With an exceptional track record and a profound dedication to making a difference, Dr Fitzgerald brings a wealth of experience and a compassionate leadership style to the organisation.
Previously serving as CEO of Scope, one of Australia's largest providers of disability support services, Dr Fitzgerald successfully navigated the sector's complexities, strategically growing the organisation and positively impacting countless lives.
Dr Fitzgerald has received numerous accolades, including the Order of Australia Medal (AM) in 2021 for her longstanding commitment to the disability sector. Improving the lives of individuals with disabilities resonates deeply with St Vincent de Paul Society's mission and values.
Additionally, her remarkable efforts in responding to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic were recognised through her inclusion in the COVID-19 Honour Roll. In 2016, she was honoured as the winner of the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year in Victoria and the Telstra Victorian for Purpose and Social Enterprise category.
Having grown up seeing her mother's dedication as a St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria volunteer, Dr Fitzgerald has also developed a deep appreciation for the organisation's values and the transformative ‘hand up’ ethos that underpins its work.
"I envisage a future where every person, regardless of their circumstances, has access to housing, support, resources and opportunities they need to thrive – particularly in the current challenging times of rising costs and homelessness," says Dr Fitzgerald.
St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria State President, Mr Michael Quinn, said Dr Fitzgerald’s appointment was part of a highly considered and competitive recruitment process to find an individual who could lead the organisation’s complex operational needs while honouring its heritage and the values upon which it is founded.
“We are so pleased to welcome Jennifer to our senior leadership team. She brings the experience and skills to meet the unique needs of our 10,000+ members, volunteers and 680+ employees across Victoria, and the heart and vision to advocate tirelessly for positive change,” said Mr Quinn.
The St Vincent de Paul Society and its wide network of members and volunteers provide practical frontline support, advocacy and friendship for the most vulnerable members of our community. Key services include home visitation; Vinnies Shops; youth programs; soup vans; assistance for asylum seekers and refugees; education and tutoring; and professional accommodation and health services through VincentCare. The St Vincent de Paul Society in Victoria has more than 10,000+ members and volunteers, and more than 60,000 across Australia. Internationally, the Society operates in 149 countries and more than 950,000 members.
To find out more visit www.vinnies.org.au.