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Sexual Assault Support Service appoints new CEO

Created on:
May 1, 2024
Edited on:
May 1, 2024

The Sexual Assault Support Service (SASS) has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer.

Chair Kellie Dean said Shirleyann Varney was selected from a strong field of candidates.

“Shirleyann, who will commence in the role on 1 July 2024, brings significant experience in the not-for-profit sector,” she said.

“She is currently CEO of Volunteering Tasmania and before that was the CEO of the Drug Education Network (DEN)”.

“Her prior experience was in Scotland in the care sector, including supporting survivors of various forms of abusive trauma”.

Ms Dean said Ms Varney’s appointment was a critical decision for the Board to take the organization forward.

“We are looking forward to working with Shirleyann to refresh SASS’s strategic plan and ensure our organisation can meet current and future challenges, and harness opportunities that present to us” she said.  

“She will provide our team with stability, strong and authentic leadership and opportunities for personal and professional growth.”

Ms Dean thanked Sandi Doherty for Acting in the SASS CEO position for almost 12 months.  

“The Board would like to particularly thank her for her leadership in this time that included oversight of our relocation to Highfield House, development of our new branding and her significant work in collaborating with government and the sector in response to the Commission of Inquiry report.”  

Further inquiries, please contact:

Adie Delaney – Communications Lead



SASS is a Hobart-based, free and confidential service for people of all ages who have been affected by any form of sexual violence. It provides counselling, advocacy and support services for survivors of sexual violence, working with anyone affected, including family, friends and support people. The not-for-profit also provides Redress Scheme Support Services across Tasmania and assists professionals via training, awareness raising and telephone debriefing/support. SASS Primary Prevention Team delivers a range of training and education sessions through the state, including their award-winning Consent And Relationship Education program in schools.

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