Sadly today we say farewell to our amazing CEO, Kerry Palejs.

Kerry has been instrumental in growing the vision of LEAD over the 5 plus years she has served as CEO. Kerry encouraged the board and the team to think both creatively and expansively about the ways that LEAD could grow its footprint and cement itself as the ‘go to’ learning and development organisation for people working with children, young people and families.

Early in her tenure, Kerry had the foresight to seek out new premises that enabled us to have a dedicated training room that provided all the modern facilities required to best serve our sector as well as well-appointed offices for the team. Along with this change Kerry oversaw the re-branding from FWT&DP to LEAD PDA INC. Along with the name change came a more professional look for the team and the organisation. A new website and logo completed the improvements.

Kerry always aimed high and her capacity to ‘lead’ the team into some uncharted waters is the stuff of legends! It is difficult to list her many achievements in this space but notably:

  • Achievement of a suite of professional development courses for the NSW Department of Education NESA program
  • Rapid pivoting when the pandemic threatened the core work of LEAD, to move the organisation into the digital age with interactive on-line learning opportunities
  • The development of many e-learning resources that reflect the core needs of the sector and bring the together the best of Lead resources as well as those from international markets
  • A cultural review of all LEAD policies in consultation with an Aboriginal consultant.
  • Review and development of LEAD’s third Reconciliation Action Plan.

Kerry has always encouraged us to think ‘bigger and broader’ and definitely outside the box. While she has always had her eye on the big picture, she had didn’t neglect the detail work and the oversight needed to be successful in her role as CEO.

As well as her work for the organisation Kerry has had a significant impact on the family and community sector, notably taking a leading role in the TEI reform process and supporting many organisations both in western Sydney and across the state to understand and develop meaningful Program Logics. Kerry has proudly represented LEAD and the sector on many committees. Her expertise in areas of planning and risk management were widely sought by other services.

The Board and the team wish Kerry the absolute best as she looks forward to her next adventure!