In late September, we farewelled our inspirational CEO, Judith Cross. Judith has contributed immensely to Relationships Australia SA (RASA) during her 16 years of leadership, and also to COPE (the Centre of Personal Education) in the eight years prior to that.
Judith was instrumental in establishing COPE as one of the first community sector RTOs and as a valued primary healthcare organisation providing Blood Borne Viruses Education, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse-specific services and Youth Work training.
After being appointed as CEO of RASA, Judith merged the two organisations together. She then took RASA from an appointment based counselling service to a diverse public health organisation which provides many different types of relationship services and education. Under Judith’s leadership RASA has grown exponentially, servicing over 25,000 people each year. We are now the main provider of Family Relationship Services and have the largest Gambling Help Service in the state. We have also developed CALD-specific programs and have embedded Aboriginal-specific services within our mainstream programs.
Judith has been the recipient of many awards over the course of her career. She was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003 from the Australian Government for service to the community and has been a finalist for South Australia’s Telstra Business Women’s Awards. Judith has also served numerous ministerial appointments including the Premier’s Council for Women.
We thank Judith for her leadership and extraordinary contributions to RASA, its staff, the Relationships Australia federation and to the wider community and wish her all the best. Dr Claire Ralfs is our incoming CEO; she moved from her position of RASA Deputy CEO and Director of the Australian Institute of Social Relations at the beginning of October.