Maree – it’s Caroline Waldron
here. It is not my intention to set out in chapter and verse, my professional qualifications. What is more important to me is that over the last 24 years, I have worked in diverse leadership roles
in various industries, different organisation types and in several countries. Needless to say, these experiences have challenged, shaped and helped
me understand, dissect and properly balance and address issues that impact a wide variety of stakeholders. The issues I have had to tackle have ranged from risk, HR and change management to dispute resolution, governance and marketing. It is these skills that will be applied to understand the issues faced by blind
and vision impaired people so that the Board of Vision Australia makes sound decisions that help give independence to those who are blind or vision impaired.
I also want to highlight an important part of my Board experience to you. I presently sit on the Board of an aged care facility, and chair its Risk Committee. When I joined that Board several years ago, I had limited understanding of the issues faced by aged care operations and their residents and clients. Within a short time though, through reading, direct participation and a curious mind, I grasped the issues and contributed effectively to important matters like aged care reform, fund raising, and offering relevant service to clients.
At a more personal level, I will
share with you that my grandmother lost her eyesight in her
advancing years. She was a woman of
great ability but sadly the health and welfare system in her country did not
offer her any level of independence or support. That was a tragedy, but it did inspire me to one day be part of a journey that focuses on giving greater independence and support to vision impaired and blind people in my community. I followed this up some 10 years ago by being a volunteer reader for the Talking Wentworth Courier for some time.
While I may never fully understand what it is like to be vision impaired and consequently to face discrimination, I grew up in a country that endorsed a different type of discrimination - one that was based on race. That made me resolve to help those who may be disadvantaged one day. It is that resolve that continues to see me play a role in matters involving corporate social responsibility today.
I hope this gives you some insight into who I am.