Caritas Australia's Board

Our Board brings a wealth of experience to our mission to eliminate poverty and build a safe and just world for all. The Board is responsible for guiding our strategic direction, monitoring our accountability and performance, and ensuring our compliance with relevant laws, codes of conduct and ethical standards. 

Robert Fitzgerald, AM
Chair

A lawyer by profession, Robert Fitzgerald, AM is currently the NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner. Previously, Robert has held the roles of Productivity Commissioner, Community and Disability Services Commissioner and Deputy Ombudsman in NSW. From 2012, for three years, he was the inaugural Chair of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Advisory Board. The Australian Government also appointed Robert as a Commissioner on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, from 2013 to 2017. Robert has served on numerous faith based and other non-government organisations including as NSW State President of the St Vincent de Paul Society, National Committee Member of Australian Catholic Relief , member of NSW Catholic Commission for Employment Relations,  and President of the Australian Council of Social Services. He is currently  on the Board of Emerging Futures Collaborative Ltd and Chair of Caritas Australia. He has been an Adjunct Professor at Australian Catholic University and currently is an Adjunct Professor at University of Western Australia.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge

Director

Born in Melbourne in 1948, Archbishop Mark Coleridge was ordained priest in Melbourne in 1974. He served in parishes before studying Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He taught Scripture in Melbourne, where he was eventually made Master of Catholic Theological College. In late 1997, he was appointed to work in the Holy See’s Secretariat of State. He was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in 2002 and named Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn in 2006. In 2012 he was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Brisbane where he currently serves. From 2018 – 2022 he served as President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

Member - Mission, People and Culture Committee. 

Virginia Bourke
Director

Virginia is a  Board Chair and Non-Executive Director with experience across a range of sectors including health, aged care, community services, education, training and publishing. She has particular expertise in the governance of charitable not-for-profit organisations.  In July 2022 Virginia was appointed to the role of Pro-Chancellor of Australian Catholic University.  Among her other Board roles, Virginia is the Chair of Mercy Health, a large, national, not-for-profit provider of health, aged and community care services employing 10,000 staff and a Director of Mater Group and Catholic Health Australia.  She was formerly Chair of St John Ambulance Victoria and a Director of St John Ambulance Australia.   Virginia’s Non-Executive Director career has been complemented by her work as a lawyer and consultant in private practice and senior in-house counsel positions over 30 years. She is currently a consultant with the national health and aged care industry team at MinterEllison Lawyers.

Chair - Mission, People and Culture Committee.

Christine Grima
Director

Christine Grima is a Partner at SEC Newgate Communications with more than 25 years of experience working in stakeholder, community and government engagement, and strategic communications for major projects and reforms. In recent years, Christine has specialised as a strategic communications advisor for NSW government agencies and the private sector delivering high-profile projects, where she has helped clients create social license and effectively manage issues and crises. 

Chair - Programs and Impact Committee. 

Dr. Martin Laverty
Director

Dr Martin Laverty is the Chief Executive of the national disability service organisation Aruma. In previous roles Dr Laverty has been Secretary General of the Australian Medical Association, Chief Executive of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia and Chief Executive of Catholic Health Australia. Dr Laverty is the Deputy Chair of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Advisory Board. He is a former Board Director of the National Disability Insurance Agency and of Health Direct. He is a former member of the NSW Public Service Commission Board, a former Chair of the NSW Heart Foundation, and a former Director of three NSW disability services charities. A lawyer by original training, Dr Laverty’s PhD was in not-for-profit board governance. He also holds an honorary appointment as Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia’s Not-for-Profit Initiative.

Member - Nominations Committee. 

Wendy Hughes
Director

Wendy Hughes, National Chief Financial Officer of Calvary Health Care since August 2019, has more than 20 years of Senior Executive experience across a broad range of financial, corporate services, and clinical support functions. In her last public health sector role, as the Acting Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Secretary Financial Services and Asset Management, Wendy led the Health Cluster’s $24 billion budget process, financial performance, implementation of the NSW Government’s financial management transformation initiative, and development of the Ministry’s ICT Strategy and Roadmap. In her role at Calvary Health Care she is responsible for leadership of Calvary's financial services. Wendy has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the current framework for governing the financial and non-financial performance of public hospitals across the NSW Health system. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Business and is a Fellow of CPA Australia.

Chair - Audit, Finance and Risk Committee.

Matthew Clarke
Director

Matthew Clarke is an Alfred Deakin Professor in Humanitarian and Development Studies at Deakin University. Matthew has worked in the development sector for the past thirty years. He started his career with World Vision Australia before undertaking his PhD at Victoria University and commencing a career in teaching and researching development studies. He has worked at Victoria University, RMIT and Deakin University. Matthew’s main research interest is aid effectiveness, professional practices of non-governmental organisations, and the nexus between religion and development. Most of Matthew’s work is in the Pacific region. Matthew is currently the Pro Vice-Chancellor Researcher Development at Deakin University with responsibilities for higher degrees by research students, research integrity and ethics and animal services. 

Member - Finance Committee. 

Kirsten Sayers
Director

Kirsten Sayers is a chief executive and director at community, national and international levels. She has held a number of Board roles throughout her career, currently being part of the United Nations advisory board for civil-military humanitarian coordination standards. As CEO of RedR Australia (2013-2023), President of RedR USA, and CEO lead for the RedR International Federation she mentored her international peers and led cohesion and governance across the federation. Former international lawyer and trade and investment diplomat, Kirsten has held senior diplomatic appointments in Paris, Bangkok, Taipei, Singapore and ASEAN. She is specialised in Indonesian, Islamic, and Chinese law, and speaks Mandarin, French, Swedish, Norwegian and Vietnamese to various degrees.  

Member - Programs Committee.

Gerald Stack
Director

Gerald Stack has more than 35 years of experience across accounting, finance, investment analysis and investment management. Since 2007, Gerald has been at Magellan Asset Management, an Australian based investor in global equites, global listed infrastructure and Australian equities, and currently is the Head of the Investment Team at Magellan. Gerald’s experience has been focused on infrastructure investment and he has extensive experience in the investment analysis, valuation and investment management of infrastructure assets on a global basis. Gerald holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Master of Business Administration, both from Sydney University, and is a Chartered Accountant.

Member - Audit, Finance and Risk sub-committee and Innovative Finance sub-committee.