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Resignation of Youth Insearch CEO Heath Ducker and new appointment

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Heath Ducker has resigned as CEO of Youth Insearch effective immediately after the 2019 AGM on 26 November. Following external consultation, General Manager Stephen Lewin will take up the role.

Heath took on the role in December 2011, following a period of significant change for the Foundation.

Youth Insearch Chair Garry Rothwell says Heath has been an authentic, collaborative and inspiring leader.

A participant in the program himself as a teenager, Heath has lived Youth Insearch’s vision since a young age. Prior to commencing as CEO, Heath was a lawyer in a leading law firm and advisor to the Attorney General.

Rothwell says Heath has drawn on his passion and knowledge. “Heath has driven professionalism and growth through Youth Insearch, while retaining our culture and heart of ‘love in action’,” Rothwell said.

Heath made some tough decisions when he started in 2011, restructuring and reforming compliance and governance.

“The whole organisation has grown exponentially under his leadership,” says Rothwell. “With honesty and clear decision making, he brought us back together. Heath rebuilt the confidence of our volunteers, leaders, donors and service partners, and re-established our staff team and board of directors.”

In the years that followed, Heath implemented a successful growth strategy, underpinned by investments in publicity, staffing, technology, program research, evaluation and innovation, setting the platform for sustained growth. As CEO, Heath raised over $10 million to support this strategy, representing a 225 per cent growth in revenues.

Under his leadership, program-reach has gone from 176 to 237 local communities and 720 to 2,500 support group sessions per year, with a tripling of staff and volunteers from 95 to 258, helping hundreds more young people each year in the core Youth Insearch program.

Heath has been passionate about impact and youth participation, establishing an expert Clinical Committee and National and State Youth Councils to lead program innovations. This includes more individualised support and links between the program, families and communities; and diversification through partnerships with NSW Rugby League, Stockland, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Department of Social Services, with specialist programs being devised and implemented; expanding Youth Insearch’s reach and helping hundreds more young people in addition to its core program.

“Heath has stayed close to the ground, continuing to attend and lead the workshops and trainings with the young participants,” says Rothwell, “This ensured our unique culture of equality has continued.”

Youth Insearch recently won Best Workplace with the Voice Project finding 92 per cent staff and 94 per cent volunteer engagement.

Rothwell says the Youth Insearch Board is incredibly grateful for all that has been achieved under Heath’s guidance and leadership.

General Manager Stephen Lewin will take up the position of CEO on 27 November 2019, after Heath formerly steps down at the AGM on 26 November 2019.

Stephen joined Youth Insearch as General Manager in December 2014, having also been a teenage participant in the program some 20 plus years earlier.

Committed to a career creating public value, Stephen previously worked 19 years with the NSW Government, including senior roles in accommodation and respite, community support teams and home care.

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