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Lin Hatfield Dodds is The Benevolent Society’s new CEO

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Lin Hatfield Dodds CEO of The Benevolent Society

After a competitive selection process, charitable organisation The Benevolent Society is pleased to announce Lin Hatfield Dodds as its new CEO beginning on on 19 July 2021.

The appointment marks an exciting new era for the longstanding Australian charity which provides integrated support services to children, young people and families, people with disability, older Australians, and carers. Established in 1813, The Benevolent Society is one of Australia’s first charities and a pioneer of social change.

Currently Associate Dean at The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), Hatfield Dodds brings to The Benevolent Society extensive experience in social policy, systems leadership, and cross sector social innovation, as well as a wealth of operational experience.

Prior to ANZSOG, Hatfield Dodds was also Deputy Secretary, Social Policy, in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2016 to 2019 where she led whole of government advice to the Prime Minister on social policy issues and on gender equality. From 2002-2016, she was the National Director of UnitingCare Australia, the national body for Australia’s largest NGO network of social, health and aged care services.

“It was clear to our Board that Lin has all of the right attributes to lead The Benevolent Society into its next phase,” said Tim Beresford, Chair, The Benevolent Society. “She is a strong systems leader and is highly-skilled in policy and regulation, which will be vital to our new integrated delivery approach across our child, youth and family, disability and ageing services.

We have every confidence that Lin will build on The Benevolent Society’s momentum supporting thousands of Australians to live their life their way, by delivering first-rate services and advocating for their needs,” Beresford said.

Hatfield Dodds has served on a wide range of boards and government advisory bodies, including as Chair of the Australian Social Inclusion Board, and President of the Australian Council of Social Service. Her career includes working as a counselling psychologist with families and young people at risk, with a particular interest in trauma and abuse.

On her appointment, Hatfield Dodds said the appointment was an honour.

“I am honoured to be joining The Benevolent Society. It is a highly regarded organisation and I am proud to be part of shaping its future. I look forward to working with the Board, the staff, and the communities we serve to ensure that Australia is a just society where everyone can live their best life,” she said.

She replaces Jo Toohey, who after eight years in the role announced her decision to step down in March 2021.

“The Board is grateful for Jo’s leadership and experience, as she has guided the organisation along its path to becoming the contemporary, innovative and for-purpose organisation that it is today,” Beresford said.

Some of the recognitions that Hatfield Dodds gained over the years are ACT Australian of the Year, a Churchill Fellowship to study anti-poverty strategies, and an ACT Chief Minister’s International Women’s Day Award.


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