Piper Alderman deputy managing partner Tim O’Callaghan, who also heads the legal firm’s Adelaide office, was this morning announced as the new chair of the Hutt Street Centre board.
O’Callaghan will replace outgoing chair Philip Donato, who has sat on the board since 2005 and whose tenure as chair expires next month.
Donato helmed the centre through a period of intense public backlash spurred by some Adelaide City Councillors, residents and traders in the city’s southeast corner, who argued the centre contributed to what they alleged was a spike in the number of violent incidents along the street.
That claim has been rejected by senior SA Police officers and Premier Steven Marshall, who publicly backed the centre’s work helping more than 200 people experiencing homelessness each day.
O’Callaghan said his predecessor had played a “key role in enabling the successful delivery of a range of complex services in a very challenging sector”.
“Hutt Street Centre owes him a debt of gratitude for providing a stable and positive platform on which to do its work,” he said.
The chair position is appointed every five years by the Daughters of Charity, who founded the Hutt Street Centre in 1954.
O’Callaghan specialises in intellectual property and international trade law and is a former deputy chair of the Defence Teaming Centre – a peak industry association.
He said he felt privileged to take over as chair of the Hutt Street Centre, an organisation he described “a place of hope and opportunity where people experiencing homelessness can and have achieved new beginnings”.
“In its 65 years of working with South Australians experiencing homelessness, the centre’s relevance in the community has only increased and it continues to innovate and broaden its services to ensure it meets the evolving needs of the people it serves,” O’Callaghan said.
“As chair of the board, I look forward to continuing the work of the Daughters in their mission to inspire people experiencing homelessness to achieve their full potential.”
O’Callaghan’s appointment comes as the Hutt Street Centres continues to search for a new CEO to replace Ian Cox, who began a new role at the State Government’s Office of Homelessness Sector Integration today.
Cox had worked at the Hutt Street Centre for more than 16 years and played a key role in establishing and running the Adelaide Zero Project, which aims to end homelessness in Adelaide.
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