New Guardian CEO Warren Bright “can’t imagine a more noble purpose than ECEC”
Guardian Childcare and Education, formerly known as Guardian Early Learning Group, has announced former Goodstart Early Learning Chief Operation Officer Warren Bright as its new Chief Executive Officer.
In welcoming Mr Bright, acting Guardian CEO Mark Clark said Mr Bright’s blend of corporate and entrepreneurial experience, along with his track record of delivering rapid growth and turnarounds, made him the perfect fit for the role.
Mr Bright’s appointment follows what Mr Clark described as “a rigorous search, both locally and internationally, to find the best person to build and attain sustainable growth of the Guardian business.”
“Having come from Goodstart, we know that Warren understands the nuances and challenges that exist within the early learning sector, and coupled with his background in growth strategy, quality service delivery, revenue performance and property management, he is uniquely positioned for the role,” Mr Clark said.
When asked what drew him to accept the appointment, Mr Bright said that whilst his six years with his previous employer, Goodstart, had been “absolutely fantastic”, he had always admired the Guardian business.
“When the opportunity came up, and I had the chance to speak with the Guardian board, I was really impressed with the aspiration, and with what Guardian are trying to achieve, and what the organisation is about,” Mr Bright noted.
The continued focus on high-quality practice was also a draw, he added, saying “having a focus on ensuring that children thrive and grow will shape how we develop Guardian to ensure it continues to have a positive impact on Australian families and the lives of their children.”
While Mr Bright’s background, prior to joining Goodstart, had been within the corporate sector, he now “cannot imagine working in any other space”.
“What drew me to working in the sector initially, and what has been reinforced since, is that there is a real noble purpose to the work that educators and others within the sector do,” he said.
“”I now can’t imagine working in any other sector. It’s not in every role that, even on a bad day, you can feel quite good that you’ve helped to improve outcomes for children.”
This impact, Mr Bright said, is only magnified when working in larger organisations, where there is an opportunity “to potentially impact tens of thousands of children,improving their life outcomes, and getting them ready for school”.
“For the teams and educators who work in this space, it’s always more than a job – it’s almost a calling,” he said “In a position such as mine, you have an opportunity to work with people who are immensely purpose driven, committed and passionate about what they do – it’s the best sector I’ve ever worked in.”
Having had 20 years of leadership experience, including roles with APN Australian Regional Media, News Corporation and McKinsey and Company, Mr Clark said Mr Bright was the perfect candidate to support Guardian through the recent brand refresh, unify their mission and presence within the market, and continue to raise the benchmark in high-quality early education, leading the business into an exciting next stage of growth.
Mr Bright said he is tremendously excited by the opportunity to lead Guardian and become part of the family.
“It’s a high performing team. I’m looking forward to contributing to, and exceeding, the company’s expectations and ambitions, and firmly cementing Guardian’s place as the leading provider of ECEC services in the country.”
For more information on Guardian Childcare and Education, please see here.