The Cram Foundation board has elected a female leadership team during a time of significant change in the disability sector

Leadership team: DGB Lawyers partner Linda Wright and Peoplecare executive manager Melinda Williams are the new chair and deputy chair of the Cram Foundation. Picture: Greg Ellis.
Leadership team: DGB Lawyers partner Linda Wright and Peoplecare executive manager Melinda Williams are the new chair and deputy chair of the Cram Foundation. Picture: Greg Ellis.

DGB Lawyers partner Linda Wright and Peoplecare executive manager Melinda Williams have been elected the new chair and deputy chair of the Cram Foundation.

The two women were appointed by the board of the disability provider after Patrick Roberts OAM stood down after 17 committed years of service as chair.

Linda Wright has served a decade as a director and in his final task Mr Roberts presented her with a 10 year recognition award.

It is the same honour given staff and volunteers at Cram who achieve the same milestone.

When Dr Melinda Williams was elected deputy chair it created a unique situation. All female leadership teams are still not seen on many boards around Australia.

The December meeting also saw the board  welcomed Richard Walsh as a director.

Mr Walsh brings significant experience in industrial relations and human resources in the community sector.

He is presently head of People and Culture Operations with IRT Group.

Mr Walsh takes the place vacated by another long serving director in Chris Townend who has served 17 years on the Cram board, including time as deputy chair

The changes are part of a proactive succession plan by the board to ensure ongoing effective governance and stability during a time of significant change in the disability sector.

A part of that is the advent of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

A skills and experience matrix is used to identify expertise required on the board which determines who is targeted for recruitment as a director.

All directors act in a voluntary capacity.

“I am proud to be able to continue my contribution to Cram Foundation as chair and acknowledge and applaud the outstanding work of Patrick Roberts over many years,” Ms Wright said.

“Patrick provided stability and direction for Cram to ensure the organisation is now well positioned to not only survive, but to thrive, under the NDIS.”

Ms Wright said the board was committed to strengthening Cram as an organisation so it continues to play an important role in the lives of people with a significant disability.

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