JERSEY Overseas Aid Commission director Simon Boas has been confirmed as the new chairman of Jersey Heritage, succeeding Tim Brown, who stood down at the end of last year.
Mr Boas, who has spent most of this career working in the third sector, said he was delighted to have been appointed to the role by the board of which he has been a member for three years.
‘I love explaining to people the richness and depth of Jersey. Many have heard of our finance industry, and some our potatoes and cows, but all are astonished to learn of our unique history and culture, our language and legal system, and an archaeological inheritance which spans the wonders of still-living Neolithic sites to the sobering stone and concrete reminders of war and occupation. Jersey Heritage, like Jersey Overseas Aid, flies a flag for the Island internationally,’ he said.
Initially a volunteer with Jersey Heritage when he moved to the Island with his wife, Aurelie, in 2016, Mr Boas said that his time on the organisation’s voluntary board had made him realise what a special organisation it was.
‘I’ve worked in dozens of countries, but Jersey is unique; not just for the extraordinary richness of its heritage, but because so many people engage with it. Our history is alive, from our world-famous palaeolithic sites to our forts and castles and bunkers, via our Battle of Flowers and honorary police and the Clameur de Haro. Over 17,000 Islanders are members of Jersey Heritage, because people understand how important our past is for our future,’ he said.
In his day job with Jersey Overseas Aid, Mr Boas manages a portfolio of over £40 million of grants, assessing the governance, budgeting and controls of dozens of prospective beneficiaries each year.
Mr Boas’ appointment coincides with the appointment of four new board members to serve on the independent trust which manages the Island’s public heritage resources and has service-level agreements with a number of government departments.
Dr Clare Newman, the government’s head of health protection, has previously held a range of operational, policy and strategic roles within the Covid-19 pandemic response. An experienced medical doctor, she has worked previously in the public and private sectors in Northern Ireland, England, Australia and Jersey. She has a passion for history and specifically the Island’s heritage, which she explores regularly with her family.
Cambridge graduate Percy Hayball has spent the last 15 years providing legal counsel to some of the world’s largest companies and private clients, specialising particularly on high-value international commercial arbitration and cross-border litigation matters. He moved to Jersey with his family two years ago and, having thoroughly enjoyed exploring Jersey Heritage’s many sites, said he was delighted now to have the opportunity to contribute his experience to the board.
Anuradha Ananth has a Masters degree in World Heritage Management – a Unesco-supported course of study – from Brandenburgische Technische Universität, Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany. A former journalist, she currently works in the Children, Young People, Education and Skills Policies office and also teaches German part-time at Highlands College.
The fourth new arrival is Jersey Water’s chief executive Helier Smith, a chartered accountant by background, having worked in several industry sectors during his career. He is also a chartered director and fellow of the Institute of Directors. He has a keen personal interest in Jersey’s history and heritage, in particular the built environment, including the Island’s castles, dolmens and other historic points of interest that make Jersey unique.