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 fifteen 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 Heartsch

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.

Veronica John

Aged Services and Interim Specialist

Veronica joined AE in 2021 after working in the listed company Japara as a Quality Business Partner, where she supported a sanctioned service and its ultimate decommissioning whilst working across a region of 7 services. Prior to this she was Senior manager- Clinical Governance for Christadelphian Aged Care and Group manager for support and compliance at Advantaged Care Group where she worked from 2016 – 2018.

She holds a Master of Nursing from the University of Technology following her undergraduate Bachelor of Science achieved through Aga Khan University. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Clinical Governance. Veronica is highly versed in the aged care compliance environment and brings a strong leadership and support focus to her work. 

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.

Ian Hamer

Home Care and Disability Specialist

A highly experienced and commercially astute professional with substantial experience in the health care and property sectors – with a legal/finance and M&A background. Ian has been in Senior Executive roles for over 10 years, possessing strong M&A, management, operational, clinical governance, strategic, business analysis, growth and business development skills.

He has a complete understanding of government funded care delivery programs, through to clinical governance and efficient operational models. We’re delighted to have his expertise and skillset at Anchor Excellence.

Sue Smith

Specialist Advisor – Operations, Clinical and Compliance

Sarina Rodgers

Quality, Hospitality and Client Engagement Consultant

Support Team

Alexandra Brockhurst

Consultancy Practice Manager

Kat Fairlie

Graphic Designer

Andrea Payne

Executive Support