In her time at KFA Aileen and the KFA team have transformed and grown the organisation from a revenue of $ 7 million providing services only in the North East of Melbourne to now being a $35 million organisation that operates across Victoria and nationally.

Aileen can be proud of many achievements and successes over her tenure. These include changing the name of the organisation from the Children’s Protection Society to Kids First Australia to reflect a more contemporary purpose and the establishment of our recognised Early Years Education Program Kindergarten model. The Early Years Education Program model is based on Kids First’s groundbreaking trauma informed research and there are now 13 Early Years Child and Family Centres operating across Victoria, with more to come.

Aileen stewarded our organisation throughout the Covid pandemic, ensuring adaptability and resilience of our services and staff in uncertain times. Aileen also led the establishment of key research and evaluation partnerships with national and international universities, research organisations and philanthropy, ensuring our programs are evidence based and at the cutting edge of innovation. This has resulted in KFA providing a suite of well recognised and award-winning family preservation and family violence services for women, children, young people and fathers.

Through Aileen’s membership of Ministerial Advisory groups, peak bodies, and government working groups, Kids First has become a recognised sector leader in policy and service development.

The recent merger of Whitelion Youth services into KFA was led by Aileen, enabling a strong and broad platform of quality focussed services for children, families and young people. The formation of our new strategic plan will set the organisation up for success going forward.

Aileen’s strong leadership and passion for social justice has created a solid foundation for KFA to grow into the future.

The Board thank her for her commitment and passion and wish her every success into the future.

You will be advised of how we will celebrate Aileen’s contribution shortly.

Sandy Forbes


Kids First Australia




Aileen Ashford
Aileen Ashford
CEO, Kids First Australia

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