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Australia for UNHCR appoints new Chairman

First State Super’s CEO, Michael Dwyer, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Australia for UNHCR

Australia for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s national partner, has appointed First State Super CEO, Michael Dwyer AM, as Chairman of the Board.

Dwyer is a committed advocate for refugees, having been a Board Director for Australia for UNHCR since its launch in 2000. During this time, he has visited UNHCR operations to familiarise himself with the effect of donations and to meet refugees.

“My work with Australia for UNHCR has brought me very close to the tragedy of loss and displacement caused by conflict and natural disaster,” Dwyer said.

“It has also demonstrated to me the power of the human spirit; and the capacity of people to overcome incredible setbacks and to rebuild their lives.”

Australia for UNHCR is responsible for engaging companies, corporates and individuals to support UNHCR’s global relief operations that protect people fleeing from conflict. Last year, it raised $38.7 million to deliver humanitarian aid in 53 countries.

Dwyer replaces founding Chairman, John Denton, who is stepping down to relocate to Paris after being appointed as Secretary-General for the International Chamber of Commerce. During his tenure, Denton directed the organisation from start-up to a leading Australian charity focused on humanitarian response to the refugee crisis.

Australia for UNHCR National Director, Naomi Steer, said: “We are enormously grateful for John’s leadership and dedication to the refugee cause. His guidance has helped underpin the profound growth of our organisation since we launched and mobilised high-level contributions from both the private and government sectors.”

Dwyer has been instrumental in galvanising support for refugees within the financial services sector, including spearheading corporate support for Australia for UNHCR’s annual World Refugee Day Breakfast, which has now raised more than $1.5 million.

Steer said: “Michael’s passion for the refugee cause has no limit and his valuable counsel has already played a significant role in the growth of our organisation since we first launched. We are delighted to see him take the helm as our new Chairman as we help UNHCR respond to unprecedented global displacement around the world.”

Dwyer adds: “Australians have been incredibly generous supporters over the years and I look forward to working with our board, our fantastic team and our donors to raise funds to support those who are most vulnerable and in need.”

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