Members of the Board
Nick Lucas (Chair)
Nick Lucas is a Franciscan friar, a priest who also has qualifications in Social Work. He is the founder of St Francis Welfare Committee – a committee of the St Francis Parish Paddington, which he led during the 1980’s. When incorporated in 1994 this committee eventually morphed into St Francis Social Services.
Peter Hennessy (Company secretary)
Peter Hennessy is a lawyer who has spent most of his professional life in the area of Law Reform. He started out with the Australian Law Reform Commission, then advanced to a senior position with the NSW Law Reform Commission. He has long involvement with NGO’s: He started working with St Francis Social Services while it was still known as St Francis Welfare Committee. Peter has held the office of Chair of the Board of St Vincent’s College, Potts Point. He is on the boards of several projects conducted by the Sisters of Charity and has also served a term as board member of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.
Carol is the publisher at Chapter & Verse, a small publisher specialising in Fine Art photography books. A dual American/Australian citizen, she has been committed to refugee support for the past 15 years, in addition to being involved in community organisations and a director of a small US-based family foundation.
Sr Libby Rogerson
Libby is a Loreto sister, and coordinator of the Loreto Sisters JPIC. In addition to her service on the Board of St Francis Social Services, she also sits on the Boards of Jesuit Social Services and CentaCare (Wilcannia-Forbes). Libby is Deputy Chair Loreto Normanhurst School Council, Jesuit Social Services NSW Committee, and a member of the CLRI NSW Justice Committee. At present Libby is the Delegate for the Pastoral work of the Jesuits in Australia. To keep herself grounded in reality, Libby runs an after-school homework program for South Sudanese children in Blacktown.
Margaret is a retired General Practitioner married to a now retired Radiation Oncologist with 2 adult children. In more recent years she has completed a Master of Medical Humanities and a Master of Health Psychology, both at the University of Sydney. She has been associated with and a supporter of the House of Welcome since 2011.
Anna joined the Board in March 2016. Anna holds Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from the University of New South Wales and is a Senior Associate in the Corporate team at Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF). Anna specialises in providing advice to the corporate head offices and general counsels of listed companies on a range of critical corporate governance, Corporations Act and ASX Listing Rule issues.
Anna is also an active member of the HSF Pro Bono and Citizenship Committee and co-ordinates the relationship between HSF and St Francis Social Services. Anna has provided governance training and pro bono legal work to a number of charities.
Laurie joined the Board of St Francis Social Services in December 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Master of Arts in History from Sydney University. Before entering politics, Laurie worked as a Research Officer at the Federated Miscellaneous Workers Union. He served as the NSW MP for Granville (1984 – 1990), then as the Federal Member for Reid (1990 – 2010) and Werriwa (2010 – 2016.) Laurie’s emphasis in Parliament was on International Affairs, advancing Human Rights, Immigration and Multiculturalism.
Renee Dal Santo
Renee joined the Board of St Francis Social Services in November 2017. She is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales. Renee has worked in a variety of financial services roles since 2009, including international postings. She is currently an External Audit Financial Services Manager at KPMG, Sydney.
Rev Geoff Dorman
Rev Geoff Dorman is a ‘Minister of the Word’ at St Ives Uniting Church. He joined the Board of St Francis Social Services in October 2019. Geoff has held the position of Director of International Programs, Africa and Asia for the Uniting Church’s international aid organization, ‘Uniting World. He was the Director, Ministry and Mission of ‘Uniting Care NSW/ACT’, and prior to that, School Chaplain at Newington College, Sydney. He has also worked in several bodies that deal with medical ethics, most recently, the ‘Hunter New England Human Research Ethics Committee’, of the Health Commission of NSW. In an earlier iteration, Geoff was a member of and researcher for the ‘Refugee and Migrant Services Committee’ of the Australian Council of Churches and with its restructure to include the Roman Catholic Church, the National Council of Churches in Australia. He is a self-declared is ‘Latinophile”, having worked in Chile, Argentina and El Salvador during the period of military dictatorships and the subsequent uneven return to democracy. He has a PhD in ‘Philosophy, Theology and Ethics’ from Boston University, as well as degrees in Economics from the University of New South Wales, and Divinity and Theology from the University of Sydney. He holds dear his relationships with the Columbans and Jesuits of North and South America, who with others, gently, lovingly, moulded and formed him.
Maurizio Vespa Chief Executive Officer
Maurizio comes from a background in Education, Social Services and Restorative Practices. He has worked in collaboration with schools, organisations and individuals offering training, consultancy support and professional development. Maurizio has also developed youth and family early intervention programs with Not for Profit organisations. As an educator, he has always been committed to building positive relationships and connectedness opening up opportunities for wellbeing, growth and learning. At St Francis Social Services, Maurizio will bring his educational leadership skills and expertise in working with young people, families, educators, organisations, and Aboriginal and CALD communities.
The prayer of St Francis of Assisi, which begins with the words ‘Make me an instrument of your Peace’, is what the organisation brings into the lives of people who are marginalised and on the periphery of our communities. This is at the core of our work at St Francis Social Services and Maurizio looks to further this mission in his role as CEO.
St Francis Social Services achieves outcomes through the support of 24 staff members and over 100 volunteers, without whom, none of this would be possible.