A Collaborative Leader Committed to Social Justice and Inclusion
The Community Sector mourns the passing of Christine Halsey on 18th December 2022.
Chris is known by many as a champion of social justice and advocate for community inclusion, particularly for women, children and young people. We celebrate her many contributions to social policy and to sound collaborative practice in this state and beyond.
After spending much of her early career in the Education sector, Chris entered the Community sector in the late 1980s as Executive Director of what was then Noarlunga Youth Accommodation Service (later Southern Junction Youth/Community Services) and served in that role for over 17 years. Chris would later summarize her own contribution as “laying the foundations (of Southern Junction) and preparing the organisation for growth”. Subsequent leaders acknowledge that Chris’s establishment of sound core values, her commitment to a respectful service ethos and person-centred practice are indeed the foundations upon which the organisation, now known as Junction Australia, has been built.
Chris was a practice innovator and public policy advocate who remained dedicated to addressing the needs of homeless and vulnerable young people by assisting them to overcome layers of adversity.
In order to advance that mission, Chris actively contributed to the Youth Housing Network, Women’s Housing (via Shelter) and SACOSS, where she served on the Board and Policy Council, including a stint as Chairperson. Chris became well known as a strong, collaborative leader in the outer Southern Adelaide region. Chris was a valued contributor to the ‘Good Practice in Multi-Agency Linkages Project’ (published in May 2000). Working alongside other collaborating leaders, Chris envisaged and developed the first ‘Multi-Agency Referral Form’ (MARF) which was subsequently adopted by numerous government agencies and community organisations across SA.
As an active member of the Southern Housing Round Table, Chris was a strong advocate for broad adoption of interagency collaboration in the Noarlunga region. In the belief that better outcomes are achieved when services work together, Chris went on to instigate another ground-breaking initiative called ‘The Integrated Service Delivery Project for Clients with Multiple Complex Needs’. It has been noted that these early endeavours were the precursors to the contemporary approach now known as Collective Social Impact.
At Chris’s Funeral, the words of Kahalil Gibran were quoted: “Keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life”.
SACOSS celebrates the life of Christine Halsey and gratefully acknowledges her contributions to improved outcomes for vulnerable people in South Australia.