From the Chief Executive Officer

I joined SVA because I believe everyone in Australia should have the support they need to grow and thrive throughout their lives.

This is far from the case in Australia today. However, four years at SVA has shown me there is a lot of hope.

Every day we see communities designing effective solutions to the challenges they are facing; whether that’s unemployment, family violence, substance abuse, poor health outcomes or the complex combination of many factors  that result in vulnerability.

Like BackTrack, where a wrap-around support model is seeing young people at high risk of homelessness and juvenile detention instead find positive pathways through education, employment and community involvement.

And Flourish, where peer workers are at the centre of a community support program for people with lived experience of mental illness.

Not to mention the schools and teachers across Australia who are trialling and testing new approaches to teaching and learning and seeing children, many of whom have experienced trauma and hardship, growing into the leaders of tomorrow.

At SVA we believe these local solutions and innovations hold promise to influence systems-wide change.

It’s why, across our different teams, we work together to do four main things:

Learn what works in communities – by working with partners to understand what drives better social outcomes at both a local and systems level.

Help organisations be more effective – by assisting our ventures, clients, investees and other partners to develop clear strategies, collaborate with others to achieve greater impact, and measure and evaluate the change they are creating.

Share our perspectives – distilling what we’ve learned through our work into actionable insights and sharing these widely.

Advocate for change – building relationships with government and across the sector to help drive improved outcomes through systemic change.

In the following pages you will find examples of highlights across each of these areas, as well as information on the governance, team and financial underpinnings of SVA that make this work possible.

Utilising the SVA Fundamentals for Impact framework we have identified and prioritised connection with people in communities, knowledge of the wider evidence environment, and building connection with ecosystems as the most important areas for further development within our own organisation.

In line with this, and our desire to make the biggest positive impact possible, we have been exploring how SVA can play a more deliberate role in community-led systems change, as well as what internal capability we need to further develop this.

Following a process of extensive research, deliberation and stakeholder engagement we have decided to further scope opportunities to dramatically improve the social outcomes for two specific cohorts – young children experiencing vulnerability, and older women at risk of homelessness.

2018 marks my final year as CEO of SVA. It has been a true honour to serve the vision that SVA represents, and to work alongside some of the most committed and capable people I have ever had the privilege to know.

I leave in the sure knowledge that SVA is in excellent hands; poised to further grow and deepen its role in the social purpose ecosystem with a new leader at the helm.

My most sincere well wishes to Suzie Riddell as she inherits a truly special calling.

We thank all of you for your interest in this work, and your ongoing support.

Rob Koczkar