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Vinnies paves the way for more female leaders

NSW/ACT St Vincent de Paul Society President John O'Neill has expressed regret that "despite the fact that there are two females to every male involved in the good works of the Society, females are sorely under-represented in leadership roles".

Speaking at the NSW/ACT Vinnies Women's Leadership Congress at Lewisham in Sydney at the weekend, Mr O'Neill (pictured left) vowed to remedy the situation.

He said: "The NSW/ACT State Council now has five female members and I am committed to encouraging more women towards the leadership positions of the Society."

The Congress began on Friday evening with a dinner and address by the State MP for Heffron, Christina Keneally (pictured right). Mrs Keneally worked as the Youth Co-ordinator of the Society in the mid-90s and has maintained a close relationship with the organisation ever since.

She congratulated Mr O'Neill and the NSW State Council of the Society for initiating this Congress.

"So many of the poor are women," she said. "The St Vincent de Paul Society can better serve the poor if its leadership is made up of a greater number of women."

A recommendation was made by the Congress to Mr O'Neill to appoint a Women's Advisor to State Council to ensure that the outcomes of the Congress and the support of women leaders within the St Vincent de Paul Society continues.

"Women in the Society bring a unique dimension to the work it does. As a result of this, we are more able to make a difference and help change the lives of disadvantaged and marginalised people. I would hope that we can work towards encouraging more women into leadership positions within the Society. This Congress is a solid starting point," Mr O'Neill said.

Vinnies Paves the Way for More Female Leaders (St Vincent de Paul Society NSW/ACT 6/9/04)

St Vincent de Paul Society

7 Sep 2004