New CentaCare chief has a wealth of experience
Wednesday, 25th May, 2011
CentaCare Wilcannia-Forbes' newly-appointed CEO was coming to terms with the "nitty-gritty" of the organisation when he flew in to inspect the local office yesterday.
Phil Lawler took over from Sister Margaret Flynn this month.
Margaret Flynn, a Loreto nun, was a former school principal and family counsellor.
She established CentaCare Wilcannia-Forbes in 1996, beginning with an old car, a borrowed desk, an electric typewriter and an annual budget of $3000.
"My role is to ensure there is a healthy environment within the organisation and to provide quality services to those less fortunate and hopefully make a positive different in the community," Mr Lawler said.
Despite having never worked in CentaCare, Mr Lawler said he has an interest in country Australia.
He served in the Army for 20 years before joining ACT Housing as a regional manager and held other senior management positions.
He also worked in private enterprise and in the Defence Housing Authority.
In 2002 Mr Lawler took up the position of CEO of the Karralika Programs Inc, formerly the Alcohol and Drug Foundation ACT Inc.
He has also worked in non-for-profit organisations and is a past chairman of National Lions Australia and is the deputy chairman of the Lions Drug Awareness Foundation.
Mr Lawler said CentaCare Wilcannia-Forbes delivers services from Orange to Dubbo through to Broken Hill right to the border, as well as Bourke up to the Queensland border and down towards Mildura.
"It covers over 52 per cent of the state," he said.
Mr Lawler said his time as CEO had so far been "great".
"The people I've meet are fantastic and the general feedback I'm getting is that it is a great organisation," he said.
Mr Lawler visited the city to meet the staff and "get to know Broken Hill". Today he will go to Wilcannia to meet more staff and see the issues faced by the town.
"I have no plans to come and a put a broom through the place. I've made some minor changes based on my business background," he said.
"I intend to take the time needed to get feedback. (Things) will change as we need - not for the sake of change, but to remain relevant."