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Cathy Freeman passing on the baton

December 14, 2021

Today we announce that after 15 wonderful years as Co-Founder and Director of the Cathy Freeman Foundation that Cathy will be stepping away and passing the baton onto the leadership team of the Chair, Professor Larissa Behrendt AO, Chief Executive Officer, Ms Jade Colgan and the Directors of the Board.

Cathy Freeman said, "After 15 years with the Foundation, I believe the time is right to hand on the legacy to allow the Foundation to transition into an exciting new phase. Given the organisation is in a strong position, particularly in terms of governance, structure and support, this gives me a great deal of comfort in making this decision now."

"The time has come for me to concentrate and prioritise other areas of my life, across both personal and professional spheres. I will step off the board at the end of the year and, by June next year, we will see the Foundation transition to a new name."

Cathy Freeman Foundation CEO, Jade Colgan said, "Cathy has generously and passionately given her time and focus to the Cathy Freeman Foundation since its inception in 2007. We thank her for walking alongside the organisation tirelessly for the past 15 years. She has been a passionate and driving force, which enabled the organisation to grow to be where it is today. The organisation is stronger than ever, and we are honoured and committed to continue the vital and impactful work that we do."

The Foundation now has programs and work that have grown beyond what Cathy could have imagined when we commenced. She will remain a passionate advocate for Indigenous potential and achievement and believes that the important work of the Foundation speaks for itself. The precious 1,600 children who are program recipients, have always been the soul of our organisation, and the communities and their children's futures will remain the core purpose of the organisation's existence. They will never cease being the driving force behind the grit, determination, and resilience of the organisation.

"I look forward to seeing the Foundation continue to grow from strength to strength and the important work continuing. I move forward with a full heart, knowing the Foundation is in as strong a place as ever. I'm mindful of the continuing great work of the foundation and I have admiration for the Board, staff and extraordinary supporters who continue to be dedicated and passionate. I will always have a deep and profound love for Palm Island, Woorabinda, Galiwin'ku and Wurrumiyanga and I will be forever connected to them. I look forward to remaining in touch and feeling the impact as these communities grow and fulfil the remarkable potential within." said Cathy.

Professor Larissa Behrendt AO, Chair of the Cathy Freeman Foundation said, "Cathy Freeman has built an inspiring legacy through the Foundation. She has always had an eye on giving to the community and passing on to the next generation. We are grateful for her leadership and look forward to building on the important work she has overseen."

As we transition over the coming months, we want to thank you, our supporters for your continued and vital support. If it weren't for you, we wouldn't be where we are today. We ask that you continue to walk alongside us as our journey continues to support Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children to realise their full potential.

Thank you

Jade Colgan CEO & Chair Larissa Behrendt


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