Leanne Rudd has replaced David Batt as Board Chair at IMPACT Community Services.

On 19 October 2020, IMPACT held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) where former long-standing Board member and Bundaberg MP David Batt resigned from the position of Chair in accordance with constitutional legislation which limits Board members to no more than three three-year terms (9 years).

Following the departure of Mr Batt, former Treasurer and respected businesswoman Leanne Rudd, who has been on the Board for three AGMs, has moved into the position of Board Chair.

Leanne brings her passion for finance and business to the role, having specialised for many years in business advisory and financial services. Her decision to join the Board in 2018 was made with intent to give back to the community.

“When I first joined the Board, I did have knowledge around the employment services and the laundry, but I didn’t know the nitty gritty,” Leanne said about the organisation. “I didn’t know about the other great services and the help they were providing the community until I was on the Board.”

Leanne said she was surprised to learn the depth of services offered at IMPACT.

“The different aspects of the organisation is quite broad, so getting an understanding of it all, that has taken a little while,” she said.

With programs tailored to varying sectors including employment, training, family and parenting support, mental health, NDIS, health care and the running of commercial businesses such as the laundry and recycling centres, IMPACT services the region in many ways.

As Chair, Leanne hopes to bring the organisation’s strategic plan to life with the help of her fellow Board members. She believes Managing Director Tanya O’Shea and the team at IMPACT are doing amazing things and it is her goal to assist and support the great work the organisation is already doing.

“IMPACT can help anyone who needs support, whether that’s developing life skills or training to get a job, IMPACT can help anyone who is willing to come and have a chat,” she said. “There’s always someone there to talk to, to find opportunities.”

From her time sitting on other boards and finance committees, Leanne has developed a tactical approach to governance.

“One thing I am passionate about is finding different ways of doing things,” Leanne said. “I like to challenge the status quo, whether that’s finding alternative ways of problem solving or just looking at things differently through innovation or simplification.”

With Leanne moving into the role of Chair, Vanessa Fryer will now step into the Treasurers position. Neil McPhillips will remain Deputy Chair and Dr Talitha Best will continue her role as Secretary.

Managing Director Tanya O’Shea said 2020 would be remembered as “a year of possibility”, having recorded many extraordinary milestones.

During the year 2019-20 financial year IMPACT helped more than 5000 people across 25 programs, pivoted to online e-learning to deliver training courses and introduced two new programs (Community Navigator and COVID Connect).

One of the more significant achievements was IMPACT's jobactive team scoring a five-out-of-five star rating from the government. To receive five stars, a provider’s success in securing people sustained employment must be 30% above the national average. Furthermore, the team achieved this during the devastating bushfire period when compliance requirements were non-mandatory.

In a year of uncertainty, IMPACT will remember 2020 as a year of possibility. Through times of struggle, our people committed to an approach of adaptability and growth and have pioneered new ideas into exciting possibilities. We look forward to what can be achieved in 2021.