ELACCA announces Kay Turner and Rob Hughes as new co-chairs
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > ELACCA announces Kay Turner and Rob Hughes as new co-chairs

ELACCA announces Kay Turner and Rob Hughes as new co-chairs

by Freya Lucas

January 24, 2023

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) has appointed  SDN Children’s Services CEO Kay Turner and Busy Bees Early Learning Australia CEO Rob Hughes as co-chairs of the national organisation.


ELACCA is a leading early childhood education and care peak body that was established to promote the value of quality early learning and care as an integral part of Australia’s education system. 


The association is currently made up of nineteen organisations, both not-for-profit and for-profit, that operate between them around 2,000 long day care services, 321 preschool/kindergarten services and 69 OSHC services, covering every state and territory. 


“Ms Turner and Mr Hughes bring a wealth of experience in the sector, plus a real passion and enthusiasm to help us achieve our ambitions to make affordable, quality early learning accessible to all families,” said ELACCA CEO Elizabeth Death.


Both Ms Turner and Mr Hughes have been members of the ELACCA Board for some time, and  understand the importance of quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) for all children.


Ms Turner said taking on the co-chair role was an honour, and that she looked forward to representing the not-for-profit members of the organisation.


“I’m looking forward to helping lead the Board, support the ELACCA CEO and champion the ECEC sector,” Ms Turner said.


Mr Hughes will represent for-profit organisations. He said he was focused on strengthening the community of engaged teachers and educators.


“A strong workforce is essential to building a culture of care, respect, professionalism and innovation for children and families that will enable the delivery of a high-quality, sustainable service,” he said.


Both of the co-chairs highlighted the need for urgent government investment in the wages and conditions of the early years workforce who nurture the growth and development of Australia’s youngest learners.


Each said they were committed to continuing the great work at ELACCA to lead exceptional early learning outcomes for Australian children, and aspire to:


  • progress the quality of early learning and care and outcomes for all children
  • enhance the development and professionalisation of the early learning workforce.
  • improve equity of access to early learning for all children.


Ms Death warmly welcomed each co-chair, while sincerely thanking outgoing members and co-chairs Jenni Hutchins and Gary Carroll for their invaluable work in the interests of children, their families and the economy over the past four years.


ELACCA also welcomed the following new CEOs to its membership:



The following outgoing Board and CEO members were thanked for their service and farewelled by ELACCA: 


  • Jenni Hutchins, former CEO of Big Fat Smile and ELACCA Co-chair not-for-profit
  • Gary Carroll, former CEO of G8 Education and ELACCA Co-chair for-profit
  • Julia Davison, former CEO Goodstart Early Learning and ELACCA Board member
  • Lee Maiden, former CEO Communities at Work
  • John Burns, former CEO Only About Children
  • Rod Nadwie-Smith, former Head of Early Learning, Uniting NSW ACT
  • Angela Forbes, former CEO Sparkways.


Learn more about ELACCA here

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