Ros Atkinson has been described as a ‘stalwart’ of the Tasmanian ATOD sector.
A highly experienced and accomplished chief executive, Ros has been CEO of Youth, Family and Community Connections for over 14 years. During this time, Ros has overseen the growth of YFCC’s services and programs and cemented its reputation as one of Tasmania’s most respected, and high-performing community-managed organisations providing ATOD services and programs.
Respected by her colleagues for her respectful and passionate advocacy, Ros’s voice for the not-for-profit sector (and regional Tasmania) has been strong, consistent, and focused.
In particular, as an advocate of embedding lived experience into the sector, Ros has worked collaboratively on this vision over many years. Improving service access, particularly for those with co-occurring mental health concerns has also been a focus for Ros, which has seen her team work collaboratively with mental health providers to achieve this aim.
Sarah Charlton CEO of Holyoake has referred to Ros as ‘considered, highly intelligent, diplomatic and knowledgeable in all aspects of governance and leadership’. Sarah also commented that she ‘had the privilege of working with Ros on the ATDC Board for many years, and she was probably one of the first CEOs in the non-profit AOD sector who had a meaningful impact on me and my new career choice.’ Furthermore, Sarah commented that Ros ‘was a fine mentor and role model to me in my early days in the sector… and is a fine example of an outstanding leader, and I am grateful to call her my colleague.’
Ros’ contribution to the work of the ATDC spans many years, serving as a Board Director between 2007-2018. During this time Ros spent time contributing to the roles of Vice President and President. With her legal expertise, Ros’ contribution to the Board was considerable and she continues to contribute to the work of the organisation to this day. Stephen Brown CEO of Launceston City Mission has referred to Ros as ‘always a voice of reason and wisdom when difficult decisions and requests were to be made by the ATDC Board’. Stephen describes his time on the Board with Ros as a positive experience for him ‘to see her passion and desire for increased support for young people experiencing issues their alcohol and drug use.’
The status of life membership is only be awarded to individuals who have rendered outstanding service to the ATDC and /or the ATOD sector over a long period of time. Life membership is granted only by a General Meeting on the express recommendation of the Board. The Board agreed that Ros’ contribution to the ATDC, and the Tasmanian ATOD sector has been outstanding, and recommended that she be awarded the status of Life Membership of the ATDC at the 2022 ATDC Annual General Meeting.