The Benevolent Society has appointed public policy expert Ken Smith as its new chair.
Mr Smith – who joined the organisation’s board of directors in October – brings extensive executive human services leadership experience to the role.
He is a Professor of Practice at Queensland University of Technology and does sessional work at the University of Queensland.
He has worked on many national policy issues over the past three decades including housing and urban affairs, social welfare and education.
The Benevolent Society chief executive officer Lin Hatfield-Dodds welcomed Mr Smith to the role. “I welcome Ken, with his extensive leadership experience and deep expertise in public policy. The depth of experience and expertise of our board will continue to drive The Benevolent Society forward,” she said.
Mr Smith said he was thrilled to be joining an organisation with such an impressive legacy. “I’m looking forward to working with the board and the executive team to continue The Benevolent Society’s long history of influencing and leading positive social change.”
Mr Smith replaces Tim Beresford who has stood down from the chairmanship after a five-year tenure. Ms Hatfield Dodds expressed her deep appreciation for Mr Beresford and his work as chair.
“Tim’s focus on excellence and his belief in our staff have been evident in every conversation I’ve had with him since I became CEO. His leadership has been characterised by insight, integrity, and wisdom,” she said.
In response, Mr Beresford acknowledged Ms Hatfield Dodds “for her inspiring leadership” since taking on the CEO role two years ago.
“As my chapter in history for this organisation closes, I look back with a huge sense of pride of our collective achievements. Over the years, I have enjoyed travelling New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia to meet our teams. I have always been struck by their professionalism, commitment, and dedication to deliver positive social outcomes for their communities,” Mr Beresford said.
New board member
Meanwhile, Professor Lorraine Sheppard has also joined The Benevolent Society’s board of directors. Professor Sheppard is a professor of physiotherapy and healthcare management and an experienced non-executive director and chair in clinical governance across several industry bodies and the not-for-profit sector.
Through her leadership in allied health, clinical and aged care services, Professor Sheppard is familiar with the changing nature of aged care, government reforms and responding to the needs of people who seek care.
“I have a strong interest in driving support for vulnerable people and was drawn to The Benevolent Society’s values,” she said. “I’m looking forward to contributing to the important work they do and value the opportunity to contribute my clinical governance experience and understanding.”
Main image: Ken Smith