Liz Callaghan has been announced as the new CEO of Carers Australia.

Ms Callaghan was a Director in the Aged Care Royal Commission Taskforce in the Department of Health’s Ageing and Aged Care Group. Prior to joining the Department of Health, at the end of 2018, Ms Callaghan was CEO of Palliative Care Australia for four years where she advocated strongly for end of life issues to be recognised by governments, communities and the health and aged care sectors. Ms Callaghan has previously held roles in Catholic Health Australia, the South Australian and Victorian Departments of Health, Metropolitan Domiciliary Care, the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards and the Department of Management at RMIT University Melbourne. Ms Callaghan was also a member of the National Council for St Vincent de Paul, and a former board member of Southern Cross Care NSW & ACT and Companion House, ACT.

Ms Sonia Rutnam, Chairperson of Carers Australia says Ms Callaghan has significant policy, leadership and management experience in the not-for-profit and government sectors.

“Her skills and experience will be of great benefit to Carers Australia and further our aim of improving the lives of carers through caring being accepted as a shared community responsibility,” Ms Rutnam says.

Ms Callaghan says she is excited by the challenge of joining Carers Australia.

“I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves from day one, at a time when the very significant role of carers during the COVID-19 crisis has been under pressure. Carers have had to quickly adapt to changes that are not likely to be eased for some time. I am excited by the opportunity to work with our state and territory colleagues in building a new strategy for Carers Australia that ensures the voices of carers are being heard and that their needs are being met”.

Ms Callaghan has qualifications in Nursing, Social Work, Human Services Research, Monitoring and Evaluation and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management.

She has edited and contributed to two books: Determining the Future: A Fair Go and Health for All and Exploring the Connections: Catholic Social Teaching and the Social Determinants of Health.

“Ms Callaghan has a strong vision and commitment to carer issues, as well as issues associated with social justice and equity in health,” Ms Rutnam says.

The Carers Australia board also acknowledges the contributions of Mary Reid as interim chief executive.