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Former senator appointed to Catholic Social Services

National

Former NSW Senator Dr Ursula Stephens has been appointed chief executive officer of Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA), effective from July 1.

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She will replace Fr Frank Brennan SJ who is taking on the role of rector of Newman College in Melbourne.

Chair of CSSA Dr Maria Harries said the Board was fortunate to receive a number of high-calibre applications for this significant appointment, which was testament to the work that Catholic social services providers carry out each day across the country.

“The appointment of Dr Stephens promises to enable CSSA to continue to implement its strategic vision of a fairer, more inclusive Australia.”

Dr Stephens was a Senator for New South Wales for 12 years from 2002 until 2014.

Dr Harries said Dr Stephens’ extensive experience and strong commitment to community service and social justice made her a most suitable successor to follow Fr Brennan, who concludes his time as CEO next month.

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.”

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