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Mission Australia announces appointment of new CEO

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Mission Australia’s Chairman Ken Dean is delighted to announce the appointment of Sharon Callister as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Sharon is a proven strategic leader with more than 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector including as CEO of the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association Queensland, The Salvation Army Aged Care Plus and The Salvation Army Humanitarian Mission Services.

She has extensive knowledge of managing large service delivery organisations, especially within Australia’s Aged Care sector,  and developing and delivering impactful services to help Australians in need.

She will join Mission Australia on 22 February and take up the role of Chief Executive Officer when James Toomey steps down in March.

A committed Christian, Sharon will continue to fulfil  the 160-year-old  charity’s Founding Purpose – inspired by Jesus Christ, to meet human needs and spread the knowledge of the love of God.

Mission Australia Chairman, Ken Dean said, “Sharon is an excellent appointment for Mission Australia. We are impressed by her clear passion, purpose, energy and extensive experience within the sector, and her forthright and engaging commitment to Mission Australia’s Founding Purpose.



“Sharon brings real energy to all she does – from her love of ultra-marathon running to her focus on good business processes and outcomes.

“I look forward to Sharon continuing the great progress we have made on our 20-25 Strategy and towards our vision of an Australia where everyone has a safe home and can thrive.”

“I am humbled, delighted and thrilled to be joining Mission Australia. I have enormous respect for James and the Mission Australia team, and what they achieve year after year in serving vulnerable Australians. This role aligns perfectly with my experience, personal values, purpose and, importantly, my Christian faith,” Sharon Callister said.

Sharon added that she was particularly attracted to the compelling Founding Purpose of Mission Australia, “It completely aligns with my deep personal conviction and motivations. Throughout my career,  I have been committed to serving those who are most vulnerable in our community to make real, impactful changes to their lives, so that they can thrive,” she said.

“I look forward to joining  Mission Australia and continuing the great work being done to tackle homelessness and support people in need across Australia.

“I am very keen to get out and meet staff and stakeholders over coming months following my commencement in my new role.”

Current CEO James Toomey added “I am so pleased to be passing on the baton to Sharon; she’s a passionate advocate for the people we work alongside, and I know she’ll bring energy and determination to the role.

“I look forward to working with her to ensure Mission Australia has a seamless transition of leadership.”

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