As an ambitious, competitive kid from a public school who grew up in country town Victoria, Michael Traill converted privileged education opportunities in the hallowed halls of Melbourne University’s Trinity College and the ‘West Point of Capitalism’ at the Harvard Business School, into a highly-paid and successful career at Macquarie Bank. But at the peak of his career in his early forties he decided to leave that behind. 

In 2002, after 15 years in merchant banking and as a co-founder and executive director of Macquarie Group’s private equity arm, Macquarie Direct Investment, Michael decided to ‘jump ship’ and joined Social Ventures Australia as founding CEO, reshaping the Australian philanthropy and not-for-profit landscape. 

In partnership with other not-for-profit organisations, Michael was one of the architects behind the establishment of the Goodstart Childcare chain, created out of the ashes of ABC Learning and now one of the largest social enterprise organisations in the world.

In Jumping Ship Michael tells the candid and inspiring story of the journey that took him from Morwell to the millionaire’s factory, to founding an unique Australian non-profit success story, and being a key driver behind of one of the biggest social enterprises in the world. In the process he shares how he reconnected to the values of family and community that shaped his childhood.

Jumping Ship is a manifesto built on the work of Social Ventures Australia to reshape the Australian non-profit landscape addressing social disadvantage


Michael joined SVA as founding CEO in 2002 after 15 years as a co-founder and Executive Director of Macquarie Group’s private equity arm, Macquarie Direct Investment. He currently has a range of primarily social-purpose chair and board roles including Chairman of Goodstart Early Learning, Chairman of Assetic Pty Ltd, a Director of M H Carnegie & Co and Sunsuper, Executive Director, For Purpose Investment Partners, and a member of the Council of the National Museum of Australia. 

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