The respected company director, Elizabeth Bryan AM, has been elected President-Designate of the YWCA NSW and is scheduled to take up her duties with the charity on 1 July this year. Ms Bryan currently chairs Caltex and Virgin and serves as a non-executive director of IAG and Westpac. YWCA NSW joins her portfolio as her first not for profit board.
Anna Bligh, CEO of YWCA NSW welcomed the appointment. “We are thrilled to have someone of Elizabeth’s calibre join us in our efforts to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable women, children, young people and their families” Ms Bligh said
YWCA NSW operates two commercial hotel businesses and uses the profits from these businesses to fund the work of the organisation. “Our commercial businesses are based on a “profit for purpose” philosophy and have served YWCA well over more than thirty years” Anna Bligh said.
“As CEO my vision is to grow our commercial operations so we can offer our support and assistance to more people, in more places, more often. That means maximising the returns from our existing businesses and leveraging their value to create new commercial operations. I’m excited about the experienced commercial acumen that Elizabeth Bryan will bring to this task”
Ms Bryan said she was attracted to YWCA NSW by the breadth of the work they do in the community and the commercial returns they use to fund some of that work. “Profit for purpose is a great model and I’m keen to be part of building both the profit and the purpose of the organisation” Elizabeth said.
Ms Bligh noted that the landscape for the not-for-profit sector is constantly changing and that while government and philanthropic funds are a critical part of the sector’s work, those charities that can source their own independent funds will secure a more sustainable future for themselves and the services they run.
“A degree of own-source funding gives a not-for-profit like YWCA NSW the agility and independence to innovate and respond to changing and emerging needs” Ms Bligh said
YWCA NSW is one of Australia’s oldest charities, started in 1883 to provide safe shelter and assistance to young women arriving in Sydney, lured by the promise of jobs and opportunity in the new colony, who often ended up homeless, at risk and abused. It is part of a global YWCA organisation that works in more than 130 countries, committed to equal opportunity for women and girls.
“YWCA is one of largest women’s organisations on earth and I’m pleased to be joining an organisation that does so much good work for those women and children who need a helping hand” Ms Bryan said “Whether it’s support for women escaping domestic violence, assistance for isolated young mothers, mentoring programs for disadvantaged young people or accommodation for homeless people, this organisation makes a difference every day and I’m looking forward to being part of that”
First on the agenda is the opportunity to redevelop the YWCA’s Hyde Park Hotel in Wentworth Avenue, Sydney. Opened in 1983, the hotel welcomes almost 80,000 visitors from around the world and around Australia every year. “This is a healthy business serving the three and half star hotel market, but it’s time to invest in the business to grow its return” Ms Bligh said “We’ve got a chance to change the face of the hotel and the face of the local neighbourhood in a way that will drive more services for our clients. Elizabeth has joined YWCA NSW at a very exciting time”
Elizabeth Bryan replaces Josephine Sukkar of BuildCorp and Jill Davies, Global Strategy and Events Consultant, who have served as Co-Presidents of YWCA NSW for the past four years.
YWCA NSW has been running for over 130 years and is one of Australia’s oldest not for profit organisations. YWCA NSW Community Services and programs are designed to help people develop their life skills and change their lives so they can become happy and contributing individuals. At any one time there are over 50 programs running across four different regions in NSW, ranging from early childhood learning, to youth mentoring, through to domestic violence services and homeless services. YWCA NSW works with women, children, young people and their families to help find the possible in their lives.