CEO Summer Message

When: 25 Jan 2021

They say that hindsight is 20/20 and I am sure that as the year 2020 slipped from the pages of our calendars many of us paused a moment or two to reflect on ‘the year that was’.

For me, in the first few weeks back at work in January, before the pages of my own calendar fill with the daily and weekly rhythms of organisational life, I relish the opportunity to sit in the moment, reflect on the past year’s successes and learnings, and look forward to how we can optimise these for the coming year, acknowledging that ongoing ambiguity and uncertainty that looks to be with us for a while yet.

I am incredibly proud of what the Ardoch team achieved in 2020 with the support of each of you. We demonstrated all the buzz words. We pivoted, we adapted, we Zoomed! Above all, we delivered. In a year in which schools in Victoria were closed for more than a term, to still reach more than 14,000 children is nothing short of remarkable. It is a testament to the perseverance of the Ardoch team, the flexibility of our funding partners and the dedication of our education partners to ensure that whatever COULD be delivered, WOULD be delivered.

We were thrilled in 2020 to welcome new corporate partners who will enable us to provide more programs to more schools and students and also to be the recipient of a significant grant from the Victorian Government to deliver our popular Learning Through Lunch program in regional Victoria over the next three years. We remain grateful for the continuing support of our long-term philanthropic and corporate partners and individual donors.

As the 2021 school year resumes, we know that for some children and young people, the true impact of COVID-19 and remote learning will be revealed. They will need more support than ever to be confident in their ability to learn, to foster their aspiration, to achieve academically, and to be engaged in their learning. Feedback from students like Hunter in our story, ‘Learning Through Lunch Goes Regional’, tells us that incursions and excursions provide unique learning experiences that support student engagement in the classroom. Our ‘2021 Back to School’ Campaign invites you to help us provide more incursions and excursions and memorable moments that will engage children and young people in learning this year.

We are grateful for any support you can provide and excited by the possibilities of the year ahead. We look forward to sharing with you the stories of the difference each of you help us to make.

Kylee Bates

Chief Executive Officer