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Barnardos mourns warrior for children, long-time CEO Louise Voigt

“She was loved, admired and respected by all.”

Barnardos Australia has paid tribute to the life and work of  long-time Chief Executive, Louise Voigt, who passed away peacefully at her Sydney home on Friday 7th April 2017.

The charity said in a statement that Voigt was loved, admired and respected by all who worked with her over many years.

Voigt led Barnardos from 1983 to her retirement in 2015. She was a fearless advocate for children. She inspired the development of evidence-based practice and many of the approaches she pioneered are now standard across the child welfare sector.

During her period of leadership at Barnardos she championed Children’s Family Centres to assist families at risk to stay together in times of crisis and prevent the premature removal of children. She was responsible for the care of thousands of children who could no longer safely stay with their families. She pioneered open adoption in Australia and oversaw the adoption of 246 young people.

Voigt had a strong sense of social justice for the most vulnerable in our community, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This is the foundation of Barnardos’ commitment to delivering quality services to children, young people and their families.

She received the NSW Association of Social Workers Social Justice Award and Lifetime Achievement awards from the Association of Child Welfare Agencies (ACWA) and the University of Sydney.

“Our thoughts are with Louise’s family who will mark her death privately. A public memorial will take place in coming months. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to pay their respects can donate to continue Louise’s legacy through the work of Barnardos Australia,” said the charity.

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