DSA to recruit new CEO

DSA to recruit new CEO thumbnail.

It is with a great deal of sadness that I write to let you know that our CEO, Dr Ellen Skladzien recently tendered her resignation, to take effect from early in 2023.

Under Ellen’s leadership over the last six years, Down Syndrome Australia has matured and grown in terms of its impact, credibility, and reputation. DSA is now widely recognised both within Australia and Internationally for our advocacy on behalf of people with Down syndrome and their families, our high-quality evidenced based national information provision as well as our leadership in the involvement of people with Down syndrome in governance and advocacy. DSA has been successful in attracting a range of grants and funds with the turnover of the organisation increasing from $200,000 in 2016 to over $2 million today.

After six years with Down Syndrome Australia, Ellen has decided to pursue other leadership opportunities. Ellen notes:

“The decision to resign has not been an easy one.  The opportunity to lead DSA as CEO over the last six years has been an incredible privilege and opportunity. I feel proud to have contributed to transforming DSA into the strong and sustainable organisation it is today. None of DSA’s achievements would have been possible, however, without the incredible dedication and hard work of staff, Board Members and State and Territory colleagues. I will be forever grateful to all of the people with Down syndrome and families who have worked in partnership with DSA to advocate for inclusion.”

It has been a great pleasure to work with Ellen over the last six years. Under her leadership we have seen DSA transformed into a nationally and internationally recognised and respected advocacy organisation for people with Down syndrome and intellectual disability. Her passion and dedication for the social and economic inclusion of people with Down syndrome has been the guiding principle that DSA has been held to during her tenure and on behalf of the Board and the Down syndrome community I simply say thank you. Whilst we are incredibly sad to see Ellen move on from her role as CEO, it is not goodbye as we know Ellen will remain friends to many of us, and Down Syndrome Australia.

Ellen will continue as CEO until early in the new year to allow time for recruitment and a smooth handover to a new CEO. For now, it is business as usual and Ellen is working with the Board and senior management team to facilitate a smooth transition. The DSA Board thanks Ellen for her excellent leadership and commitment to DSA over the last six years and for providing an extended notice period to ensure a smooth transition.

Angus Graham, OAM

Down Syndrome Australia Chairman