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Tim McDonald to lead Minderoo’s GenerationOne

A life-long drive to see marginalised Australians thrive has inspired leading education executive Dr Tim McDonald to join Minderoo Foundation’s GenerationOne as its new Chief Executive Officer, where he hopes to extend its ground-breaking work in education and training to people in prisons. 

“It's a little known powerful fact that there isn’t a measurable disparity between educated first Australians and others at the same level. It is the obstacles to achieving these outcomes that Tim will focus on,” Founder and Chairman Andrew Forrest AO commented. 

"I have no doubt Tim has the experience, talent and personal values required to lead and evolve GenerationOne’s determined mission to end the disparity through education, training and employment. 

“Dr McDonald’s extensive experience and obvious passion made him the ideal person for the job.” 

GenerationOne works to end the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians through sustainable employment – creating real opportunities in education, training, mentoring and the workplace, and removing the obstacles to this achievement. 

Dr McDonald said he was attracted to GenerationOne because of its important focus on eliminating the gap. 

“I am incredibly excited to lead a team that has delivered amazing results to date and has the heart and resolve to tackle one of the most pressing moral issues of our generation,” Dr McDonald said. 

“My vision is for GenerationOne to continue this great work and extend its reach even further. One possible area for growth is a ‘prison to work’ program, for example. 

“I have long strived to improve education and employment outcomes for people leaving prisons and juvenile detention facilities and believe that facilitating such a program through GenerationOne would be a ground-breaking step toward reducing high rates of repeat imprisonment for Indigenous youth.” 

Dr McDonald has had a long and successful career, most recently as the Executive Director of Catholic Education Western Australia. In this position, which he held for five years, Dr McDonald oversaw education at 163 schools, early learning centres and colleges for some 75,000 students across the state. 

Prior to that Dr McDonald was an Associate Professor at Edith Cowan University for almost a decade. He completed a Doctorate in Education at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom. 

While at Catholic Education Western Australia, Dr McDonald led ambitious programs seeking to double Aboriginal enrolments, improve graduation rates for Aboriginal students and increase Aboriginal employment rates in schools, all with success. 

“Generation One aims to be a significant force in enabling organisations and government to break the cycle of disparity for ever,” Dr McDonald said. 

“For this to happen we need to continue our focus on employment with a relentless push to remove barriers in schools to allow Indigenous students to achieve to their potential. We cannot sit passively, bowing down to the ideological arguments which produce poor policies and support disparity. Instead we must make tough decisions and work smartly to ensure that Indigenous Australians achieve success – at school and in the workforce.” 

Dr McDonald starts in the role today following an extensive selection process, replacing outgoing chief Matt O’Sullivan who leaves GenerationOne to pursue other interests. 

Mr Forrest AO thanked Mr O’Sullivan for his outstanding service to the organisation and wished him all the best for his next challenge. 

ENDS. 

Media contact: 

Tess Ingram +61 448 922 364 tingram@minderoo.com.au