Zonta House Refuge Association has appointed Steve Parry as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer. The Zonta House Association provides refuge and transitional accommodation, holistic support services and education to women in crisis over the age of 18.
Mr Parry was previously General Manager of Service Delivery at the Department of Housing. Steve’s career at the Department of Housing took him from regional work to senior leadership roles in key areas of service delivery, housing management and Aboriginal housing and infrastructure delivery. For much of his career Steve has worked with the most marginalized and vulnerable people in our community and he says the synergy between the two roles was one of the reasons he considered the position.
“My previous role involved working with some of the most vulnerable people in society, ensuring they have access to safe and secure housing. Zonta offers crisis and transitional accommodation and support to women who have experienced family or domestic violence, mental health issues and/or homelessness. The hugely successful Positive Pathways program is a preventative program assisting women to lead more independent, safer and fulfilling lives. The Pathways program partners with other community service organisations to provide a one door approach.” said Mr. Parry.
“I had worked with Zonta House through the Department of Housing, and after leaving the public sector; I had opportunities in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. A stint in the East Kimberley as the CEO of an Aboriginal community reinforced my desire to work within the not for profit sector and when this role came up, I decided it was time to give something back,” he added.
There is little time for Mr Parry’s to settle into the role with the perennial not-for-profit issue of funding requiring his immediate attention.
“Much of government funding is now outcomes focused and the refuge sector is currently adapting to the change. Funding will be based on outcomes rather than the traditional output or activity based mechanisms of measurement and reporting. Zonta House will need to demonstrate fiscal and program accountability and I need to develop people and organisational outcome measurements to drive continuous improvement”.
Zonta House is considering diversifying its funding sources and Steve will seek to build corporate partnerships and access private foundation and philanthropic partnerships and investigate the emergence of social investment bonds.
The organisation has been assisting Western Australians in crisis for more than 30 years to date, and with a passionate team of employees and volunteers, we look forward to continuing this valuable service,” he added.
According to Zonta House Refuge Association’s Chairperson Glenda Scott, the Refuge is very pleased to be moving into the next phase of its strategic journey in appointing its inaugural CEO, Steve Parry.
“Steve’s leadership ability and extensive experience in driving and leading large scale change make him an ideal fit for Zonta House Refuge Association. His background and expertise in the housing sector will be invaluable in his role as CEO,” said Ms Scott.
“We are cognizant that it is unusual to appoint a male as a CEO of a Women’s Refuge, however we also know that the issue of domestic violence is one that must be acknowledged and tackled by women and men together before we can make progress. Domestic violence should not be seen as the domain of one gender (women’s problem), but of both genders,” she added.