To mark Netty Horton’s first day at CatholicCare, we wanted to share this brief Q&A on what we’ve learned about our new CEO and her approach to leadership, the community sector and ‘life to the full’.
What excites you most about joining CatholicCare?
CatholicCare has a long and established history of providing much valued services to families across the community. It is a great privilege to become part of an organisation with such strong values and high reputation. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with our programs and people, to understand our major strengths, and the needs of the people who request our assistance - and to hear from our staff about the key issues happening at the grass roots.
What inspires you to work in the community sector?
I am very proud of spending my entire career in the community sector. I am committed and excited by the principles of social justice and am passionate about providing greater equity across our community. I strongly believe in the value of our sector to the broader community, which is not always recognised. I see on a daily basis the value of our work in bringing about change to the lives of individuals and families, and I am inspired to work with others to bring about change to policies and systems within our world to promote fairer and more equitable opportunities.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I see my role as a leader as being able to champion our organisational vision and directions, and advocate for the needs of the people who seek our support. To do this well, I need a strong sense of what is happening “on the ground.” I greatly value the role of others in providing me with expert advice, and find generally that a consultative and team approach provides the best results.
What can we expect from your first six months on the job?
I am hoping that almost everyone in the organisation will get to meet me (or more, I am hoping that I get to meet them!) so I will be visiting programs early on in my tenure to give me a feel for our work and our issues. I will also hope to spend time with some of our clients. I will be meeting with government and other community organisations to get a sense of what we may need to do to ensure that we continue to provide great services. As our staff will be aware, there is an enormous amount of reform in the social sector at the moment; I think more than I have ever experienced at any one time. We need to be ready to adopt new funding systems, new ways of working, and also be closely monitoring the changes to ensure that people seeking our assistance are not disadvantaged. So in the first six months, I will be wanting to work with the team to ensure we are best positioned for the future.What does ‘life to the full’ mean to you?
I am constantly aware of a how fortunate I have been in life. I enjoy a wonderful family, am part of a great community, and have an enormously rewarding working life. I am often (too often!) telling my adult children about the privilege of working in roles that enable the coming together of personal, professional and spiritual values, and this is unfortunately not afforded to everyone. I am thrilled to be working with CatholicCare and am certain that I will continue to be able to live “life to the full” both philosophically, and literally, as I am sure I will be very busy!