UnitingCare Queensland appoints CEO

October 13, 2017

UnitingCare Queensland today announced the appointment of Mr Craig Barke as CEO.


Mr Barke will succeed current CEO Anne Cross who in May this year announced her decision to not seek renewal of her contract as CEO, which expires later this year.


Up until his recent resignation from the Board to accept the position of CEO, Mr Barke has served as Board Chair of UnitingCare Queensland since 2014 and has been a Board Member since 2011.


He has also served as Chair of the Board’s Governance Committee and is a past member of the UnitingCare Queensland Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee. Craig has also served as an ex-officio member of the Queensland Uniting Church Synod Standing Committee.


Mr Barke is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) who holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Griffith University. Mr Barke brings over 20 years of senior business experience across a range of financial and management roles, most recently as CEO of Scenic Rim Regional Council in South East Queensland for the past nine years.


Commenting on Mr Barke’s appointment, UntingCare Queensland’s newly appointed interim Board Chair, Mr Dawson Petie said, “The Board and I are delighted to confirm Craig’s appointment as CEO of UnitingCare Queensland.


“Craig is a highly experienced and accomplished CEO, who during his nine years as CEO of Scenic Rim Regional council has led significant organisational change, financial performance improvements and the embedding of a values-based culture.


“Craig brings very strong financial acumen and Government experience to UnitingCare Queensland, which will prove highly valuable in his new role as CEO amidst our ongoing challenging environment of reform across the health and aged care sectors in which we operate.


“In addition, Craig has a personal passion for supporting disadvantaged youth and children in the community and is actively involved in the foster care system as well as being an active member of the Uniting Church.


“Since his commencement on the UnitingCare Queensland Board in 2011 and as Chair since 2014, Craig has made a very strong contribution to the strategic direction and results of the organisation, including maintain a strong alignment to our mission as an agency of the Uniting Church. The Board and I look forward to the ongoing contribution Craig will make in these areas in his new role as CEO,” said Mr Petie.


Commenting on his appointment Mr Barke said, “I am very grateful to be appointed to the position of CEO for UnitingCare Queensland. The organisation has dedicated itself to the service of people from all walks of life with a focus on healing, wholeness, and personalised care and support.


“Having personally supported disadvantaged children in my family home for many years I know first-hand the impact ordinary people can have by making a personal commitment to support and assist those less fortunate than themselves. This is what attracted me to UnitingCare Queensland, firstly as a Board member, then as Board Chair, and now in the role of CEO.


“I am committed to identifying new opportunities for the organisation and intend on embedding a growth agenda to the organisation and finding even more innovative ways to deliver on our mission.


“As outgoing Chair and new CEO, I would like to personally thank Anne Cross for her passion and commitment to not only UnitingCare Queensland but also the wider health and community service sectors in Australia.


a man smiling in the office environment


“Anne’s commitment, energy and talents have seen our organisation remain at the forefront of providing high quality and compassionate health and community services amidst several periods of major sector reform and a highly dynamic external operating environment.


“Anne’s 14 year tenure as CEO has been characterised by her passion for people, her love and heart for the disadvantaged, her personal connection to Indigenous Australians and her hunger to improve the lives of as many people as she could,” said Mr Barke.


It is intended that Mr Barke will actively commence in the role of CEO by December 31, 2017. Until that time, Ms Cross will continue in her position as CEO to ensure an orderly handover and transition with Mr Barke.


Media contact:

Matthew Cuming

Head of Corporate Affairs

UnitingCare Queensland

0450 536 788


About UnitingCare Queensland


UnitingCare Queensland provides health and community services to thousands of people every day of the year through its services including BlueCare, UnitingCare Child and Family Services, UnitingCare Health (hospitals), and ARRCS (Australian Regional and Remote Community Services).


As the health and community service provider of the Uniting Church we have supported Queensland communities for over 70 years.


UnitingCare Queensland is one of the largest employers in Queensland with 17,400 employees and 9,200 volunteers who care for and support people from all walks of life, including older people, people living with a disability, children, families and Indigenous people.