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CEO of Charity Resigns After 30 Years


15 June 2015 at 12:11 pm
Xavier Smerdon
The CEO of one of Australia’s most well known charities is stepping down after more than 30 years in the role.

Xavier Smerdon | 15 June 2015 at 12:11 pm


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CEO of Charity Resigns After 30 Years
15 June 2015 at 12:11 pm

The CEO of one of Australia’s most well known charities is stepping down after more than 30 years in the role.

Louise Voigt, CEO of child protection charity Barnardos Australia, is retiring at the end of this month.

The Board of the charity also revealed that former Senior Executive at Barnardos, Deirdre Cheers, would succeed Voigt.

Voigt said she would look back on her time at Barnardos fondly.

“It has been an honour to lead Barnardos Australia through such a remarkable period of growth and change over the last 30 years,” Voigt said.

“I’m very proud of what we have achieved in protecting children from abuse and neglect through foster care and open adoption and helping to support thousands of families facing homelessness, domestic violence, alcohol and drug addiction and mental illness.”

Chair of Barnardos Australia, Gabrielle Trainor, said Voigts replacement has been the Executive Director of CatholicCare in the Diocese of Broken Bay since 2007, and previously held senior management positions with Barnardos for 13 years. During her tenure at CatholicCare Broken Bay, she grew the organisation by almost 2.5 times.

“We are delighted Deirdre has accepted this role. She will ensure continuity in our work in NSW and ACT and with her credentials and experience is in an excellent position to maintain our reputation and priorities. She will maintain our emphasis on child-centred, evidence-based welfare practice,” Trainor said.

“Deirdre’s deep familiarity with Barnardos’ work and her established relationships with many of our employees and stakeholders will ensure a smooth transition.”

Cheers said she was looking forward to taking up her new role.

“I am honoured to have been appointed to Barnardos, whose reputation as one of Australia’s leading child protection agencies has been very well earned,” Cheers said.

“Louise and her team have built a remarkable organisation and although I have been at another great organisation, CatholicCare Broken Bay, for nine years, in some way it feels like the wheel has turned full circle.

“Barnardos’ work in ensuring children have safe and secure homes, in supporting open adoption as a means in some cases of ensuring permanency of care for children at risk, and in helping to build capacity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island welfare organisations is significant and important.

“It will be enriching to work as CEO with Barnardos’ committed team in these and the other areas in which we do all we can to protect children.”

Trainor also praised the charity’s outgoing leader.

“Louise has been a highly respected and tireless advocate for child protection and has led Barnardos through significant change and growth,” she said.

“Deirdre is a very worthy successor and we are confident her leadership will ensure we continue to make our utmost contribution to protecting children and securing for them loving care and safe futures.”

Cheers will officially take over as CEO next month.


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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