Media release – Independent Schools Australia announces new CEO

24 February 2023

Independent Schools Australia (ISA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Graham Catt as Chief Executive Officer.

ISA Board Chair, Mr Michael Jones OAM said, “The appointment of Mr Catt follows an extensive recruitment process and I am delighted he has accepted this key leadership role.

“Mr Catt has a wealth of experience and expertise in Australian Government relations and is highly respected in the national advocacy community,” he said.

Mr Catt has most recently been the CEO of the Canberra Business Chamber, where he led the ACT business community through many unprecedented challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. His advocacy led to rapid policy shifts and financial support for local businesses.

Prior to this, Mr Catt was the CEO of the national peak body Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, where he spear-headed an advocacy strategy to position pharmacists as the medicines experts in the national healthcare system. The Australian Government responded with new funding for pilot projects and extensions of community pharmacy programs. Mr Catt also had great success at the Australian Veterinary Association where he elevated advocacy and policy during his ten-year tenure.

“ISA looks forward to benefitting from Mr Catt’s broad experience in advocacy and leadership of peak bodies to build on the strong reputation ISA has in the education sector.

“ISA has been advocating for Independent schools, collaborating with state and territory AISs, and pursuing research and advice to governments for more than 50 years and has built an excellent reputation for expertise in a complex education sector.

“Mr Catt’s strengths in strategy, business acumen and government relations will be great assets to the Independent school sector as ISA continues to evolve,” said Mr Jones.

Mr Catt said, “I’m honoured and excited to accept this role, particularly at a time when the Independent sector is positioned to play a key role in addressing the challenges facing school education.

“Education is key to our future development as a nation, and with two daughters who both attend an Independent school here in Canberra, my passion for good policy in this area is personal as well professional,” he said.

ISA is the peak body representing 1,209 Independent schools with 688,638 enrolled students (full time equivalent).

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