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Red Cross announces new Executive Director in New South Wales

Wednesday June 21, 2006

Australian Red Cross today announced the appointment of Lewis Kaplan as Executive Director of Australian Red Cross NSW.

'I'm very excited to be joining an organisation which has such a long and respected history of providing help and relief to those most vulnerable members of society,' said Mr Kaplan, who is currently Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Australia NSW.

'Like most Australians I greatly admire the work of Australian Red Cross both internationally and here in Australia where it provides a wide range of services from help in disasters like bushfires, floods or cyclones to serving breakfast to children who might otherwise go to school hungry.

'I look forward to the opportunity of contributing to that great tradition,' he said.

CEO of Australian Red Cross, Robert Tickner said he was delighted by the appointment.

'Mr Kaplan has a significant public profile as an advocate for disadvantaged people. He led Alzheimer's Australia NSW through a major period of growth, and was instrumental in raising the profile of dementia as a major health issue,' Mr Tickner said.

'His mix of skills and experience will be a major asset to Australian Red Cross which is also going through a period of growth and change.'

Richard Dunn, chairman of the NSW Division of Australian Red Cross, was also enthusiastic about the appointment.

'Mr Kaplan's understanding of health and community issues, combined with his wide ranging experience in the non-government sector both here and overseas, will be enormously valuable,' said Mr Dunn, 'I look forward to working with him.'

Before working for Alzheimer's Australia, Lewis Kaplan was Executive Director of the Council on the Ageing (NSW) through the 1990s.

He has also worked for Save the Children Fund Australia, designing and establishing Primary Health Care programs in a number of developing countries and has held positions with the World Health Organisation's Global Smallpox Eradication Program in Ethiopia and Bangladesh. He also held the position of National Coordinator of Healthy Cities Australia from 1988 - 1990.

He has been a visiting lecturer in gerontology, international public health and community development at a number of New South Wales universities.

Mr Kaplan takes up his new position as Executive Director of Australian Red Cross in NSW on Monday 7th August.