Our staff


Anne Kirwan

Anne is a Registered Psychologist with over 20 years’ experience in the social services sector, and has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn since 2014.  Anne commenced her career working in homelessness services, and has overseen youth, employment, mental health and disability & aged care services during her time with CatholicCare.   Anne has held various Board positions including being the President of ATODA (Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Association of the ACT), and is currently on the Catholic Social Services Australia NSW/ACT Branch Committee.  Anne holds post tertiary qualifications in Psychology, Leadership and Adult Mental Health, and recently completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) course.  She is currently completing her MBA, and is a passionate supporter of the Canberra Raiders.


Lisa Higginson

Lisa is the Deputy CEO of CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn, and brings over 20 years’ experience in the social services sector.  Lisa commenced her career working with and training and managing a team of volunteers across NSW, and then moved into supporting homeless youth across the ACT.  From there, Lisa progressed into management roles in the youth, mental health and homelessness programs, and completed tertiary education in the Social Sciences.  Lisa currently oversees both direct service delivery and corporate areas within CatholicCare. Lisa has held various Board positions across the ACT, and is currently the President of her children’s school P&C.  She is a busy mother of four, and is passionate about providing effective and quality services to those in need in the community.


Kim Linsell

Kim joined CatholicCare in January 1995 as a Student & Family Counsellor. After working for a number of years in both primary and high schools, Kim moved into management, overseeing both the school counselling and family relationship counselling programs. She was later appointed as Director Counselling Services, which has since expanded to also include therapy services.   Kim has previously worked in Community Health as a social worker, the Disability sector, providing support to individuals and families, as well as in child protection in South Africa. Kim is a long term member of the Australian Association of Social Workers and has a Masters degree in Human Services.


Robyn Mckay

Robyn is a social worker with experience in the disability, aged and mental health sectors. Robyn has worked within CatholicCare in a variety of roles, both frontline and management, since 2008.   In her role as Director of the CHOICES and Aged Care Portfolio, Robyn is responsible for services delivered under the NDIS as well as Aged Care Services through the ACT and NSW. Her focus is on ensuring that individuals and families receive person centred, quality services, that are delivered in line with agency policy and sector standards.   Prior to coming to CatholicCare, Robyn worked with other non-government and community organisations in aged care and community develop roles. These experiences in working with individuals, families and communities inform her current work as a Director and member of the CatholicCare Board.


Sue-Ann Polden

Sue-Ann joined CatholicCare Canberra and Goulburn in October 2008 as manager of the Humanitarian Settlement Services. In 2012 Sue-Ann moved into her current role as the Director of CatholicCare’s Youth, Mental Health, Homelessness and Comorbidity Services. In addition to her leadership experience, Sue-Ann is a registered Psychologist and has worked extensively with at risk families and young people, as well as with CALD and Indigenous communities across Queensland and the ACT for over 14 years. Sue-Ann holds membership with the Australian Psychological Society, professional registration with AHPRA and sits as a member on the Minister’s Mental Health Advisory Group and the ACT Mental Health Community Coalition Board.


Josh Vaughan

Josh joined CatholicCare Canberra and Goulburn in January 2017 as a Senior Operations Manager in the Youth, Mental Health, Homelessness, AOD & Family Support area and is now its Acting Director. Josh is a qualified teacher with over 16 years’ experience in the Education and Community Services sectors. He is also currently CEO at The Right Direction Australia Ltd., a national NFP organisation providing communications and social skills training to disengaged and vulnerable adolescents. Josh has 5 children and has had a long association with local and representative boys and girls rugby. He is passionate about children being connected to the people essentially important in their lives and advocates strongly in this space.


Melissa McCarthy

Melissa has over 10 years’ experience in HR Management and initially joined CatholicCare in December 2014 as the HR Specialist.  She has recently returned to the organisation as the Director of People & Culture.  Melissa is a Certified Professional Member of the Australian HR Institute (CAHRI) and a Certified Member of the Governance Institute of Australia (CGIA).  She holds a Diploma in HR Management and a Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits.   Prior to joining CatholicCare, Melissa held various HR Management roles in Melbourne in the private sector.  She is passionate about HR and sees her role as one that partners with senior leaders of the organisation to not only provide support but build capabilities, plan and manage talent and develop approaches that achieve shared organisational objectives.