Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership congratulates and welcomes Matt Finnis, who has been appointed Cranlana’s new CEO.

Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership, together with Monash University, The Myer Foundation, and The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, is pleased to announce the appointment of our new CEO, Matt Finnis. We’d like to acknowledge the dedication, commitment and passion that outgoing CEO, Vanessa Pigrum, demonstrated in her five years of exceptional leadership at Cranlana. Thank you Vanessa, we wish you well and look forward to your ongoing contributions to our Alumni community.

Matt Finnis has more than 17 years’ experience as a chief executive, first as CEO of the AFL Players’ Association and then as CEO of the St Kilda Football club. His achievements include establishing the Danny Frawley Centre for Health and Wellbeing that is co-located with St Kilda Football Club, staging the world’s first Pride Game in professional team sport and delivering record growth in club revenues from membership, sponsorship and philanthropy. At the AFLPA he was a strong advocate for player interests across a range of workplace, commercial and welfare settings, instigating a pension annuity scheme for AFL players, the first of its type for athletes in Australia.

Matt worked as a commercial lawyer before his AFL roles, is currently a non-executive director at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and has also held several board roles within the not-for-profit sector. He also has degrees in psychology and law from Monash University.

He is well acquainted with the work of Cranlana, being an alumnus of the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship leadership program as well as previously sponsoring one of his former executives to participate in Cranlana’s Executive Colloquium intensive program for senior leaders.

“Like many alumni of the programs offered by Cranlana I thrived in the immersive learning journey and found the experience quite transformational in terms of my philosophy and approach to leadership.  I now look forward to working with our team and wonderful partners to further deepen and broaden the impact of our programs, knowledge and network at a time when a practical appreciation for the ethical dimension of leadership has never been more important in so many fields of endeavour.”

President of The Myer Foundation Rupert Myer AO said he was delighted to welcome Mr Finnis, whose appointment follows an extensive search.

“Mr Finnis brings the values, commitment and drive we are looking for to continue to take Cranlana forward, expanding our influence and impact. I’d like to thank Vanessa Pigrum for her five years of exceptional leadership of Cranlana, during which time we refreshed our programs, partnered with Monash University and incorporated the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship program that provides ethical leadership training to diverse cohorts of leaders,” Mr Myer said.

Chair of the Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Foundation, Angus White said he was delighted that a former Vincent Fairfax Fellow will be leading Cranlana.

“Mr Finnis is a proven CEO with invaluable experience in public-facing and highly accountable positions who has demonstrated a deep commitment to understanding organisational purpose and leading with moral courage.”

Monash University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Senior Vice President Professor Sharon Pickering welcomed Mr Finnis’ appointment.

“Monash University is committed to addressing the challenges of the age – climate change, geopolitical security and thriving communities – and part of that is training the new generation of leaders with the courage to apply discoveries and knowledge thoughtfully and ethically. The Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership is an important part of delivering on that commitment, and Mr Finnis’ high-level experience and commitment to ethical leadership makes him an outstanding appointment,” Professor Pickering said.

Mr Finnis said he was privileged to be joining Cranlana.

“Cranlana combines a pool of talented moderators and contributors, with an influential alumni network and a powerful engine room in Monash University, The Myer Foundation and the Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Foundation. I know first-hand the value of ethical training and critical thinking and I look forward to supporting the growth and impact of ethical leadership across multiple stakeholders and contexts.”

Cranlana chair Gail Hambly said she looked forward to working with Mr Finnis in broadening and deepening Cranlana’s ongoing success.

“Mr Finnis’ track record is one of vision, perseverance and delivering on initiatives that last. I’m excited that together we can continue to build on Cranlana’s success in strengthening the wisdom and ethical courage of our decision makers.”

Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership’s programs include the 2 day Executive Ethics, 6 day Executive Colloquium and year-long Vincent Fairfax Fellowship. We also deliver online and customised corporate programs. Find the right program for you here. They are all held under the Chatham House Rule to encourage genuine and open debate, and allow participants to candidly discuss sometimes sensitive issues in private while allowing the topic and nature of the debate to be made public, and contribute to a broader conversation. The Alumni program offers ongoing leadership development support and a lifelong connection with Cranlana.

Images supplied: Matt Finnis

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