Chris Burns, the current Mental Health Commissioner for South Australia, has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Hutt St Centre.
As Commissioner, Mr Burns was responsible for the design and production of the State’s first mental health strategic plan and has been instrumental in strengthening the mental health and wellbeing of South Australians.
Prior to that he was the CEO of the Defence Teaming Centre – a member organisation connecting and supporting Australian industry to increase competitiveness in local and global defence markets.
Chair of the Hutt St Centre Board, Tim O’Callaghan, said Mr Burns’ experience in mental health along with his extensive business acumen was a coup for the not-for-profit.
“Chris is a proven, accomplished and highly experienced CEO with significant experience in mental health and wellbeing – two factors which will play a significant role in his work at Hutt St Centre” Mr O’Callaghan said.
“Chris’ values coupled with his understanding of advocacy make him particularly well suited to lead the Hutt St Centre into the future.”
Appointed by the Hutt St Centre Board, Mr Burns takes over from long-serving CEO Ian Cox, who left the Centre after 25 years to run a new State government office tackling homelessness.
Mr Burns said he felt privileged to lead the organisation at a time when tackling homelessness was a top priority for both South Australia and the nation.
“Homelessness is an issue of key concern for state and federal governments and the Hutt St Centre, like other similar organisations around the country, has an important role to play in developing and implementing the programs and policies required to address it,” Mr Burns said.
“Since 1954, the Hutt St Centre has been a work of the Daughters of Charity and has been a place of hope and opportunity – where people experiencing homelessness can and have achieved new beginnings.
“I’m looking forward to continuing this vital work while working towards our greater goal of ending homelessness for good.”
Mr Burns had an extensive military career with the Australian Army which included being awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross. He is the President of Legacy SA and Broken Hill and is actively involved with supporting veterans.
He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM).
The Hutt St Centre serves 40,000 meals each year and helps more than 200 people experiencing homelessness each day, through case management and support, education and employment services, aged care and pastoral care.
Mr Burns will assume the role of CEO of the Hutt St Centre early in the new year at the conclusion of his appointment as the SA Mental Health Commissioner.
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