From FRSA’s Chair of the Board

FRSA Board and Staff at the Cultural Training Day

Having been elected Chair of the FRSA Board on 1 December 2023 by the Board Directors was certainly a privilege as I serve my final year on the FRSA Board.  It is my intention to be a strong leader and a ‘safe pair of hands’ as the Board settles into a new membership mix with four new people joining the Board of Directors late last year.  We are a Board firmly committed to supporting the work of the membership of Family and Relationship Services Australia – through Jackie and her staff at the FRSA national office.

We held our first face to face Board meeting in Canberra last week and this provided us with a great connection to work solidly on progressing the aims and objectives within FRSA’s Strategic Plan.  As a newly assembled Board it was important for us to take some time out to do a check in on key Governance principles – to set expectations, responsibilities, and boundaries.

Being in Canberra also afforded us the opportunity to meet with key Departmental stakeholders to discuss with them directly a range of issues we know the sector is working through at the present time.  The bulk of those conversations focused on the various review processes underway in the Family and Relationship Services sector – in both AGD and DSS – ensuring the sector has an opportunity to be active participants.  We know that the Government is committed to the principles of consultation and collaboration, and we are grateful that we are keenly engaged and at the table in all these conversations.

We also took the opportunity of being together in Canberra to join with the FRSA staff in a full day cultural appreciation training day.  We were extremely fortunate to be led by Clinton Scott-Knight from the National Indigenous Training Employment Services (NITES) on this journey.  It was moving, emotional and thought-provoking.  Clinton also expertly guided us through an activity referred to as Gari Yala (Speak the Truth) developed by Diversity Council Australia which provided the Board and staff with an opportunity to begin to develop ideas giving life to our ongoing commitment to reconciliation and the Uluru Statement of the Heart.

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