The 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
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