissioner for Cricket Victoria, the Managing Director of Ellen Hooper Coaching & Consulting, the Co-Founder and Board Director of The Growth Collective, and a member of the Merit Protection Board in Victoria.

Linda Weatherson

Dip. Education, Grad. Dip. Special Education, PSM, MAICD

Linda Weatherson joined the ECMS Board in May 2016 and is the Chair of the Risk Committee and a member of the Governance and Remuneration Committee. Linda has over 20 years of experience in executive leadership roles in local government, following roles in primary school teaching. Linda has held strategic and operation accountability for family and children’s services, organisational performance, governance, risk and insurance, community services, social investment and human resources.

Dr Jason Talbot

PhD, Masters Applied Finance, Grad. Dip Accounting, BSc

Jason Talbot joined the ECMS Board in December 2019 and is Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. Jason is an experienced management consultant with expertise in strategic planning, business transformation and financial analysis. Jason has over 20 years experience in the business consulting sector, having worked in senior roles for Grant Thornton, Andersons, PwC, Deloitte, National Australia Bank and EY in Australia and the UK.


Jason is currently the Managing Director of Graphite i2i, a Sessional Lecturer at Macquarie University and Facilitator at the Governance Institute of Australia. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant, a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia. He holds a Master of Applied Finance from Macquarie University and a Graduate Diploma in Accounting, a Doctor of Philosophy and a Bachelor of Science from Monash University.

Hon. Jenny Mikakos


Jenny Mikakos joined the ECMS Board in May 2024. She is a lawyer and currently serves as a non-executive director on not-for-profit boards. She has more than 30 years of experience in public administration and the law, including in areas such as early childhood education, health, community services, and commercial law.


As Victoria’s inaugural Minister for Early Childhood Education, she committed Victoria to a state-wide roll-out of universal 3-year-old kindergarten, making Victoria the first state in Australia to do so. Jenny also introduced needs-based funding and language program funding for preschools, new training for the entire Maternal and Child Health Nurse workforce in autism screening to ensure early intervention and support, and new parenting programs and parenting centres.

Peter Lewinsky AM


Peter Lewinsky was appointed to the ECMS Board in May 2024.


Peter has over 30 years of experience as a Board Member and Chair in public, private and Government organisations. Peter commenced private advisory practice in 1991 after having worked in investment banking and stockbroking in Australia and internationally with Capel Court, McIntosh Corporate and Morgan Grenfell and as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG. Peter’s previous Board experience includes Tower Australia Limited, Australian Wealth Management Limited (incl Chair of its Group Audit & Risk Management Committee) and Director of Australian Executors & Trustees Limited and Questor Limited, Carbon Revolution Limited ,Phosphagenics Limited, Redflex Holdings Limited (incl Chair of Audit Committee).


Peter is currently Chair of Holmesglen Foundation, after 11 years as Chair of the Board of Holmesglen Institute, a Board Member and Chair of the Finance Committee of Ambulance Victoria and a member of The Emmy Monash Home for the Aged Board. Peter is also the Audit and Risk Committee Chair for several Government Departments, Commissions and Authorities, including the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, Essential Services Commission and Environment Protection Authority. Peter conducts an Advisory practice covering several client projects, including financial management, governance and stakeholder management.

Ryan Mistry

Ryan Mistry joined the ECMS Board in September 2018 and is a member of the Risk Committee.


Ryan has over 26 years of experience across telecommunications and digital industries with expertise in sales, marketing, financial sustainability, operating efficiency and strategic partnerships operations across APAC. Ryan has held leadership roles with iiNet, Optus and Telstra.


Ryan is currently Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at ZORILIO.

Executive Leadership Team

Meet the people driving our strategic direction and leading our dynamic teams across the organisation.

Andrew Hume

Chief Executive Officer

From a deep passion for creating lasting impacts, I lead our teams as we discover our unique positioning within the early childhood education space and identify the optimal type and pace of change needed for successful growth. Driven by a passion for creating lasting impacts, I thrive on helping the individuals within our organisation unlock potential they never knew existed. With a deep fascination for making changes ‘stick’ organically, my favorite question to explore is ‘why’. Beginning my career with multinational corporations, I now serve as both CEO and board member at ECMS.

Rebecca Hand

Director of Early Childhood Education

As the Executive member for Early Childhood Education at ECMS, I lead the early education strategy, partnerships, operations and practice. The first five years of a child’s learning matter and last a lifetime! Working in early childhood education is a privilege as it plays a vital part in shaping the brain’s developing architecture. For me, early childhood education is world-making practice- if children have a great start, they will have a great future.

Stuart Braganza-Travis

Director of People and Strategy

As Director of People and Strategy, I focus on ensuring we have clarity of purpose, elevating great people and getting behind an ambitious plan. I look after our People function, organisational strategy and planning, special projects, and shaping the future of our services. We should give children the space to explore their identity, pursue their curiosities, and enjoy being young with the support of caring, secure adults to lean on as and when they need it.

Donna Geraeds

Director of Risk and Compliance

I lead the team steering the collective effort to ensure ECMS is a child safe organisation delivering a quality service. With a focus on ensuring a trauma informed approach to improving outcomes for children, I lead the design and implementation of the organisational risk management framework, with particular oversight to WHS, child safety and regulatory compliance.

Aisha Singh

Director of Corporate Services

The Corporate Services team I lead supports our services by maintaining high financial rigour, offering insightful business analytics, and enhancing our technology and facilities management. A concept resonating deeply with me is—’Artha Shanti Phala Vidya’, a Sanskrit saying meaning, “The true aim of education is to spread peace.”

Kate Smith

Director of Marketing and Communications

I lead a dynamic team responsible for enrolments and supporting our service leaders to showcase the remarkable work of ECMS. Education is world-changing and world-making. Working in early childhood education allows us to support families and children in this space.

Early Childhood Education Team

Get to know the team leading the quality agenda through education, thinking, reflective practice and operations across our services.

Emma Forsyth

Head of Pedadogy

As the Head of Pedagogy, I delight in all things Early Childhood Education and have had the pleasure of exploring practice and pedagogy at both a teaching and leadership level at ECMS since 2015, and in both Australian and New Zealand contexts since 2009. In my current role, I lead the research, design, and implementation of our Pedagogical Framework and am the head collaborator with external research partners and academics. I firmly believe (and research backs) that the Early Years are such a transformative time in a child’s life, and the difference that warm, responsive relationships and meaningful interactions make, can literally be life changing.

Kathryn Main

Head of Practice

As Head of Practice, I enjoy the privilege of leading a transdisciplinary team of practice coaches, family and child trauma consultants and allied health professionals that step into learning alongside our teaching teams to foster curiosity and grow their practice. I have always been passionate about joining hands with others and creating brave learning spaces for critical reflection, growth and connection. From the moment I stepped into my first teaching position to date, I have felt deeply the privilege of being able to meet families and children where they are at, building connections and strengthening attachments.

Karen Hughes

Head of Operations

I look after the team responsible for ensuring operational excellence, quality and implementing strategic changes across all our services. A key focus is developing a rich culture of employee engagement and professional growth through continuous learning. The key to success is developing a strong collaboration between pedagogy and operations, or ‘Pederation’. The opportunity to contribute to fostering a love of learning for children in a positive, safe and nurturing environment is one I value.

Get in touch

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    ECMS acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the traditional custodians of the lands on which we live, learn, work and play. Aboriginal people have a long tradition of teaching and learning through sharing their connections with country, community, language and culture. We recognise their continuing connection to the country, and we pay respects to elders past and present.