A message from Kylea
Three years on it’s time for me to say farewell ….
Not everyone will agree … but personally I’ve always believed there is a bigger plan that each of us plays a role in and that, in this context, the Universe opens opportunities to us as and when they are appropriate.
In hindsight it was this belief that gave me the confidence, back in 2016, to close my business and come and get involved at Camp Quality as the new CEO.
It wasn’t a decision I took lightly but when I thought it through, I realised that without any real intent I had been working “against” cancer almost all my adult life.
From advocating for greater tobacco controls and better sun protection in Australia, to lobbying the Government for access to innovative new medications and clinical trials for people in need, through to the creation of the national network of Breast Care Nurses to support any family that needed assistance: when I stopped and thought about I realised much of my working life had been focused on trying to counter the devastating impact cancer can have on an individual, families and communities.
The one area I’d not been able to help in though was the space around the impact cancer can have on kids: whether that was their own diagnosis or the diagnosis of someone they loved (like their brother, sister, mum or dad). With that realisation, when the opportunity came to join Camp Quality, I jumped.
Three years on there has been more than one occasion where I have been left in complete awe of our kids, their families and our amazing volunteers and supporters. The experiences I have enjoyed with these incredible people, and the stories they have shared with me, have time and again pushed me on to try harder to bring about change and ultimately to make whatever experience the child or family was having just that little bit easier. In all honestly, it hasn’t always been easy, but then nothing worth doing ever is!
Whenever I questioned the direction we were taking, I only had to look to our kids to test the idea by simply asking the following question: would what we were trying to do make it easier for kids to just be kids even as they faced cancer.
If the answer was yes, we proceeded and as a result we have achieved some incredible things. From the record number of kids and families registering with us for support, to the expansion of our services to support families leaving hospital and the piloting of our new camps to support kids whose mum or dad have received a diagnosis - I’m proud of the work the team has done and believe we have made a significant difference to the lives of kids facing cancer.
At the same time, we’ve worked hard to push our organisation to a new level of transparency and, as a consequence, we became the first Not-for-Profit in Australia to adopt an Integrated <IR> Reporting format – setting a new standard of excellence in the charity sector in reporting in Australia.
None of what’s outlined above though was the result of one person’s efforts. Rather every outcome was only made possible because of the collective commitment of people, just like you: our families, our volunteers, our donors and our wider supporters.
With three years done then, and an enormous amount of change implemented across the organisation, the time has come for me to step aside and let the next CEO come and take the organisation forward.
Again, this hasn’t been an easy decision to make but, taking the same approach I always have, I trust that, as is the way of the Universe, it is the right one.
As I leave I do so with so much respect for, and faith in, everyone that is currently working with Camp Quality to be there for any child who is facing cancer. It’s been such a privilege to lead the organisation in the last three years and I am grateful for each and every experience I have had as they have all ultimately left me a better person.
The Camp Quality Board is hard at work to find another extraordinary individual to take the organisation into its next phase and I am sure news of an appointment will be shared with you all early in the new year. Please welcome them as you did me and continue to provide them with your thoughts and feedback as our originations moves forward.
I am so excited to see what is still to come for Camp Quality. It’s an amazing family to have been a part of so thank you for the opportunity.
Wishing you, your families and your friends all the very best for a fun and love filled festive season,