Growth of SVA’s Education team

Social Ventures Australia (SVA) is pleased to announce the implementation of its strategy to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged young Australians has taken another step forward, with former politician and award winning journalist, Maxine McKew, joining SVA’s Education team on a consultancy basis.

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Commencing on 14 February 2011, Ms McKew’s energies will be focused on identifying potential partners to work with SVA on its stated targeted intervention levels ‘ improving early learning access and outcomes in disadvantaged communities; building greater diversity of new, innovative learning models; and raising the level of engagement of families and communities in local schools.

Ms McKew brings a wealth of experience to SVA, as well as a passion for the need for education reform. One of Australia’s most recognised identities, Ms McKew’s career has spanned both politics and journalism, providing her with multiple opportunities to view firsthand the issues facing disadvantaged communities and the crucial role education can play in breaking this cycle of disadvantage.

Following her historic victory in the seat of Bennelong in the 2007 Federal Election, Ms McKew was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education. A key achievement from her time in this role was the development of a framework and new national standards, designed to improve the quality of care in childcare and pre-schools across Australia.

Ms McKew’s new role at SVA will leverage both her knowledge of the early learning sector and her passion for ensuring the Australian public school system is meeting the needs of disadvantaged communities.

SVA’s Chief Executive, Michael Traill AM, expressed his delight that Ms McKew is becoming more involved in the non-profit sector.

‘Maxine brings a passion for education and experience that will be extremely helpful for us in putting in place our work in improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged Australians. We’re delighted to have access to her extensive skills and experience on a consultancy basis.’

‘The fact that SVA is attracting the attention of individuals of the calibre of Maxine is an indication of how far we’ve come since our establishment nine years ago.’

Explaining her decision to take up a new consultancy role with SVA, Ms McKew said: ‘I have long been an admirer of SVA’s model and am excited by their ambitious plans to improve education outcomes for disadvantaged young Australians. SVA has a talented team internally and through their extensive partnerships collaborates with some of the smartest minds in the country. I’m very much looking forward to working with the team and making my own contribution to their important work.’