The Anchor Excellence team are leaders in their fields

With more than 80 years in aged care between them, the Anchor Excellence team has extensive, practical knowledge of every aspect of the sector, and fully understand the complexities and challenges of running a business in the ever-changing aged care landscape.

This carefully curated team of aged care leaders combine their complementary mix of skills to work seamlessly in supporting business leaders to innovate and achieve their goals.

Using the Business Excellence Framework, Anchor will support your organisation to build the capacity of your leadership, in order to drive and sustain change.

Meet the Anchor Leaders

Cynthia Payne

Managing Director

Cynthia Payne has more than 30 years executive leadership experience and over 20 year as a Director in both NFP and FP boards. Cynthia founded Anchor Excellence in September 2018, now three years old, AE has impacted over 30% of the Australian aged care market via its programs, solutions and education.
Passionate about leaders, supporting and enabling them and consumers’ lived experience, Cynthia and the seventeen strong AE team together have a formidable level of expertise and commitment to the entire aged care ecosystem.
Cynthia holds an MBA, Bachelor of Applied Science in Nursing. She is a Cert IV qualified Yoga teacher (800HrRYT) and certified practitioner of Balanced Scorecard. She is a seasoned public speaker and MC. She is MAICD, Fellow of the Governance Institute Australia and long term member of the Australian College of Nursing and Fellow of the Manager and Leaders Institute. She is Board adviser to Total Construction (2019- current) and past NED for the National Heart Foundation (2017-2021), Current Independent review panel member for Business Excellence Australia.

Carla Beheram

Chief Operations Officer

Carla Beheram has extensive experience in Senior Management roles within Aged Care.

She has a proven track record of success in all facets of Aged Care Management and has a demonstrated ability in identifying opportunities and turning strategic initiatives into action.

She is highly ethical and has a history of managing all stakeholders with integrity and respect. Carla also holds qualifications in Nursing, Management and Business.

Paul Harris

Chief Financial Officer

An Healthcare/Aged Care Executive Leader and CFO with 20+ years’ in Australia and internationally, Paul has provided the strategic clarity organisations need to transform operating environments and build robust foundations for growth.

Leveraging expertise across the value chain including commercial operations, financial management, technology platforms, marketing, sales and business development and HR he has successfully transformed businesses. Driving customer centric, multi-year strategies with agile change management, Paul removes performance inhibitors, resulting in multimillion-dollar growth, high employee engagement and customer satisfaction rates.

Dr Irene Stein

Head of Clinical Governance

Dr Irene Stein is an incredibly capable individual. Working in the age care sector for over 20 years, her work has helped shape Australian care for the better. Irene has been employed across crucial senior positions (both at organisational and research level) including; Director of Care, Business Development Manager, Manager of Policy and Research, and Hon. Visiting Professor at the University of Wollongong.

She has written several key publications, including the QPS and Anchor Excellence joint report into the state of Residential Aged Care 2017-19. Her unique capacity to critically research, evaluate and develop transformative recommendations is vital to our sector.

Claire Ward

Aged Services, Compliance Remediation & Consumer Experience Specialist

Claire Ward brings a strategic lens to a highly consumer driven market place. With an outstanding level of skill, knowledge and expertise across the aged care industry, Claire offers significant value in developing and deepening customer experience, as well as using data to effectively inform business decisions.

With a wealth of marketing and communication pedigree, Claire is able to create and deliver effective strategies that drive lead generation, acquisition and customer loyalty.

Kerri Hartney

Aged Services, Interim & Clinical Governance Specialist

Kerri Hartney has extensive aged care experience, having worked in both for-profit and not-for-profit over the last 35 years, with expert operational and clinical excellence in Residential Aged Care.

Kerri has significant expertise in leadership and change management, in particular staff culture and education mentoring support, to enable best practice and regulatory compliance against all industry standards.

Dr Maggie Haertsch

Aged Services, Interim & Compliance Remediation Specialist

Dr Maggie Haertsch is a strategic thinker and solutions focused professional, with the unique ability to translate and mobilise research – bringing new thinking and innovation into aged care. She is able to link business problems, solutions and peer networks; has excellent strategic acumen, and the ability to work in a dynamic and demanding environment.

Acting as Consultant to the World Health Organisation’s Dementia team in Switzerland, Dr. Maggie Haertsch brings a wealth of international experience and deep understanding. She’s a strong collaborator and has helped develop long-term partnerships across different cultures, political systems and sectors.

Ingrid Fairlie

Aged Services, Disability & Compliance Remediation Specialist

An experienced quality and compliance leader in aged care and disability services, possessing first hand practical and technical knowledge of the respective regulatory frameworks; working on the technical advisory panel of regulatory reforms and development of the Australian Aged Care Standards and guidance material.

Extremely capable, Ingrid brings analytical, critical thinking skills to process management and design improvement, change programs and policy development.

Britt O'Keefe

Disability Specialist

Britt O’Keefe has held several senior executive roles in the public and private sector’s of aged care, health and disability with a focus on leading the translation of public policy into actions and advice that delivers meaningful service delivery outcomes.

Britt has a deep understanding and unparalleled experience in developing and implementing strategies and policies for sectors experiencing significant reforms. She also has a passion for the investment of professional development opportunities targeting aged care’s personal care workforce and is completing a PhD testing the relationship between employee resilience levels and the link to absenteeism, burnout, turnover, work-related injury and illnesses.

Sue Smith

Specialist Advisor – Operations, Clinical and Compliance

Sue joined AnchoreExcellence in 2021, she has extensive experience in aged care with 30 years experience in the industry.

Sue has held senior management positions including Director or Care, Group Manager Care & Services across ten services for clinical governance and compliance and Regional Manager across five services.

Sue holds qualifications in nursing, gerontology, management and business.

She is highly versed in quality, compliance and risk management processes, supporting a culture of innovation and best practice.

Sarina Rodgers

Quality, Hospitality and Client Engagement Consultant

Sarina Rodgers is an accomplished professional with over 15 years  experience in the aged care and hospitality industries. She started at  Anchor Excellence in 2021 and brings a considerable range of experience with her.  She is a valued asset on the Anchor Excellence team. 

Her extensive hospitality experience comes from the opening of her own restaurant in 2008 with her Chef husband.  She is across all facets of restaurant management, food safety guidelines and regulations involved with operating in a fully compliant industry.  

She has expertise in ensuring resident satisfaction and establishing honest and open relationships with multiple stakeholders and is highly versed in  all aspects of residential services including housekeeping and  property management. 

Gabrielle Halbgebauer

Specialist Consultant

Gabrielle Halbgebauer is an experienced clinician with passion and expertise in both intensive care and Aged care. She is diligent, technically knowable and strategically driven. With an outstanding skill level Gabrielle is focussed on making the experience of people in care better.

Having worked for both non-for profit and for-profit organisations Gabrielle has extensive operational and clinical experience in Residential Aged Care Management. In line with regulatory Standards Gabrielle can help focus Care teams, streamline processes and mentor change within Aged Care leadership teams.

Gabrielle is always looking to improve the quality of care and residential aged care experiences for all Australians.

Support Team

Alexandra Brockhurst

Consultancy Practice Manager

Kat Fairlie

Graphic Designer / AnchorAcademy Lead

Andrea Payne

Executive Support

Vandana Chandawarkar

HiRA-E Administrator