Changemaker – Simon Rountree
Monday, 26th August 2013 at 10:02 am
Simon Rountree is the CEO at Camp Quality, a children’s cancer charity aiming to create a better life for every child living with cancer in Australia.
This week we profile Simon in Changemakers – a weekly column that examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.
Camp Quality is a national charity that brings optimism and happiness to the lives of children and families affected by cancer through fun therapy.
It was established in 1983 and the first camp was held in September of that year, with 38 children and 38 volunteers attending.
Today the charity operates programs in every State and Territory throughout Australia. Thirteen offices run over 240 camps and fun days and perform to over 250,000 school children each year.
Since joining Camp Quality in 2000, Simon has moved the organisation to adopt a culture built around optimism, laughter and transparency.
He has now spent more than fifteen years working in the Not for Profit sector undertaking various management roles with organisations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Starlight Children's Foundation in addition to his current position.
Simon started his working life as a preschool teacher.
What are you currently working on in your organisation?
We are currently into year two of our five year strategic plan. Our main initiatives with this plan are:
- To improve and expand current program's so that we can reach every child living with cancer at diagnosis, during treatment, in remission or through palliative or bereavement.
- Develop powerful collaborations with similar organisations such as Red Kite and CanTeen to avoid duplication and collectively utilise our expertise.
- Expand to support children that have a parent with cancer.
Some initiatives we are undertaking to support our strategic plan include but not are limited to:
- Research into current and new program's to ensure relevance, equity, reach and effectiveness.
- Implementation of new fundraising initiatives to expand our revenue streams.
- Introduction of a nine day fortnight into the work force (pro rata for part timers) therefore allowing staff to have work/life balance.
- Delivery of a positive psychology based training program for all staff and volunteers to build and support life skills such as resilience, optimism, attitude and strengths.
What drew you to the Not For Profit sector?
The ability to work within a sector that is professional within a business context but has meaning, engagement and socially in some way makes a difference.
What do you like best about working in your current organisation?
Without doubt its our people who are creative, resourceful, passionate, analytical, determined and above all fun. The positivity and enthusiasm rubs off on you and drives you to do more. My colleagues inspire me and continue to teach me so much.
Live life to the full without fear of taking the next step.
What are you reading, watching, listening to at the moment?
I really enjoy a good television series so at the moment I’m watching House of Cards and Breaking Bad. The depth of the characters combined with the story line make for compelling viewing. And of course some time to just sit and relax.
School taught me…
That curiosity is critical for personal growth.
What inspires you? Who inspires you?
I'm inspired by man’s ability to do amazing things within a world of complex and competing environments. Whether its in science, arts, design, technology etc our ability to continue to develop new and better things is simply incredible.
Many people inspire me from staff at Camp Quality to artists, actors, activists, business leaders, politicians (only a few), my friends and the kids and families we support. The person who has had the greatest impact on me is my wife Jo who's insight, wisdom and support has allowed me to flourish.