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Vale Louise Voigt, passionate advocate for children

Louise Voigt13 April 2017

I was greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Louise Voigt, former CEO of Barnardos.

During her 32 years of leadership of Barnardos, Louise was a formidable advocate for children and their rights in a record of service few can match.

Louise cared not only for those children looked after by her agency but was equally passionate that any child wherever they came into contact with the NSW care system, be it a non-government organisation or the government provider of FACS, deserved respect, a standard of care and attention that understood their vulnerability and was capable of keeping them safe. She was a pioneer and relentless supporter of the NSW Out of Home Care Standards and the accreditation system that have now operated in this state for nearly 15 years. This together with her drive to deliver child–centred, outcome-based case management systems are among the many great legacies she left to children and their families.

Her commitment to indigenous children and families was acknowledged by Barnardos’ creation of the Louise Voigt Award for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander staff to support the ongoing professional development of Barnardos’ Aboriginal and TSI staff in the child welfare field.

Louise's friendship and guidance is something that has been personally very important to me, and my thoughts are with her family, friends and former colleagues at this very difficult time.

Kerryn Boland
Children's Guardian