Claire Victory has been elected as the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council’s new National President and Warwick Fulton as the Society’s new Deputy President.
Ms Victory is a solicitor who has been working in private practice for a small Adelaide firm since 2008. She joined the Society at the age of 10 and brings 25 years of experience serving and supporting the Society in various roles, including extensive involvement in Vinnies Youth programs and eight years on National Council.
Ms Victory has the honour of several firsts for this position. She is the first female ever elected to the role in Australia; she is the first South Australian to fill this role; and she is the youngest President of the Society in the 165 years it has existed in this country.
In her new role, Ms Victory said she looked forward to continuing and strengthening the Society’s work towards building a more just and compassionate society.
‘In a context of persistent poverty and new forms of inequality, I look forward to supporting the Society in its role as a leading voice for social justice and change,’ Ms Victory said.
‘A key challenge for the future of our organisation is ensuring the dynamism of our membership so that we can continue to respond with hope and love to those bearing the brunt of poverty and inequality.
‘A priority for the new council will be reviewing governance across the Society—everything from training, formation and succession planning for our members in conferences to looking at legal structures and reporting standards for councils. We need to ensure that we are operating in the most effective way possible while retaining our mission at the heart of all we do.
‘We want members across Australia to feel informed, supported and empowered to continue doing good works in new and creative ways, and through evolving conference and program structures, in order to best meet the needs of our companions and our community.’
Ms Victory succeeds Graham West as President and officially commenced in the role on 22 March.
‘On behalf of all of our members, I would like to personally thank Graham West for the dedication and commitment he has demonstrated in his role over the past four years,’ she said.
‘Graham’s experience and enthusiasm in guiding the Society have been a significant positive force and I look forward to continuing this.’
Ms Victory will lead the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia for the next four years.