From fires to financial governance, new Business Manager takes up duties

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Home > Media > News > From fires to financial governance, new Business Manager takes up duties
From fires to financial governance, new Business Manager takes up duties

Less than a month after the new Archdiocesan Business Manager Chris Ryan started in his role, he took leave.

The volunteer firefighter said that he’d already let several requests from the Tasmanian Fire Service for volunteers to help out on the mainland pass by, but when a request came that would see him take leave less than a month after his starting date of January 13, he asked Archbishop Julian if he could go.

“And without hesitation [he said], ‘We have to do what we can in these times of need. It’s important.’”

Mr Ryan said the Archbishop was “100% supportive”.

“Fundamentally, it was the right thing to do in a fire season that has been devastating for many people and many communities.”

Mr Ryan and eleven other volunteers left Hobart on February 6 for a seven-day deployment to New South Wales, based primarily at the Wyndham fire station near Eden.

He says they saw the devastation first-hand while being bused from Canberra airport: “It was quite confronting to see houses, buildings and even churches destroyed by the fires.”

“We did some localised property protection. The fires definitely weren’t out and weren’t contained when we arrived,” Mr Ryan said.

“We really gave the local crews some respite, a bit of a breather, and then we also did some back-burning in the Wyndham area to assist in containing the fires.”

Now back at work in Hobart, Mr Ryan is busy with the day to day duties of being the Business Manager, a role which has canonical responsibilities around financial administration and governance.

No stranger to the Archdiocese of Hobart, Mr Ryan has twice worked for the Catholic Development Fund, and then as Manager of Corporate Services & Treasury for the Archdiocese, in between stints in Tasmania’s banking and finance sector.

“Every time I’ve left, it’s been with a view to increase my skill set,” he said.

Raised as a Catholic, he attends Bellerive-Lindisfarne Parish and says that his Catholic faith is “just part of who I am”.

“Catholicism forms part of my makeup … It’s part of who I am and I’ll display that through my approach with individuals, with groups, with how I discern things and how decisions need to be made.”

With a background of involvement with various boards and committees related to Catholic Education, Mr Ryan will now be ex officio director with Blueline Laundry, CatholicCare Tasmania and the Catholic Development Fund.  His past involvement with Catholic Education in various roles will continue as a commissioner on the Catholic Education Tasmania Commission.

Carrying a significant level of responsibility, the role of Business Manager is one which Mr Ryan says he is “really looking forward to doing”.

“I’m looking forward to being able to make decisions and a contribution for the good of a lot of people,” he said.

Having known several of the previous Business Managers personally, Mr Ryan acknowledges the contribution made over the years, including that of his predecessor Ron Ward.

“It’s not lost on me that there’s been some really good people before me and that I’ll be only the sixth Business Manager for the Archdiocese.”