Intereach appoints new Chief Executive Officer
24 Jul 2021

Intereach has announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer.

Outgoing Intereach Board of Directors chair Pat Fogarty – in one of her last duties in the role – said they were delighted to announce that Rick Lawford will take up the position of CEO, with a start date of Monday, July 26.

Pat said Rick has nearly 30 years’ experience in CEO and leadership positions across a vast range of aged, youth, disability, social enterprise and community services, with specific involvement targeting greater independence, connectedness, wellness and enablement. His experience stretches across rural, regional and metropolitan settings.

“During the recruitment process, along with his diverse experience, Rick demonstrated significant leadership talents within state and national peak bodies and special purpose sector forums.”

Pat said while Mr Lawford would be based at the organisation’s administrative headquarters in Deniliquin, he has committed to work from all other offices on an ongoing basis.

“He is especially keen to visit all our 17 offices within the first 60 days of his tenure to meet as many staff and volunteers as possible, within the confines of any COVID restrictions of course.”

Rick said he is looking forward to taking on the challenges of leading the consolidation of Intereach’s recent growth, as well as achieving future growth and diversity throughout regional NSW and Victoria.

“I am genuinely excited by the opportunity to contribute to Intereach’s continued success and expanding its engagement with stakeholders to build equitable, connected and resilient communities that inherently care for their vulnerable members,” he said.

“I look forward to ensuring our culture continues to support this endeavour through the emergence of exceptional leadership from within and a genuinely challenging, well-resourced and enjoyable environment for all our valued employees, volunteers and partners.”

Pat said she wanted to acknowledge incoming chair Rob Brown “who volunteered significant hours ensuring a rigorous process achieved a great outcome with the CEO appointment”.

Rob was elected chair unopposed at the monthly Intereach Board meeting, held yesterday.

Pat said it was always her intention to step down as chair at the upcoming Intereach AGM in October, however the recruitment of a new CEO had “brought it forward”.

“This allows a new chair to start afresh with the new CEO, as opposed to me working closely with Rick for a few months and then standing down from the role. This just seemed like the sensible thing to do. I’ll obviously remain on the Board and support Rob and Rick with this transition.”

Pat also acknowledged the commitment, support and hard work of Acting CEO Yvette Buhagiar and General Managers Michelle Tai and Ashley Lythgo during the recruitment period.

“They ensured it was business as usual, while still facing the challenges of the pandemic. In fact, I would like to thank all staff and volunteers for their continued commitment to Intereach and their communities.”

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