The Australian Centre for Social Innovation

Carolyn started her career as a social worker, supporting families at risk of having their children removed into state care, and removing children at risk of harm.

Her front line experience with the limitations of government service systems, and her passion for social equality, lead her to seek positions where she could transform the system. For over a decade Carolyn worked in a range of positions for the public sector including operations, policy and senior management.

Carolyn joined TACSI in 2010 as a secondee from state child protection services – having hit barriers at the policy and management level she wanted to explore making a different to the system from outside. Carolyn was co-lead on the project that created the family peer support program Family by Family; winner of a NAPCAN award for innovation in child protection and winner of the Australian Good Design Award for Service Design.

As Director of Family by Family, Carolyn took the program from prototype to a functioning and funded service operating in multiple sites across South Australia and New South Wales, creating outcomes for families going through tough times, including those at risk of losing their children to state care.

As CEO, Carolyn has grown TACSI from an initiative funded by government to a sustainable social enterprise operating in most major cities across Australia. She has deepened TACSI’s expertise in child protection and broadened TACSI’s influence into other areas including ageing and disability. The Family by Family program is on track to scale and Weavers, a second TACSI designed program that provides peer support for carers, is about to follow in its footsteps.

Carolyn is a strong advocate for the need to focus social innovation efforts in the areas where it is a necessity – to change outcomes for families, older people, people with disabilities, and Indigenous Australians and to transform the government service system.

Carolyn is a Director with the Social Innovation Exchange.