Deirdre Cheers Board Pic 2024

Deirdre Cheers

Chief Executive Officer of Barnardos Australia since 2015

Deirdre Cheers is an experienced CEO and respected leader in the Australian and International context of child focused social care and protection, with an extensive career in professional social work, management and leadership.  Deirdre was appointed CEO of Barnardos Australia in 2015, and has a broad range of skills and experience in direct service delivery of child protective services, family preservation and early intervention, and out-of-home care for children in Australia. 

With qualifications including Masters Degrees in Social Work and Public Administration, Deirdre has an extensive publication and presentation record across a range of areas concerning outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and families, including policy, practice and research.  Deirdre is a current Board Director of the Community Council for Australia (CCA) and Board Director of the NSW child welfare peak body Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA).  She continues to participate in a variety of Advisory Committees and Ministerial Councils at both State and Australian government levels, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a long-standing member of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Having worked across the full spectrum of child protection throughout her career, Deirdre is passionate about children’s rights and specifically the right to safe care for the whole of childhood, for each and every Australian child. She is deeply committed to ensuring that disadvantaged children have the opportunity to grow safely in stable family based environments, with continuity of relationships, as is the right of every child.

Qualifications: MPubAdmin, MSW (Res), GradDip (Couns), BSocStud (Hons), MAASW, GAICD.