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Playgroup NSW appoints new CEO

Karen Whiteside, President of Playgroup NSW, announced today the appointment of Karen Bevan to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Playgroup NSW, effective 5th May 2014.

Karen has a long standing career within not-for-profit organisations, and comes to Playgroup NSW after leading policy and research teams at the Royal Commission for Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse. Previously, Karen worked with UnitingCare Children, Young People and Families, where she held the senior executive position of Director, Social Justice, responsible for the organisation’s policy, advocacy and research agendas, government relations and organisational strategy. Other roles have included work in the areas of policy, research, public relations and fundraising.

Karen has significant experience managing both state and federal government relationships at a senior level as an advocate for the wellbeing of children. She has been responsible for developing strategy, executing media campaigns, and directly influencing government policy through her relationships, drive and standing within the sector.

“Karen has spent much of her time working as an advocate and policy influencer, ensuring that initiatives for children are based on solid, fact based evidence. This has ensured that children and families benefit. This commitment demonstrates a very strong alignment to our own goals and vision for children within the community, Karen is a perfect fit for Playgroup NSW,” said Whiteside. 

“This is an exciting period for the organisation and we welcome her to the team."

About Playgroup NSW

Playgroup NSW brings mums, dads, grandparents, carers, children and babies together in a relaxed and friendly environment. Playgroups offer fun, friendship and support to families, and encourage learning and development through play.

Held in community venues across the state, a Playgroup generally meets for a two hour weekly session and is run by the parents and carers of children aged 0-5.

A not-for-profit organisation, Playgroup NSW provides services, information and resources to its members and affiliated Playgroups.

Playgroup is low cost and accessible to all. There are dedicated Playgroups to support socially isolated, disadvantaged and Indigenous groups, culturally and linguistically diverse groups, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and children with chronic illness and disabilities. 

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