The Benevolent Society appoints new CEO, Lin Hatfield Dodds
The Sector > Workforce > Leadership > The Benevolent Society appoints new CEO, Lin Hatfield Dodds

The Benevolent Society appoints new CEO, Lin Hatfield Dodds

by Freya Lucas

July 12, 2021

Australia’s oldest charity, and early childhood education and care provider, The Benevolent Society, has appointed Lin Hatfield Dodds as CEO, following an extensive and competitive selection process.


Ms Hatfield Dodds is scheduled to commence her new role on 19 July 2021, building on her extensive experience in social policy, systems leadership, and cross sector social innovation, as well as a wealth of operational experience.


The Benevolent Society provides integrated support services to children, young people and families, people with disability, older Australians, and carers. Established in 1813, The Benevolent Society is one of Australia’s first charities and a pioneer of social change.


Currently Associate Dean at The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), Ms Hatfield Dodds has also held positions as Deputy Secretary, Social Policy, in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2016 to 2019, and as National Director of UnitingCare Australia, the national body for Australia’s largest NGO network of social, health and aged care services from 2002-2016.


She has also served on a wide range of boards and government advisory bodies, including as Chair of the Australian Social Inclusion Board, and as President of the Australian Council of Social Service. Her career includes working as a counselling psychologist with families and young people at risk, with a particular interest in trauma and abuse.


“It was clear to our Board that Lin has all of the right attributes to lead The Benevolent Society into its next phase,” Tim Beresford, Chair, The Benevolent Society said. “She is a strong systems leader and is highly-skilled in policy and regulation, which will be vital to our new integrated delivery approach across our child, youth and family, disability and ageing services.


Mr Beresford expressed that the Board has “every confidence” that Ms Hatfield Dodds will build on The Benevolent Society’s momentum supporting thousands of Australians to “live their life their way,” by delivering first-rate services and advocating for their needs.


“I am honoured to be joining The Benevolent Society,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said in response. 


“It is a highly regarded organisation and I am proud to be part of shaping its future. I look forward to working with the Board, the staff, and the communities we serve to ensure that Australia is a just society where everyone can live their best life.”


Ms Hatfield Dodds replaces Jo Toohey, who after eight years in the role announced her decision to step down in March 2021. Mr Beresford thanked Ms Toohey on behalf of the Board for her leadership and experience, as she guided the organisation along its path to becoming “the contemporary, innovative and for-purpose organisation that it is today.”


For more information about the work of The Benevolent Society in the early years space please see here

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