A Message from Valued Lives New CEO, Jane Forward

Image description: Portrait of Jane Forward, Valued Lives' CEODear readers,

This is my third week at Valued Lives and I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself and my initial plans as CEO.

Firstly, I would like you to know how excited I am in joining Valued Lives. One of the first things I have noticed in the brief time I’ve been here, is the amount of dedication and passion that the Valued Lives team puts into their work. It is truly an honour and a privilege to be joining an organisation whose ethos is based on enriching the lives of the people we support and making them feel valued in their communities.

Prior to taking on this role I worked as the director of my own development and strategic consulting business and through this, became aware of the incredible work that Valued Lives does.  Over the years, I have had the privilege of providing Valued Lives with mentorship support and assisting in developing its strategic and business capability. My partnership with Valued Lives during this period has always been incredibly rewarding and so it felt like a natural progression to take on this role, which would enable me to continue to shape and lead the organisation in reaching its full capabilities.

In joining the Valued Lives executive team with Gavin Pitman and Kenny Lye, I envision our combined experience and knowledge in the social sector will build on the solid foundations that have shaped Valued Lives and its successful outcomes to date.  I want to ensure that Valued Lives continues to grow and develop as a world class, values-based organisation that is recognised for its ground-breaking work in empowering people to have real choices and control over their supports and services.

Over the coming weeks I am looking forward to meeting the people we support and their families, as well as the Valued Lives team. I will be taking the time to get to know the organisation better, to understand the challenges and opportunities we face. I also plan on meeting our key stakeholders, to build on and maintain the great relationships initiated by Bronia, that are key to the ongoing success and sustainability of Valued Lives.

I would also like to acknowledge and give thanks to our founder Bronia Holyoak, whose vision, determination and hard work, are the reasons for Valued Lives’ existence. Over the last eight years, Bronia’s innovative leadership has seen this organisation grow and develop, with relationships placed at the front and centre of all that we do.  On behalf of all the individuals and families whose lives she has enriched, I would like to offer our gratitude and praise for all that she has done – she leaves behind an outstanding legacy that will continue to inspire and drive us all.

I recognise that these are challenging times, with COVID19 impacting on our work life and now with the vaccine mandate in place, we may face further challenges. But what is abundantly clear to me, is that the Valued Lives team is characterised by incredible, resilient people who have a relentless focus on empowering the people we support. I am confident that together we will continue to make this happen, with the strength and determination that the Valued Lives team is renowned for.

Team photo


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