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.
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 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 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.
Vivienne is a Sisters of the Holy Faith and has acted as research officer for two bishops of Parramatta as well as serving on many diocesan committees including a nine year stint as member of the Diocesan Schools Board. She was also Director of Studies at the Parramatta Diocesan Seminary, and sessional lecturer in church history at the Catholic Institute of Sydney and St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox College. Prior to working for the Diocese, Vivienne was Director of Postgraduate Studies at the Sydney College of Divinity, a theological consortium. For many years she was an external reviewer for several organisations. Between 2011 and 2017 she was living in Dublin as the Congregational leader of the Holy Faith Sisters. On returning to Sydney, she took up the position of Director of Mission at CatholicCare and then moved to the Executive Director position. Vivienne holds undergraduate degrees in history, theology, a Masters in Education and a PhD in History.