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The Reverend Father Joseph CADDY, St Kilda East : For significant service to the community through a range of social welfare initiatives and policy reforms, and to the Catholic Church in Australia.
So reads the Queen's Birthday honour (AM) in the general division of the Order of Australia honour bestowed on Melbourne's Fr Joe Caddy today. Fr Joe is Episcopal Vicar for Social Services in the Melbourne Archdiocese, former CEO of CatholicCare in Melbourne, and is presently parish priest at St Mary’s in East St Kilda.
The citation from the Governor-General's Office lists major areas where Fr Joe has served and led.
- Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Care Melbourne, 2004-2017. Episcopal Vicar for Social Services, Archdiocese of Melbourne, since 2016. Parish Priest, St Mary's East St Kilda, since 2016.
- Catholic Social Services Australia: Chairperson, 2003-2013. Board Member, 2000-2013.
- Catholic Social Services Victoria: Council Member, since 2006. Chair, Policy and Advocacy Committee, 2009-2016 and Member, since 2009. Treasurer, 2004-2009.
- Co-convenor, Communities in Control Conference, 2003-2015. Board Member, Villa Maria, 2010-2014. Member, Ministerial Roundtable for Juvenile Justice, Department of Human Services, 200,2010. Board of Governors, Australian Council of Social Services, 1999-2004. Board Member, Victorian Council to Homeless Persons, 1999-2004.
- Member, Victorian Council of Churches Social Questions Committee, 1998-2005. Board Member, Deputy Chair, Ecumenical Housing Inc, 1997-2004. Board Member, Sacred Heart Mission, 1998-2002. Prison Chaplain, Melbourne Remand Centre, 2002-2013. Parish Priest, All Saints Fitzroy, 2013-2016.
- Australian Catholic University Adjunct Professor, since 2007. Chair, Quality of Life & Social Justice Flagship, 2005-2014.
Apart from his academic qualifications of Bachelor of Theology (Melbourne), Fr Joe holds degrees in Social Sciences from the Gregorian University Rome, where he focused his studies on Catholic social teaching and social ethics and economics. He was ordained priest in 1990.
In acknowledging his award today, Father Caddy said,
'Australia is a wonderful country and so it is a huge privilege to receive this award. In a way it is a recognition of all those who work in the Church and its agencies for a fairer society, especially for those who are poor or in any way disadvantaged.
'While I am enormously honoured to receive this recognition I would be even more pleased to see our Australian society step up do more for those who are in need.
'We are a generous and big hearted people but at times our policies towards those who are seeking asylum or who find themselves unemployed are unnecessarily mean. We lock increasing numbers of our indigenous brothers and sisters and our poor in prisons which fail to improve their life chances or make our communities safer. We can do better on many fronts and I am sure that as a nation we truly want a fair go for all.'
The Archdiocese of Melbourne congratulates Fr Joe on this immensely well-deserved award.
The founder of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, Bernie Fehon, was also awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia, for service to the community through
social welfare programs.
Other Catholics who received honours include (but aren't limited to) Sr Joan Evans PVMB AO, Ms Rebecca Davies AO, Deacon Gregory Kerr OAM, Mr William Lovering OAM, Mrs Carmel Nash OAM, the late Mr John O’Brien OAM, Dr Meegodage Senake Perera OAM, Mr Francis Sheehan OAM, Mr Ross Tarlinton OAM, Dr Mark Turkington OAM, Sr Mary D’Apice RSCJ AM, Mrs Margaret MacMillan OAM, and Dr Catherine Day OAM.