Jenni Hutchins accepts CEO role at Warrigal after confirming departure from Big Fat Smile
The Sector > Provider > General News > Jenni Hutchins accepts CEO role at Warrigal after confirming departure from Big Fat Smile

Jenni Hutchins accepts CEO role at Warrigal after confirming departure from Big Fat Smile

by Jason Roberts

October 20, 2022

Jenni Hutchins, Chief Executive Officer of Big Fat Smile has confirmed that she will be departing the Illawarra based not for profit provider after almost six years in the role to join older Australian service provider Warrigal as its new CEO. 


“I am both saddened yet excited to share that I will be leaving my position at Big Fat Smile,” Ms Hutchins said. 


“Big Fat Smile has been a career highlight for me. Particularly the people. Our people exude their passion for the vocation of early learning and care, out of school hours care, community programs and inclusion services.” 


“Their tireless focus on the educational outcomes of children and families has always spurred me on to advocate in the best interests of our children, families, teachers and educators.”


An ECEC experience committed to advocacy and service 


Ms Hutchins joined Big Fat Smile in February 2017 after holding senior positions at leading not for profit organisations including the YMCA NSW, Campbell Page and The Benevolent Society where she spent 13 years in a range of national leadership roles. 


Since joining Big Fat Smile she implemented the roll out of a new vision, values and series of strategic plans, oversaw an important merger with larger not for profit provider Goodstart Early Learning in May 2019 and successfully guided the group through the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. 


Ms Hutchins’ ongoing commitment to advocacy saw her become involved with ECEC peak body the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) where she has been Co-Chair since 2018 alongside G8 Education’s CEO Gary Carroll and the NSW Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate where she Co-Chairs the NSW ECECD Safeguarding Committee


Earlier this year Ms Hutchins became the ECEC sector’s first recipient of a Churchill Fellowship through which she will explore internationally the way in which best practice models of out of school hours care (OSHC) are being applied with a view to identifying insights and learnings to repatriate to the Australian context to effect positive change.


Warrigal, a large for purpose, community owned, care focused organisation


Ms Hutchins will be joining Warrigal, the New South Wales based operator of a variety of retirement living and aged care services in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, Queanbeyan and Canberra regions. 


The organisation, which was founded in 1967, provides personally tailored care and support through various stages of life, working within the frameworks of individual financial circumstances, regardless of what these may be.


In 2021 Warrigal supported 3,706 older people across all of their services, employed 1,576 team members and generated revenues of $128.03 million.


Commenting on the new role Ms Hutchins said, “When I think about the voice of the child. Our children want to be heard, valued, loved, known and respected. That doesn’t change with age. I have the opportunity to embrace the child within our older citizens, leverage their wisdom and connect across generations.”


As a final note of thanks to the organisation and sector Ms Hutchins has been part of for the last six years she added, “I will definitely miss Big Fat Smile! The beauty and richness of relationships across all layers welcomes you as you walk in the door.” 


“Many thanks to all my colleagues across the sector. I have made life long friends. Thank you for your wisdom, knowledge and kindness.”

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