Since 1999 the Patron of SHINE for Kids has been Ann Symonds, former Member of NSW Parliament.
The commitment displayed in Ann’s early teaching career was continued in her endeavours to educate those whose decisions so markedly affect the lives of the powerless. Ann devoted her parliamentary life to the women and children that are neglected by economic rationalism, forming policies and programs for women in prison, children in institutional care, abused children and women subjected to domestic violence.
At some personal cost, Ann supported gun control when it was an unpopular issue, well before the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. She was a founding member of both the Australian Parliamentary Group for Drug Law Reform and the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation.
As a founding member of the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues which she chaired from 1995 to 1998, Ann continued her fight for social justice. The recommendations of its reports Violence Amongst Youth, Sexual Violence, Children’s Advocacy, Children of Prisoners, Clinical Trials & Guardianship and Nursing Homes were compassionate, practical and widely supported.
Helen is an experienced non-executive director serving on for-profit and not-for-profit boards and was Chair of SHINE for Kids from 2004 until November 2016, when she joined Ann as the organisation’s second patron.
Helen has a strong involvement in the not-for-profit sector including a director of the Sydney Community Foundation, Relationships Australia, the War Widows Guild and the Melanoma Institute of Australia.
A Chartered Accountant, Helen is a former KPMG Partner and was featured in the inaugural 2010 American Express Enriched List, which highlights people who are “using their skills, talents and dreams to give more out, get more back and realise their potential”.
Helen participated in the Benevolent Society Sydney Leadership Program 2012.