Richard Dent: Contributing to the Community For Good
ARMI is pleased to welcome Richard Dent to the Development Engagement Committee (DEC)!
Currently working as a governance, strategy and leadership specialist with several different organisations, Richard has a rich history in policy, government, civics, business and the not-for-profit sector. Richard has a strong sense of the importance of contributing to the community, an ethos that was imbued by his childhood in regional Victoria and by his late brother Dr Andrew Dent, a medical practitioner who once led St Vincent’s Emergency Department. With this, Richard is primed to advocate for medical research and its importance in maximising human wellbeing.
“If we are to maximise human potential we need to focus on mind, spirit AND body: the potential of ARMI is to minimise or eliminate diseases and conditions that would damage the body and mind – this is a major contribution to building the human spirit – not just in Australia but worldwide. That’s definitely a purpose worth engaging with.”
This commitment forms part of Richard’s plan to address what he finds to be his greatest challenge: creating a positive impact in this short life. In his quest to do so, he began his studies with a Bachelor of Arts followed by a Masters in Social Policy, as well as a Masters in Business Administration. This “unusual combination” has led Richard to senior executives roles at UnitingCare Gippsland, the Victorian Council of Social Service, the EW Tipping Foundation and at Leadership Victoria.
“One of the great ‘superpowers’ of ARMI is being able to bring these multiple strengths together on such important, long-term health issues for humanity.”
Through these roles, Richard has helped shape policy for all Victorians, with a particular emphasis on rural and regional policy, and he has been a key advocate for and architect of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. At Leadership Victoria, he transformed the organisation by broadening its focus to all of Victoria (not just a relatively small number of people in a single – albeit important – program). He reached out to various communities, including programs specifically for women, people of multicultural backgrounds, LGBTQI+ communities, people with a disability, while bringing together leaders from business, government and civics.
“It was wonderful to see people from each of these groups begin to understand how their different perspectives and worldviews complement each other and how they each bring their own strengths and blind spots to address complex issues. People from business often have the habit and strength of being outcome-driven, people from government often have the habit and strength of focusing on policy intent and a range of impacts. In contrast, people from the civic sector often can integrate worldviews and to advocate for complex outcomes across multiple domains.”
Richard adds, “One of the great ‘superpowers’ of ARMI is being able to bring these multiple strengths together on such important, long-term health issues for humanity. One of the lessons of COVID-19 is that we are all human beings with shared, fragile, vulnerable biologies. And we can address those biological vulnerabilities: we just need leadership and resources.”
“I have the honour of being connected to many people, and I hope to mobilise them to support ARMI.”
With his experience, skills, wisdom and networks, Richard is a fantastic addition to the DEC. “I have the honour of being connected to many people, and I hope to mobilise them to support ARMI. I bring a combination of structured executive thinking and exploratory leadership perspectives: getting on the balcony to look for new ways to achieve outcomes, and then planning to bring those outcomes to reality.”
We are excited to have someone as talented (he is also a pianist and a saxophonist), dedicated and passionate as Richard on our team. Welcome!