New Boss for Iconic Good Friday Appeal
Monday, 18th June 2012 at 11:11 am
Retiring GFA Executive Director Christine Unsworth (centre)with RCH Chairman Tony Beddison AO and RCH CEO Professor Christine Kilpatrick
Victoria’s iconic fundraising organisation for The Royal Children’s Hospital, the Good Friday Appeal, has appointed Deborah Hallmark as its new Executive Director.
Hallmark replaces outgoing Executive Director Christine Unsworth, who has led the organisation through a period of pivotal growth for the past 16 years.
The Good Friday Appeal is a division of the Herald & Weekly Times which founded the Appeal in 1931, and all staff are employed by HWT.
HWT managing director Peter Blunden welcomed Hallmark to the role and paid tribute to Christine Unsworth’s leadership.
“Christine’s passion, energy and drive have been instrumental in the success of the Appeal throughout her 16 years of leadership,” Blunden said.
“She has displayed the highest levels of integrity and commitment at all times, and her ability to build strong and lasting relationships has been central to the Appeal growing year after year.
“Christine’s genuine love of this wonderful cause has directly helped thousands of Victorian children, and she has led a dedicated team with distinction. For that, we congratulate and thank her.”
Victorians have donated more than $160 million to the Good Friday Appeal over the past 16 years under Unsworth’s stewardship, more than half the total $240 million raised in its 81-year history.
Unsworth led the Appeal through its 80th birthday celebrations in 2011, oversaw its complete rebranding and established several key commercial partnerships, notably with Etihad Stadium which has been “home” to the annual Appeal family day for the past 10 years.
Unsworth said the courage of the RCH patients and their parents was inspirational.
“Their willingness to be involved in the Good Friday Appeal was just amazing,” she said.
“Their trust in me and the hospital was humbling. And, of course, I’ve been blown away by the support of the community – even when other major events such as the Black Saturday bushfires or the Asian tsunami occur, the generosity of Victorians towards this great cause is unwavering.”
HWT chairman and retiring Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation chairman Julian Clarke said: “I can’t speak more highly of what has been achieved under Christine’s leadership, particularly the trust and personal relationships built in the wider Victorian community.”
Deborah Hallmark – current board director of the Transport Accident Commission – joins the Good Friday Appeal with more than 20 years marketing, communications and event management experience.
In her new role, she will be responsible for the overall management and direction of the Good Friday Appeal.
“As a proud and passionate Victorian I understand the importance and value of the Royal Children’s Hospital, which is one of the best paediatric hospitals in the world,” Hallmark said.
“I look forward to building on the strong foundations Christine has established to ensure the RCH remains a world-class facility equipped to deliver the best possible care to our sick children.”