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Introducing ACSA’s new CEO


Above: Patrick McClure AO

By Keryn Curtis with other sources

Meet Mr Patrick McClure AO. Following a three month search, Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) has announced that this former Franciscan priest, experienced social justice campaigner and corporate CEO, will take the helm at ACSA’s new national headquarters in Canberra from 1 June.

ACSA President Klaus Zimmermann said Mr McClure’s distinguished career as an advocate, social justice campaigner and dynamic business leader made him a compelling choice for CEO.

“We had a high number of quality applicants and the board interviewed a number of people,” said Mr Zimmerman.

“One of the things ACSA wanted to do better was national lobbying and the board was very impressed with Patrick’s clearly demonstrated ability to advocate and lobby strongly.”

“His credentials in the not-for-profit sector are outstanding and will be invaluable as we embark on a new era for aged care following the Productivity Commission inquiry.”

McClure comes to the new position following two years as Ethics Fellow, NFP Sector, at the University of NSW Centre for Social Impact.  His previous positions include CEO of the Retirement Villages Group (part of Macquarie Capital Funds), CEO of Mission Australia and CEO of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (NSW/ACT).

He was awarded an Order of Australia (AO) in 2003 for service to the community through the development of social capital policy initiatives and the delivery of programs addressing social justice, welfare support, health and employment generation issues.

Imperative reforms; a sustainable future

Mr McClure said he was enthusiastic about his new role with ACSA. “This is an exciting time for the sector which has suffered from being left in the ‘too hard’ basket,” he said.

“The profound issues of where and how we care for our ageing population came into sharp focus for Australians with the release of the 2010 Intergenerational Report.

“However, the current Productivity Commission inquiry, Caring for Older Australians, coupled with the Federal Government’s commitment to reform the sector, have opened the door to imperative reforms.

“It’s very important that we have in place good policy and a sustainable aged care system so we can respond to and meet future needs.

“I am confident that in partnership with the Government, consumers and workers, we can achieve [that] now and well into the future,” Mr McClure said.

A time for change

Mr McClure has had a total of 15 years experience as a CEO and believes his leadership skills and experience in change management will be an asset in the new ACSA role.

“Change management is one of my strengths,” says McClure. “At Mission Australia, I took it from a state based organisation to a national one.  It takes lots of lobbying and developing relationships and that’s something I hope to bring to this role…to be an effective voice.”

As well as his strong leadership and advocacy pedigree, Mr Zimmerman said Mr McClure had an impressive policy background and had demonstrated a tremendous knowledge of the issues facing the whole of the aged care industry.

“He impressed both the interview panel and the entire board,” Mr Zimmerman said. “He has ‘gravitas’. He has a strong mission background but has also worked at a senior level in the commercial sector and he clearly understands the issues and his role.”

“We operate in a national sphere now and the ACSA board is on a journey, moving away from being a federation, toward becoming a national body. We’ve been on that journey for some 15 or 16 months now.  Our membership survey is going out very soon and the response to that will really determine the direction for the future.”

“This process will take as long as it takes.”
“The ACSA Board is delighted Mr McClure has accepted the position and the challenge to steer the aged care sector through the reform process,” Mr Zimmerman said.

A single peak body?

Mr McClure says he is conscious of the debate around the issue of a single peak body representing all aged care providers and says there are arguments on both sides.

“One of the first things I want to do is to get out and speak to the state managers and members of the boards but also to meet as many providers as possible and get their views.  I want to visit providers and hear their concerns and see what our members think.”

“When I was at Mission Australia we straddled both the private and non profit sector through the national employments services. I’m also very conscious that the non-profit sector has a distinct base and a special role they play in the community and things they want to protect.

“So there will be discussion and consultation with Aged Care Association Australia and other organisations such as COTA and the Retirement Villages Association,” Mr McClure said.

Mr McClure said he was very committed to the whole aged services area and the current challenges.

“Having worked in welfare reform, our industry model isn’t sustainable.  We need to have in place the right policies and practices and it will be a mix of private and public.

“The first challenge – what the membership really wants right now – is a strong advocacy role, an effective voice, and so we will need to define that. There’ll be national lobbying and talking to Minister Butler and key public servants etc. They want a strong media presence too, so we need to explore how that will take place.”

*ACSA is the national peak body representing not-for-profit and faith-based organisations providing residential and community-based aged care, accommodation and housing.

Patrick McClure, according to Wikipedia:

• Entered the Franciscan Order and, after seven years study in philosophy, theology, biblical studies, communications and languages, he was ordained a Franciscan priest.
• Diploma in Theology and Pastoral Studies from Yarra Theological Union, a member of the Melbourne College of Divinity, in Melbourne, Victoria.
• 1978: resigned from priesthood and ministry
• Founder and Chairperson of Second Harvest (Australia) in Perth, Western Australia, a social enterprise providing low cost food for people on income support: 1978-1989.
• Director on the National Board of Amnesty International (Australia)1978–1988, with portfolio responsibility for refugees
• Bachelor of Social Work (Distinction) at Curtin University, Western Australia (1982)
• Master of Arts (Public Policy) at Murdoch University, Western Australia (1991)
• Senior Social Worker and Director of the Migrant Services Unit, Department of Social Security in Perth WA:1985 – 1990
• Awarded a Churchill Fellowship for his work with Second Harvest (Australia) 1989
• Area Manager, Social Work, Department of Social Security, Sydney 1990-1992
• Chief Executive Officer of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (NSW/ACT) 1992–1996
• Chief Executive Officer of Mission Australia for 9 years:1997-2006
• Received an Australian Centennial Medal in 2001
• Chief Executive Officer of the Retirement Villages Group within Macquarie Capital Funds and a Director of Metlifecare Pty Ltd in New Zealand: 2006-2008
• Chairperson of the Australian Government’s Reference Group on Welfare Reform 1999–2000, which produced a blueprint for welfare reform “Participation Support for More Equitable Society” 2000, also known as the McClure Report.
• Winner of the Equity Trustee’s EQT CEO Awards for “Lifetime Achievement” recognizing “leadership excellence in the non-profit sector” 2002
• Finalist in the Ernst and Young “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” 2002.
• Awarded Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), 2003 for “services to the community through the development of social capital policy initiatives, and in the delivery of programs addressing social justice, welfare support, health and employment generation issues.”
• Deputy Chairperson of the Welfare to Work Consultative Forum 2005–2006
• Member of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership Board 1998–2007
• Chairperson of the OECD-LEED Forum on Social Innovation based in Paris: 2004–2006
• Selected as AFR-BOSS True Leader 2005
• Member of the Prime Minister’s Mature Aged Taskforce and Member of the Federal Government Board for a New Tax System 1999–2000.
• Participant in the Australian 2020 Summit 2008
• Commissioner of the Australian Fair Pay Commission (2006-2009)
• Ethics Fellow, Third Sector, The Centre for Social Impact, UNSW 2009 -2011

Patrick McClure is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  His current contract with ACSA is for three years.

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One Response to Introducing ACSA’s new CEO

  1. Eric D'Indy October 20, 2011 at 7:25 am #


    Congratulation for this new appointment. Let’s catch up when you are next in Sydney.

    Best Wishes,

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