Our Board

About the CSSA Board

Members of the Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) Board are appointed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and include persons elected by our member organisations, representatives from the Australian Catholic Bishops, Catholic Religious Australia and those with special expertise in the social sciences or related disciplines.

The CSSA Board is entrusted with the stewardship and trusteeship of advancing CSSA’s work towards a fairer more inclusive society that reflects and supports the dignity, equality and participation of all people.

Current Board Members

Dr Maria Harries AM, PhD, GAICD

Chairperson

 Appointed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Maria Harries is Adjunct Professor at the Curtin University School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work and a Senior Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Population Health at The University of Western Australia. She runs her own consulting practice and also continues her research work and as a research supervisor with a number of PhD students.  She also works with a number of state and national organisations involved with people who have experienced ‘care’, mental health, child, adult and family welfare, and workforce. 

Maria was the inaugural Chairperson of MercyCare WA.  She has held many leadership positions within the mental health and broader social services sector in WA and nationally. In addition to her other ‘portfolio of retirement commitments’, in 2014 Maria assumed the role of Chairperson of Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA). 

Dr Maria Harries AM, PhD, GAICD
Mr Peter Selwood

Mr Peter Selwood

Deputy Chairperson

Executive Director, Centacare Brisbane

Member organisation elected representative

Peter Selwood was appointed to the CSSA Board in 2010 as an elected member representative.  Peter is the Executive Director of Centacare Brisbane and has held that position since 2001.  Centacare is a large and diverse social services organisation operated by the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane employing in excess of 3,000 people.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Business and Master of Business Administration degree and also a Graduate Diploma in Health Administration.  He is a fellow of CPA Australia and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He also holds directorship of the Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund and was previously a director of BoysTown.

Sr Margaret Mary Flynn ibvm

Catholic Religious Australia representative

Appointed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Sr Margaret Mary Flynn ibvm is the Province Leader of the Loreto Sisters and founding Chief Executive Officer of Centacare Wilcannia-Forbes, the formal welfare organisation of the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes which covers the 52% of western NSW.

Following nine years as a secondary teacher and administrator in Sydney, Melbourne and western Victoria, Sr Margaret Mary worked for another nine years as a family counsellor both within CatholicCare Archdiocese of Melbourne and in private practice.  In 1996, she was asked to establish Centacare within the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes, where there are now 23 branches and over 100 staff (25% Indigenous) serving rural and remote communities throughout western NSW.

Sr Margaret Mary Flynn ibvm
Mr Paul Jensen

Mr Paul Jensen

Chief Executive Officer, Centacare South West NSW

Paul has been CEO of Centacare South West NSW since January 2014.  Centacare is a small to medium size social services organisation operating as a Company Ltd by Guarantee and a ministry of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga.  Paul is an AHPRA registered psychologist who holds a Bachelor of Science (Geology); Masters of Theology; Grad Diploma in Management, Grad Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution and a Bachelor of Psychology (hons).   He also holds membership with the Australian Institute of Management and the Australian Psychological Society.   Paul is married to Karen with three adult children and enjoys Indie music, mountain bike riding; surfing and trekking

Ms Paula La Rosa

Deputy Director, Centacare North Queensland

Member organisation elected representative

Paula La Rosa was appointed to the CSSA Board in November 2011 as an elected member representative.  Paula joined Centacare Townsville in 2000 and holds the position of Deputy Director.  She has extensive experience in management particularly in the areas of organisational risk, human resource management and quality assurance.  Paula has worked in the community sector since 1994, including several counselling and family support positions working with adults and children in the areas of family and relationships and child protection, as well as several years in the Department of Child Safety as a family services officer and as a private practitioner in the private sector.

Paula is a member of the Townsville Catholic Dioceses Consultative Committee and serves as a Diocesan Adult Assistant. Paula has a Bachelor of Social Work and also recently completed a Masters of Business Administration.  She is an accredited mediator and holds Graduate Certificates in Business Administration and Catholic Identity and Leadership. Paula has a strong commitment to social justice and is passionate about human services work.

Ms Paula La Rosa
Mr Michael King

Mr Michael King

Chief Executive Officer, Centacare Kimberley

 Michael King has worked in social services for 22 years. For the last 15 years, Michael has held senior roles in both large and small organisations serving people in rural, remote and metropolitan regions. Michael currently leads Centacare Kimberley.

Centacare Kimberley delivers an expanding range of quality support services to a highly marginalised and disadvantaged group of people, who are associated with all Aboriginal skin and language groups of the Kimberley region of Australia.

Bishop Paul Bird CSsR

Eighth Bishop of Ballarat

Bishop Bird was appointed to the Board of Catholic Social Services Australia by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in May 2016.

Bishop Paul Bird joined the formation program of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists) in the mid 1960s and made his profession at Galong on 11 February 1968.

He studied for four years at the Redemptorist seminary in Wendouree in Ballarat, completed his seminary studies at the Yarra Theological Union in Melbourne and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop John Toohey, Bishop of Maitland, at Waratah in Newcastle on 17 May 1975.

In 1987 the Bishop was appointed superior of the Redemptorist community at Brighton in Melbourne and commenced twenty years of service as editor in the congregation’s publications ministry, Majellan Publications.

He served various terms totalling fifteen years in all as a member of the Provincial Council of the Redemptorist Congregation. He represented the Australian province at the congregation’s general chapter in Brazil in 1991 and, from 2008 until the announcement of his appointment as Bishop of Ballarat, he served as Provincial of the Australian Province of the congregation with overall responsibility for the communities and missions in Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.

Bishop Bird was appointed Eighth Bishop of Ballarat by Pope Benedict XVI on 1 August 2012 and ordained as Bishop on 16 October, 2012.

Bishop Paul Bird CSsR
Ms Barbara Hingston

Ms Barbara Hingston

BA, BSW, GAICD, MAASW.

Appointed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
 
Barbara Hingston was appointed to the Board of Catholic Social Services Australia in November 2012.
 
Barbara has held senior executive and corporate management roles in commonwealth government and in the NGO sector including as Executive Director for Mercy Health Care Australia Ltd, a national collaboration in health and aged care.
 
She is a highly experienced non-executive director, having contributed to the governance of acute tertiary health as a member of Austin Health Service Victoria Board for 8 years, mental health and other primary care services, health professional regulation, and child and family services in Victoria, Qld and the ACT. She is a member of the Board of Headspace the National Youth Mental Health Foundation Ltd and its inaugural Chair of the  Board’s Clinical, Research and Evaluation Advisory Committee 2009-2012
 
In addition to Catholic Social Services Australia , her current directorships include headspace, Dental Health Services Victoria, Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local and  Lady Gowrie Tasmania,  education and child care.
 
Barbara consults to government and community organisations in corporate and clinical governance, strategy and stakeholder engagement and service review and evaluation. She is an executive mentor and coach to senior executive staff and is also an experienced social worker practiced in individual and group counselling in sexual assault, family violence and other trauma. 

Mr Jack de Groot

Group Leader Mission, St Vincent’s Health Australia

Jack de Groot was appointed to the Board of Catholic Social Services Australia by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in May 2015.

Jack has a wealth of experience in catholic service agencies.  He served as CEO of Caritas Australia for 13 years before taking on his current position with St Vincent’s Health Australia as Group Leader for Mission.

Jack has also served in the Catholic Education Office of Western Australia as Team Leader – Formation, as well as the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne as Executive Officer of Commission for Justice, Development & Peace.

Jack has considerable Board director experience, with many previous Board positions for not-for-profit agencies including Catholic Social Services Victoria and St John of God Health Care, as well as his current positions as Chair of Board of Jesuit Mission and Board of Governors University of Notre Dame.

Mr Jack de Groot