New CEO appointed to lead Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative
Steve Clifford, has been appointed to lead the Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative as their Chief Executive Officer. Mr Clifford said he was drawn to the organisation because of his drive to improve the lives of young Australians, making a genuine impact by supporting development in the vital early childhood years.
As the CEO of the Thrive by Five initiative, Mr Clifford will lead Minderoo Foundation’s investment in and advocacy for effective early childhood development outcomes, with the Foundation noting the specific importance of the early years of life as being characterised by significant opportunity, rapid change and accelerated development.
“This is unparalleled in any other subsequent stage of life and, as a nation, our education, health and social policy decisions must reflect this” a spokesperson for the organisation said.
Minderoo Foundation co-founder and director, Nicola Forrest, who has steered Thrive by Five’s work since its inception, said it was the right time to bolster the initiative’s dedicated team with a Chief Executive Officer.
Ms Forrest championed Mr Clifford’s capacity for the role, saying “Steve is a talented individual clearly motivated to drive lasting change for the youngest members of our community and the ultimate benefit of our country.”
She said she looked forward to Mr Clifford ‘leading and evolving’ the Thrive by Five mission, and continuing the collaborative work undertaken with Thrive by Five partners to ensure every Australian child gets the best possible start in life.
Mr Clifford has held leadership positions in several not-for-profit organisations, with a focus on assisting Australian children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. He served as Head of Australian Operations at Save the Children Australia and most recently as CEO of Victorian youth charity Doxa, where he grew the organisation’s programs to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds access positive life experiences, education opportunities and employment pathways.
Prior to that, Mr Clifford was Chief Operating Officer at national youth charity Whitelion. Before transitioning to the not-for-profit sector, he was a senior corporate partner at leading Australasian law firm Allens.
“I share Minderoo’s vision for a national culture that prioritises children and works to ensure that all Australian kids thrive,” Mr Clifford said.
“I had a strong interest in social justice from an early age and since then, working to improve the lives of young Australians has become my passion. I am excited to join the Minderoo team and look forward to advancing the great work already underway.” Mr Clifford has relocated to Perth for his new role, which reports to Minderoo Foundation and Minderoo Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Hagger, commencing yesterday.