The Trustees of Mary Aikenhead Ministries welcome a new ChairPrint
In December 2019, the Trustees of Mary Aikenhead Ministries welcomed Richard Haddock as a Trustee of Mary Aikenhead Ministries. Richard then took on the role of Chair, effective January 1, 2020 following the conclusion of Dr Tessa Ho’s term as Chair.
Richard has had a longstanding relationship with both the Church in Australia and with the Sisters of Charity. He brings both faith and considerable gifts to the service of Mary Aikenhead Ministries. Married to Katy, Richard has two married adult children and five grandchildren.
Let us introduce Richard Haddock with this brief sketch:
1. What was your first exposure to the Sisters of Charity
Although my older sister attended St Vincent’s College Potts Point (1960 -1965 ), my first real exposure to the Sisters came with an interview with Sr Margaret Beirne when our daughter Joanna was applying to be a student at St Vincent’s (1991 -1996).
During the interview, we gained an insight into the charism of the Sisters and began to understand the importance this would have in forming our daughter as being a member of a civil society where there is an emphasis on obligation to contribute rather than affirming individual rights at the expense of others.
2. Would you describe your educational, business, and family background?
I attended Marcellin College and Sydney University gaining degrees in Arts and Law and then initially worked as a solicitor before joining BNP Paribas where I moved into managerial roles both in Australia and overseas. Since leaving the bank I have been a Company Director and Chair for Private, Public and ASX listed companies and a Catholic Superannuation Fund. I have also been involved in Not for Profit sector for over 20 years.
My wife Katy and I have a son and daughter, both of whom are married and we are fortunate to have five grandchildren.
3. You serve on many Church entities… can you name them, give the length of time of service?
- Catholicare Sydney, 12 years
- Sisters of Charity Foundation, 9 years
- St Vincent’s Curran Foundation, 8 years
- Investment Committee of the Archdiocese of Sydney, 8 years
- Parish Finance Committee, 6 years
- Catholic Church Insurances, 8 years
- University of Notre Dame Australia, 2 years
- Aid to the Church in Need, 9 years
- Executive Committee of the SE Region of the Knights of Malta, 5 years
- Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Sydney (member), 15 years
- Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund (Chair), 12 years
4. What lessons have you learned in your ministry in religious entities as opposed to secular entities?
While religious entities are all different, the underlying ethos of commitment to service and social justice is generally at the forefront of religious entities. Consequently, unlike the commercial sphere, the profit motive is either non-existent or negligible
However, in well-run entities, whether religious or secular, accountability is a shared value between the two sectors.
5. There are obviously skills which are immediately transferrable from the secular to Church organisations. Can you name them?
Most of the skills applicable to successful secular organisations should also be applicable to religious organisations.
These would include:
(i) having a clear focus on the purpose of the organisation and its goals
(ii) ensuring there is diversity of thinking on the governing body. and listening to that contribution
(iii) continually questioning the organisation’s progress
(iv) being sensitive to the interests of the various stakeholders connected with the organisation
It is important that there is a skills base that enable goals to be set that are appropriate and achievable and that there is a rigorous evaluation process of the outcomes.
Clear rules regarding governance and risk are essential to the correct functioning of these entities.
Although the profit motive is no longer the determining factor, the religious entities must be run on good business practice models to ensure that wastage, duplication and being unfit for purpose do not impede what is trying to be achieved
6. Are there any different skills required in Church entities?
At the heart of all endeavours is the need for accountability and strong governance. It can sometimes be easy to justify poor outcomes by claiming that the motive for ‘doing good’ was sufficient justification
Whether you call it a skill or not, I believe there needs to be an awareness of how the Church operates and how,although we are one Universal Church, there are still areas that are controlled differently by different sectors within the Church.
There needs to be an acceptance of how the Universality of the Church can be strengthened and how the role of the laity can assist religious and clergy to achieve this.
7. If there are, how did you develop these different skills?
Time, experience and practice. Making mistakes and hopefully learning from them
8. What changes do you envisage for MAM under your stewardship?
Over time, working together with my fellow Trustees, I am sure we will strengthen the development of our central mission – to continue the Charism of the Sisters of Charity and ensure that their ethos remains central to all the organisations that they established and developed
9. Given you are on so many boards, what do you like to do in your spare time?
My greatest pleasure is spending time with my family. I am fortunate that we all live close by and there are many opportunities to be part of each other’s lives It is a gift to see our grandchildren grow and thrive and to be able to be part of this. I enjoy cycling with a group of friends and my wife Katy and I enjoy travelling.