Caritas Australia chief executive officer Kirsty Robertson is the new vice president of Caritas Internationalis and will serve the confederation of 162 national Caritas member organisations over the next four years.
Ms Roberston was elected to the role at the charity’s general assembly in Rome this week.
She has more than 20 years of experience in humanitarian aid and development. She started her career at Caritas Australia in the justice resources team, and has since lived, worked and travelled in more than 50 countries. She returned to Caritas Australia in September 2019 to become the first female CEO of the organisation.
“It’s a wonderful privilege to be taking on this role, a privilege to be serving the members of the Caritas Confederation across the world, and a privilege to be serving the Church and all of the supporters of Caritas Internationalis,” Ms Robertson said.
“We are an amazing confederation, one united by our mission in service to the world’s poor. As a woman it is a particularly important day for us in the confederation. By every measure possible, women are disproportionately affected by poverty. As a confederation, we are committed to serving women in villages, parishes, and communities, but also in leadership. My appointment today reflects that commitment.”
Alistair Dutton, Executive Director of Caritas Scotland, had been elected Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis. The election of Mr Dutton and Ms Robertson comes two days after that of Tokyo Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi the new President of Caritas Internationalis.