ROSIES’ new leader Andrew O’Brien will swiftly take to the streets as he assumes the reins of the organisation.
“My first and ongoing focus is to understand our mission of bringing community through hospitality by regularly going on outreach,” the new general manager said.
“Through that understanding I can help improve the formation, resources and systems our more than 900 active volunteers need.
“In this way, I also aim to inspire our benefactors to be generous in the support they give to sustain our mission.”
Mr O’Brien said he had been “blessed with some gifts” and that “my qualifications and experience in accounting, management and theology will provide a solid foundation to effectively plan, advise and implement the mission formulated by the board”.
He took on the role of Brisbane Centacare Employment director in 2011 and assisted the organisation’s Toowoomba office in its transition to a new director in 2014.
A chartered accountant, Mr O’Brien had earlier pursued a career in local government, which included the role of Mount Isa’s City Council chief executive officer from 1998-2003.
He then worked for the Queensland Government in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy and development with particular responsibility for economic development in a number of remote communities.
Mr O’Brien became fill-in general manager after the resignation of Troy Bailey who had been with Rosies since 2013.
From his first interactions in the role, the work attracted him.
“I was inspired by the selfless and unassuming spirit of the outreach volunteers and the simplicity of hospitality, both given and received, by our patrons on the street,” he said.
“Within a month I was touched by the charism and clarity of purpose of the Oblate community, and look forward to growing spiritually and personally through their pastoral leadership.”
Rosies faces many challenges, but Mr O’Brien sees its spiritual mission as primary.
“We hope through our actions to lead those we meet to Jesus Christ,” he said.
“This is so, in the words of St Eugene de Mazenod (founder of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate), we might all ‘Learn what we are in the eyes of God’.”