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Board of Directors

Carlie Bender

Carlie Bender is a Director of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and an AIEF Alum. Carlie-Ann is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW, a past recipient of an AIEF scholarship and a proud Gumbaynggirr woman from Bowraville on the north coast of NSW.

She completed her secondary education at St Vincent’s College, Potts Point and in 2014 she graduated from the University of New South Wales with degrees in Law and Criminology. Carlie worked throughout her time at university, undertaking roles at AIEF, Allens Linklaters, SBS and the UNSW Faculty of Law. She is employed as a Solicitor at SBS, focussing on pre-publication advice, contracts and legal research.

Director

Rob Coombe

Rob Coombe is a Director of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and Chair of AIEF's Investment Committee. Rob is currently Executive Chairman of Generation Development Group (“GDG”) an ASX listed financial services company which owns Generation Life, Ascalon Capital and operates a Pooled Development Fund licence. Rob is also Chairman of National Wealth Management Services Limited (NWMSL), the head company of the MLC Wealth (MLC) business and Chairman of Tibra Capital a privately owned global multi strategy hedge fund business.

In addition to the above Chairmanships, Rob is a main board Director of CIMB Group, one of the largest universal banks in the ASEAN region with operations in each of the 10 ASEAN countries. He Chairs CIMB’s Global Risk and Compliance Committee and is the Board’s sustainability sponsor and Chair. Rob is also a member of the Advisory Board of 5V Capital Investors, a leading Australian private equity manager focused on investing in established growth companies across a range of industries.

On top of Rob’s commercial interests, he is the Deputy Chairman of Surfing Australia. Between 2013 and 2019, Rob was firstly CEO (2013-2017) then Chairman of Craveable Brands, the largest Australian owned Quick Service Restaurant business. Rob’s tenure with this business was during its ownership by Archer Capital and culminated in a successful exit to PAG in August 2019. Before joining Craveable Brands, Rob was responsible for all of Westpac's Retail, Business and Agri banking operations. Prior to this role, Rob spent 6 years as the CEO of BT Financial Group, responsible for all of Westpac’s funds management, financial planning, insurance, private banking, broking, platform and superannuation businesses in Australia.

In total, he has over 35 years’ corporate experience in both Australia and Asia, primarily in financial services. He has had extensive experience on the boards of both listed and private companies. In 2011 Rob was awarded the prestigious UTS Alumni of the Year for Excellence in recognition of his achievements in the business community and social sector.

Director

Greg Cooper

Greg Cooper is a Director of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and a member of AIEF's Investment Committee. Greg is currently a Director of NSW Treasury Corporation, Colonial First State Investments Limited, Perpetual Limited and a number of small technology and investment related firms. Until December 2018 he was Chief Executive Officer of Schroder Investment Management Australia Limited, a position he held since September 2006. Greg was also responsible for Schroders Institutional Business Globally.

Prior to joining Schroders in 2000 he was the Head of the actuarial and asset consulting practice for Towers Perrin in Asia, he has also worked in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. Greg commenced his investment career in 1992. He was a Board Member of the Financial Services Council for 10 years until December 2018 and its Chair for 3 years.

Director

Emily Hill

Emily Hill is a Director of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation. Emily is a proud Dunghutti/Yuin woman, who completed her secondary education at St Catherine’s School, Waverley, now an AIEF Partner School. She holds a combined Bachelor of International Studies/ Bachelor of Law from the University of Sydney.

Emily is currently a Director at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and until recently worked in the Office of the Foreign Minister. From 2013-16 Emily was posted as an Australian diplomat to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Since returning to Australia, Emily has worked in various roles including as DFAT’s Indigenous Human Resources Adviser and at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Director

Helen McCabe

Helen McCabe is a Director of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and Founder and Managing Director of Future Women. Helen was formerly the Digital Content Director at Nine Entertainment Co and the editor-in-chief of The Australian Women’s Weekly which she joined after 12 years in newspapers working as the Deputy Editor of The Sunday Telegraph, Night Editor of The Australian and a number of roles on The Daily Telegraph. She has also reported from London where she was the European Correspondent for News Ltd.

Helen began her career in Adelaide television before moving to Canberra Press Gallery with the Seven Network. She is also on the board of the Garvan Research Foundation and is an Ambassador for Adopt Change.

Director

Nyunggai Warren Mundine AO

Nyunggai Warren Mundine AO is the Chair of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation. He is from the First Australian Nations of the Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr and Yuin people of coastal New South Wales. For his entire life, Warren has been fighting racism, discrimination and for an economic foundation for his people. He is one of Australia's most recognised, respected and revered activists and agents for improving his people's standing. Arguably, no other Aboriginal leader has risen as high in public esteem. Warren is an author and has been an advisor to Prime Ministers and senior business figures, even billionaires, an opinion writer for Australia's top broadsheets and opinion magazines and a highly sought-after public speaker and media identity. Warren has been recognised for his community, government and business achievements with an Honorary Doctorate from Southern Cross University, a Centenary Medal and made an officer of the Order of Australia. Warren has more than 40 years’ experience working in the public, private and community sectors and is currently Managing Director of Nyungga Black Group.

Chair

Michelle
Penfold

Michelle is a Director of AIEF having co-founded the organisation in 2007 following the successful establishment of the St Joseph’s College Indigenous Fund. Michelle was the former CEO (1995-2003) of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AustCham), the largest Australian business organisation outside of Australia, representing over 1,400 corporate members, more than 500 Australian and local companies and a community of about 100,000. Prior to that Michelle spent eight years working in hospitality management in Sydney, London and Hong Kong.

Michelle is responsible for all stakeholder relationships and engagement, as well as internal and external communications including media and marketing and events.

Director

Andrew Penfold AM

Andrew is the Executive Director of AIEF and sits on the National Apology Foundation for Indigenous Australians (NAFIA) Board and in 2014 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the Indigenous community.

Andrew participated in the Indigenous Australia stream of the Australia 2020 Summit in Canberra in April 2008 and received a Leadership Award from the Prime Minister at the Australian Davos Connection in 2008. He was also one of the 2009 True Leaders in the annual Australian Financial Review Boss Magazine award, was a finalist for Australian of the Year in 2010 and was nominated by The Australian for its Australian of the Year award in 2012. In 2013 Andrew received the inaugural NSW Human Rights Award, assuming the role of NSW Human Rights Ambassador, and an Order of Merit from the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the highest award issued by the organisation. In the same year he received the 2013 Community Alumni Award and the 2013 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence from the University of Technology, Sydney. As the winner of the 2013 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, Andrew became a member or the UTS Luminaries, a select group of UTS graduates with a sustained record of outstanding achievements.

He is a former finance lawyer and investment banker with 20 years’ experience working in leading international firms in Sydney, London and Hong Kong. In 2004, Andrew left the business world and spent five years working on a fulltime but voluntary basis as Founder and Chairman of the St Joseph’s College Indigenous Fund and a range of other non-profit and charitable organisations before establishing AIEF in 2007.

Executive Director

Investment Committee

Rob Coombe

Rob Coombe is a Director of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and Chair of AIEF's Investment Committee. Rob is currently Executive Chairman of Generation Development Group (“GDG”) an ASX listed financial services company which owns Generation Life, Ascalon Capital and operates a Pooled Development Fund licence. Rob is also Chairman of National Wealth Management Services Limited (NWMSL), the head company of the MLC Wealth (MLC) business and Chairman of Tibra Capital a privately owned global multi strategy hedge fund business.

In addition to the above Chairmanships, Rob is a main board Director of CIMB Group, one of the largest universal banks in the ASEAN region with operations in each of the 10 ASEAN countries. He Chairs CIMB’s Global Risk and Compliance Committee and is the Board’s sustainability sponsor and Chair. Rob is also a member of the Advisory Board of 5V Capital Investors, a leading Australian private equity manager focused on investing in established growth companies across a range of industries.

On top of Rob’s commercial interests, he is the Deputy Chairman of Surfing Australia. Between 2013 and 2019, Rob was firstly CEO (2013-2017) then Chairman of Craveable Brands, the largest Australian owned Quick Service Restaurant business. Rob’s tenure with this business was during its ownership by Archer Capital and culminated in a successful exit to PAG in August 2019. Before joining Craveable Brands, Rob was responsible for all of Westpac's Retail, Business and Agri banking operations. Prior to this role, Rob spent 6 years as the CEO of BT Financial Group, responsible for all of Westpac’s funds management, financial planning, insurance, private banking, broking, platform and superannuation businesses in Australia.

In total, he has over 35 years’ corporate experience in both Australia and Asia, primarily in financial services. He has had extensive experience on the boards of both listed and private companies. In 2011 Rob was awarded the prestigious UTS Alumni of the Year for Excellence in recognition of his achievements in the business community and social sector.

Investment Committee Chair

Greg Cooper

Greg Cooper is a Director of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and a member of AIEF's Investment Committee. Greg is currently a Director of NSW Treasury Corporation, Colonial First State Investments Limited, Perpetual Limited and a number of small technology and investment related firms. Until December 2018 he was Chief Executive Officer of Schroder Investment Management Australia Limited, a position he held since September 2006. Greg was also responsible for Schroders Institutional Business Globally.

Prior to joining Schroders in 2000 he was the Head of the actuarial and asset consulting practice for Towers Perrin in Asia, he has also worked in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. Greg commenced his investment career in 1992. He was a Board Member of the Financial Services Council for 10 years until December 2018 and its Chair for 3 years.

Investment Committee Member

John Schaffer

John Schaffer is a member of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation’s Investment Committee and an AIEF Ambassador. John graduated with degrees in commerce and law in 1979 at the University of New South Wales and his career has spanned tax consulting (Arthur Andersen, KPMG) corporate finance (Citibank) and financial research (Davey & Associates). In 1989, he co-founded asset consultancy Intech, which grew to become one of Australia's leading institutional investment advisory consultancies. More recently, John founded Catallyst Advisors which provides institutional third-party marketing services.

Investment Committee Member

Andrew Penfold
AM

Andrew is the Executive Director of AIEF and sits on the National Apology Foundation for Indigenous Australians (NAFIA) Board and in 2014 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the Indigenous community.

Andrew participated in the Indigenous Australia stream of the Australia 2020 Summit in Canberra in April 2008 and received a Leadership Award from the Prime Minister at the Australian Davos Connection in 2008. He was also one of the 2009 True Leaders in the annual Australian Financial Review Boss Magazine award, was a finalist for Australian of the Year in 2010 and was nominated by The Australian for its Australian of the Year award in 2012. In 2013 Andrew received the inaugural NSW Human Rights Award, assuming the role of NSW Human Rights Ambassador, and an Order of Merit from the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the highest award issued by the organisation. In the same year he received the 2013 Community Alumni Award and the 2013 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence from the University of Technology, Sydney. As the winner of the 2013 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, Andrew became a member or the UTS Luminaries, a select group of UTS graduates with a sustained record of outstanding achievements.

He is a former finance lawyer and investment banker with 20 years’ experience working in leading international firms in Sydney, London and Hong Kong. In 2004, Andrew left the business world and spent five years working on a fulltime but voluntary basis as Founder and Chairman of the St Joseph’s College Indigenous Fund and a range of other non-profit and charitable organisations before establishing AIEF in 2007.

Investment Committee Member

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The AIEF Scholarship Program and the AIEF Pathways Program are supported by the Australian Government in collaboration with individual, philanthropic and corporate supporters from the private sector.