Top academic leads Compassion Sisters group

Dr Chris Gallivan

A former Professor of Law and Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor at Massey University has been appointed as chief executive of the Sisters of Compassion Group (SOCG).

On March 1, the SOCG announced the appointment of Dr Chris Gallavin to the position.

He is a recognised media commentator on issues as varied as miscarriages of justice and public policy.

“The appointment of Dr Gallavin as our new chief executive brings with it the opportunity for the Sisters of Compassion Group to be a more vocal advocate for those less fortunate,” said Sister Margaret Anne Mills, DOLC.

Established 120 years ago by Suzanne Aubert, the Compassion Soup Kitchen in Wellington, for example, is an important element of the mission of the Sisters of Compassion.

“However, the soup kitchen is just one part of our service to society in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2021,” said chair of the board Mike
Curtis.

“There are numerous aspects of our work where we walk with the vulnerable and the aged in New Zealand society,” he said.

“Our work in the provision of social housing, elder care and striving to model successful partnership with Māori, is vital to our mission to promote justice, model simplicity of living, advocate for those in the gap, and understand our role, as individuals, in forming a caring and productive community.”

Mr Curtis added: “From [Dr Gallavin’s] work as a nationally- recognised commentator on legal matters, his research skills, management experience, and connection to the media, industry and political organisations across the country, we have added to our current ability to be with the vulnerable, and can now more effectively advocate for social and political change to the benefit of all New Zealand.”

Dr Gallavin commented that he was humbled by this appointment, and is eager to build upon the work of retiring chief executive, Gerard McGreevy, who led the SOCG through a process of rejuvenation, particularly in the development of Our Lady’s Home of Compassion Centre and Suzanne Aubert heritage centre at Island Bay — also the resting place of Meri Hōhepa (Suzanne Aubert).

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