Ms Hope, who has worked with SunnyKids for nine years, will start her new role in April 2020.

Each year, SunnyKids assists thousands of Sunshine Coast children and their families facing domestic violence, homelessness, economic instability, poor health and other risk factors.

Ms Hope will continue to manage SunnyKids’ services with the ongoing assistance of existing staff and the SunnyKids board and leadership team. She will also develop new initiatives for the organisation.

SunnyKids President Sally Desch said Kathleen was a natural choice for the role given her previous experience with the organisation, including six years in a leadership role and her passion for helping others.

The new GM role will allow SunnyKids to further strengthen existing services while identifying new opportunities for services and sponsorship.

“Kathleen’s proven track record with the organisation, intimate knowledge of our existing services, and vision for our future meant that the time was right to increase her responsibilities. She has the board’s full support,” Ms Desch said.

Ms Hope said she was eager to take a more proactive role in planning and delivering the next phase of SunnyKids’ growth, at a time when frontline services are needed most.

“Along with our fantastic SunnyKids team, I look forward to growing programs such as our Kids Club for children six years and older, Tiny Tots for children under five years, Village Buddies, Mentoring Through Sports initiative, and our clinic and student placements with local schools and the University of the Sunshine Coast,” Ms Hope said.

“Sadly, the news of the past few weeks of horrific family and domestic violence cases throughout Australia show that services such as ours are required more than ever in communities.

“Thanks to the generous support of our many sponsors, and the hard work of our SunnyKids staff, we’ll continue to be there for families who need us.”