Caritas Australia welcomes new CEO

Photo from ACNC website

Photo from ACNC website

Media Release, 19 December, 2013

Caritas Australia, the Catholic Church’s International Aid and Development agency has a new CEO at the helm. It is Paul O’Callaghan, who brings enormous experience in foreign aid and development, social and disability services and the Catholic sector to his leadership role.

Mr O’Callaghan has held senior leadership roles in the not-for-profit sector and in the Department of Foreign Affairs, including time as High Commissioner in Samoa and as the Australian Representative to the South Pacific Regional Environment Program. He also had diplomatic assignments in Malaysia and Thailand.

He is looking forward to 2014, when Caritas celebrates 50 years of work, living out God’s vision for a just and compassionate world.

“For 50 years, Caritas Australia has been walking alongside the poorest and most marginalised members of our human family, working tirelessly to uphold the dignity of the women, men and children most vulnerable to injustice the world over,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

“I look forward to contributing to this milestone for the Catholic Church in Australia and to thanking our supporters for their part in the Caritas story.”

“It is only through the solidarity and generosity of our Australian Catholic community that Caritas is able to amplify the voices of those who are marginalised by injustice and transform lives in Australia and around the world.

Mr O’Callaghan served from 2011-2013 as the Executive Director of Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) and Secretary to the Bishops Commission of Health and Community Services since 2011.

Mr O’Callaghan said he was passionate about aid and development issues and the way Caritas Australia applies Catholic Social Teaching principles to its work, supporting people to help themselves out of poverty, hunger and injustice.

“The depth and breadth of poverty and injustice that still exists in Australia and around the world calls us to action,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

Prior to CSSA, Paul was the Executive Director of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) for four years, in which period he was a co-founder of the Global Facilitation Group, the Australian Disability and Development Consortium and the World Bank’s Asia-Pacific civil society consultation group. He was also Deputy CEO of National Disability Services for four years.

Media contact – Nicole Clements on 0408 869 833 or nicolec@caritas.org.au.