New Centacare director ready for major challenges

Sarah McRae (The Southern Cross)

A cut to the Jobseeker payment, increasing domestic violence and drug use are some of the major challenges facing South Australia’s Centacare Catholic Family Services in the months ahead, says new director Sarah McRae. Source: The Southern Cross.

Ms McRae said Centacare was getting ready for the fallout from the reduction of the coronavirus supplement, which will undoubtedly create financial pressure on many families.

“We are always preparing for those that are in times of need, and it will be about working through that at the given time,” Ms McRae said.

“We’ve seen a big increase in domestic violence as a result of COVID…hopefully once the pandemic is over we will have the ability for people to speak out more but we have to give them that safe environment for them to do that.

“Drugs are a real issue… and it’s not going to change and it is going to continue to grow. We are going to have to have some strategies about how we can support that – not just for the individual but for those around them as well, the parents, the families.

“Homelessness is another area (of concern).”

Joining Centacare at the start of February following the retirement of long-serving director Dale West, Ms McRae is no stranger to dealing with complex and challenging issues.

Her most recent role was as chief operating officer of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network, where she was responsible for 150 sites covering children’s mental health and wellbeing, and also domestic violence. At Centacare she leads nearly 600 staff who deliver 74 community services to more than 34,000 South Australians from 34 sites in metropolitan and regional areas.


New director ready to face challenges (By Lindy McNamara, The Southern Cross)  

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