Lynne Wannan AM

Lynne Wannan is widely recognised as a leading campaigner in the establishment of the modern community-based child care system in Australia.

Honour Roll

In 2009, Lynne Wannan was the Director of the Office for the Community Sector, a Victorian Government initiative set up in 2008 to strengthen and support 'not for profit' organisations. This position recognised Lynne's knowledge of the community, along with her management, policy and strategic planning skills.

She was an advocate for children, families and the communities in which they live.

Lynne was chairperson of the Community Child Care Association for 14 years and convener of the National Association of Community Based Children's Services for 12 years. She was also the inaugural chair of the Victorian Children's Council.

"I started involvement in children's services pretty much as a women's issue," she said. "At that stage it was really about trying to make sure women could do things with their lives. It was very much working at a local level, getting women together and helping them establish child care centres."

She attributed her success to her ability to "articulate a vision and strategy and get people to come on board." "It means I chair everything!"

One of Lynne's proudest achievements was establishing the Western Chances organisation alongside Terri Bracks in the mid 2000s. Western Chances provides scholarships to disadvantaged young people in the western suburbs.

"We pick up a young person, usually around Year 10 and with economic disadvantage but the desire to pursue a certain path," she said. "They can stay with us until they complete their qualifications in whatever they have been pursuing."

Since its inception, Western Chances has awarded more than 1,000 scholarships to more than 700 students. In 2007, about 90% of scholarship recipients completed Year 12 or equivalent studies and went on to university or TAFE.

"It has become a very serious pathway organisation. We pick them (students) up at a point when they are very vulnerable. We know that for some of them the recognition the Western Chances scholarship gives is incredibly significant as they have never had anyone tell them they are good at anything."

In 2007 Lynne was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for her leadership in community services and education.