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Sunnyfield CEO departs while dedication to clients continues

After more than 14 years of enriching the lives of people with intellectual disability by creating choice, opportunities and skills for life on behalf of Sunnyfield disAbility Services, Chief Executive Officer Caroline Cuddihy has announced she will be stepping down at the beginning of July to take on an exciting new challenge.

Caroline is taking on a leadership role in a government community services agency, which will announce her role shortly.

The Chair of Sunnyfield disAbility Services, Karen Ingram, will lead the organisation while a recruitment process is undertaken, supported by the board and leadership team.

“We at Sunnyfield will continue to build and enhance our support for people with intellectual disability, enriching their lives by creating choice, opportunities and skills for life,” Karen said.

“It is a great move for Caroline, I congratulate Caroline on her new opportunity,” said Karen

“This is a chance for Caroline to continue her work and advocacy for the rights and dignity of people, including those at risk, within society and we know she will bring great dedication and enthusiasm to the role”

Karen began volunteering with Sunnyfield fourteen years ago, joining the board in 2014, and has served as its chair since 2016. She is a shared architect of Sunnyfield’s strategic plan, which advances Sunnyfield's 70 year history of absolute focus on each client, their families and supporters, and excellence in service delivery.

A senior partner with law firm Clayton Utz, Karen co-founded and runs Clayton Utz's Sydney Community Connect volunteering and support program.

“Caroline leaves behind a high calibre leadership team, which, together with the board, has a total focus on clients. We're continuing with our mission to put each client’s rights and needs at the centre of everything we do, working with them to provide opportunities and choices. “We have already added to our leadership team, introducing a chief client service delivery officer early this year to oversee our three key service delivery areas; supported independent living, community services (including short term accommodation) and supported employment.” Since Caroline joined Sunnyfield in 2008, the organisation has grown and developed substantially, now supporting more than 1,700 clients, receiving over 2,300 services including shared independent living, short term accommodation, community hubs and access, supported employment, school leavers employment supports and support co-ordination, with more than 1500 employees.

“Caroline was crucial to Sunnyfield's successful navigation and implementation of the NDIS,” Karen said. “She guided our amalgamations with Pioneers in 2015, as well as Endeavour in 2018 growing our service footprint across NSW and ACT and helped secure the transfer to our ownership of our properties based on Crown lands”. “We wish Caroline all the best and sincerely thank her for her 14 years of dedicated service to the Sunnyfield community.”

A keen champion of the rights and equal opportunity of people with disability, Caroline has also been a member and active contributor to the important work of National Disability Services (NDS) and Alliance20. Caroline will continue in her role with the Disability Council NSW.

“I have been privileged to work with a wonderful collegiate team of dedicated employees; professional committed Board of Directors, Patrons and Members; generous donors and pro-bono contributors; business partners and sector colleagues; who have provided great insight and passion in the delivery of our shared purpose to improving the lives of and empowering people with disability”, Caroline said.

A recruitment process to engage Sunnyfield’s new Chief Executive Officer is underway.

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