Claerwen Little says her key focus as the new national director of UnitingCare Australia will be to ensure that the agency is a strong and respected voice in Canberra and across the nation achieving change for those who are most vulnerable.
Having recently commenced in the role, Claerwen says she is excited by what the UnitingCare network can achieve together.
“We represent the nation’s largest network of community service providers and I am ready and full of enthusiasm and inspiration for what we can achieve as a community of passionate people committed to social justice.
“Australia will know who we are, what we stand for, and why we are here.
“Australia is a wealthy country and it is in the interests not only of the disadvantaged, but our national economic growth and stability, that we work together to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fully contribute,” she said.
Claerwen says housing and homelessness, disability services, growth in access to early childhood education and child safety, along with improving outcomes for those in aged care, are among her key priorities.
“UnitingCare Australia’s approach has always been to work openly and constructively with all sides of politics for the common good.
“I look forward to establishing constructive working relationships with our Federal government policy-makers as quickly as possible.”
Claerwen is a member of the Uniting Church, a long term committed member of UnitingCare Australia’s National network, and has held a number of senior executive roles in service delivery, advocacy and innovation for over 35 years in the community sector.
She was responsible for establishing the research and advocacy functions of Uniting (NSW/ACT) and led a large and complex suite of programs for those most disadvantaged. With her team, she established Australia’s first Social Benefit Bond restoring children in care back to their families.
Claerwen is also passionate about working to ensure justice for Australia’s first peoples.
“I am thrilled to have been chosen for the national director role and bringing to it all my experience and commitment to lead us into a new era full of opportunities and challenges.
“I want to build on the great legacy of those before me and create an even more powerful and influential network that can deliver both local and national programs and be nimble in responding to changing community demands and emerging need,” Claerwen Little said.