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Caritas Australia names new chief

National

Kirsty Robertson, an experienced and accomplished leader of Catholic ministries and not-for-profit organisations, will take over as Caritas Australia’s new chief executive officer next month.

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Announcing the appointment, chairman of the National Council, Bishop Christopher Saunders, said Ms Robertson’s professional skills and her personal conviction will help her be a leading voice with the Church and the broader community on important issues.

“Kirsty has a keen sense of social justice and a proven track record of working to help those in our world who are disadvantaged and marginalised,” he said.

“Grounded in strong faith, she will apply herself to ensure that Caritas Australia remains dedicated to living the Gospel, which promises hope to a world in need of charity and justice.”

Ms Robertson worked for Caritas Australia from 2009 until 2011, serving as coordinator of the organisation’s Pacific programs and later as the group leader of communications.

She is currently CEO of Mary MacKillop Today, an organisation carrying on the work of Australia’s first saint. Mary MacKillop Today works in Australia and overseas, including in Timor-Leste, in a range of areas including education, no- and low-interest loans and First Nations community development.

Ms Robertson recognises the important legacy she will be carrying forward.

“For more than 50 years, Caritas Australia has represented so much of the goodness in humanity – a story of love and compassion that our world so desperately needs,” she said.

“As a small child, I put my pocket money into the Project Compassion box and I then went on to start my working life in one of Caritas’ programs, so to be appointed to this role at Caritas Australia feels a little like coming home.”

Ms Robertson called it “an incredible honour” to serve with the National Council, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and a community of staff and supporters “who share not just their knowledge, experience or money but their humanity”.

“May we together continue to amplify the voice of the poor and walk in solidarity with our brothers and sisters throughout the world,” she said.

Ms Robertson will take up her new role on September 16.

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