Dialog Box

21 May 2020

Vale Frank Swan

Frank Swan, former Chair of CatholicCare BoardThe Board and staff of CatholicCare are deeply saddened by the passing of our good friend and former Chair, Frank Swan.

A former CEO of Cadbury Schweppes Australia and former Chairman of the Fosters Group Ltd, Frank was tapped on the shoulder in 2001 by then Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart to lead the Board of Centacare Catholic Family Services (as CatholicCare was previously known).

Frank knew little of the organisation at that time, but he was impressed by ‘the ethos of the organisation – exemplified by the story of Connie Moffit and Norma Parker [founders of CatholicCare] and by their vision of ‘life to the full’ for the disadvantaged.’ He was also drawn to the work of the organisation: ‘programs that help people who are struggling; that see families as the fundamental unit of society; that strengthen families.’

During Frank’s 14 years as the Chair of CatholicCare Board, he led the organisation to a quadrupling of income and the establishment of new programs including support for asylum seekers and refugees, families living with Alcohol and other Drug addiction, and communities recovering from the Black Saturday bushfires.

Frank and Helen Swan have been valued donors for many years; their support of CatholicCare’s refugee and asylum seeker programs, including the Eltham Project 2016-2018 is particularly noteworthy. Frank said his philosophy was that a ‘hand up’ is better than a ‘hand-out’ and he was keen to support projects that helped refugee families ‘to build their skills and abilities so they can then help themselves – so they can be the master of their own destiny’.

Kind and humble; a gentleman in every sense of the word. Frank stood strongly for those who were less fortunate and he will be respected and remembered for his steadfast leadership, dedication to mission, and generous heart.

Our sincere condolences and heartfelt prayers to Helen and family.

Collage of Frank Swan, former Chair of CatholicCare Board 

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