This Foster Care Week we join in the call for carers to be supported with the basics such as birth certificates and Medicare cards, to be unburdened by the financial pressure to pay for health and education expenses that aren’t covered by the care allowance.
OzChild President Appointed a Member of the Order of Australia
OzChild President and champion for vulnerable children, young people and families and people living with type one diabetes, Helen Maxwell-Wright has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her dedication to improving the health and well-being outcomes of others.
Kind, compassionate and generous with her time, Helen Maxwell-Wright has dedicated much of her life to improving the lives of others, but the honour of being appointed an Order of Australia is one Helen believes belongs to all who strive to help others:
“In a year that marks OzChild’s 170th anniversary, I couldn’t be prouder to represent all who strive every day to making a difference in the lives of others.”
Passionate about making a real and lasting difference and sincere in her desire to help, Helen has provided meritorious service throughout her career and through voluntary service.
And a significant difference she has made. Spending more than 20 years in voluntary roles to improve the lives of vulnerable children and young people through her work on the Board of OzChild, and to improving the lives of people with type one diabetes working with JDRF Australia.
Helen’s self-less drive and determination has seen her contribute significantly to the organisations she serves through her vast experience in, and knowledge of marketing and communications, governance, and leadership and their application to improving lives.
But it does not end there! Helen’s accomplishments are complimented by a solid track record in fundraising in the fields of child welfare and type one diabetes research funding and leading organisational transformation to influence change.
As President of the OzChild Board, Helen was instrumental in leading the Board’s strategic investment in the introduction of evidence-based models to better support children, young people, and families with complex trauma, extreme behavioural challenges and those facing vulnerable times.
Helen’s exceptional leadership during OzChild’s transformation to an evidence-based outcome focussed organisation has seen OzChild extend its reach into New South Wales, Queensland, and the ACT, supporting better outcomes for many hundreds more children and young people.
Helen has also led the fundraising efforts over many years at OzChild and during this time raised more than $3M to support the delivery of programs and services. Her leadership in Victoria, advocacy and fundraising for JDRF Australia has contributed significantly towards support of type one diabetes research.
Helen’s professionalism, expertise and support for others is evident when speaking with those who know Helen or have had dealings with her.
Many colleagues, associates and friends describe Helen as strongly supportive of developing and implementing good internal processes and she is skilled in working within rapidly changing external environments, whether that is of markets or funders.
Helen is recognised for her dedication to ensuring good governance through defined processes that ensure organisational sustainability, accountability, transparency, and fairness to all stakeholders.
With a warm disposition, Helen cares deeply for, and values the immense contribution of OzChild foster and kinship carers, admiring the very self-less act they, and their families undertake to make a difference in the life of a vulnerable child.
“OzChild carers are truly remarkable, they do what many of us believe we can’t do, they have the courage and the strength of character to change a child’s life. There really is no greater act of selflessness.”
Helen with OzChild kinship carer, Victoria (left) and foster carer Andrea (right) alongside Jarrod Edwards in 2019
In 2021 Helen celebrates 20 years’ service to the OzChild board, serving for the past six years as President. Helen is a much loved, and highly respected non-executive director and a mentor and friend to many.
OzChild’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lisa J. Griffiths congratulates Helen on this very well-deserved accolade.
“I am overjoyed to see Helen recognised with an Order of Australia, her exemplary service and enormous contribution absolutely worthy of this recognition.”
“Helen has a wealth of knowledge spanning the non-profit, health and commercial sectors, and has made an incredible difference to OzChild over the past 20 years. Helen exudes good governance and process, transparency, and integrity both personally and organisationally. An exceptional member of the board Helen’s leadership is not only inspiring but both exciting and motivating also.
It is a wonderful privilege to work alongside Helen and I know fellow directors, the OzChild Executive Leadership Team and all members of the OzChild family feel extremely lucky to be able to learn from Helen, both personally and professionally.”
Helen Maxwell-Wright AM and members of the OzChild Board with the Honourable Linda Dessau AC and Mr Howard at Government house to mark OzChild’s 170th anniversary year.
Congratulations Helen, those who benefit from your passion, dedication, and commitment are fortunate to have you on their side.
In Victoria, the growth in OOHC is the fastest in the nation – a grim reality for the state which has endured the harshest and longest lockdowns. With more than 45,000 children already in OOHC across Australia, an additional 4,500 children are estimated to enter OOHC because of the pandemic – put simply, we do not have enough carers.
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