Dear Reach supporters,

As Winter 2023 draws to an end, I am writing to provide you with an organisational update from Reach.

After nearly nine years on the Reach Board, I have decided that due to Reach’s strong current position, the time is now ideal for me to vacate the Chair role, to enable the next generation of talent to step up and lead Reach. A number of exciting organisational changes are announced below.

Our new Chair

It is my pleasure to announce that upon my retirement from the Reach Board, our existing CEO, Fergus Watts, will move into a newly created role of Executive Chair. Ferg has done a wonderful job leading the Reach Staff and Crew over the last two years and his movement into this role ensures ongoing continuity and minimal disruption for Reach. It also enables Ferg to sit alongside our new CEO and provide ongoing coaching and support.

Ferg has an intimate understanding of the spirit of Reach, having been handpicked as a teenager 23 years ago from a group of classmates by Jim Stynes during a Reach workshop involving his school. Ferg then undertook the gruelling training and self-development to become a Reach Crew member where he facilitated Reach Workshops. Ferg left Reach for a period to pursue a life in the business world, successfully founding the largest independent marketing and communications agency in Australia, Bastion. He later returned to Reach in January 2020 to join the Board of Directors, upon which he served for more than two years before being appointed CEO. This latest move represents a return to the Board for Ferg, this time as Chair. I wish Ferg well in this role and am confident that he and the other existing Board Members will continue to steer Reach toward future successes.

Our new CEO

Ferg’s appointment as Executive Chair means the role of CEO is vacated and I’m delighted to announce that our new CEO will be Louisa Keck. Lou will be well known to many of you, being Reach’s current Chief Operating Officer. She is a talented, inspiring and engaging young leader. Like Ferg, Lou has had a long history with Reach, having been a Crew member and senior accredited facilitator for many years. Whilst studying and completing a law degree at the University of Melbourne, Lou led our social enterprise Wake during its formative stages and since then has become a member of the Reach Leadership Team and our COO. Lou is extremely well placed to take this next step, and to lead Reach into an exciting new phase of its life-cycle. Lou’s progression is a fabulous story that supports everything Reach stands for: creating opportunities for young people to fulfil their dreams and to reach their full potential in life. Lou is definitely living that philosophy!

Our new Deputy Chair

The Board is mindful that, in appointing an Executive Chair for the first time, there is a potential blurring of the line of separation between the Board and the Executive team. To address this and to ensure that any resulting risks are managed appropriately, we have appointed Rob Collie, one of our existing Board Members, to the role of Deputy Chair, with a particular mandate to focus on governance and risk management. Rob is extremely well credentialed for this role; he has worked with numerous Boards, is a senior audit partner at Deloitte and Chair of the Deloitte Foundation in Australia. I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Rob on the Reach Board and wish him all the very best in his new role.

All of these organisational changes will take effect from 1 September.


Being Chair of the Reach Foundation for the past four and a half years has been a privilege. When I was appointed as Chair in January 2019, I set the following three goals to achieve during my tenure:

1. To create an organisation that is financially sustainable;
2. To improve stability and tenure amongst the leadership team; and
3. To increase the impact of Reach for young people across Australia.

I am delighted to say that our team – comprising our Leadership Team, our Staff, our Crew and our Board – have worked incredibly hard over the past few years to materially move the dial in these areas. As a result, I feel like we have achieved success to the point where I am comfortable to hand-over to a successor to help drive Reach into the future. I’ve commented further on these three goals below.

Financial sustainability

There is a misnomer that a not-for-profit entity cannot or should not make a profit. I don’t subscribe to that view. In Reach’s case, if we are profitable, the surplus funds can be used to invest in the future, including by recruiting more Crew to deliver more workshops for our most important stakeholders – the young people around Australia. This means we have more impact and better fulfil our purpose. So being profitable is of critical importance – both to enable Reach to achieve this objective of delivering more work with young people but also to ensure this is sustainable. Unfortunately, in the past, Reach consistently posted financial losses, limiting its ability to grow and invest in the future.

I am incredibly proud to say that Reach is now profitable and more financially sustainable than it has ever been. We have achieved this in a number of ways. We have been much more focused on cost management, organisational efficiencies and, importantly, in an environment where the increased costs of living are threatening donations and philanthropic giving to the not-for-profit sector, we have created new forms of revenue including from our social enterprise: Wake By Reach. Our focus on Wake has resulted in a new and growing stream of revenue which is forecast to generate $1 million of funds for Reach in 2023. Wake’s success, amongst various other initiatives, has resulted in Reach becoming profitable since 2022. Of course, this doesn’t mean we don’t need and value your donations! Rather, your donations help us to grow and extend the coverage of our work to impact more and more young people.

Organisational stability

It’s fair to say that Reach has historically experienced a higher than usual turnover of senior team members. My ambition has been to reduce the senior turnover and bring about a stable and settled executive leadership team. Over the past 18 months, we have experienced a stable executive team and I am delighted with the quality and calibre of that team, their collaboration, and their commitment to Reach’s continuous improvement. The promotions and appointments that I am announcing today are a reinforcement of the capability and stability of that team.


Our impact has increased significantly in recent years as we’ve rebuilt from the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which heavily hampered our ability to deliver in-person workshops and recruit new Crew members. In 2020 our impact was limited to 353 workshops and 12,954 instances of participation. Fast forward to 2023, I am pleased to share we have already confirmed 36,439 instances of participation, we’ve delivered work in every state and territory in the country, and we’re on track to impact more than 42,000 young people by the end of the year. I’m proud to have overseen this incredible increase in our impact as Chair and I know there is plenty more to come.

I feel incredibly indebted to a long list of staff, crew, volunteers, donors, sponsors, partners and Board members for their important contributions to bring about the above outcomes. Thank you for your commitment and your resolve in helping us continue to improve.

Whilst leaving my role at Reach invokes a mix of emotions, I feel extremely confident that Reach remains very well placed to continue increasing its impact and I have no doubt about the capability of the above mentioned team of people to drive Reach to continued success in our pursuit to shape the next generation of young Australians and to support them to achieve their dreams. I congratulate each of Ferg, Lou and Rob in relation to their appointments and wish them well for their new roles. I also wish everyone else at Reach all the very best for a successful future and hope that you, our highly valued supporters and stakeholders, continue to support Reach as it embarks upon this next chapter. I’m looking forward to watching Reach’s ongoing success and impact in the future – this time from a different vantage point!

Best wishes


Anthony Klein,
Outgoing Chair of the Board