Dennis Laundy has stepped down from his role of Chair of the Board of Youth Opportunities. Board Member, Nick Chigwidden, was officially announced as Chair on Thursday, 6 May 2021, during Celebrating YOUth Opportunities, an event held during Youth Week for its supporters in the community.
Mr Laundy commented that stepping down from the role as Chair was a strategic decision as the organisation gets set for a significant period of expansion and growth.
“For three years as Chair, and in fact during my entire tenure over the past eight years as a board member, I have seen the organisation offer increased levels of support.
“For the past 24 years we have had our flagship face-to-face Personal Leadership Program and that was doing great things to support young people who were able to access it. But now, we are also offering support to parents, to teachers and of course, increasing our reach with our online program. This means even more young people, wherever they are can utilise these great learnings without being restricted by geographical barriers,” said retiring Chair, Dennis Laundy.
“While I am stepping down from my role as Chair, remaining on the board will enable me to continue to help an organisation I really believe in. I am pleased Nick, who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in growing successful organisations, will be taking on the role at such an important time. He brings a clear vision for future growth and will ensure we can build the personal leadership of more young people across Australia,” said Mr Laundy.
Nick Chigwidden is appreciative of the continued support of Dennis Laundy who will remain on the board, and for his ongoing advocacy for young people.
“I am honoured to take on the Chair role at Youth Opportunities from Dennis who has done an excellent job over the last three years, he certainly has created a legacy he should be proud of.
“I have attended Youth Opportunities events over many years and have always admired the vision and passion of founder Peter Marshman OAM to help the youth in our community,” said Nick Chigwidden, incoming Chair.
“To have the opportunity to Chair an organisation that changes people’s lives by improving self-esteem, confidence and creating a motivation for them to be the best they can be as personal leaders is extremely exciting.
“I am looking forward to working with the Board, Chief Executive Erin, her team, and all the key stakeholders, as together we build the awareness of the success stories of young people who complete Youth Opportunities’ personal leadership programs. Our goal is to spread the message far and wide and build a strong brand awareness for the organisation.
“Another goal we will focus on is positively impacting more young lives by increasing the reach of our programs and services. The unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic had one benefit – Youth Opportunities were forced to adapt and deliver their programs via online technologies. This has proven to be very successful and popular with the students, whilst maintaining excellent results which provides us the ability to continue to expand. I thank the board for allowing me the opportunity to become Chair of such a great organisation at such an important time of growth,” said Mr Chigwidden.
Erin Faehrmann, CE of Youth Opportunities said that like Mr Chigwidden, she is grateful for the contribution made by Mr Laundy.
“I am incredibly grateful that Dennis has been a wonderful Chair for the organisation, and a great mentor for me.”
“For several years Youth Opportunities has been adapting to the changing needs of young people, last year more than ever before the impact of COVID-19 affected our programs and services in such a profound way, and we were really tested. The leadership and support of Dennis, and the entire board, meant that we were able to continue to serve our youth and are now poised to seize every silver lining we can,” said Erin Faehrmann, Chief Executive.
“I am excited that Nick has agreed to take on the role of Chair. This year we will be launching an online public version of our Personal Leadership Program to be offered outside the school gates, and we will also look to cross borders with expansion nationally from our head office here in SA.
“Having Nick bring his experience as a leading SA business owner and past Chair of Glenelg Football Club will help us to further our vital work and reach more young people, at a time where their wellbeing, resilience and futures are being tested like never before,” said Erin Faehrmann.