Read the Play CEO to bid farewell

After eight years of outstanding service, it is with sadness and gratitude we announce Michael Parker will step down from his role as Read the Play CEO on 21 July 2022 to take on a newly developed role with Lifeline.

Michael joined Read the Play in 2009 as a facilitator before taking the role of Manager, then General Manager and last year elevated to CEO with a string of accolades and positive outcomes for the much loved and valued mental health literacy program that works in partnership with sporting clubs that empower young people to take control of their mental health and wellbeing.

Over the past 13 years Michael has been instrumental in the growth of Read the Play including the introduction of the Play On program in 2021 and through the Covid-19 pandemic, developing key on-line learning programs for community football/netball club’s player wellbeing officers and parents.

Co-Chairs Matt Cowdell and Sarah Albon said Michael bought a deep knowledge of the mental health sector and passion for providing education and encouraging help seeking behaviour to many communities across Australia.

“We exist to build confidence in young people to seek support for their mental health and Michael has helped connect mental health professionals to young people in community football and netball clubs and has assisted over 13,000 young people since 2017,” they said.

“Under Michael’s leadership we have increased knowledge and awareness about mental health problems and increased confidence and skills in guiding our youth to relevant support services.”

Michael said “I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to lead an organisation like Read the Play for the last 8 years and have cherished building relationships with so many wonderful people.

The work that Read the Play does to increase mental health awareness and support for over 4,000 young people and their sporting clubs each year is truly amazing.,” he said.

Michael will join Lifeline in the role of Senior Business Development Manager.

The Read the Play Inc Board will advertise for a new leader via LinkedIn, Ethical Jobs and Seek and look forward to welcoming a new CEO to build on the wonderful foundation and legacy of Michael, founder Dave Langley and all contributors to Read the Play over the past 16 years.

All enquiries can be directed to co-chairs Matt Cowdell 0448 831 922 and Sarah Albon 0401 565 442.

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