On Friday 23 June 2023, Centrecare Association Member, Steve Walker, sadly died after a relatively short illness. Steve’s contribution to Centrecare was long-standing and highly valued. He joined the Board of what was then Centrecare Marriage and Family Service in July 1995 and remained in that role until 2010. During his lengthy involvement with Centrecare, Steve gave generously of his time and willingly shared his substantial knowledge and understanding of financial matters and management. His commitment to Centrecare’s values, work, and development helped to form strong foundations for Centrecare. Steve was on the Board when in 2001, Centrecare Marriage and Family Service became Centrecare Inc. This was an enormous step for the organisation to take and one that could not have happened without the foresight and support of Steve and his fellow Board members. His contribution is reflected in the many roles he accepted. Over the years, Steve was Board Member, Acting Board Chairperson and Centrecare Association President. He remained a member of the Association until his death.
When Centrecare Inc. decided to pursue the possibility of establishing a community housing provider, Steve Walker was instrumental in helping to establish the constitution and legal structure of what is now Stellar Living. He took on the role of Stellar Living, CEO in 2010 and remained in that role until 2019. During this period, Stellar Living developed substantially, providing social housing for hundreds of West Australians. Stellar Living currently has 262 properties under management that house 626 people with a tenant satisfaction rate of 89%. It has assets of over $40 million and is in the process of developing more social housing in Byford and Rockingham. Steve’s interest and commitment saw him remain a member of the Board of Stellar Living after leaving his post as CEO. His experience and knowledge of finance and community housing were always highly regarded at Board meetings. He remained on the Board of Stellar Living until he died a few weeks ago.
Over his 29 years of involvement with Centrecare and its subsidiary Stellar Living, Steve made many lasting friendships built on mutual respect and commitment to the cause of social and community wellbeing. His unflagging generosity, professionalism, good humour, and self-evident substantial contribution to the work of Centrecare and the development of Stellar Living will always be remembered and be a significant part of the Centrecare and Stellar Living story and the lives of those of us who knew him.
Adj. Prof. Tony Pietropiccolo AM