Charlene Davison with Sonja StewartYuin woman and Chair of The Goodes O’Loughlin (GO) Foundation, Sonja Stewart, is proud to announce the appointment of Biripi Gadigal woman Charlene Davison as the Foundation’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Sonja said that ‘after an extensive search and a series of compelling conversations with an incredible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent pool I am thrilled to announce Charlene’s appointment as CEO and excited to work with her and our extraordinary Board and team to take GO to a new level of impact’.

Charlene brings over two decades of experience leading change across the government and community sectors with particular expertise in education, employment and the lived experience of Aboriginal families and communities. A highly capable leader with a proven track record of leading the implementation of sector-wide programs and strategies to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people, Charlene is an important role model for our children, families and community.

Charlene comes to us from the NSW Department of Education where she is currently employed as Director of Kimberwalli and previously Manager of Aboriginal Initiatives with Training Services NSW and will bring her extensive networks across the sector to bear in the next phase of GO’s work.

‘This is a proud moment for The GO Foundation’ said GO co-founder Adam Goodes. ‘When Michael O’Loughlin, James Gallichan and I launched GO in 2009, it was our vision that the organisation be led at the Board and the management level by Indigenous Australians. This is a critical next step in the fulfilment of that vision’.

‘Charlene’s appointment follows that of Sonja, a proud Yuin woman, as our first Indigenous Chair in 2020 and both Charlene and Sonja are inspiring role models for our GO Scholars who will be part of the next generation of Indigenous leaders’. 

Adam Goodes, Charlene Davison and Michael O'LoughlinMichael O’Loughlin said, ‘The GO Foundation is driven by a burning desire to create opportunities and freedom of choice for Indigenous young people through the power of education. Our wrap-around scholarship program is delivered by a world-class team and driven by our values of Integrity, Equality, Opportunity and Strength in Culture’.

‘With culture at the heart of all we do, we are so proud to have awarded over 600 GO Scholarships since 2014 to students ranging from primary school to our first PhD candidate. As our students have grown and developed so has our Foundation and we are ready for even bigger things under Charlene’s leadership’, O’Loughlin said.

Charlene has a very clear sense of the challenges and opportunities ahead of GO and commented that she is ‘excited to collaborate with the Chair, Founders and Board as well as the deadly GO team on the development of a long-term integrated strategy that will significantly increase our reach across Australia to support more and more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars and their families’.

‘The Board has clearly signalled their ambition for GO to build deeper collaboration across the sector to disrupt broken systems with a focus on anti-racism strategies designed to emancipate Indigenous excellence and create unprecedented pathways of opportunity and prosperity.

‘I like the sound of that challenge’, Charlene said.


Charlene will wrap up her current responsibilities and after a short break will join the GO team on Monday March 22.