L-R: Richard Landels, Kirsty Robertson, Alicia Bernados, Caroline Preston, Bernadette Payne and Rocky Naickar. Photo: Daniel Nour/Caritas Australia

Our Leadership Team

Our Leadership Team are dedicated professionals who are passionate about creating a more safe and just world for all. They bring a wealth of experience to provide strategic oversight and leadership for the agency.

Chief Executive Officer: Kirsty Robertson 

Kirsty Robertson was appointed as the CEO of Caritas Australia in September 2019. As CEO she works alongside the Board of Directors to support the staff, volunteers and partners of Caritas Australia to deliver the Agency’s mission. In her role she enjoys connecting with people, whether they be farmers in Cambodia, mothers in Timor-Leste or Caritas Australia staff in the office.

Kirsty previously held various positions at Caritas Australia including Pacific Programs Coordinator and Communications Group Leader. She was CEO at Mary MacKillop Today and held numerous leadership roles in other faith-based aid and development organisations. Kirsty has a Graduate Certificate in Catholic Culture and Leadership from Macquarie University, a Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from Macquarie University and a Bachelor of Economics and Social Sciences from the University of Sydney.

Chief Finance & Operations Officer: Rocky Naickar

Rocky Naickar has been Chief Operations and Finance Officer at Caritas Australia for seven years. He manages the corporate services strategy of the Agency and oversees all finance, ICT, property, risk, compliance and statutory reporting functions to ensure that Caritas Australia meets financial goals and objectives.  

A qualified accountant, Rocky has over 15 years senior leadership experience in a range of roles, including leading corporate functions for corporate, public and large not-for-profit organisations in Australia. He specializes in business transformation, risk and compliance, sustainable financial management, information communications and technology and shared services.

Head of Engagement & Sustainability: Richard Landels

Richard Landels is Head of Engagement and Sustainability. In this role he manages the fundraising, community engagement, supporter care, marketing and communications functions of the Agency.

Previously, he ran his own communications and publishing agency for 15 years. His background is in publishing, marketing and business management. Richard now enjoys bringing his extensive experience in communication and marketing to the non-profit sector.

Head of Mission Integration: Michael McGirr

Michael McGirr is our Head of Mission Integration. He is a writer, reviewer and educator who has published books on philosophy, literature, spirituality and ethics, as well as hundreds of articles, essays and stories, in publications including The New York Times and The Tablet. He has reviewed many books for publications such as The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times, and he was previously the fiction editor of Meanjin and publisher at Eureka Street.  

Prior to joining Caritas Australia, Michael was a teacher and most recently worked as Dean of Faith at St Kevin's College in Melbourne. He also worked on faith formation with the boards and staff of schools and other organisations. Through all his work, he is motivated to connect faith, culture and community, and to champion an expression of a faith that encourages justice.


Head of People & Culture: Alicia Benardos 

Alicia Benardos is the Head of People and Culture at Caritas Australia. She is an energetic and resourceful People and Culture leader with substantial global HR experience in people-centred organisations. She is a purpose driven and values-led, with extensive experience operating as a senior human resources leader, building and delivering practices that drive engagement and high performance and build strong organisational cultures.

Alicia is passionate about creating amazing spaces where people can bring their best self to work and achieve great things. She is motivated by making a difference and enjoys leading cultural change, supporting growth and developing authentic relationships. Prior to Caritas Australia, Alicia worked as the Head of People and Culture with Weight Watchers, and has worked in strategic and operational HR roles in a variety of industries.