Our CEO Joan Hughes is Retiring

Joan Hughes – CEO

From the Chair of the Board of AVCAT – Major General Bill Crews AO (Retd)

Joan started as CEO of AVCAT in early 2016. I have worked with Joan since joining AVCAT as Chair in May 2017. Her previous experience as a High School Deputy Principal and as CEO in the Not-for-Profit sector, had equipped her well for this role, and we have been most fortunate to have benefitted from her extraordinary professionalism, competence, empathy with our scholars, and leadership of our small staff team. Our supporting volunteers, particularly the Board, have valued her contributions and support to our collective endeavours. She has been an inspiration for us all.

As Chair, I have enjoyed working with Joan, and remain hugely impressed by her capacity to get the best out of people, negotiate with Government in the interests of our Trust, and generate new initiatives to improve our financial position. I have come to regard her as a good friend and colleague, and she has certainly made the work of the Board so much better focussed. All of this on a salary well below her true worth.

We all must decide, at some stage, when it is time to move on or to retire. Joan has decided that now is the time, and in true form, has given us plenty of notice in order to allow a smooth transition. Interviews for the new CEO are now finalised, and we expect to have a new Chief Executive nominated by the end of January 2021, providing for a handover with Joan beginning 22 February. The quality of applicants was high, which is a good start, as they have high standards to live up to.

In farewelling Joan late February, we all trust that she will enjoy good health and happiness into the future, in the full knowledge that while she is stepping back from paid employment, she will continue an active involvement in her Board activities and other volunteer work. We extend our very best wishes to Joan and her husband Ross in their retirement.

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