Anthony Cavanagh

Recognised Expert

Recognised SourceBottle subscriber. Holder of an Expert Profile with contact details/backgrounder.

Melbourne and Shepparton VIC
• Diploma of Business (Australia)
• Williamson Leadership Program (Australia)
• Melbourne Business School MURRA Program (Australia)
• Stanford Business School (USA)
• Further qualifications in Quality Management, Risk Management, Workplace Safety and Environmental Management (Australia)
CEO of Australia's most successful Indigenous school-to-work transition program Jobs4U2
• Ganbina CEO since 2013
• Crown Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group (Current)
• Philanthropy Australia Board of Directors (Current)
• ANZ Indigenous Advisory Council
• Chandler Macleod Group – Infrastructure Manager
• Worktrainers – Senior Management
• Human Services Victoria – Residential Care Supervisor
• Mitchell Indigenous Education Group – Chair
• Mitchell Community Health Service – Member
• Meadows Youth Foundation – Member
*Aboriginal employment
*Aboriginal education
*Aboriginal affairs
*Aboriginal youth
Golf, sports, Richmond Football Club
I’m an Aboriginal man (Taungurung) and CEO of Aboriginal-led charity Ganbina, which runs Australia’s most successful Indigenous school-to-work transition program. I am passionate about helping Aboriginal youth unlock their full potential through education, training and employment.

As a teenager I experienced homelessness after being abandoned by my mum. None of the men in my family could read or write and no one in my extended family had finished their education. My childhood was surrounded by family violence and alcohol abuse. One thing saved me – education. Completing secondary school broke the cycle of disadvantage, unemployment and welfare dependence for me and my future daughters, who also completed their education and went onto have corporate careers.

Today I am the proud CEO of Ganbina, based in the Goulburn Valley in Victoria with expansion projects operating in Queensland and plans to further expand to New South Wales. Ganbina helps approximately 400 Aboriginal kids each year aged from 6-25 to unlock their full potential by keeping them engaged in education, employment and training. The model is a 50 year, or two generation pilot program, because the research shows that is how long it takes for long-term, meaningful change to occur.

On average, an Indigenous Year 12 student has a 66% chance of completing Year 12. However Ganbina Year 12 students have an 88% chance of Year 12 completion, which is only 1 percentage point below the non-Indigenous Year 12 rate. I am also very proud that in 2020, during a COVID year, 99% of our participants completed their relevant year of education, employment or training.

Our program receives no government funding and is so successful it has attracted interest from Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

I’ve harboured a lifelong passion to contribute to making a difference that changes the status quo. I have never accepted that Indigenous people all over this country want to be homeless, unemployed and die before they reach 50 years of age. It’s a privilege to lead an organisation that proves that everyone has the potential to do great things and become the agent of change that breaks the cycle of disadvantage in their own community.