Our People

Our People

Chief Operating Officer, Early Start

Anita Kumar

Anita Kumar
Phone: +61 2 4221 5570
Email: anita_kumar​@uow.edu.au

Anita Kumar commenced as the COO of Early Start in March of 2017. Anita is a passionate advocate for the rights of children and families, especially those most vulnerable.

In her role as CEO of The Infants’ Home, Anita has been committed to developing quality services that support the wellbeing of children and their families, and building a socially cohesive community. Anita brings a strong track record of forging impactful strategic partnerships across government, corporate, philanthropic, agency and sector organisations as a means to build a sustainable social enterprise.

Academic Director, Early Start and Professor of Child Development

Professor Marc de Rosnay

Professor Marc de Rosnay
Phone: +61 2 4221 3455
Email: marc_de_rosnay​@uow.edu.au

Marc joined Early Start in 2014 because of his belief that early intervention provides the single best mechanism to improve children’s lives. For Early Start, he is leading transformational initiatives involving the University of Wollongong and the community with the goal of improving educational and social opportunities for young children in regional, rural and remote contexts. Marc’s research focuses on social and emotional development in the early years, and the ways in which children’s growing understanding of the world (cognitive development) affects their experience.

Director, Early Start Research Institute

Professor Tony Okely

Professor Tony Okely
Phone: +61 2 4221 4641
Email: tony_okely​@uow.edu.au

Professor Anthony Okely is Director of the Early Start Research Institute at the University of Wollongong, Australia and Theme Leader in the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute. He has been awarded over $10 Million in competitive funding, including being Principal Investigator on two National Health and Medical Research Council Project grants. He has published over 180 peer-reviewed journal articles, four book chapters, and four policy-related monographs or reports; has around 8,000 career citations, and his h-index is 49.

Okely’s research focuses on physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and gross motor skills in children. It encompasses observational studies that describe the prevalence and patterns of these behaviours; relationships with health, education, and other developmental outcomes; interventions; and guideline development.

Okely led the research team that developed – and are currently updating – the Australian Physical Activity Recommendations for Children 0-5 years, and the Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Children and Young People and was an international expert on the Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for the Early Years, the Canadian 24-hr Integrated Movement Guidelines for the Early Years and for Children and Youth, and the Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Canadian Children and Youth. He was also a member of the Early Years Expert Working Group for the UK Physical Activity Guidelines in 2011.

Foundation Director, Early Start

Professor Paul Chandler

Professor Paul Chandler
Phone: +61 2 4221 4249
Email: paul_chandler​@uow.edu.au

Paul Chandler is Foundation Director and key leader of the initial founding team that took Early Start from concept to reality. He is an active member on the Early Start Advisory Committee and advises Early Start on strategic matters. He also leads the integration of the goals of inclusion and outreach within the Early Start initiative in his role as Pro-Vice Chancellor Inclusion and Outreach. A former Australian Research Council (ARC) Fellow, Paul has a long and distinguished research track record in the area of cognitive psychology. His work has led to many innovative approaches to learning and teaching. In 2008, at a National Press Club Event, sponsored by Thompson Scientific awarded Paul as one of the Australia’s top 10 Scientists. Paul has sat on numerous private, government and not for profit Boards. Paul is a National Founding Director of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), currently the world’s most successful University Mentoring Experience.

Executive Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences

Professor Glenn Salkeld

Professor Glenn Salkeld
Phone: +61 2 4221 3929
Email: glenn_salkeld​@uow.edu.au

Glenn took up the position of Executive Dean in February 2016 bringing to the role a strong track record of public health research and leadership. He has been a Chief Investigator on three successive National Health and Medical Research Council Program Grants in the area of screening and diagnostic test evaluation and has attracted more than $30m in competitive research grant funds over his career. He has served on national bodies such as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee’s Economic Advisory Group and worked with the World Health Organisation in training public health officials in low and middle income countries on the use of an evidence-based approach to the selection and reimbursement of medicines. Glenn’s current research interest centre on the use of web-based decision aids to help people make good health choices.

Advisory Committee

  • Mr Philip Marcus Clark AM (Chair)
  • Dr Andrew Bisits
  • Dr Ken Boston AO
  • Mr Luke Carroll
  • Ms Lisa Chung
  • Ms Elaine Henry OAM
  • Ms Melanie Kansil
  • Prof Paul Chandler (UOW)
  • Prof Glenn Salkeld (UOW)
  • Mr John Steele (UOW)
Last reviewed: 5 April, 2017