Corporate Governance | C&K - childcare and kindergarten

Corporate Governance

C&K’s Corporate Governance Policy (PDF) sets out C&K’s governance approach.

The C&K Board has three committees to assist it in overseeing the work of C&K. They are: the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee, the Nominations Committee, and the Early Years and Innovation Committee. Each committee is comprised of board members. The Early Years and Innovation Committee also includes two external early childhood education and care experts. 

You can dowload the C&K Constitution (PDF).



Board of The Creche and Kindergarten Association Limited


Therese Mulherin
Chair (non-executive)

Board member since 30 May 2013

Qualifications BOccThy, GAICD

Experience A former Occupational Therapist, Therese Mulherin has carved a career as a leader, manager and Board director with over 20 years’ experience in the employment services and workplace rehabilitation industries. During her 15 years at Ingeus, Ms Mulherin was instrumental in achieving rapid organic growth  and financial success in both Australia and Europe. In more recent times she has been involved in acquisitions and their successful integration into a consolidated business. She has experience in large service organisations, working on government contracts, strategy development, stakeholder management and change management. Ms Mulherin is performance, growth and efficiency orientated. 


Brit Ibanez
Deputy Chair (non-executive)

Board member since 13 March 2018

Qualifications B IntBus, LLB, LLM

Experience Ms Ibanez is a partner at Hamilton Locke. She has held various positions at C&K services including as the Coordinator of a Parental Advisory Committee at a branch service and as president of an affiliated service. A lawyer with 18 years’ experience, Brit’s expertise spans corporate governance, risk management and compliance, commercial disputes, and directors’ duties. Brit is a mother of three young children, and has a longstanding interest in developing best practice for early childhood education and care.


Charles StricklandCharles Strickland - Director (non-executive)
Board member since 21 June 2019

Qualifications CA, B. Int Bus, B. Com, GAICD

Experience Charles Strickland is a Chartered Accountant, and director at the Queensland Audit Office where is has responsibility for auditing the state’s public hospitals and health department. With broad experience across general government administration, and more recently the health and local government sectors, he brings a commitment to improving the lives of Queenslanders through his financial and performance audit work. He has a strong background in audit, risk, and governance. Mr Strickland is a firm believer in quality education and giving young people every opportunity to succeed, serving on his local school P&C as treasurer, and coaching junior hockey teams.


Christina Turner - Director (non-executive)
Board member since 23 June 2021

Qualifications PhD (HRM), MAppLaw, MBusCoach, GCMgt, GAICD, FGIA, FIML, FAHRI, FAIM

Experience Dr Turner is a HRM & governance specialist. Her career has included heading up HR functions in national and multi-national, public and private sector organisations including ABC Learning Centres, the University of the Sunshine Coast, and QSuper Ltd. A past president of the Australian Human Resources Institute, Christina has also held a number of non-executive director roles on public, private and not-for-profit boards, as well as government and Governor-in-Council appointments to panels, commissions of inquiry, and tribunals. Christina has a passion for education delivery at all levels, and through specialist consultancy, Board Matters, she provides HR governance consulting services particularly in the area of School Principal performance reviews.


Geoff Hirst – Director (non-executive)
Board member since 14 July 2020
Qualifications B. Com (Accounting), B. Bus (Economics), GAICD, CIA, CCSA, PMIIA
Experience Geoff Hirst is a Partner of the Illume Group, specialising in governance and business transformation. An authentic executive leader with 24 years of professional finance, audit and risk advisory experience, Mr Hirst also has extensive global experience, particularly in the Education sector and professional services industry, with two Big-4 consulting firms, and more recently as the Managing Director and Market Leader for Protiviti. With expertise in business risk advisory, implementing complex governance programs and change, differentiated value, and business resilience, Mr Hirst has provided assurance and risk advisory outcomes on a variety of risk based transactions, including, business performance, joint ventures, major projects, divestments and acquisitions. He has also had executive leadership roles within industries including, Queensland Health, major infrastructure development, and transport.


Megan Gibson - Director (non-executive)
Board member since 19 May 2016

Qualifications PhD, MEd, BEd (EC), DipT (EC)

Experience A Senior Lecturer in the School of Early Childhood at Queensland University of Technology, Dr Megan Gibson is also a respected researcher in her field. Her background as an early childhood educator with experience in teaching and leadership positions, culminated in her role as Director of an industry-leading childcare centre in Brisbane. Her award-winning doctoral research examined the professional identities of early childhood educators. This work combined with her extensive professional experience have laid the foundations for her ongoing interest in the early childhood workforce, leadership, professionalism and sustainability. In her current role at QUT, Dr Gibson is responsible for teacher education units on leadership, professionalism and health and wellbeing.


Pauline Elliott - Director (non-executive)
Board member since 23 June 2021

Qualifications BA, MProfEc

Experience  Pauline Elliott enjoyed a successful career in the Queensland public sector holding senior executive roles in Queensland Treasury, Department of Energy and Water Supply and Queensland Treasury Corporation. Pauline has extensive experience in financial and commercial matters, a deep understanding of government processes and public policy development, and has worked across multiple industry sectors including energy, transport and  telecommunications. Pauline is now a consultant providing services to organisations seeking support in business strategy, commercial transactions, and complex stakeholder engagement.


Scott Carpenter - Director (non-executive)
Board member since 26 June 2019

Qualifications M.Business Process Management, Prince 2 Practitioner, GAICD, Cert. IV TAE

Experience Mr Carpenter works to bridge the gap between technical and business and improve organizational performance by aligning IT solutions to business needs. He applies appropriate best practice methodologies, frameworks and models coupled with technology solutions to achieve long term business objectives. Mr. Carpenter strongly believes in the ability of education to positively change someone’s life and to support young people to achieve.




Chief Executive Officer


Dr Sandra Cheeseman

Qualifications PhD, PG Cert, Research Methods, BEd, Early Childhood.

Experience A former early childhood teacher, academic and senior executive, Sandra has stepped into the role of CEO following the retirement of Jane Bourne. Sandra has been C&K’s Chief Operating Officer for the past 2 ½ years bringing extensive experience in the early childhood sector across corporate governance, leadership, service delivery and research.

Sandra has published in the areas of organisational leadership, early years curriculum and infant / toddler rights. She was a member of the core writing team who developed Australia's first Early Years Learning Framework and has worked on key government projects to translate policy to practice.

Sandra has served on a number of governance boards including as non-executive director for the Australian Children’s Educational and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Raising Children Network and has recently been appointed by the Ministerial Advisory Group for the development of a preschool outcomes measure.