CatholicCare is a service of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and comes under the pastoral care and authority of the bishop.

The bishop is assisted by a Council which advises on operational, financial and governance matters.

A Brief History

Four women in Sydney had a dream. In 1940 they dreamed that the poor and anyone in distress could receive professional care from the Church. Norma Parker, Elvira Lyons, Constance Moffitt and Eileen Davidson set about making their dream a reality. They wrote to the archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Gilroy, suggesting that a Catholic Welfare organisation be established. As a result the organisation which would become CatholicCare saw the light of day. When Parramatta became a diocese in 1986, the organisation, then called Centacare Parramatta was born. It then became CatholicCare Parramatta and in 2017 was renamed CatholicCare Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

Peter Loughnane_Executive Director of CatholicCare Social Services

Peter Loughnane

Peter Loughnane is the Executive Director of CatholicCare Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. With a passion for leading not-for-profit organisations and connecting communities, Peter joined CatholicCare in January 2020 bringing with him more than 15 years’ experience in aged care, community and disability services.

Throughout his career Peter has been a leading voice for change for minority groups having served on multiple community services boards including Multicultural Communities Council, the peak organisation serving the needs of multicultural residents on the Gold Coast, and in leadership positions for social service, aged care and disability organisations.

Through nurturing a strong alignment with the values and mission of CatholicCare, Peter leverages his expertise in organisational change and strategic leadership to support the organisation’s sustainability and growth.

Peter’s goal is to continue to connect individuals and families within their local community and the services they need to live a safe, and healthy life.

Helen Emmerson

Helen Emmerson, Chief Executive Officer at Southern Cross Care (NSW & ACT), has more than 20 years' experience in Aged Care and disability services in both Australia and the UK. Skilled in healthcare management, performance management, strategy and business planning, Helen has a comprehensive background in clinical care, operations and leadership that drives her to implement innovative ageing services. Her enthusiasm and fresh approach to supporting older people is leading Southern Cross Care (NSW & ACT) into the future of Aged Care. A qualified Registered Nurse herself, Helen received her Bachelor of Applied Science from The University of Technology, Sydney.

Vera Visevic

Vera heads up the Not-for-Profit & Social Enterprise team at Mills Oakley, and has over 25 years' experience in acting for numerous charities, religious and not-for-profit organisations. Vera provides a full suite of commercial services to not-for-profit clients, including protecting commercial arrangements through drafting services agreements, privacy policies, internal policies and procedures, and reviewing grant and other government agreements. Vera's expertise includes assisting clients with governance and fundraising issues, mergers and divisions, establishment of charitable trusts and funds, tax concessions and exemptions, and regularly advises on constitutions, structural issues and ATO endorsements. Vera sits on a number of boards and committees. Examples of previous and current boards and committees are: Parramatta Diocesan Development Fund Board; ACNC Professional User Group; _ Good Samaritans Finance Council; Catholic Cemeteries Board. Vera is an active member of the Catholic Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sefton

Peter O'Brien

Peter is Executive Coach and Organisation Consultant - Director at Liminalspace Consulting. Peter has over 30 years' experience in the social and community services sector of NSW with both large and small Non-Government Organisations. He has served in many roles, Family Support Worker, Program Coordinator, Centre Manager, Operations Manager, Executive Manager providing leading edge training, early intervention and intensive child protection services to young people, vulnerable families and communities. For many years Peter has served on Boards providing policy advice to government departments and the wider services sector. He has extensive experience in setting up newly funded service partnerships within the sector and continues to provide coaching & supervision to executives and line managers, team leadership and development, assistance with strategic and operational planning, project management, values and culture, financial management and partnership quality and compliance as a commitment to continuous improvement. B. Theology; MA Human Services Management.