Oxfam Appoints New Chief Executive
30 November 2012 at 11:35 am
Dr Helen Szoke
International aid organisation Oxfam Australia has appointed Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Helen Szoke as its new chief executive.
Stoke, who will start the position in February 2013 will fill the shoes of Andrew Hewett, who has been with the organisation for 21 years.
Szoke is currently the Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner, a role she has had since September 2011, following seven years with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
Szoke said that joining Oxfam was “a once in a life-time opportunity”.
“I’ve been a long-time supporter of Oxfam’s work and its approach that places human rights and gender equality at the very heart of development,” Stoke said.
“Oxfam delivers life saving emergency responses and life changing development projects and campaigns. I’m looking forward to working closely with staff, partners and the Australian community to help achieve its vision.
“I’m particularly a strong admirer of Oxfam’s programs to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, especially its work with the Close the Gap campaign for Indigenous health equality,” she said.
Oxfam Australia Board chair Dr Jane Hutchison welcomed the appointment and said Szoke’s background in advocating for a fairer society for all would be invaluable in leading Oxfam’s work to fight poverty and injustice.
“At a time when the world is facing persistent serious poverty and growing inequality, Dr Szoke’s commitment to building fair communities and her impressive record of achievement in human rights and social change will ensure Oxfam continues to be a leading voice for a just world without poverty,” she said.
Dr. Hutchison paid tribute to Andrew Hewett, who has spent 11 years as Oxfam’s chief executive.
“He has been an outstanding chief executive and has overseen major growth in Oxfam’s programs around the world,” Hutchison said.
Hewett will leave the organisation in December.