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Leadership - Executive Team

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Our Executive Team

With a broad range of expertise in a range of industries, specialising in employment services, our Executive Team brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to take AKG into the future.

Nic Fairbank

Nic Fairbank

Group CEO and Managing Director

Nicolas (Nic) Fairbank joined AKG (Angus Knight Group) in July 2022. Previously he was Chief Executive Officer of Programmed Skilled Workforce, Australia’s largest staffing business, leading more than 25,000 people across Australia and New Zealand. He was appointed an APAC Executive Member in 2022 impacting thirteen countries across the region.

Nic has a history of developing strong business relationships and effective market engagement strategies. He has led multiple acquisitions and successful systems, process and cultural integrations.

Nic has contributed to the design and led the implementation of technology that has driven operating improvements. Nic has championed the evolution of employment models and approach to skills building in Australia through industry collaboration and innovative apprentice and trainee programs.

He is a passionate advocate for diversity, inclusion and gender equality, significantly improving indigenous engagement and female representation in leadership roles as well as participation in traditionally male dominated fields of employment.

Nic has been a proud Board Member of CEOs for Gender Equality (CGE) since 2019.

Duncan Angus

Duncan Angus

Founder and Executive Director

Duncan Angus entered the hospitality industry in 1985, serving in a number of managerial capacities and later focusing on recruitment services to the industry.

In 1991, Peter Knight and Duncan founded Angus Knight as a training services company, which successfully expanded operations throughout Australia, delivering training programs in every State.

As Executive Director, Duncan focuses his efforts on AKG’s broader growth agenda. Duncan’s vision has always been to assist people and organisations in developing their full potential using the concept of ‘lifelong learning’.

Service Delivery Network - Australia

Mark Burns looking into camera wearing blue shirt with indigenous painting behind.

Mark Burns

Country Lead – AKG Australia and
CEO, Education and Training

Mark Burns enjoys working with teams to help them grow and improve their businesses. He has worked across Australia and New Zealand with more than 20 years’ experience in managing large and diverse businesses and teams. As a results-driven and growth-focussed leader, he enjoys the challenges of today’s current economic environment.

His career spans multiple industry sectors and geographies with large organisations such as Shell, Spotless, Skilled and Programmed.

Mark has worked across many  industry segments including Retail Facilities Services; Cleaning and Soft Services; Staffing and Recruitment and most recently in the Programmed business managed large scale RTO and GTO business units.

Whilst always commercially driven, he is most passionate about creating learning and career opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds, which lead to sustainable and scalable life pathways.

Mark is passionate about successfully creating training and employment opportunities for the long-term viability of individuals,  families,  communities  and business.

Chelsie Hyland, EGM for Jobfind and uLaunch, smiling at camera in black suit.

Chelsie Hyland

Executive General Manager, Jobfind and uLaunch

Chelsie Hyland is an employment service professional focused on delivering high quality services for customers and Government. With more than 20 years’ experience in employment services in Australia and overseas, Chelsie has expertise in managing contractual obligations to achieve excellence in performance, reporting, and service delivery, fostering trust and long-term partnerships with customers.

Chelsie began her career in 2004 with The Salvation Army Plus, developing engagement and leadership skills over the next five years.

As Regional Manager in the employment industry, Chelsie worked across several regions throughout Victoria responsible for all facets of the business. 2012 brought an opportunity for Chelsie to live and work in Saudi Arabia in the team that set up six businesses and a corporate service to deliver employment and placement services to Saudi Nationals for 12 months. She then returned to Victoria as Regional Manager whilst also mentoring others from different states.

Chelsie joined Jobfind in 2019, focused on jobactive contract. Chelsie supports operations to achieve excellent performance scores with an average of 4.5 stars and consistent compliance confidence scores.

Christianna Cartwright, CEO Real Futures, smiling at camera in black top.

Christianna Cartwright

CEO, Real Futures

Christianna is a Darug woman from Western Sydney who was raised in Wellington NSW. She relocated to beautiful Dunghutti country on the Mid North Coast of NSW in 2002. With over 16 years’ experience, Christianna has extensive knowledge of employment services and played a pivotal role in developing Real Futures and its mother company Pathways to Pilbara. Christianna continues to drive the growth of Real Futures as it diversifies into innovative programs.

Christianna is a strong advocate for gender equality and has driven the implementation and progress of the Women’s Business Second Chance Hub to create best practice and enthusiasm for innovative ideas that can be applied to achieve the advancement and success of First Nations Women.

In 2024, as recipient of the Roberta Sykes Scholarship, she spent a week at Harvard in workshops in their Women and Power strand. She has also twice addressed the United Nations in New York for International Women’s Day.

Paul Synott, CEO National Indigenous Partnerships, smiling at camera wearing blue shirt and glasses with ferns in the background.

Paul Synott

CEO, National Indigenous Partnerships

Paul Synnott is an experienced social and economic development professional whose strengths and approach are based on 20+ years of industry experience. A Masters of Business Management (MBM) and Diploma of Employment Services complement his extensive industry experience.

Paul brings a very logical and practical way of working that is driven by a clear understanding of the objectives and the vision that his clients are striving to achieve. His strengths lie in being able to activate people’s thinking to form solutions. As an enabler of those solutions, he takes responsibility for ensuring people have the necessary skills and systems in place to achieve the desired results.

Paul understands the importance of adopting a whole of community approach to implementing a successful business model and how business needs to be strategic to ensure it effectively utilises available resources to sustain its purpose. He welcomes the challenges inherent in developing service models, solutions, and lasting relationships with clients and communities.

Paul also sits on the Boards of RN Employment Services, Real Futures and NESA.

Service Delivery Network - Global

Patricia Salmon smiling into camera wearing beige cardigan

Patricia Salmon

Country Manager – AKG Canada

Patricia Salmon assumed the role of Managing Director at AKG Canada in 2024, where she is responsible for the strategic direction of its operations in Canada.

Patricia is a dedicated and compassionate social services professional with over 20 years of experience in addressing barriers to employment, homelessness and mental health.

Throughout her career, Patricia has worked with both private and non-profit organisations and with government agencies, focusing on job training programs, vocational rehabilitation services, and establishing partnerships with employers to create job opportunities for those facing barriers to employment.

Patricia will continue the mission of transforming AKG Canada into a leading provider of comprehensive employment solutions, expanding its services to include employment and education including talent acquisition, workforce management, and career development programs that cater to diverse industries and demographics.

Ayden Sims wearing black glasses, manicured beard, dark suit, white shirt and red tie in front of greenery.

Ayden Sims

Country Manager – AKG Italy and United Kingdom

Ayden Sims is Country Lead for AKG Italy and AKG United Kingdom as well as CEO for Jobs 22 (our partner in UK), where he leads the overall growth, development and strategy for the business.

Ayden has more than a decade’s experience in the employability and welfare-to-work sector, he began his career in frontline roles working directly with unemployed disabled people and veterans, later moving into strategic business development roles. Ayden joined from Maximus UK, as Contract Director he was instrumental in both securing and delivering the Restart Scheme for South and East London, and South and West Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Formerly a pilot in the RAF, Ayden was discharged on medical grounds in 2007; he deeply values this experience as helping him gain the skills and empathy to truly understand the challenges of getting back into work and the self-esteem and confidence this can bring to an individual’s life.

As a Fellow and Board Member of the IEP, Ayden is invested in shaping the future of employability and dedicating his time and influence to promoting career pathways into employability and attracting diverse talent into the sector.

Daniel Robinson, dark hair, olive skin and manicured beard wearing white shirt

Daniel Robinson

Country Manager – AKG Singapore

Joining AKG in November 2023 as Country Lead for AKG Singapore, Daniel has been working to support governments, charities and corporations build programmes and solutions to societal challenges since 2002. He has led and contributed to businesses across the United Kingdom, Singapore, Korea, Italy, Sweden and the Gulf. Most recently working for Maximus Corporation, the largest Human Services BPO globally, as SVP across Europe and Asia – focussing on new markets and business turnaround.

Daniel has a track record spanning 3 decades, of strong government relations, new country entry, organisational development and operationalising of polices into tangible impact.

With a focus on innovative program design and the building of successful executive teams, Daniel is passionate about making measurable impact into populations and developing executive teams to navigate changing landscapes.

Currently Daniel is leading development and delivery of several programmes across Asia, currently in Singapore, supporting inclusion and outcomes for several key groups and leading expansion across the region.

Working on policy solutions across Asia, Europe and the Middle East has given Daniel a broad global insight into the nuances of the global business place.

Aralia Eriksson, long brown hair, olive skin wearing black suit and white shirt with two gold chains

Aralia Eriksson

Country Manager – AKG Sweden

Before joining AKG in November 2021 (as employee number 1), Aralia was instrumental in leading the growth, development, and quality of one of the biggest Swedish employment Services providers.

Prior to that, Aralia served as Operating Manager at one of Sweden’s largest Employment Service Providers, responsible for managing various schemes and training programs for a diverse group of job seekers.

Aralia is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the Swedish labour market, procurement laws, and official communication. Aralia has a teacher and Principal Degree, as well as additional university courses in Swedish Employment Laws, Organization Development, and Leadership.

Executive Functions

Oli Goodarzi smiling at camera wearing blue shirt and with greenery in the background.

Oliver (Oli) Goodarzi

Chief Financial Officer

Oli joined Angus Knight Group in June 2021. Based in the United Kingdom, Oli’s previous roles include Finance Director within private equity, PLCs and small/medium enterprises, across big-ticket consumer goods, travel, leisure, hospitality and manufacturing.

Oli has strong international commercial experience, leading large parts of corporate strategy and teams through multiple stages, including high growth, exit process, strategic transformations, accelerated ecommerce/digital investment and subsidiary divestments/carve outs.

Oli is a qualified accountant and has passed all 3 levels of the CFA exams.

Elyse Jeffress smiling directly into the camera wearing black suit and red shirt.

Elyse Jeffress

Chief Corporate Affairs & People Officer

Elyse Jeffress joined Angus Knight Group in November 2022 as Chief Operating Officer. She is an experienced Legal and Risk Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital and health care industry as well as with not for profits and government entities.

Elyse is skilled in Privacy Law, Risk Management, Intellectual Property, Compliance, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Corporate Governance, and Healthcare Management. She is a Board Member of both Karitane and

Elyse took on the Chief Corporate Affairs and People Officer role in April 2024.

Anthony Parsons, in grey suit, white shirt and burgundy tie, smiling into camera with an AKG nametag

Anthony Parsons

Chief of Governance & Compliance

Anthony Parsons joined Angus Knight in November 2017, having spent 36 years working in a variety of roles and departments in the Australian Pubic Service. Anthony’s career started in Information Technology, where he was ultimately responsible for delivering the IT platform that underpinned the outsourcing of Australia’s public employment services in 1998, and one of Australia’s first internet jobs site: Australian Jobsearch. He later diversified into program and contract management as part of the Senior Executive Service.

Since joining Angus Knight, Anthony has established and led our Disability Employment Services company, helping thousands of people with disability find meaningful and sustainable work. He has also led our Jobfind employment services company and is currently our Chief of Governance and Compliance. In that role, he provides advice and support to business managers in Australia and internationally on how to optimally manage their respective risks.


Roger Millar

Chief Information Officer

Roger joined AKG in October of 2022. He possesses a doctorate in business administration and a master’s degree in business and technology.  His doctoral thesis focused on the selection, utilisation and popularity of global distribution systems across the travel industry within Australia, with a particular emphasis on behavioural theory and the factors influencing technology selection and continued use.  He has also recently completed a short course on Artificial Intelligence at Said business school, Oxford University.

Having accrued over 30 years of IT experience.   He has worked across various industries, including employment services, hospitality, education, not-for-profit, legal, travel & tourism, civil engineering, call centre, and retail.

Our Board

Our board is fully empowered to make decisions that assist us with our journey of transformation. Harnessing their broad spectrum of expertise, our leaders are committed to living our values and transforming the lives of job seekers and communities.

Find out more

Help us build solutions that work

Our team is always exploring new ideas and opportunities to build meaningful solutions with real impact. We work best co-designing with employers, local stakeholders and people with lived experience. Connect with us to explore how we can work together for change.

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