Sarah McRae has commenced as Director of Centacare Catholic Family Services following the retirement of Dale West after 32 years in the role.

Formerly Chief Operating Officer of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN), Sarah brings to community services a wealth of experience in clinical roles, management, education and research.

“I am passionate about creating opportunities for individuals and families, and I value the importance of respecting and treating everyone with kindness – all of these values led me to Centacare,’’ she said.

Sarah began her career as a Registered Nurse at the WCHN and worked for many years with children whom sustained burn injuries.

In partnership with the University of Adelaide, she co-wrote the first Post Graduate Diploma in Burns Nursing for Australasia, and established a now-national Aboriginal burns program in South Australia and the Northern Territory after identifying the disproportionate number of Aboriginal children with burn injuries.

A mother-of-two, Sarah held various leadership positions within the WCHN and said she was drawn to Centacare by its breadth of services: “It is a privilege and an honour to be joining Centacare, and I look forwarding to continuing  to uphold the services to make a difference for the South Australian community.’’

Dale retired in January as the longest-serving director of Centacare.

From 1989, he grew the organisation from 14 to 600 staff who now deliver $52.6 million in programs in support of more than 34,000 clients each year.