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Lucy Elwood departs Cancer Society, welcomes new National Office CE

After more than three highly successful years at the helm as Chief Executive of Cancer Society National Office in Wellington, we are sad to announce that Lucy Elwood is stepping down from her role at the end of June 2023. Lucy joined the Cancer Society in early 2020.

Lucy reflects: “My first day at the Cancer Society was the day Covid Lockdowns were introduced. Leading the Cancer Society through the Covid pandemic was a time of considerable change – cancer patients needed different support, our operating model needed to adapt quickly, operational costs went up, and Cancer Society’s income reduced with the cancellation of large fundraising events. Looking back, I am immensely proud of what the Cancer Society team delivered across New Zealand during this period”.

“Most of all, I’ll miss the people. People with cancer who have taught me a lot about life, and the caring, capable and committed people who support our mahi”, says Lucy. 

Alister Argyle, Chair of the CSNZ National Board, says, “Lucy is known for her strong analytic skills, her eloquence, her care for her staff, and her commitment to the goals of the Cancer Society. It has been a pleasure for me to work with her, and she will be very much missed”.

The CSNZ Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Rachael Hart as National Office Chief Executive for two years. Rachael is already well known to the Cancer Society, having been Chief Executive of the Cancer Society’s Otago/Southland Division for the past six and a half years.

Before this, Rachael was part of the Australian diplomatic service, with postings in Fiji, Afghanistan and Laos, and she worked in leadership positions in not-for-profit organisations in Sydney. She also has a PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies. Rachael will start in her new position on 19 June 2023. 

Lucy is pleased to be leaving the Cancer Society National Office in Rachael’s capable hands: “Roles like the CE of the Cancer Society of New Zealand are more than just a job; they become a huge part of your life. So it’s fantastic to be handing the helm over to someone I’ve worked with closely and I know will continue to have considerable impact. As a pro-equity organisation, the Cancer Society has bold goals for cancer prevention, care and research, and under Rachael’s leadership, I’m very confident the Cancer Society will keep making strides towards these goals”.

To mark the occasion, Lucy is participating in the Cancer Society’s Jump For Cancer fundraiser, where she will jump out of a plane at 13,000 feet from a skydive site near Abel Tasman, a feat which incoming CE Rachael also achieved during last year’s Jump For Cancer campaign.

After departing the Cancer Society, Lucy plans to focus on governance and consulting. She is currently a Director of Unison Networks Limited and a trustee of Te Toi Mahana Trust. She admits, “I’m also looking forward to having a bit of a break, and I believe my family is hoping I will have more time with them”.

For more information please contact:

Wendy Billingsley | Communications Manager | Cancer Society of New Zealand