Innovation Unit Australia New Zealand
PRESS RELEASE: IU EXPANDS ITS LEADERSHIP CAPACITY
IN NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA
Following successful recruitment campaigns, we’re proud to announce that strategic design expert Jethro Sercombe has joined us as Director of Innovation Practice, based in Australia. In addition, the passionate and skilled Jade Tang-Taylor has joined Innovation Unit and will be leading our mission in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Jethro is a service and strategic designer with significant experience in leading design-based initiatives that tackle some of Australia’s greatest challenges. Earlier in his career, Jethro led flagship projects in the Western Australian youth sector to address youth homelessness. The combination of social services leadership and formal design training allowed Jethro to develop one of Australia’s first in-house social design practices within Anglicare WA. Since then, he has utilised the power of service design across areas such as Homelessness, Financial Resilience, Family Separation and the State Care System. In 2013, Jethro was named one of Business News’ 40 under 40 and in 2019 was awarded a Westpac Social Change Fellowship for his work in social innovation.
Jethro is passionate about the potential for innovative social services and adaptive systems to respond to complex social issues and drastically improve the lives and long term outcomes of our most vulnerable people. As a skilled facilitator and an experienced capability builder in transformative co-design processes, Jethro is well-placed to lead Innovation Unit in shaping, maturing and diversifying its practice and impact across Australia and New Zealand and join exciting projects like redesigning out of home care for Parkerville Children and Youth Care.
Jade has been involved in and led and a wide range of collaborative projects and initiatives that create social change through co-design. Jade was an associate at the Centre for Social Impact, where she supported several co-design sprints around the NGO / Community Governance National Action Plan across Aotearoa, she has co-founded and convened CoJam; a hackathon experience around co-creating a sense of belonging with young people from diverse backgrounds and is a strategic advisor of Auckland University of Technology’s The Draft; a student-led agency for social impact.
Jade’s recent leadership roles also include Ethnic Diversity Strategy Activator at Foundation North, Deputy Chair of the Ethnic People’s Advisory Panel for Auckland Council, and currently holds various advisory roles at a ministerial level. National Advisory Council of the Employment for Women (NACEW), Ministerial Ethnic Communities Advisory Group (MECAG) & Healthy Families Waitakere Strategic Leadership Group. (HFWSLG).
Jade is passionate about how multi-sector, multi-disciplinary, and multicultural communities can collaborate and create collective impact, she has catalysed a number of projects in her local community that prototype ways to enhance the lives of marginalised Aucklanders. She has a vibrant personal and professional background, having recently returned from Stanford D.School exploring ‘Designing for Social Systems’ Jade is committed to long-term social impact and systems change with a focus on diversity, equity & inclusion.
Jade joins at an exciting time for Innovation Unit’s New Zealand partnerships. Current projects include work with Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland Council on creating an age friendly region, supporting the Te Hiringa Hauora | Health Promotion Agency with their covid psychosocial campaign and support with maternal mental wellbeing as well as Ihi Aotearoa | Sport NZ and their research into play in Aotearoa.
Jan Owen, current Board Director,