About the CSSA Staff
Dr Ursula Stephens
Chief Executive Officer
Dr Ursula Stephens has a long personal and professional commitment to the social services sector. She is a passionate advocate for social inclusion and the not for profit sector, having served in the Australian Senate for twelve years, including as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector , negotiating the National Compact and supporting efforts from government and the sector to establish the Australian Charities and Non Profit Commission.
Ursula has been an adult educator, senior public servant, small business owner and social entrepreneur. She chairs the Code Authority of FIA, Fundraising Institute Australia, is a Visiting Fellow and Director at Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non Profit Studies, at QUT and served on the Board of the School for Social Entrepreneurs Australia for three years.
Ursula holds a doctorate in Public Administration and brings strong leadership and governance experience to her role. She has a deep understanding of Catholic Social Teaching principles that underpin the work of our Social Services member network. She is a thought leader in the areas of social innovation and entrepreneurship. Born in Ireland, Ursula’s joys are Irish music, poetry and literature.
To contact Ursula phone (02) 6285 1366
or email email@example.com
Director Corporate Services and Executive Secretary
As Director Corporate Services and Executive Secretary Mary’s primary objectives are to oversee all aspects of the business of CSSA including finance, compliance, contracts and human resources functions. Mary works closely with our Board and Committees providing support to the CEO and Board in achieving the strategic goals of the organisation.
Mary has extensive experience working in peak bodies across the community and health sectors having held senior roles in business management, corporate services, governance, policy and membership services. Mary previously worked at the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. She also has experience in service delivery having managed a large Canberra general practice medical clinic for many years.
Senior Director, Strategic Operations and Economic Policy
As Senior Director, Strategic Operations and Economic Policy, Joe’s priority is to influence government policy and decision-makers with responsibility for, and control over, the important economic levers which impact on the social and economic wellbeing of people in Australia. Joe’s focus is to advance policies which improve social services to, and the wellbeing of, the disadvantaged and vulnerable in our community by developing and advocating for policy reforms which address income inequality and adequacy; and improve the sustainability of social services provision.
Joe has more than 25 years of experience spanning the government and NFP sectors in areas such advocacy, marketing and fundraising, human resources and business management. His extensive social services advocacy and policy expertise is well recognised across government circles which has resulted in his appointment to a number of Government and advisory bodies over his career. In July 2016 Joe was appointed as the inaugural Community Chair of the ATO’s NFP Stewardship Group.
Joe has a Bachelor’s Degree in Administration and Masters in Legal Studies, specialising in public law.
Brenton Prosser, PhD
As Director of Research, Brenton’s role is to develop and deliver high quality research strategy and outcomes to support the policy, advocacy and public awareness initiatives of CSSA. With research experience across academic, political, public and private sectors, he brings a unique perspective that links high-level policy design to mixed method evidence production and service delivery evaluation.
Prior to joining CSSA, Brenton was Director, Public Policy, with the international private management consulting firm, Nous Group. He also has over two decades of research experience in leading Australian, UK and US universities. Brenton is a recognized expert in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, mental health, education and policy, while he has also published extensively in the fields of governance and advocacy.
Brenton has worked at the highest levels of Australian government policy-making, including as a senior public servant and Chief-of-Staff to a cross-bench Senator. His past professional policy development and analysis work spans the fields of aged care, education, emergency management, home care, mental health and public health. A full list of his academic and professional publications can be viewed here.
Brenton is currently an adjunct research fellow at the Australian National University and visiting fellow with the University of Sheffield.