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The Y farewells National CEO, Tal Karp

January 10, 2024 The Y in Australia

The Y will soon farewell its National CEO Tal Karp, after 5 years of exceptional service to the Y, including three years as a National Board member and two years as National and Group CEO.

Tal was appointed on a change mandate, to articulate a new strategy for the Y; and to realign the Y’s structure, functions and capabilities to deliver on that strategy.

With the change process close to completion, Tal has decided that now is the appropriate time to hand over the reins to new leadership, as the Y embarks on its next phase.

Under Tal’s leadership as CEO, Y Australia has:

  • Secured the investment of $15.2 million from the Australian Government for Y Careers – the Y’s innovative new career agency, that will support 15,000 young people into meaningful careers in the care economy over the next five years.
  • Delivered a new national strategy, developed through co-design, and unanimously adopted by the Y federation.
  • Become the global leader of the World YMCA’s meaningful work pillar, to drive meaningful work outcomes globally across the YMCA’s extensive profile supporting 120 countries and 65+ million people.
  • Secured investment in, and built, a new advocacy, public policy and research function at the Y, to support the Y to draw from its extensive local knowledge working across 680 communities in Australia, to drive systemic change.
  • Doubled the resources available to the Y Australia Group, including securing more than $1.5m in new pro bono partnerships over the period.
  • Become more inclusive, including through the amendment of our Constitution and other key governance documents, to be explicitly inclusive of all, regardless of gender, faith, religion, sexuality or difference.
  • Recruited a talented, gender balanced and culturally diverse leadership team.

As stated by Ben Hubbard, who was Chair of Y Australia for most of Tal’s tenure as CEO:

“Tal’s performance in securing change and progress for the Y has been beyond significant.

Tal has impressed the National Board and her peers by both the breadth and depth of high-quality work undertaken, her collaborative and consultative approach; her capability in building influential stakeholder relationships; and above all, her deep commitment to driving systemic change for a better world with and for young people.

Tal leaves the Y having successfully delivered on her significant change mandate at a high standard in a complex setting; and now hands the reins to a diverse and skilled executive leadership team.

Tal’s view, and I agree, is that the time is right to hand over to the next CEO as the organisation moves into implementation of the Strategy and to a new business as usual footing.

Tal will be sincerely missed at the Y.”

The decision to step away will provide Tal with the opportunity to focus on her other roles, including as an Expert Advisory Panel member on the Federal Government’s $200 million Play our Way Program, which provides a unique opportunity to change the game for women and girls in sport; and her role on the Victoria Legal Aid Board, driving access to justice for those who need it most.

“The Y’s purpose of creating a better world with and for young people gets me up in the morning. While it is very hard to say goodbye, I’m exceptionally proud of what our team and movement has achieved over the last two years,” said Tal Karp.

“Can I take this opportunity to thank the National Board for their support, the Y Australia team for their hard work and valued contributions, Member Ys for their collaboration and camaraderie; our colleagues across the World Y movement; and our valued partners.”

Tal’s last day with the Y will be 16 February. Tirzah Bokelund will be Acting CEO following Tal’s departure until new leadership is confirmed.

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