Leading by example

By: yourtown 18 Apr 2016 yourtown, Blog
John Dalgleish, Head of Strategy and Research, brings a wealth of experience…


Our organisation and leadership team is strengthened by the example of John Dalgleish every day. His commitment to delivering the best for young people has never wavered, nor has his compassion, reliability and appetite for innovation.

John has truly dedicated his career and life to protecting and advocating for children and young people. He knew his strengths and compassion could help make a difference. This is (some!) of his story…

John has worked for 25 years in direct services responding to child protection matters.  Initially, as a practitioner in child protection and juvenile justice services, then forward into management - never ceasing to challenge himself.

Within the Queensland Government Department of Families and Community Services, he was a Regional Director. At executive level, he led programs responding to child protection, juvenile justice, disability and the economic development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities and community funding.

His expertise saw him selected as a participant on an Australian delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva regarding the review of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In 2000, John found his place at yourtown (formally known as BoysTown), joining the team to help reform our processes and systems.  16 years later, John brings the same drive and passion. That’s because our organisation values align strongly with John’s values.

Research and advocacy for young people...

Now working as our Head of Strategy & Research, John develops advocacy, research and evaluation strategies. His team of researchers and specialists collate, analyse and process data from across our organisation and the globe. The results of which are evidence based insights that helps us:
  • Define what’s working and were improvement opportunities exist
  • Allocate our resources into areas of most need
  • Highlight opportunities where yourtown services can be expanded
  • Understand the needs of our young people now
  • Predict the requirements of our service over medium/long term
Ultimately, the strategic insights from John and his team are used to develop advocacy campaigns that inform our community and Government about the issues impacting children and young people. This evidence based advocacy helps to drive positive social change – so we (Australia) can better respond to the needs of young people and their families.

We asked John what keeps him awake at night…

‘The world is a much tougher place for young people:
  • Housing affordability
  • Opportunities for employment
  • The impacts of mental health
  • The unnecessary negative influence that having a disability has on life opportunities
  • The gaps between non-aboriginal and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in relation to health, education, employment that have not been closed
There is a danger that our society is becoming more punitive in how it responds to young people particularly those that are on the margins of our community. There is a role for yourtown in confronting this trend. - John Dalgleish
John is the volunteer chair of the board for the Foundation for independence Recreation and Social Training (F.I.R.S.T), a service dedicated to supporting young people with disabilities. John also is a member of the QLD chapter of the Social Impact Measurement Network Australia that promotes the importance of measuring service outcomes and social impact.

While John’s responsibilities at yourtown are considerable and his authority on youth advocacy is undeniable.  What’s most admirable is that his dedication and sense of humour never fail. When he’s not working he enjoys the great outdoors, camping and reading history.  He’s a strong supporter of the Brisbane Lions (and the Cowboys) and enjoys being part of the yourtown fitness group.

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