Misconceptions about the Catholic Church’s global aid charity led Daniel Chan on a journey from ignorance to awareness, one that landed him the organisation’s top job in the state.
Mr Chan is Caritas Australia’s new Diocesan Director for the Archdiocese of Perth and the Regional Engagement Coordinator in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
A member of St Vincent’s parish in Kwinana, Mr Chan said he knew very little about Caritas when the parish secretary recommended he apply for the position of director.
“I did not really understand what Caritas was before to be honest,” he said.
“I avoided Project Compassion and didn’t really contribute to it before, because you hear all these things like where does the money go, those usual misconceptions.”
“I had to do my research and find out what Caritas is and that really taught me about what Caritas does.”
Mr Chan is a former associate communications lecturer at Murdoch University and said he wanted to educate people who, like himself, did not know what Caritas was about.
“There’s a generosity amongst Australians but they need to know where the avenues are for that to really work for the world.”
Mr Chan was born in Singapore and has lived in Australia for the past six years with his wife, who is from Malaysia, and his five children, the youngest of which is two years old.
“My focus on my family is that I want to teach them good values but what better way to teach them than by being an example.”