Katie Hooper joined the Foyer Foundation in February 2020 after more than decade as the CEO of Foster Care Association of Victoria. A month into the new role she has discovered the strengths of the Foyer movement and the people who power it.
“Thank you to the broader Foyer community for the warm welcome I have received since joining the Foyer Foundation as CEO last month.
But firstly I’d like to address the extraordinary times we are living in as the COVID19 pandemic seems to impact on our daily lives hour by hour. The health of the managers at Youth Foyers and their young residents is my paramount concern and I am closely monitoring the measures and precautions the individual Foyers and their service managers are implementing.
What I have learnt from my short time is that this is a community built on resilience and the underlying philosophy of Advantaged Thinking which will stand us in good stead in these extraordinary times.
In my four weeks at the Foyer Foundation I have discovered that this community is an extensive network of people and groups working directly in Foyers, supporting Foyers and working to support young people experiencing homelessness to have access to secure housing and be connected to the community.
I have had an extensive and ongoing handover as CEO from former chief Sinead Gibney-Hughes and I’d also like to Keith Bryant (Foyer Foundation Chair) and all the Board for their early guidance.
My first few weeks at the Foyer Foundation CEO have allowed me to visit Foyer Port Adelaide operated by St John’s Youth Services and meet some of its residents as they went about daily life on a Friday afternoon. Special thanks to Wendy Malycha (CEO), Nicole Chaplin (General Manager) and the Foyer team Celeste, Matt and Lillian for an informative and friendly visit. I have also visited Kangan Education First Youth Foyer Broadmeadows and met with its manager Rebecca Lee and I was energised by the Foyer’s vibrancy.
Last week, I met with the crew at the buzzing Shepparton Education First Youth Foyer and was given a tour by one its residents Grace before she headed out on a Youth Insearch program.
I will be also visiting the six other accredited Foyers around the country in the coming weeks and months. I look forward to meeting with their young residents, students and managements and discover the similarities – and more importantly, the differences – that make up the strengths and needs of each Foyer community.
In the meantime, please follow the Foyer Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram – we will use these to showcase the work of Foyers across Australia and provide information about the Foyer movement and its challenges and successes.”
Read an interview with Katie in Pro Bono Australia here