Election of the National President of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Australia

The Society of St Vincent de Paul in Australia has chosen its next National President to lead the charity following the departure of Ms Claire Victory in March 2023.

The National President elected for a four-year term is Mr Mark Gaetani, Chairman of the Society’s Tasmanian State Council. Based in Launceston, Mr Gaetani had a long career in banking and finance before becoming Treasurer of the Tasmanian Council of State in 2016. Two years later he was elected State President of the Society in Tasmania .

In an election organized by the Society’s National Council in Canberra last weekend, he was chosen by his peers to lead the Society nationwide. Like most roles within the Society of St Vincent de Paul in Australia, including member-based conferences and many retail outlets, the position of National President is a voluntary position.

Mark Gaetani and his wife Mary are active members of the Launceston Catholic parish. Mark is a member of the Society’s Apostles’ Conference and in 2021 was one of 12 Catholics to receive the inaugural Guilford Young Medal from Archbishop Julian Porteous for outstanding contributions to both the Society and the Church of Tasmania.

“Mark Gaetani has done great service to the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in his home country and beyond,” said Ms. Victory. “Mark’s understanding of how the Society helps Australians in need, as well as his dedication to our work, will be important in the increasingly difficult times we face.

“On behalf of our National Council and Society conference members across the country, I congratulate him on his appointment. Until the handover takes place next March, I will work closely with Mark to ensure a smooth transition into his leadership,” Ms Victory said.

Mr Gaetani said he was honored to receive the endorsement of his colleagues on the Council of States and Territories and looked forward to leading the Society at a time of great challenges for Australians.

“Many people struggle with homelessness and lack of affordable housing, rising food prices and electricity bills, and insufficient income,” he said. ‘Never has the work of the Society been so important.

“Since the founding of the Society in Paris in 1833, our members have dedicated themselves to serving those in need in the spirit of Jesus Christ. I am proud to be able to contribute more to the tradition of Vincentian spirituality, which encompasses compassion and a commitment to democratic ideals of truth-seeking, reform and social justice. The Society of St Vincent de Paul is a grassroots organization and it gives me comfort to know that I will be well supported by our members across Australia.

Ms Victory agreed with Mr Gaetani’s comments, adding: ‘The success of our wellbeing and advocacy efforts depends on working as an effective and harmonious team in all states and territories as well as at the local level where Membership is paramount. The National Council plays a key role in this and I am confident that Mark will serve the Council well in his new role. I would like to thank my colleagues on the National Council for their invaluable and unwavering support over the past three years. I feel privileged to have been part of such a great team,” said Ms. Victory.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul in Australia is made up of 45,000 members who operate on the ground through more than 1,000 groups located in local communities across the country.

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors.

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