Rosie Batty Takes the Wheel of the Luke Batty Foundation as CEO
15 July 2016 at 4:29 pm
Family violence campaigner, Rosie Batty has taken her place as CEO of the Luke Batty Foundation.
The former Australian of the Year, who set up the foundation in 2014 after her son Luke was killed by his father at cricket practice, said she was excited to be taking the wheel.
“I am of course extremely honoured to be taking on additional responsibilities as CEO and am excited to be taking the wheel at this new stage of the foundation’s growth,” Batty said.
“I am confident that the foundation’s awareness raising and prevention programs such as the Never Alone campaign will continue to be at the forefront of the national movement to end family violence in Australia.”
Batty thanked the outgoing CEO Loretta Mannix-Fell for her work with the foundation, which aims to raise funds to support women and children affected by the trauma of family violence.
“We are extremely grateful for the tireless work of Loretta Mannix-Fell. Her professionalism and expert advice will be missed,” she said.
Mannix-Fell, who was appointed as CEO in December 2015, told Pro Bono Australia News the plan had always been for Batty to take over.
“I was brought in as the inaugural CEO, Rosie has been very busy travelling this year and a number of things had been locked in already. So it was always the plan that she would be CEO, it was a just a matter of when she was available to do it,” Mannix-Fell said.
“It has been fantastic, but it has been really quite tough because of the high profile of the organisation.
“It just was a startup, we only got DGR status last year, so it was really putting the building blocks in, for the organisation to go forward.
“It has been a challenge but it has been very rewarding.
“Family violence is such a difficult area and Rosie has put it on the national agenda, so it has been a unique opportunity to work with Rosie, and our board now is nearly established, it is a very respected board, high profile board.”
Mannix-Fell said she had helped build the Luke Batty Foundation from scratch.
“When I first came there was only two people on the board so it has been a building of the entire organisation, from the ground up and the strategic plan. We didn’t have any of that, so I started doing the scoping document and the strategic plan, it was really putting everything place,” she said.
“When I first got there I had to go and buy a phone and a computer. It was starting from scratch.”
As part of the foundation’s new staffing structure, the organisation will also hire a chief operations officer, to support Batty in her public and strategic engagements, and the day to day operations of the organisation.
Mannix-Fell said the business model will help carry the foundation forward.
“Rosie is fantastic but she is travelling a lot and she will continue to travel but that is why we have the put the model together where… we have an outward looking CEO, if you like, and then the COO more of an operational type person, we think that is a model that will go forward… Oxfam International have a very similar model,” she said.
“Rosie now has an EA and someone around social media and the board is in place and we are getting a COO so it is all looking good.
“I would like it to be the foundation that is an authority on family violence.
“Rosie has a vision of always being collaborative and working with people in the sector who have the knowledge rather than we try and do it all.
“We are working with Our Watch for example, around respectful relationship education in primary schools, we’ve got a major grant from the Myer Foundation to undertake that work, but we are not running the program, because we don’t have the people on the ground but Our Watch do, so it is a partnership like that. So we envisage doing more of that sort of stuff, working with the people who have the knowledge and skills, but not necessarily undertaking the programs ourselves at this stage.”
Mannix-Fell said she was not sure what she would do next.
“It has been such a busy role, I can’t tell you. It is a full-time job looking for a full-time job so I haven’t applied for anything, I haven’t even really looked,” she said.
“So yes, I will be looking to do something within the sector but I am just not quite sure what at this moment. I am having two weeks holiday with my husband, I can feel I will be all spiritually renewed when I come back and then I will have a look at what is out there.”
Chair of the board Andrew Fairley AM said the foundation had benefited enormously from Mannix-Fell’s leadership and commitment and they looked forward to continuing her work.
“In just seven months, Loretta has successfully steered our fledgling foundation through the critical strategic planning and governance processes necessary as we grow and begin new projects,” Fairley said.
“The challenging start-up process including board recruitment has been navigated expertly despite the pressure of high expectations and this extremely busy time for the entire sector.
“It is with great pleasure that we announce Rosie Batty as the new CEO to continue both Loretta’s work and her own.
“Through her leadership role at the Luke Batty Foundation, Rosie will continue to be at the forefront of the national conversation around family violence and the leading initiatives to address it.”
To apply for the role of COO visit here.