Interview with Jon Davies, the new CEO of batyr

Q1. Tell us a little bit about your work history

I’ve been fortunate to work in a broad range of organisations including, Woolworths, CommBank, EY and most recently working at New Horizons, a leading mental health and wellbeing organisation. In my role as Head of Portfolio, I was accountable for business strategy, efficiency and improvement.

I‘m an analytical and strategic thinker. In my various roles I have been successful in growing new business and revenue, and leading and empowering large dynamic teams to achieve this growth.

 Q2. Why did you move from the corporate world of banking, into the Not-For-Profit world at New Horizons?

Through an executive training opportunity at CommBank I was linked with Judi Higgin, the CEO of New Horizons, to do some strategic analysis work during the early days of the NDIS. Through this opportunity I realised I had a breadth of business and leadership skills that could contribute to the not-for-profit world, so when I was offered to join New Horizons I jumped at the opportunity and I have never looked back.

I think it’s so important that for-purpose organisations have corporate thinking behind their strategy to find balance between financial gains and delivering on their purpose.

 Q3. Why now the move to batyr?

When I told my 10-year-old son I was going to be moving on from New Horizons to take on the opportunity as CEO at batyr, he looked at me and said ‘but you’re leaving your dream job Dad’ to which I replied ‘this is my new dream job now’.

And it is. I have always loved working in the for-purpose space and when this opportunity arose I knew it was the one for me. batyr is a values driven organisation and I feel that my personal values and those of batyr are well aligned.

There are so many amazing things that batyr have achieved to date under the leadership of Seb and Sam, not to mention the incredible culture behind it. For me as CEO it’s about ensuring the current culture continues to flourish. I am excited to drive the next phase for batyr, helping to enhance and direct the energy and growth of the organisation and the team.

I can’t wait to be part of the batyr herd.

 Q4. Tell us a little bit about you

I am a tenacious and driven person. I am optimistic in life and business.

I guess you could also say I am a bit of an urban greeny at heart. During my Science-Law degree at UNSW, I spent an honours thesis year in the bush looking at the impact of fires on regrowth in National Parks.

I love camping and spending time outdoors. I also love the mountains and I’m a passionate snowboarder. In fact, I was married on a pair of skis in Thredbo. Family means the world to me, and I love spending time with my wife and two boys.

 Q5. What’s your ideal holiday destination?

Somewhere I haven’t been? La Grave in France. A wild, and intense off-piste skiing location. I’ve heard it‘s not for the faint hearted and its not a mistake that it translates to English as “the grave”. But really, I am not that picky, so anywhere where I can find some fresh powder will do for me, enjoyed with my friends and family.

 Q6. What are you most excited about in taking on this role?

I think the most exciting thing is unlocking the opportunities for batyr. batyr has built a strong foundation and it is now my role to build and strengthen this foundation; to drive growth and impact for batyr, and most importantly maintain the amazing culture that has been created.

batyr has a bold 5-Year Strategic Plan with a target of reaching 1 million young people. What an amazing challenge, and the ability to improve the lives of so many young people.

 Q7. How do you take care of your mental health?

Spending time with my family and being connected with nature.

Trying to find balance between work and life. I think I’ve accepted that you can never get it perfectly right, but I always aspire to improve in this area.

I also accept I am who I am and I aim to be aware of my impact on others. This helps centre me and keeps my mental wellness in check.