AFTER almost seven years as the executive director and CEO of ACTCOSS, Susan Helyar has announced that she is stepping down to try “something new”.
Ms Helyar will leave ACTCOSS in mid-November to take up a new role at ANU in December.
“My next role will be at the Australian National University working with student, academic and professional leaders to improve the safety, wellbeing, personal development and community contribution of people who live on campus,” she says.
“I am looking forward to bringing what I know about creating positive change to contribute to the ambitious improvement agenda the ANU is pursuing.”
Leading the ACTCOSS since 2013, Ms Helyar says she’s enjoyed seeing their advocacy campaigns deliver good outcomes for people in the ACT and is ready to try something new.
“Working with a strong staff team, our members, other peaks, and guided by our governing body, ACTCOSS has done some great work advocating for social change and promoting better service delivery to people who experience disadvantage, exclusion and stigma,” Ms Helyar says.
“It has been an enormous privilege to be part of the long tradition of ACTCOSS directors using our position to shape the public debate in our city, represent the people who are coping with difficult circumstances and stand up for human dignity.”
Chair of the ACTCOSS board Glenda Stevens says over Ms Helyar’s tenure, the board is especially proud of the messaging around income inequality in public debate, the campaign to increase ACT government funding for affordable housing, strengthening support for low-income energy consumers, stewardship of development and implementation of the ACT Community Services Industry Strategy and calling for increased investment in social infrastructure in a growing city.
In 2013-14 and in 2018-19, ACTCOSS undertook two rounds of governance reform and restructured the staff team to build the right mix of capability.
The ACTCOSS board will be advertising the role this week.