Stephanie Alexander is the author of fourteen books, including the Australian kitchen bible The Cook's Companion, and is a renowned chef and restaurateur. In 2009 she published the Kitchen Garden Companion, an inspirational family guide to growing and using edible crops. Her 35-year career has spanned books, words, food and young people, and she is now preoccupied with giving back wisdom and experience in meaningful ways. In practical terms this has meant establishing the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation as a means to convince policy makers that learning about food, how it grows, and the pleasure it can bring are vital to a healthy, happy society.
In 2014 Stephanie was named an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) 'for distinguished service to education through the design and establishment of schools-based learning programs promoting improved food and eating choices for children, and as an author'.
Image courtesy of Simon Griffiths.
Kate has been involved in the healthcare industry for over 15 years, predominantly in the area of sales and marketing of information technology for the hospital sector. During that time she managed and directed large-scale sales campaigns across the Asia Pacific region. This involved interaction with corporations, health services and government health departments. Kate has been a director of several companies, including Healthnet and iSOFT Pty Ltd. Kate brings to the Foundation enormous expertise in the areas of sales and fundraising, marketing and event management, and corporate governance. She is also passionate about food, the enjoyment it contributes to life and the opportunity it gives us to share with our families, friends and community.
Helen is Chair of the Board and a former teacher and social worker who was employed by the Victorian Education Department before taking a position as a lecturer in the School of Social Work at the University of Melbourne. In 1997 she relocated to the USA with her husband, and for eight years lived in up-state New York where she was Director of the Syracuse University Internship Program. Her responsibilities included arranging internships for students across the USA, and consulting with the internship programs in the University’s centres in Europe and Hong Kong. On her return to Melbourne in 2005 she was employed as the Community Wellbeing Program Manager with the Ian Potter Foundation in Melbourne until she retired at the end of 2010. She is a strong believer in the importance of intervening early in a child’s life to develop desirable attitudes and behaviours, and is very keen to see the Foundation’s educational program introduced into all Australian primary schools.
Ian Sanders, a senior partner with Deloitte, is a relationship partner and auditor with 30 years’ experience in Australia and the US. At present Ian serves a global ASX 10 organisation as the relationship partner for Deloitte across Asia Pacific. He has audited and advised ASX listed, government, and globally owned finance organisations across mining, renewable energy, services, education and manufacturing amongst others. Ian is a faculty member of Deloitte University in Singapore, and thoroughly enjoys mentoring soon to be and new partners within Deloitte. Across the community Ian has enjoyed serving the Victorian Scouts as a Group Leader and Cub Scout Leader for 5 years, being treasurer of the local childcare centre for 3 years, and also enjoyed being a Board member and Audit Committee Chair at Anex (now Penington Institute) for 5 years, a NFP based in Melbourne.
Kerri Simpson has been an employee of the Department of Education for the past 40 years working in both the Western and Northern Metropolitan Regions of Melbourne. Kerri has been an active primary teacher working across all year levels, and has worked as a literacy consultant. She was also one of 148 Regional Network Leader's selected to work in the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) School Improvement initiative between 2008 and 2012. This position enabled Kerri to work as a change agent in a network of 26 schools in the Northern Region of Metropolitan Melbourne. Kerri has been a Principal in three schools and has implemented Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden programs in two of these schools; one funded by the Foundation and the other self-funded by the school.
Simone, a mental health practitioner in private practice, is on the Board and Chair of Ethics for the federal organisation for psychotherapy and counselling. Her qualifications in anthropology and psychotherapy reflect her interest in human interactions both in societies and as individuals. Prior to emigrating from France in 2006, she held professional posts in the Council of Europe for some 30 years orchestrating multicultural educational programs that aimed to ward-off conflicts within wider Europe. Other functions included UN, NFP, Board and Committee roles both internationally and within Australia. With her husband, she has also spent periods at Cambridge, and in Africa and Asia, associated with food, agriculture and equity programs. Her governance experience and involvements in education and the cultural aspects of food have brought her to the Foundation, which she sees as a major contribution to improving the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals and society.
Simon is Professor of Marketing in the Faculty of Business & Economics and Research Fellow of the Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge University, where he was previously a faculty member. Simon has worked extensively with industry in a research, consulting, and education capacity. He writes on a range of issues including customer education, regional clusters, and service innovation. His research has focused on the services, healthcare, and retail industries and has been published in both academic and practitioner journals. While he has worked with large, for-profit corporations, both locally and abroad, he has an abiding interest in third sector organisations and their social missions. The Foundation uniquely combines Simon’s keen interests in food, education, and social impact.
Robert Csoti is a recently retired Principal (July 2018) finishing his Principal career at Elwood Primary School in Melbourne Australia and has over 35 year’s experience in the Victorian school system. Within a variety of schools and communities, Rob has worked as a Principal for 14 years, and still maintains a strong passion for building communities, fostering positive relationships between all members of the school, personalising curriculum and looking for alternate structures for learning. Rob ran the SAKGP at Elwood Primary where it has been in operation for over 10 years. Rob has spent over 10 years collaborating with Dr George Otero and David Rothstadt in Victoria, Queensland and New Mexico presenting at conferences, working with Principals and schools and running study tours that focus on creating powerful learning relationships. Much of his world view has been influenced by contact with indigenous communities both in New Mexico and Far North Queensland. He believes in developing all members of every learning community; is an accredited educational coach, author and is now working as an educational consultant.