An update on YWCA governance

Following expert independent advice, YWCA is changing our corporate governance structure.  

To ensure greater synergy and better communication across all YWCA legal entities, we have decided to move to a common board of directors across YWCA Australia, YWCA National Housing, and YWCA Housing. This change is effective as of 1 June 2020. There is no expected impact to members, staff, volunteers or the many community programs and services we run across Australia.  

Kirsty Rourke and Rebecca Thomas, who are currently directors of YWCA National Housing and YWCA Housing will be joining the YWCA Australia board. They bring with them valuable housing and commercial knowledge to complement the skills and knowledge already on our board. Helen Conway, who is currently the Chair of the boards of both YWCA National Housing and YWCA Housing and will commence as President of the YWCA Australia Board on 1 July has been appointed as well.  

We farewell Anna Draffin, Yien Hong, Sarah Scruby and Tracy Thelander from our housing boards. Their contributions to the growth of YWCA housing operations and increased public visibility of the need for more affordable housing through the recent release of our research report Women’s Housing Needs in Regional Australia have been significant. We thank them for their time, expertise, and passion for improving housing opportunities for women across Australia.  

This change has been made following an independent review of our governance structure by consulting firm RSM Australia. Their recommendation to move to a common board of directors across all YWCA legal entities is designed to improve communication, clarify roles and responsibilities, and assist with reporting to regulators.  

While this may appear to be a significant governance change just two years after the merger of YWCA member associations, this is part of YWCA’s commitment to excellence, improvement and innovation in all areas of our business. While the right decisions were made at merger with the information that was available at the time, two years of operations has clarified how we can further streamline and improve our processes. 

We are confident that our new common board of directors across all YWCA entities will help YWCA continue to deliver essential programs and services to women, young women and girls across Australia for many years to come.  

YWCA Australia wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, live and play and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We recognise First Nations people as the custodians of the lands, seas and skies, with more than 60,000 years of wisdom, connection and relationship in caring for Country.

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