Statement from the VCOSS Board
Juanita Pope has been appointed CEO of the Victorian Council of Social Service.
Ms Pope has been serving as interim CEO for two months while the VCOSS Board undertook a comprehensive recruitment search following the departure of CEO Emma King OAM.
Prior to joining VCOSS, Ms Pope spent a decade at Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law program, and worked as a lawyer and consultant assisting social and not-for-profit organisations improve their governance and performance. She also has experience in advocating for better regulation and laws affecting the sector and defending charities’ rights to advocate.
She says it’s a “great privilege” to be selected to lead VCOSS at a time of immense social change.
“VCOSS plays a critical role giving social service organisations a powerful and united voice, and working with governments to adopt smart social policies that will improve people’s lives,” she said.
“This work has never been more vital.”
“People are struggling to afford the basics, housing is out of reach for many, inequality endures, and disasters are becoming more prevalent. At the same time, big shifts are taking place regarding the kind of society we want, how we maintain social cohesion and a shared vision for the future, and the role civil society organisations should play to drive social change.”
“Under my leadership, VCOSS will continue working with members, politicians and policymakers to tackle these and other profound challenges, while also exploring new and innovative ways to engage and empower local communities.”
VCOSS Board President Damian Ferrie congratulated Ms Pope on her appointment.
“After an extensive search, Juanita was the obvious choice to lead VCOSS.”
“Juanita knows the sector and its challenges intimately, and will bring fresh energy and insights to the role of CEO.”
Ms Pope’s appointment as VCOSS CEO takes immediate effect.
VCOSS is the peak body for Victoria’s social and community sector, and the state’s premier social advocacy body.
We work towards a Victoria free from poverty and disadvantage, where every person and community experiences genuine wellbeing. Read more.
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