Chair of Brotherhood of St Laurence announces new Executive Director

8 November 2017

The Chair of the Board of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Dr Philip Freier, today announced that the new Executive Director is Conny Lenneberg.

Dr Freier is the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne. The Brotherhood is a national not-for-profit organisation that works to prevent and alleviate poverty across Australia, and was founded in the depths of the Great Depression in 1930. The Brotherhood aims to demonstrate how to defeat disadvantage through its services, research and policy development. Dr Freier’s full statement is below.

Message from the Chair, Board of Directors, Dr Philip Freier

I am pleased to let you know that the Brotherhood of St Laurence has appointed a new Executive Director to succeed Tony Nicholson when he steps down at the end of the year. Conny Lenneberg, who for more than six years led World Vision International’s organisation and programs in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, will commence as our new Executive Director in January 2018.

After conducting a rigorous search, the Board determined that Conny had the leadership skills, knowledge and values to drive the next chapter of the Brotherhood’s work for an Australia free of poverty. In taking up the role, Conny is the first woman to lead the organisation which was founded by the Anglican priest, Father Gerard Tucker, in 1930.

Conny has shown a deep commitment and passion for addressing the root causes of poverty and disadvantage through her career. Her record of embracing challenges and complex assignments includes framing responses to the Syria crisis, community development in Afghanistan, and humanitarian work in Aceh, Indonesia, in the 2004 tsunami aftermath. In Australia, her achievements include enabling partnerships with indigenous communities, government and business to build program strengths in Central Australia and the Pilbara.

Conny has 25 years’ experience in the development and social justice sector, from service delivery in the field to leading large teams and senior executive and board roles. Recently, she has been serving as the interim CEO of World Vision New Zealand. Prior roles include being a senior manager at Australian Volunteers International. As a key board member of Community Aid Abroad, as it was then known, she also contributed to the critical organisational restructure and merger with Freedom from Hunger that led to the formation of Oxfam Australia.

Conny has a Master of Arts (Research) from La Trobe University, a background that reinforces her commitment to seeking out the best evidence to frame solutions for complex social challenges in the community. I congratulate Conny on her appointment, and the Board and staff look forward to the significant contribution she will make in 2018 and beyond.

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