Community Services has a newly appointed Chief Executive, Maree Walk.
Having worked for a range of state government and non-government organisations, Maree brings more than 25 years’ experience to her challenging new role.
Some time ago, Maree worked at Community Services, where she led Enact – the unit that led implementation of the 1998 care legislation.
More recently, Maree had been with The Benevolent Society prior to joining Community Services. As General Manager Operations, she was responsible for ageing, community development, mental health, carer respite, and child and family services. She also successfully expanded the agency into Queensland and extended its reach in regional and rural NSW, particularly in mental health and foster care.
Maree has also served on many boards and committees, including chairing ACWA (Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies) and sitting on the expert reference group of GoodStart (a non-profit syndicate that promotes early learning). She has also worked on high-profile child protection initiatives in NSW and nationally, including Keep Them Safe.
“I’m looking forward to leading Australia’s largest child protection agency,” says Maree. “Out of the Government’s significant reform agenda, our first challenge and main focus for 2012 is the successful transition of children and young people in statutory care to non-government agencies.
“But this won’t be the only change. I’m pleased that we’re already giving renewed emphasis to our work with adolescents. Research shows us how important education is for children in care. The new Teenage Education Payment is one step towards targeting what research shows makes a real difference.”
As part of a commitment to teenagers in care, Community Services will make a new payment to carers to help keep young people engaged in school/training. Commencing July 2012, the Teenage Education Payment (TEP) will provide $6,000 per year towards educational costs for 16- and 17-year-olds in an approved course of education/training. This will be paid in $1,500 instalments at the start of each term or semester. More information is available on the Community Services website and will feature in the next CS News.