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Archbishop Carroll names new social justice executive

Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll yesterday announced the appointment of John Ferguson of Catholic Welfare Australia as the National Executive Officer of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC).

He succeeds Sandie Cornish, who has resigned to head the Hong Kong-based human rights group, the Asian Centre for the Progress of the Peoples.

Mr Ferguson has been employed by the Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission and (now) Catholic Welfare Australia since 1994. His position since January 2001 has been Director, Social Policy and Research Division of Catholic Welfare Australia. He was the acting National Director of the ACSWC in 2000 after working for about six years as the Commission's Research Officer and Senior Research Officer.

"The ACSJC has been active in addressing issues of national reconciliation, the plight of asylum seekers, rural issues, the needs of the unemployed, casual workers, and other causes of poverty," he said. "This is a very challenging and exciting role for me to take up given the breadth of issues covered by the Social Justice Council and the commitment and expertise of its Council and its Secretariat."

During his years in Canberra, Mr Ferguson has been the principal drafter of many of the Commission's discussion papers, articles, submissions, reports, media releases etc. He has also given or prepared papers for delivery at a number of conferences. His education included a period as a seminarian at St Patrick's College, Manly.

Bishop William Morris, Chairman of the ACSJC, expressed his pleasure and that of the Council at the appointment. Praising the great contribution made by Sandie Cornish over the past five years, he said that John Ferguson had the kind of experience and commitment to social justice that the Council had hoped to find in her successor.

Catholic Welfare Australia

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

6 Sep 2002