Dr Lisa J. Griffiths celebrates five years as Chief Executive Officer at OzChild

News | Posted February 4, 2019
Dr Lisa J. Griffiths celebrates five years as Chief Executive Officer at OzChild

February marks five years since Dr Lisa J. Griffiths took over the reins at OzChild and our future certainly looks bright!

When Lisa arrived at OzChild five years ago the landscape of programs and services delivered was very different to today.

Throughout her career, Lisa has been instrumental in introducing systemic change involving primary prevention programs, evidence-based interventions and community awareness projects that address long term strategic needs, and enhanced outcomes for the community.

Lisa firmly believes in evidence based programs to deliver tangible outcomes for vulnerable people and is a strong advocate for using what works for Australian children and families facing vulnerabilities.

This belief led the introduction of new evidence based models into the program delivery offered by OzChild. Now the largest provider of evidence based programs in Child Protection, Family Violence and Youth Justice in Australia, OzChild is leading the sector achieving greater outcomes by doing what works!

Since Lisa joined OzChild in February 2014, the organisation has undergone a significant transformation improving its financial position, introducing evidence based programs and expanding its operations interstate.

“OzChild has seen growth of more than 130%, program and service delivery has increased significantly and into new states and territories. Under Lisa’s leadership support from state and federal government has increased as belief and understanding of the OzChild way is widely recognised,” says Helen Maxwell-Wright Board President.

Strengthening our impact with evidence based programs for children, young people and families is changing lives. This carefully considered strategic direction supported by the Board and implemented by Lisa and the Executive Leadership Team will make an enormous difference to many and leave a lasting legacy.

OzChild’s success over the past five years is a true testament to her dedication and unfathomable passion for changing the lives of children and young people. Lisa’s humble dedication to her role is remarkable.

When Lisa was asked to reflect on the last five years she said:

Lisa’s energy and enthusiasm are felt right across the organisation and shared by everyone. Her dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of children and young people is inspiring.

National Executive Director of Services, Michelle Van Doorn and Chief Operating Officer, Mark Powell have shared Lisa’s journey at OzChild from the start.

Michelle describes Lisa’s arrival as a “breath of fresh air.”

“Lisa is truly an inspirational leader – she is strongly values driven, authentic, collaborative, innovative and totally committed to making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and young people. In Lisa’s five years at OzChild she has not only lead the transformation of the organisation but has strongly influenced the broader service system to be evidence based in its approaches with children and families.”

Chief Operating Officer Mark Powell was keen to add “I enjoy Lisa’s challenging approach to the problems our sector addresses, thinking outside current practice and challenging the status quo.”

Mark believes Lisa’s greatest achievement so far has been leading our entry into NSW; “a sector with old established organisations who have strong ties to government. OzChild broke into that market off the back of Lisa’s determination to the vision she set for OzChild.”

As a leader, Lisa has ensured the progression of the professional careers of those around her. Investing in the development of her staff is important to Lisa as she firmly believes in us all setting each other up for success.

Jarrod Edwards, Chief Transformation Officer at OzChild adds, “the ability for OzChild, as a team, to support vulnerable children, young people and families requires the contribution of many supported by leadership that inspires each of us. Lisa’s ability to influence Ministers, navigate bureaucracy, create a sense of belonging for staff and volunteers alike, as well as convince the Executive Leadership Team to dress up and dance like 70’s pop stars, is the leadership that binds all of our contributions together.”

Lisa has a mantra that to achieve better outcomes for the children and families we serve, “a collaborative approach must be taken”.

Her believe in the spirit of collaboration is admirable – within the sector and beyond. We are all in this together and to ensure successful outcomes for children, young people and families it is in their best interest we share what we know.

Dea Delaney-Thiele, OzChild’s National Executive Director of Aboriginal Partnerships didn’t know where to start when asked to share her thoughts on Lisa.

“Lisa is an extremely caring, compassionate and exceptionally professional leader who ‘works’ with her staff in many ways that is underpinned by an evidence based agenda; which truly matches with me as a person!

“Lisa truly supports Aboriginal Peoples’ inherent right of self-determination…. she allows me the latitude I need to achieve the best I can with my national Aboriginal partnership role. A role that has many challenges and tasks that we work towards, to help build awareness of our true history and to build a culturally competent workforce. It is an exciting role… from little things, big things will grow, and I have Lisa to thank for that!

“It is such a privilege working with Lisa…what an awe-inspiring leader she is. I am sure she will leave a legacy on so many levels, in particular for our most vulnerable children, that will be talked about for many generations to come.”

Behind the scenes Lisa works strategically to strengthen OzChild relationships sitting on ministerial advisory councils in various states to ensure OzChild is placed at the forefront of the community sector.

Lisa is also a beloved wife, mother to five children and a former double Commonwealth games medalist in Judo. But, it doesn’t stop there! Lisa has recently been awarded a Doctorate in Business Leadership for her thesis on an Evidence Based Ethical Leadership Model for the Community Services Sector.

Our President, Helen Maxwell-Wright says ”Lisa is an inspirational leader with incredible foresight and ground-breaking ideas, contagious energy, enviable charisma and creativity. She is an invaluable asset to OzChild and we wholeheartedly congratulate her on this milestone and thank her greatly for her enthusiasm and fearless leadership.

“The future of OzChild certainly shines bright with Lisa J. Griffiths at the helm of the ship.”

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Acknowledgement of Country

OzChild acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and work. We acknowledge their cultures are living ones, which relate to their ongoing connection to all things living and non-living on land, sea and sky.

We pay our respect to Elders past and present.

May the children of today lead us to a brighter tomorrow.

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