13 December, 2017
As you may already know by now, we have a new CEO – Paul Rubessa. But you might be wondering: “Who is he?”
So we thought we’d ask Paul a few questions, so you can get to know him.
Can you tell us about yourself and your family?
I grew up in Perth and my connection to the west remains strong with mum and dad still living in my childhood home. My wife Linda and I have lived in both Sydney and Melbourne, but now call Cooranbong home with our four school age kids.
Where have you worked before?
Most of my working life has been in finance and related roles, starting as an assistant accountant in the Western Australian Conference office way back in 1986. I have since worked at the South Pacific Division, Avondale College, Victorian Conference, ACAST Superannuation Fund and most recently with Risk Management Service.
Do you attend a church?
Yes, I attend the Plus One congregation at Avondale Memorial SDA Church in Cooranbong. It’s a fantastic church family – I love it.
Why did you apply to become CEO?
It was a prayerful decision but the opportunity to work in an organisation that directly and positively impacts people is quite motivating.
How did it happen?
There were a number of obstacles along the way but somehow God kept dissolving them and taking away my excuses. In the end I felt like I’d be ignoring his answers if I didn’t accept the call. So now I am relying on his strength in my weakness.
Why do you think ADRA’s work is so important?
Jesus was pretty clear about our responsibility for others (Matthew 25 for instance) and ADRA provides a structure where many of us can join together to help others.
What unique skills and experience do you bring to this role?
I am new to ADRA so I am coming with an open mind. I am a prayerful person and tend to be organised and thorough. My goal is to bring out the best in those I work with to maximise ADRA’s impact on the lives of those we serve.
Is there one thing ADRA does which is particularly compelling to you?
Not yet, and I am hoping I won’t see it that way. I think our focus should be on applying our energy and resources to programs where we can make a tangible difference in the lives of people. In this context, all the programs will be compelling.
What is your vision for the future of ADRA?
I find ADRA’s current vision inspiring: ‘A world without poverty. An agency of excellence. A church making a difference.’ The team and I now need to determine how I can best contribute to that vision – and that’s something I am excited about.
What do you love doing outside of work?
I enjoy surfing, motorcycles and mountain biking but find I am happiest when engaged with my family – which pretty much means engaging in things the kids find interesting. Oh, and I love any sport with a ball or an engine.
What are you most looking forward to about starting at ADRA?
Getting to know the team – learning about their skills, talents and passion. Engaging with the volunteers and donors that make ADRA’s work possible. Working together these people are the real agents of change bringing help, hope and love to others.