Meet the Team

Executive Team

Bret Barton

Bret is the CEO of the Goal Group and a 20-year Defence veteran.

Bret began a career in the Canadian Air Force as an aeronautical engineer flight testing military aircraft and systems. He has worked with Canadian, US and Australian military flight test organisations and ran businesses across APAC. Bret has held many management and executive level business roles over the last 17 years after retiring from the Canadian Air Force.

Bret is passionate about working with staff and partner companies to grow an impactful Defence business operating Australia’s largest “Complementary SME Model”.

Bret is supported by an accomplished Mechanical Engineering spouse, Hilary, an Electrical Engineering son, Mathew, and a physio therapist daughter Julia.

Alan Rankins

Alan is Managing Director and a founder/owner of the Goal Group. Goal was established 15 years ago by the Rankins family.

Alan is the previous CEO of Goal and is the Architect of the Goal Group Defence Ready products and services. Alan has been involved in Defence & Industry for 48 years, serving for 21 years in the Royal Australian Navy in Weapons Electronics and subsequently has held Systems Engineering, Design Authority and Corporate and Program Management roles in the Defence Industry. He has held past roles as National and NSW President of AIDN, Co-Chair Synthetic Environment Working Group and represents AIDN on the AIG Security Working Group.

As the Managing Director of Goal Group, he utilises his specific areas of expertise in strategic direction, project development, bid preparation and programme management. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Management and Leaders, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

Alan and Cheryl Rankins are passionate about their growing business and are proud to be supported by daughter Kerrie-Anne, Quality and ICT specialist and son Beau, Project Manager in their roles with Goal Group.

Cheryl Rankins

Cheryl is an Owner/Director of Goal Group and enjoys the challenge of the CFO role.

Cheryl has an accomplished background in small business management and has previously owned, grown and sold her own successful small business.

Prior to establishing Goal with husband Alan, Cheryl enjoyed a career change which saw her enthusiastically manage the Training Program for Junior Medical Officers within Central Coast Health.

Cheryl’s passion within the Goal business extends to supporting and investing in staff, and she believes in building a team that will embody the company’s culture and growth.

Cheryl enjoys being surrounded by, and supporting family, she has a love entertaining at home with family and friends.

Core Capability POCs

Kevin Chenney

Export Control / ITARs

Kevin is the Defence Export Control Senior Consultant and Expert responsible for training, auditing and consulting in his specialist field. Kevin joined Goal Group in late 2017.

Kevin began a career in the Royal Australian Navy as a Maritime Warfare Office, specialising in Navigation. Kevin travelled throughout the Middle East, South-West Pacific, South-East Asia, and around Australia during his career. Upon departing the Navy after 12 years, Kevin’s subsequent roles have included training and technical solutions roles.

Kevin is passionate about people, and this is brought to the fore with his training and consultancy services, which he delivers with a high professionalism and commitment to client satisfaction.

Kevin can often be found cheering uncontrollably at the SCG watching his beloved Sydney Swans, which provide a great outlet for him and his oldest daughter to enjoy and spend time together.

Tony Birch

ILS / Asset Management

Tony is the ILS / Asset Management point of contact for Goal Group and a 38-year Defence veteran.

Tony began his career in the Royal Australian Navy as a Radar Plotter before commissioning as a Supply Officer in 1990.   In 2002, Tony transferred across to Air Force as a Logistics Officer.  In this capacity, Tony worked in several high-profile positions including 6 years in the USA as both the Supply Liaison Officer to the USN and the Sustainment Integration Lead for the JSF Joint Project Office.  Tony has come to Goal Group after spending two years in Command of the Joint Logistics Unit in Edinburgh, South Australia.

Tony’s passion is people, and he thrives on mentoring, coaching and team building in both his logistics specialisation and more broadly on cultural transformation and leadership.  Tony is married to Kelly who is a very talented schoolteacher specialising in Learning Support.  They have two adult children, Thomas who is a landscaper and Mikayla who, like her mum found she has a passion for teaching.

Kerrie Anne Rankins

Defence Ready Series

Kerrie Anne completed her bachelor degree in Education and Music and spent a few years teaching in primary and special needs schools before joining Goal.

She commenced her career with GOAL 13 years ago, originally as Office Manager. She developed her skills in IT, Project Management and Quality, implementing GOAL’s original IT set up and taking GOAL on the journey to achieve certification in ISO 9001 Certified Quality Management. Kerrie-Anne is proud to be the Project Manager for the recently released “Defence Ready Seminar Series”.

Kerrie-Anne shares a passion for Music with her daughters Lilian (10) and Isabelle (8).

Michael McLean


Mike is Goal Group Partner and the Managing Director of McLean Management Consultants (MMC), consulting to Defence continually since commencing in 1988.

Mike began a career in Standard Telephones & Cables, an ITT USA company, as a Fitter and Trade, then Production and Industrial Engineering Management roles including Bell Telephone Co Belgium. Other quality, OH&S, HR and engineering management roles were with Wrangler, Comalco Rio Tinto, Tenneco. He designed and implemented the RAAF, RAN, Army, DoD business improvement programs and has completed Commonwealth Independent Assurance and Supply Chain Assurance strategies and reviews for CASG Air, Maritime and Land Domains. He represents Australian Industry Group Members on Standards Australia QR-008 Committee for Quality Systems. He is an ISO Convenor and serves on the ISO Technical Committee 176 Chair’s Strategy Advisory Group for ISO 9001 Brand Integrity; Quality Plans, Tools and Techniques; and Integrated Management System Standards.

He brings Australian, ASEAN and international experience to the Goal Group in areas such as management system design and solving complex problems, consulting to micro firms and SME’s, though to multi-nationals. Mike’s Public Submissions and Supply Chain published research include the ASEAN/Australian Automotive Industry; 2015 Defence Whitepaper; Rizzo Navy Ship Repair Report; NSW National Freight Strategy; NSW Defence Strategy and the Inland Rail Senate Inquiry.

From Mike’s early days in his family’s fastener business, MMC is now a Goal Partner helping Defence and non-Defence SME’s sustain, improve and grow their defence business through Defence ISO Basic and Advanced seminars.  He lives with his spouse Bev on the Central Coast and has 5 children and 5 granddaughters, the latter is why he is still working!

Talent Acquisition Team

Eve Richardson

Talent Acquisition

Eve is the Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist at Goal Group.

Eve brings with her over 20 years of recruitment experience, with a background recruiting largely in the Defence and Federal/State Government sectors.

Eve’s focus is on recruiting skilled Defence experienced professionals who align to our culture of teamwork, pro-activity, ingenuity and commitment, whilst providing a high-touch candidate recruitment experience, ensuring that prospective employees are well supported along the way!

Eve is married to Paul and is a mum of three teenagers, enjoys stand-up paddle boarding and caravanning holidays.

Eve has Bachelor Degrees in Arts: Psychology and Sociology; and Bachelor of Business: Computing.

Jenny Pitt

Talent Acquisition Support

Jenny has a long association with Goal Group through her role as the Administration Officer at the Australian Industry Defence Network (AIDN) – NSW.  In this role she has managed member relations, created networking events, processed accounts, and helped to provide a variety of training programs to SMEs. Jenny also produced a range of capability products in support of members, eventually producing them on behalf of the NSW Government and providing support to other industry associations to develop their own products. Jenny was involved in the fruition of the Defence Ready Seminar Series being presented by Goal Group in collaboration with the Hunter Defence Task Force and AIDN.

Jenny joined Goal in November 2021 primarily in support of our talent acquisition team.  She brings her knowledge of the Defence Industry to this role and her overall administration knowledge and positive attitude is invaluable to the team.

Jenny is located in Sydney where she lives with the youngest of her three children and she enjoys bush walking, sewing and reading a good book.

Hilde Marais

Talent Acquisition

Hilde is a Prince2 certified Recruitment Project Manager who specialises in organisational growth.

At Goal Group she is currently a Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist.

Hilde brings with her over 16 years of recruitment experience, with a recruiting background largely in the Defence sector.

Her business and financial acumen ensured her success in delivering recruitment projects within the technology remit.

Hilde has a son at University and a teenage daughter, she enjoys exercising, outdoor activities and cooking.

Employees and Partners

Meet a small representation of our valued Goal Group team.

Grace Wolfgang

Grace graduated from St Josephs, Aberdeen in 2020 and was awarded Dux in Business Studies for Year 12.

She is currently attending Newcastle Uni, (at least she would like to be attending, but COVID has meant remote learning for a large part of the year), studying a Bachelor of Business and Commerce, Majoring in Accounting and International Business. Grace has a passion for learning, and is excited to be part the growing GOAL team.

Her role is providing support to the Finance team, and absorbing knowledge of the business by working alongside the Goal Management Team.

Grace’s ambition is for a career in Accounting. Her personal goal is to purchase a TESLA. Goal are happy to be supporting Grace with achieving both!!!

Ray Harvey

Ray Harvey is the Defence Business Development Manager for Cider House ICT and GuardWare Australia, both Goal Group members. Ray is passionate about ensuring that Australian businesses are protecting themselves from evolving cyber threats and are as competitive as they can be in the competitive Defence market.

Ray has broad experience across a number of industries in State and National leadership roles, encompassing Electronics, I.T. and Education. He has been involved in I.T. in some form since the late ’70’s…back before MS-DOS was a thing. He’s so old, he wrote his first program on punch-cards and paper-tape!

In 1987, he configured the largest Multi-user WAN in the Southern Hemisphere using the SCO-Xenix operating system.

He is passionate about education among people of all ages, having spent most of a decade instructing science teachers in the use of technology, including the provision of educational materials for teacher training at ACU in Melbourne. Ray is currently in his seventh year of mentoring high-school students in the CSIRO CREST Program, encouraging them to excel at state, national and international competitions.

Ajendra Dwivedi

Ajendra joined Goal Group in mid 2021 as a Systems Engineer and is currently deployed at Land Engineering Agency to support the development of Land Engineering Digital Workbench that will enable advanced Land materiel analytics and prognostics.

Ajendra is a well-qualified Researcher, Systems and Machine Learning Engineer with diverse experience on both academic and industry side. After completing his PhD., he began his career as a post-doctoral Research Fellow at RMIT University, specialising in complex network science, algorithms and analytics. He has worked on a number of defence projects including modelling & simulation for above-water warfare analysis & training,  modelling & prototyping modern C4ISR mission system, intelligent sustainment of aircrafts using machine learning & advanced analytics.

Ajendra holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Master’s in Robotics & Automation, Graduate Diploma in Systems Engineering and a PhD. in Electrical & Computer Engineering. He also cherishes his accreditation as a Professional Translator from National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI, Australia) due to his bilingual proficiency in English and Hindi.

Ajendra is married and has two young kids. In his own time (which he rarely gets between work and a young family), he has a passion for art & painting and follows cricket.