After a six month collaborative journey, a historic decision has been made to merge YMCA Grampians and YMCA Ballarat. This is the first proactive YMCA merger in recent history, supported unanimously by both Boards.
The drive for change has occurred in response to YMCAs nationally adopting a united belief in the power of inspired young people. The organisation has embraced change to regain its relevance to young people and impact more deeply across regional Victoria from a consolidated base.
In a joint statement, YMCA Ballarat President, Keryn Crebbin and YMCA Grampians President, Colin Thompson, shared, “This will strengthen our offering in Regional Victoria where we are leaders in Early Years Management, Community Recreation and Youth and Community Services and Outside School Hours Care. The merger sees us evolve our structure to reflect our broad yet overlapping reach and see our footprint grow while keeping local communities at the heart of all that we do.”
While this is a momentous decision, no operational changes are expected for local staff roles. The news has been enthusiastically embraced by staff at both Associations.
Brooke LeSueur has been appointed as the CEO of the new merged Association. As a proven leader in and beyond the YMCA, her steady hand and expertise will oversee a smooth integration, ensure vital partnerships continue to flourish and provide consistency for staff teams. After more than 10 years with the YMCA and almost three in Ballarat, current CEO of YMCA Ballarat Kate Phillips sees this as the perfect opportunity to move on. “I’ve loved my time in Ballarat and have been honoured to be the CEO of such an incredible organisation for nearly three years,” she said. “While I am sad to leave our great people and communities, I couldn’t be more confident to hand the reins to Brooke in July, a colleague I admire and trust.”
"We feel this is a triple win, for the YMCA Movement, our communities and our staff teams and can’t wait to see further impact this unified leadership will create," said Ms LeSueur and Ms Phillips in a joint announcement. The new structure will take affect from 1 July 2018, with the transition plan already underway.