Monday 4th February 2019
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone today announced the recent appointment of six new members to the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures National Advisory Council and welcomed the appointment of two vice chairs to the Council in the area of early years and the youth sector.
Ms Aideen Howard, The Ark, Ms Catherine Cosgrave, Immigrant Council of Ireland, Ms Catherine Maher (formerly Focus Ireland), Mr John Church, Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Ms Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos and Ms Olivia McEvoy, Ernest and Young were recently appointed to the National Advisory Council as experts in their respective fields relating to children and young people. Additionally, two members of the Advisory Council, Ms Teresa Heeney, Early Childhood Ireland and Ms Mary Cunningham, National Youth Council of Ireland were appointed as Vice Chairs representing the early years and youth sectors.
The National Advisory Council harnesses expertise and experience from the community and voluntary sector, from academia and from independent experts and individuals who have specific expertise in working with and for children and young people. The Advisory Council brings into one forum a diverse range of interests from sectorial stakeholders in the domains of children and young people’s policy and provision. These sectors connect with and mobilise communities, families and individuals, and as such are seen as essential groups in the implementation infrastructure seeking to ensure the achievement of the five national outcomes for children and young people.
Minister Zappone stated: “I very much welcome the appointments of Aideen Howard, Catherine Cosgrave, Catherine Maher, John Church, Suzanne Connolly and Olivia McEvoy to the National Advisory Council and I know that their enthusiasm and expert knowledge will lend a fresh perspective to the work of the Council going into phase two of the implementation of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures.
I am equally delighted to announce the nomination of Teresa Heeney and Mary Cunningham for undertaking the additional role of Vice Chairs representing the early years and youth sectors.
I look forward to working closely with the National Advisory Council in 2019 on matters such as child poverty, prevention and early intervention, child homelessness, learning and development and children’s rights and equality. The Council also has a very important role to play in supporting the implementation of the recently published ‘First Five: Whole of Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families’ and I welcome the Council’s focus on this important piece of work. "
Tanya Ward, Chair of the National Advisory Council and CEO of the Children’s Right Alliance added: “The Minister has made a series of excellent new appointments that will build the experience and knowledge of the National Advisory Council as it moves into the second phase of its life and the implementation of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures.
I’m also delighted that the Minister has appointed, Mary Cunningham, CEO of National Youth Council of Ireland, and Teresa Heeney, CEO of Early Childhood Ireland, as Vice Chairs of the Council in recognition of the importance of youth and early years in the cross-government policy landscape.“