The PRIA announces the appointment of Catriona Barry as the new interim CEO from January 2013
The PRIA is pleased to announce that Catriona Barry has been appointed as Interim CEO from 7 January 2013. Catriona comes to PRIA with a wealth of governance knowledge, strategic and business planning attributes, financial management, strong leadership skills, and change management experience. Catriona, formerly COO of Special Olympics Australia will work with the National office and Board to position the PRIA with a new strategic direction to tackle the challenges of the market and consolidate its position as Australia’s industry body for PR and communication professionals.
Catriona commented, “I am delighted to be taking over the reins at the Public Relations Institute of Australia at this crucial stage in its transition and development.
As interim CEO I look forward to meeting the many members who are dedicated to their profession and to public relations in the broader community.
I will be working on a number of interesting initiatives during this interim period. They will include a drive for more members, delivering a quality service to current members and ensuring we are relevant and accountable to them in line with best practice international governance guidelines.
Finance and resources are always a challenge in a not for profit organisation and I look forward to bringing my financial management experience in this sector to benefit the Institute.”
Catriona Barry Biography
As CEO of Special Olympics Australia, Catriona Barry was instrumental in the growth of this innovative not-for-profit organisation that transforms the lives of people with an intellectual disability through a national, year-round, multisports program.
Since stepping into the newly created role in 2006, Catriona’s leadership allowed Special Olympics to add new sports, increase the amount of volunteers who deliver the program in local communities, and grow the number of athletes with an intellectual disability who are now benefiting from this quality sports and social program.
In 2008, she successfully introduced a Community Sports-Link initiative which increased the reach of Special Olympics to new areas through partnerships with schools, sports clubs and community groups.
Starting with a staff of two, the organisation quickly grew to over 20 staff, which included at least one employee in every state to lead and support community programs in that area.
Much of this has been made possible by Catriona’s sound financial leadership, government lobbying skills and the implementation of a new organisational structure.
Where Special Olympics was once a federation of state organisations working independently, it now operates as a cohesive national organisation with everyone working to the same strategic goals. Government advocacy, and the resulting increase in government funding, has also put the organisation in a much stronger financial position for continued growth and development. This is supported by the introduction of a new skills-based Board with experience across a wide range of industries.
Prior to joining Special Olympics Australia, Catriona was the Volunteer Services Manager for Special Olympics Ireland where she was responsible for the recruitment and management of the 30,000 volunteers who delivered the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin.
She has also held positions with Sydney Festival and the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympics Games (SOCOG) which delivered the “best Olympic games ever” in 2000.
Catriona completed a Masters of Community Management at the University of Technology in 2008 and was the recipient of a fellowship from the Harvard Club of Australia where she attended the Strategic Perspectives for Not for Profits program in 2011.