Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Vinnies names first National CEO

150 years after its Australian founding, the St Vincent de Paul Society has broken new ground by appointing a Sydney businesswoman as its first ever national chief executive.

The Society has appointed Helen Cameron, a company director and former finance executive, to the new position.

National Council President John Meahan said Ms Cameron's appointment is part of the Society's National Council review of its management team and organisational structure "to improve its effectiveness in helping Australia's disadvantaged".

"We chose Helen because of her extensive background in business, her experience with Foodbank and in dealing with government," he said. "The St Vincent de Paul Society is at a pivotal time in its long history in this country and needs to meet the changing needs and increasing demands of the community."

Mr Meahan said that as Australia faces a massive increase in the gap between the rich and the poor, Vinnies needs to "harness [its] energies to work towards innovative solutions".

The St Vincent de Paul Society has 38,000 members and volunteers in Australia, with over 2200 staff. It helped nearly one and a half million Australians last year. The Society is well known for its retail chain of 600 "Vinnies" stores. It is a major provider of services in aged care, to migrants & refugees, and to the homeless, through places such as the Matthew Talbot Hostel.

Ms Cameron has extensive business experience, with a background in finance as a director of a major global bank, senior management roles in two multinational consumer food organisations and as a director of a number of publicly listed companies and government organisations.

She was on the board of Foodbank NSW for nearly five years where she was Deputy Chairman. During that time she fostered a number of relationships with both corporations and the NSW government to help support that organisation.

Ms Cameron is keen to develop the Society's national strategy to enhance its ability to support its services to the community. "I am very much looking forward to contributing to the great variety of different activities the Society conducts in helping many Australians each year from different walks of life. As the needs of the Australian community evolve, the Society needs to remain flexible and adapt its activities to meet the changing demands of the community", she said.

Vinnies Names First National CEO (St Vincent de Paul Society 13/9/04)


Foodbank NSW
Ms Helen Cameron (AMRAD Company Profile)

16 Sep 2004