Catholic Social Services Australia Chair Dr Maria Harries says she is delighted to announce that Dr Ursula Stephens will take up the role as CSSA’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective from July 1.
“The CSSA Board was fortunate to receive a number of high-calibre applications for this significant appointment, which is a testament to the work that Catholic social services providers carry out each day across the country,” Dr Harries said.
“The appointment of Dr Stephens promises to enable CSSA to continue to implement its strategic vision of a fairer, more inclusive Australia.”
Dr Harries said Dr Stephens’ extensive experience and strong commitment to community service and social justice makes her a most suitable successor to follow Fr Frank Brennan SJ, who concludes his time as CEO next month.
The social services ministry of the Catholic Church is extensive, with CSSA’s national network representing providers who have worked in local communities for over 60 years.
Catholic social service providers operate in more than 650 locations, providing direct support to hundreds of thousands of people in need each year on behalf of the Catholic Church.
Dr Stephens paid tribute to those service providers, who reach “the marginalised and most vulnerable in our society”.
“I look forward to taking on the role of CEO of CSSA from Fr Frank Brennan and supporting the work and commitment of the CSSA members to improve the lives of so many Australians,” she said.
“CSSA’s advocacy and research work is critically important at a time when governments seek to silence dissent. I intend to be a strong voice for those least able to advocate for themselves because of their life circumstances, and the services that support them.”
To read the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference media release about the appointment, click here.