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Philanthropy Australia CEO Resigns


13 November 2014 at 3:49 pm
Xavier Smerdon
The CEO of Philanthropy Australia Louise Walsh has resigned after only two years in the top job.

Xavier Smerdon | 13 November 2014 at 3:49 pm


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Philanthropy Australia CEO Resigns
13 November 2014 at 3:49 pm

The CEO of Philanthropy Australia Louise Walsh has resigned after only two years in the top job.

The President of the peak philanthropic body, Alan Schwartz, announced Thursday that he had accepted Walsh’s resignation and the hunt was on for a replacement.

“On behalf of the Council of Philanthropy Australia I wish to advise members that I have accepted the resignation of CEO Louise Walsh and notified all Philanthropy Australia staff,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz said that as part of its discussions about the role of CEO and in light of funding restraints and Philanthropy Australia’s future operating requirements, the Council had decided to restructure the executive of Philanthropy Australia.

“This will mean that there will no longer be a Deputy CEO role and as a result of these changes Anna Draffin our Deputy CEO will be leaving the organisation,” he said.

“The Council of Philanthropy Australia has decided to appoint search firm Egon Zehnder to assist with the recruitment of a new CEO. We are pleased that Louise has agreed to remain in her role until Council has appointed a new CEO and to work with Council to ensure a smooth transition.”

Just two days ago Louise Walsh posted a video on the Philanthropy Australia website discussing the future of philanthropy in Australia and the development of the organisation’s strategic plan in six months time which she said would set out the organisation’s future for the next three to five years.

In the video she said she was optimistic about the future of philanthropy in Australia and did not hint that she was planning on leaving or that there would be structural changes at Philanthropy Australia.

“I congratulate Louise on her achievements since assuming the role of CEO in 2012. With enormous energy and enthusiasm Louise led Philanthropy Australia through a series of successful and very significant changes,” Schwartz said.

“These include the expansion of the Sydney office and the opening of offices in South Australia and Queensland; the launch of the New Generation of Giving program for young donors between the ages of 20 and 40; increased focus on policy and research; a redesigned website and increased media profile for PA; a sharp growth in membership of PA; and a very successful conference in September this year with over 700 delegates.

“The Development of the 2016–?2018 Strategic Plan will be the focus for Council and staff in the first half of 2015 and we will begin our consultations with you our members on this important document early next year,” he said.

In a statement Louise Walsh said “I have loved my time at Philanthropy Australia. I think we have proved to be a new catalyst for ongoing change in Australia’s landscape in philanthropy and the way we think about supporting and partnering with remarkable causes”.

“I leave the organisation in good shape, having put in place all the objectives I set out to achieve when I took the role. It’s time for me to take a break and consider where next to apply my energies.”


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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