David Paterson

Chief Executive Officer

David brings high-level business and community leadership skills, having enjoyed an international career in both the corporate and social sectors.

His driving focus today is the development of South Australian communities - opening up new opportunities for social prosperity and community wellbeing.


Community Development & Social Impact

  • Chief Innovation Officer of World Vision, the world’s largest international community development NGO, working with more than 3000 communities across 70 countries.
  • Strategic adviser on a range of United Nations, Federal, State and Local Government initiatives.
  • Williamson Community Leadership Fellow.

Health & Wellbeing

  • CMO of Medibank Private, Australia’s largest health fund. Responsible for 3 million members, $3 billion in income, and the full suite of products and health promotion activities.
  • Co-convenor of the 63rd United Nations NGO conference on Global Health, attracting more than 2000 delegates from 27 countries to Australia.

Education & Youth Empowerment

  • Professor of Social Innovation & Enterprise at the University of South Australia.
  • Adviser to the Department for Education on the introduction of the entrepreneurial learning model in South Australian schools.
  • Co-founder of The Bridge Project, a ground-breaking YMCA initiative working with juvenile offenders. This successfully reduced the recidivism rate from more than 50% to just 3% over its first 10 years - receiving the Australian Crime Prevention Award.

David’s earlier career in the corporate world was as a Chief Strategy Officer and Consulting Director with prominent international firms. This work took him around the world, advising a range of leading international companies. Since returning to his hometown of Adelaide he has provided strategy advice to many of South Australia’s key government agencies and institutions. David’s involvement with the Y stretches back more than 30 years, including a term as a board director of YMCA Victoria. He has been the CEO of YMCA South Australia since January, 2020.