Changing of the Guard
17 December 2020
After more than two decades serving as President of Jigsaw Queensland, Dr Trevor Jordan has stepped down from the role and the Management Committee have elected Dr Jo-Ann Sparrow (Jo) to serve as the new President.
While stepping down as President, the organisation will retain Trevor’s experience and expertise as he takes up the role of CEO of Jigsaw Queensland.
Speaking at the Annual General Meeting, Jo thanked Trevor for his years of dedicated service to the organisation.
"Trevor has worked tirelessly in a voluntary capacity, committing countless hours and resources to Jigsaw Qld," she said.
"He has determinedly advocated for people affected by adoption, and many people’s lives have been changed for the better as a result.
"His personal story of adoption may have initially steered him in our direction, however it was his passion to ensure other people had access to their information and the ability to find their biological families that kept him here."
Trevor has published numerous academic papers and mainstream articles to foster an understanding of adoption issues and redress the impact of closed adoption practices. He has worked towards establishing public memorials and has led the development of peer and professional counselling and support services and the education of human service professions in responding to people affected by adoption.
As a result of his work and the regard in which Jigsaw Qld is held, we became the only adoption organisation in Australia to be funded for ten years to provide professional forced adoption services.
Trevor has been and will continue to be involved in every aspect of Jigsaw Qld from sourcing funding, policy submissions, committee representation and conference presentations to providing peer support, leading support groups and acting as joint spokesperson to spread the word that help is available now.
Jo said Trevor's voice in the adoption field is an important one.
"His background in ethics and his personal experience have allowed him to see all sides of a complicated and multi-generational issue.
"As a person with lived experience, it is easy to be triggered in his position, however Trevor has the capacity to present a balanced view. He has also created a safe space for fathers who have lost a child to adoption and male adoptees to step forward and seek support, providing an invaluable service in men’s mental health.
"We thank him for his service, integrity and commitment and are grateful that he will continue to work with us in the capacity of CEO," she said.
Jigsaw Qld's new President Jo Sparrow is an adopted person born in 1971 who first reached out to the organisation in 1991 when legislative change allowed her to access her mother’s identity. She has since gone on to meet her mother and father, brother and some extended family.
It was during her participation at a support group as a first time mother that her appreciation for how meaningful and necessary these and other services offered by the organisation were for people affected by adoption.
Jo became actively involved with the organisation in 2013, first undertaking the Helping Skills course and later building and maintaining Jigsaw's website, producing the newsletter and managing public relations for the organisation.
She first joined the Management Committee in 2019 and is the host, editor and producer of Adopt Perspective Podcast. The podcast has since grown to become one of the top 15 per cent most shared and followed podcasts on Spotify (2022), globally.
Jo’s professional background is in journalism and public relations and she holds a Bachelor of Journalism, Masters of Public Relations and a Doctorate of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) exploring the construction of identity after adoption using writing. With many new projects in development, she is looking forward to a great future for the organisation.
Other changes to the management committee include the welcome addition of Lois Buch as Secretary.
Collette Glazebrook was congratulated at the AGM on her two decades of service on the Management Committee and her many hours of volunteer service.
Robert White remains as Treasurer after four years of service as does Heather Hermann, a mother who lost a child to adoption who also celebrated her 20th anniversary with the organisation in 2020.