Wellington Catholic Social Services welcomes new Director
The Archdiocese of Wellington welcomes the new Director of Catholic Social Services, David Olivier.
David and Jenni Olivier were welcomed in a pōwhiri at the Compassion Centre Soup Kitchen on Friday 15 December.
Mr Olivier has a background of 39 years in education, 20 of which were spent as principal. Staff and students of St Peter’s College of Palmerston North, where he spent the past 9 years, handed him over to Catholic Social Services, saying he was a man who saw and cared for the whole person: hinengaro, tinana,wairura – mind, body and spirit.
He has also taught at St Patrick’s College, Silverstreamwhere he was Deputy Rector and Upper Hutt College where he was the Principal prior to moving to St Peter’s College in Palmerston North.
Mr Olivier was born in South Africa to a Welsh family. His years in South Africa included a period when he was conscripted to the South African military, where he rediscovered his Catholic faith after a period of rejecting it after secondary school. Prior to coming to New Zealand he was Principal of CBC Mount Edmund in Pretoria.
Besides working as Principal of St Peter’s College in Palmerston, Mr Olivier was also involved in setting up the Talent Central Trust with a key focus of bridging the gaps between secondary schools, tertiary institutes and the business community in the Manawatu. This has allowed a seamless pathway for secondary students to link to post school studies or employment in the region. This trust has been operating for two years to date and has commenced delivering on key projects.
Mr Olivier begins his role at a time when the Archdiocese of Wellington is focused on implementing 2017 Synod recommendations that encourage parishes and faith communities to reach out to people on the margins and peripheries of society.
He says: “The Synod recomendations are the roadmap for the future for the services of Catholic Social Services for the foreseeable future and contain some great challenges for us”.
The Vicariate for Catholic social services in the Archdiocese of Wellington includes social work and counselling; hospital and prison chaplaincy; support for refugee resettlement and the Kaikōura/Marlborough earthquake response; clergy care; and support for the Wellington Catholic Commission for Justice, Peace and Development.