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YMCA South Australia appoints David Paterson as new Chief Executive

YMCA South Australia appoints David Paterson as new Chief Executive
January 14, 2020

YMCA South Australia has announced the appointment of  David Paterson as their new Chief Executive. A passionate South Australian, Paterson brings extensive experience in both the social and business sectors to the Y. He is familiar with the leading not-for-profit, having previously served as a Board member with YMCA Victoria.

Growing the reach and positive impact of the Y across South Australian communities is at the top of Paterson’s agenda in 2020 and beyond.

Paterson  advises “I want to ensure that the Y grows and continues to strengthen communities across the state. We have an amazing 175-year history of global impact. YMCA South Australia was in fact one of the first YMCA’s in the world and the first to be established outside of Europe, way back in 1850.

“It has served as one of the cornerstones of South Australian society ever since. It has played a pivotal role in building our communities to this point and I hope to make an even greater difference over coming years.

“We have a mission that has stood the test of time and continues to be just as compelling in the contemporary context. I think the Y has the richest organisational culture I’ve ever experienced. And I’m excited to be working with such a vibrant and capable team here in South Australia.”

Paterson’s professional experience included serving as the Chief Innovation Officer of World Vision, a role engaged in some of the world’s toughest community development challenges, and which saw him work around the world – from the favelas of Brazil to the United Nations in New York. Previously he was Chief Marketing Officer of Medibank Private, the Chief Strategy Officer of an international marketing agency group, and Director of Business Consulting with Andersens.  He is a co-founder of Social Capital and the Committee for Adelaide. He was also previously a Professor at UniSA, specialising in social innovation and enterprise.

While with YMCA Victoria, Paterson was also one of the co-founders of The Bridge Project, an initiative that has successfully reduced recidivism among young offenders from an average of around 60% to just 3% over a 10-year period, winning the Australian Crime Prevention Award.

Rob Prime, YMCA South Australia’s President, said Paterson’s appointment was the culmination of an extensive process that involved a strong field of industry leaders noting “David has worked with a wide variety of organisations from start-ups to multinationals, including with non-profits. His appointment is a huge plus for the Y.

“He has a passion for strategic innovation, growth and social impact and YMCA South Australia is very excited to welcome David aboard. We look forward to the future under his leadership.”

For more information about YMCA South Australia visit

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