Lisa Dobrin appointed CEO of the WA AIDS Council

The WA AIDS Council (WAAC) has announced that Lisa Dobrin has been appointed as their new Chief Executive Officer.

Dobrin replaces David Kernohan who resigned in November 2019 ahead of the organisations Annual General Meeting.

In a statement posted to their website WAAC announced Dobrin will begin leading the organisation on Monday 16 March.

The new CEO is described as “a proven leader with more than 20 years’ experience across the commercial, not for profit and local government community services sectors.” The organisation said Dobrin brings a wealth of experience to the new role, having also held multiple not-for-profit directorships.

Prior to joining the WA AIDS Council Dobrin has had a long career in the community sector including working MIssion Australia, Identity WA, the City of Belmont and Richmond Wellbeing.

The appointment was made after what is described as an extensive and consultative recruitment process. The process of finding a new CEO was led by WAAC Chairperson Asanka Gunasekera, who headed a committee that included board members, a HIV+ community representative, a WAAC staff representative and a stakeholder from the Department of Health.

Dobrin said she was thrilled to be appointed as the incoming CEO of WAAC and felt privileged and excited to take over the leadership role.

“The opportunity to work alongside the WA AIDS Council team and to partner with communities and stakeholders to make a real difference is both a privilege and honour,” she said.

Dobrin was described as having demonstrated results in effective service delivery, service model development, project management, board governance, strategic planning, business development and enhanced financial performance, diversification and expansion. A business graduate from Curtin University, she also holds an MBA.

Gunasekera said the organisation was excited to have Dobrin stepping into the role.

“We’re excited to have someone of Lisa’s experience and talent to take the leadership of WA AIDS Council,” Gunasekera said.

“Lisa has been an authentic and values-based leader for over two decades across numerous sectors, and her experience and expertise will benefit our organisation enormously.

“I also want to thank and express sincere appreciation to Interim CEO Kristina Mitsikas for leading the organisation as we have embarked upon this recruitment journey over the last five months,” Gunasekera said.

The WA AIDS Council (WAAC) exists to minimise the impact and further transmission of HIV, sexually transmissible infections and other blood borne viruses, in addition to reducing social, legal and policy barriers which prevent access to health information and effective support and prevention.

The organisation was established over 30 years ago, but faces many challenges in the future, including responding to the changing demographics of who is affected by HIV in the future as the rate of new transmissions among the heterosexual population increases.

Last year the organisation failed to secure a long term funding agreement with the state government, and concern was voiced within the community about the large number of long-term staff who had resigned from the health organisation.

The WA AIDS Council is also considering changing its name to better reflect the wide variety of services it provides to the community. Alongside HIV prevention and support it also provides counselling services, a health clinic, education programs, needle exchange services, and a LGBTIQ+ youth centre.

OIP Staff, Image: Luke Riley Creative 

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