Following a six month recruitment process, Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) has announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jacqui Borland.
Jacqui has worked with Aspect for over 10 years, most recently holding the role of Deputy CEO, and has worked in autism-specific roles in education and management for more than 20 years.
The announcement was made by the Chair of the Aspect Board, Julie Hamblin, who said Jacqui would take over as CEO in late September, replacing Adrian Ford, who has led the organisation with distinction for nearly 20 years.
“Aspect has been working with executive recruitment agency, Korn Ferry, since January this year to find a suitable replacement for Adrian Ford, who will step down as CEO in September this year,” Ms Hamblin said.
“The recruitment process has been extremely rigorous and attracted a large number of highly qualified and experienced candidates.
“However, Jacqui’s exceptional leadership qualities, together with her vision for Aspect and her deep understanding of autism made her the clear candidate of choice for the position” Ms Hamblin said.
“Jacqui brings to the role a new perspective, which, combined with her in-depth knowledge of Aspect, autism, education and the challenges and opportunities facing the sectors in which Aspect works, will benefit the organisation for many years to come.
“Most importantly, she demonstrates strong commitment to Aspect’s purpose – a different brilliant® - understanding, engaging and celebrating the strengths interests and aspirations of people on the autism spectrum.”
Ms Hamblin said the recruitment process was also assisted by members of the Aspect Advisory Council, a group of seven autistic adults who provide advice to both the Aspect Board and Executive regarding its strategy and risk. They provided advice around the types of skills and characteristics they would like to see in a CEO, with two members from the Council sitting in on interviews.
Tori Haar, one of the Aspect Advisory Council members who assisted with the recruitment process said, “The council wanted to ensure that the best person was appointed, so they could lead Aspect as it continues to evolve as an organisation which truly works in partnership with a broad range of autistic people, and both assists and empowers them to be able to live the best lives possible.”
“We look forward to continuing along this worthwhile journey with Jacqui as the incoming CEO and continuing to build and strengthen this important relationship,” Ms Haar said.
STATEMENT FROM JACQUI BORLAND
I am thrilled and honoured to be appointed as Aspect’s new CEO, and looking forward to leading Aspect’s continued growth and profile as an outstanding autism-specific service provider held in high regard by all its varied stakeholders.
In my 10 years working within Aspect in the Positive Partnerships program, as an executive leader, and more recently as Deputy CEO, I have been continually inspired by the passion of Aspect staff, the commitment of my colleagues, and the outstanding leadership of Adrian Ford.
I have big shoes to fill but feel confident that, with the help and support of stakeholders and staff, Aspect will continue to be a leader in autism-specific services in Australia.
I have worked in various autism-specific roles throughout my career and have drawn inspiration from a broad range of colleagues in other organisations and fields. I look forward to applying this gathered knowledge and further developing productive relationships with Aspect’s national stakeholders.
For me one of the most exciting changes in recent years, driven by the vision of Adrian Ford, has been Aspect’s commitment to the inclusion of autistic people in governance, and service planning and delivery at Aspect.
I feel extremely privileged to have this opportunity to continue to build respectful partnerships with autistic people to provide the highest quality support, services and programs.
I am looking forward to the work and challenges that lie ahead.