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Our legal status

Our legal status is defined as:

  • A company limited by guarantee
  • A registered charity holding an endorsement for charity tax
  • Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR)
  • Concessions and Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) status, allowing tax deductions for donations
  • Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) exempt

Our Board

Our Board sets the strategic direction and oversees the performance of the organisation. The Jesuit Social Services Board comprises eight non-executive Directors. All Directors have a strong commitment to social justice and to building a just society.

Directors receive no remuneration for their role on the Board. They accept full responsibility for our governance, in accordance with the Australian Corporations Law, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission legislation and community standards. We regularly review the composition and performance of the Board to ensure it has an appropriate mix of skills and experience and operates effectively.

Francis Sullivan AO

Chair of the Board

Francis brings extensive experience in health, education and social policy and governance to his role as Chair of the Jesuit Social Services Board, commencing his appointment in March 2024. Francis is an effective leader and change agent in public policy and reform across a range of areas, from his time as CEO of Catholic Health Australia and then Secretary General with the Australian Medical Association through to his leadership of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, coordinating the Catholic Church’s response to the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. Francis initially trained as an educator before moving into healthcare administration, and his experience includes responding to violence against children, mental health, refugees and First Nations peoples. Following retirement from his executive career, Francis has taken on several governance roles, including Chair of Mater Hospitals and Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia. Francis is also currently an independent director on the Mercy Health Australia Board and an adjunct professor at the Australian Catholic University.

In 2020, Francis was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his ‘distinguished service to the community, particularly through social justice and legislative reform initiatives, and to health and aged care’.

Christiana McCudden

Christiana McCudden has practised in commercial litigation and payments law for more than 15 years. Formerly a special counsel with Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Christiana joined Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers in 2014. In addition to her private practice, Christiana has worked as the Deputy CEO of the Hope Vale Aboriginal Council in the Cape York region of Queensland and was part of the Victorian Law Reform Commission team that worked on the Civil Justice Review.

Patrick Allen

Patrick Allen is a criminal defence lawyer and qualified social worker. His law firm, Patrick Allen Law, predominantly represents children and young adults. Prior to being a lawyer, Patrick worked for a decade in various fields including child protection, youth justice, community development and homelessness. Patrick was also previously an employee of Jesuit Social Services and he was educated by the Jesuits for eight years at Xavier College in Melbourne.

Justin Lachal

Justin Lachal has more than 20 years’ experience in the accounting and finance sector, including roles with KPMG and the ANZ Banking Group. Justin is a fellow of the Chartered Accountants and holds Masters degrees in Business Information Technology, Applied Finance and Business Administration. Justin is currently on the Board of the Sunraysia Institute of Technical and Further Education (SuniTAFE), and is General Manager at the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

Sr Libby Rogerson IBVM

Sister Libby Rogerson IBVM is a Loreto sister with extensive involvement in refugee advocacy. Between 1999 and 2009 Sr Libby was Coordinator of Social Justice and Director of Caritas in the Diocese of Parramatta, where she helped found the House of Welcome refugee and asylum seeker service. She is a member of the Loreto Sisters’ Province Council, the St Francis Social Services Board, the Loreto Justice Network Committee, Jesuit Social Services’ New South Wales Advisory Group, and recently retired from chairing Mary Ward International Australia, and remains on its Board.

Julian Butler SJ

Julian Butler SJ joined the Jesuits in 2017 and works as chaplain to senior students and recent graduates at Xavier College. Julian is a contributor and editorial consultant at Jesuit Communications Australia, chairs the Australian Jesuit Province’s Governance, Risk & Compliance Policy Reference Group, and until December 2021 was a member of the Pastoral Council at Richmond Catholic Parish. Prior to joining the Jesuits, Julian practiced law, specialising in child protection and youth criminal defence.

Julia Griffith PSM

Julia Griffith PSM has more than 30 years’ experience in the Victorian public service, spanning senior and executive leadership roles across a range of justice portfolios including youth justice, policing, corrections, crime prevention, victim services and the infringements system. Julia was notably responsible for leading the Victorian Government’s employment programs for disadvantaged jobseekers, and redeveloping its child protection placement and support services. She retired from the role of Deputy Commissioner of the Victorian Public Sector Commission in January 2022.

Lisa Brophy

Lisa is Professor and Discipline Lead in Social Work and Social Policy at La Trobe University. Lisa is also an honorary principal research fellow in the Centre for Mental Health in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. Lisa’s professional background is in Social Work and she has a career long commitment to the mental health field of practice dating back to 1985. Lisa’s research focus has been on people experiencing mental illness and psychosocial disability and their recovery, social inclusion and human rights. Lisa was a member of Victoria’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Act Expert Advisory Group and is currently a sessional community member of the Victorian Mental Health Tribunal. In 2022 Lisa was appointed to the Board of the Victorian Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing, and in 2023 Lisa was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Our executive team

Julie Edwards, Chief Executive Officer

Julie Edwards joined Jesuit Social Services in 2001. She was the Program Director prior to her appointment as CEO in June 2004. Julie has over 40 years’ experience engaging with marginalised people and families experiencing breakdown and trauma. She is a social worker, family therapist, and a grief and loss counsellor. Julie has a Masters in Social Work and has completed a PhD in organisational identity. In January 2010, Julie became a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Julie has served on a number of government and philanthropic committees that work to promote a more just society and contribute to the health and wellbeing of members of our community. She is also a member of the International Working Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement.

Julie is a member of a number of national and international Jesuit commissions and working groups across areas of justice, education, social ministry, ecology, and is a member of the global Ignatian Justice in Mining network core group.

Julie is passionate about finding ways to give practical expression to her social justice values, about exploring the most effective means to build a more just society, and promoting a values-based model of leadership.

Kate Brewster, Executive Director, People and Culture

Kate Brewster has recently been appointed to the newly formed role of Executive Director, People and Culture and was previously General Manager, Business Support at Jesuit Social Services. Kate is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) with a Graduate Diploma in Accounting, a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering.

Kate has over 20 years’ experience working in corporate support functions and community service delivery for not-for profit, public and private organisations. She is committed to developing a positive organisaitonal culture and ensuring that our staff, our volunteers and all those who interact with us are able to thrive. Kate applies critical thinking to provide practical solutions to complex problems and is keen to continue developing mutually beneficial partnerships with other organisations.

Phil Hodgson, Executive Director, Finance and Organisational Processes

Phil Hodgson joined Jesuit Social Services in 2015. He has 20 years of management experience extending across various industry sectors. Phil has a BA in both Business (Accounting) and Computing, an Associate Diploma in Accounting, and is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA).

Phil has extensive financial and strategic management experience, directing and implementing business plans in the community sector. He is commercially astute with expertise in developing systems to respond to growth within organisations. Phil has comprehensive experience in risk management framework, developing and implementing processes with a focus on delivering quality assurance. He has a sound knowledge of community development and the not for profit industry, where he most recently worked at Melbourne Primary Care Network and YSAS. Phil has leadership experience at senior levels, where he has been accountable for finance, administration, accounting and business operations.

Stephen Ward, Executive Director, Programs, Participation and Pathways

Stephen has over 30 years experience in the education and employment sectors, at all levels of government, and the private and community sectors.

His roles have included Director of Employment and Skilled Migration in the Victorian Government, Director of Government Relations with a private national Job Services agency, and inaugural Director of the National Employment Services Association.

Matt Tyler, Executive Director, Community and Systems Impact

Matt Tyler has recently been appointed to the newly formed role of Executive Director, Community and Systems Impact and was previously Executive Director of The Men’s Project at Jesuit Social Services, working with a team committed to providing leadership on the reduction of violence and other harmful behaviours prevalent among boys and men. He brings over 10 years of experience across the private, public, academic, and community sectors. He has particular expertise in improving social services including within child protection, family violence, criminal justice and mental health.

Prior to joining Jesuit Social Services, Matt worked as a Fellow for Harvard’s Government Performance Lab, an economist on Australia’s foreign aid program focused on South-East Asia, a policy adviser to the Australian Labor Party, a strategy consultant for Australia’s largest companies, and a researcher on an Australian Research Council grant seeking to improve Indigenous Australian men’s health. He holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School, Honours in Economics (University Medal) from Monash University, and a B.A (Psychology) / B.Comm (Finance) from the University of Melbourne.

John Andrew, Principal, Ignatius Learning Centre

John is the inaugural Principal of the Ignatius Learning Centre, which was established in early 2021.

John is an experienced educator with expertise in working with children and young people in the criminal justice system. A leader with integrity and a proven ability to engage successfully with children, teachers and other stakeholders to ensure outcomes that are in the best interests of children.

John’s values and passion to make a difference in young people’s lives both individually and systemically led him to join the Ignatius Learning Centre as its founding Principal. Prior to joining Jesuit Social Services, John was the Assistant Principal at Parkville College for eight years, educating children detained in Parkville Youth Justice Precinct. John has worked in the education system for 17 years and has held various leadership positions in a number of Government schools.