BOARD & STAFF

Kidsafe Victoria Board of Management and secretariat.

Animals

Kidsafe Victoria Board of Management

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Erica Edmands
– President

With degrees in law and labour relations/economics from University of Melbourne, as well as coaching certifications, post graduate qualifications in finance and accreditation in Genos Emotional Intelligence, Erica has 20 years business experience spanning law, professional services, government, banking, financial services and manufacturing.

Commencing her career as an EEO and Diversity Lawyer with Freehills, Erica later held Head of Human Resources roles with Comalco Smelting and Minter Ellison and was Associate Director of Australia’s leading work life and diversity consultancies, working within Australia and Asia. Erica is also an Associate Director of mental health at work (mh@work), a successful mental health education company.

A sought after facilitator, commentator and speaker on diversity, self leadership, mental health and resilience, Erica has appeared on ABC radio and television; written many opinion pieces for major newspapers and journals and is contributing author to published texts on mental health in the workplace and resilience. She has particular expertise in discrimination and harassment investigations, cultural workshops (harassment, bullying, discrimination), resilience and mental health.

As a mother of three young children, she also has a keen interest in child safety.

Dr Steve Reynolds - Treasurer

Dr Steve Reynolds
– Treasurer

Steve has formal qualifications in Accounting, Computing and Business Administration. His 2013 doctoral thesis focused on effective corporate governance in not-for-profit organisations. He is a Fellow CPA (Certified Practising Accountants) and a member of the Governance Institute of Australia. He has over 25 years experience as a senior finance executive and company secretary, working with not-for-profit organisations, professional service firms, schools and private companies. His most recent experience has been with not-for-profit membership charities and organisations whose mission has centred on health promotion. Steve’s interest in Kidsafe is fostered by such an interest in health promotion, as well as child injury prevention and his and his grandchildren, Billy and Zoe.

Dr Mark Stokes - Board Member

Dr Mark Stokes
– Vice President

Mark is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at Deakin University.

Mark is a registered psychologist, and has been involved in Autism research since 1992; obtaining his PhD from La Trobe University in 1996 in circadian rhythms and sleep control. Following this, Mark was employed at La Trobe teaching human neuroanatomy, then at Monash University as an injury researcher, and then at Vanderbilt University.

In 2000 Mark was appointed Director of the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit at Monash University’s Accident Research Centre.

Mark has published over 140 peer reviewed publications and book chapters, and reports to government, more than 140 conference presentations, and supervised 30 doctoral and PhD completions. Mark actively supports research into autism through his role as former President of the Australasian Society for Autism Research.

Mark has been involved in child injury prevention research and intervention for 25 years. Mark has been a board member of Kidsafe since 2000, and is a life member and former President of Kidsafe Victoria and of Kidsafe Australia. Mark is currently Vice President of Kidsafe Victoria.

Martin Botros

Martin Botros
– Board Member, Kidsafe Australia VP

Martin Botros has qualifications in law and physiotherapy. As a physiotherapist he previously worked with Yooralla, Scope, EPIC, and DHS solely in the area of paediatrics, assisting children with specific developmental needs reach their maximum physical potential and increase their independence with everyday tasks.

Martin is also a Board Director of Eastern Health, a hearing panel member for the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and a Tribunal Member with Football Federation Victoria. In his spare time, Martin delivers medical law lectures and tutorials to undergraduate medical students at Monash University and international medical graduates.

Julia Sheehan

Julia Sheehan

– BOARD MEMBER

 

Julia is a Group Account Director at Leo Burnett Melbourne, working across various categories namely retail and FMCG to produce advertising and communications. Completing a Masters of Communication, Julia has enjoyed working with many client businesses over the span of her career including Telstra, Devondale, Don Smallgoods, 7-Eleven, Kraft, ahm Health Insurance and notably Kidsafe, where she led the Unconventional Oven campaign back in 2015.

She joined the Kidsafe board in 2017 and is also a member of its Marketing and Fundraising subcommittee.

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Brooke Disney
– Board Member

Brooke Disney is the Associate Director of Development at the University of Melbourne, where she leads the University’s philanthropic and engagement activities in North America.

Prior to joining the higher education sector, Brooke held various senior development and marketing communications roles in some of Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisations.

Brooke completed her studies both in Australia and abroad at the Kanton Schule Schaffhausen in Switzerland, the University of Missouri-Columbia in the United States and Monash University in Melbourne.

Over the span of her career, she has worked in animal welfare, homelessness, politics, medical research and child injury prevention.

Brooke is a Board Director at Kidsafe Victoria, and a member of its Marketing and Fundraising subcommittee. She is the Honorary Secretary of the University of Melbourne USA Foundation.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in Melbourne, travelling regularly to North America.

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Heather Morecroft 
– Board Member

Heather is an Associate Director at Spark Strategy, a social impact advisory firm. With experience in the not-for-profit, university and private sectors and qualifications in business management, economics, history and project management, Heather is committed to organisations and solutions that drive social and environmental impact and financial sustainability.

Heather has strong expertise and interest in: not-for-profit strategy; social enterprise and social business; health and mental health; gender equity; environmental sustainability; and primary prevention and early intervention.

In her role at Spark Strategy, Heather’s focus is on creating strategies and solutions that blend purpose, profit and pragmatism. While at Spark, Heather has worked with over 60 for-purpose organisations to develop strategic plans, business models, impact assessment frameworks and on other strategic projects that blend greater impact with financial resilience.

Collaboration is key to both Heather’s approach and the models she develops, taking into account that developing and maintaining authentic partnerships takes time, energy and consideration.

Secretariat

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Melanie Courtney
– CEO

Mel is passionate about the for-purpose sector and has been employed in varying roles within Kidsafe Victoria since 2006, taking on the CEO role in 2010.

She has a Bachelor of Arts/Health Science, an Honours degree in Psychology, a mini MBA in Marketing and Brand Management and is currently enrolled in an MBA.

She has experience in the disability and community sector, having worked as an integration aide, volunteered with organisations including Edmund Rice Camps, the Sudanese Integrated Learning Program (SAIL), and the National Burns Survivors Network. She was a director of the Board of GordonCare when they transitioned to Ten20, a venture philanthropy organisation.

With two active young children, Mel strongly believes that all children have the right to grow up in a safe but appropriately challenging environment.

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Jason Chambers
– GM

Jason’s degree in health promotion and Masters degree in public health have put him in good stead for his work with Kidsafe. His studies fuelled his passion for providing communities with the knowledge, resources and tools to enable them to make safe and healthy choices.

Jason commenced with Kidsafe Victoria in 2009 initially as an intern, which fostered his interest and knowledge of childhood injury prevention. Since then Jason has been employed in various roles within Kidsafe Victoria and is currently the General Manager and Kidsafe’s resident statistics expert. He is a keen sportsman and loves getting along to any game, whether it is watching his beloved Magpies, the Victory or the Bushrangers.

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Alex Hamilton

– Engagement and Relationship Manager

Alex comes to the team with 10 years experience working with bereaved families in the not for profit space. She brings expertise in relationship, project and event management; as well as extensive knowledge of communications, fundraising and sponsorship. Originally from the UK, Alex has travelled nationally and internationally, speaking to audiences to passionately share her own story of courage, resilience and hope, as a bereaved Mum herself.

Alex is Mum to two “rainbow” babies – Shiloh and Bodhi and feels so privileged to work with families to impact change within the community.

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Sisouda Swanston
– Office and Retail Manager

Sisouda is the Office Manager at Kidsafe Victoria and supports the operational performance of the business.

Completing a Bachelor’s degree in Multimedia/Marketing at Monash University, Sisouda has enjoyed working in previous Marketing and Brand Management roles for a number of household name brands in the baby and parenting categories. She is a dynamic thinker and is always keen to learn and expand her knowledge.

With her interest in the non for profit sector, Sisouda joined Kidsafe in 2019 and is looking forward to working with the team to create more awareness in childhood injury prevention.

She is a mum of one active toddler and loves travelling and spending time with her family.

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Nicole Scott  
– Business Development Manager

Nicole is the Business Development Manager for Kidsafe Victoria who joined the team in 2021.

Nicole supports the business through fostering growth around building strong credible relationships with organisations with the same ideals.

Nicole has enjoyed previous business development roles within the FMCG and Real Estate industries and is passionate about building credible relationships within the not-for-profit industry that promote awareness around child safety in particular.

Nicole is a Mum to two children and lives an active lifestyle. She loves to travel and create long lasting memories with her family.

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Kathy Taylor  
– Child Car Restraint Manager

Kathy is a qualified child restraint fitter and has successfully run her own business within the child and baby industry for the past 7 years. She has also provided child car restraint education sessions as part of Kidsafe Victoria’s Outreach Program for the past 5 years and is a passionate advocate for child safety.

Prior to becoming a restraint fitter she has worked in various roles including Visual Merchandising, Sales and Marketing and Office Administration.

Kathy is a mum of 2 children and loves travelling and exploring new destinations with her family and friends.

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GRETCHEN WADDELL
– PROGRAM Manager

Gretchen joined the Kidsafe Victoria team following a move from Perth, bringing child injury prevention experience from her previous position with Kidsafe WA. Gretchen has completed undergraduate and postgraduate studies in population health and health promotion at the University of Western Australia and Curtin University, which fostered her interest in health, wellbeing and prevention. 

When she’s not working Gretchen can usually be found at the beach, travelling and spending time with friends and family. 

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Julia Sarroff
– senior Communications, Marketing and Media Officer

Julia is an innovative communications and marketing professional with a broad knowledge (across customer experience, strategy, engagement, branding, digital marketing, media and events). She has experience within various sectors including not-for-profit, FMCG, Finance, Government, Utilities, Health, and many more. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism.

She is family-focused and passionate about having a positive impact on the health and safety of children in our community.

Julia is highly regarded for being analytically-minded, an insightful content creator and thrives on the variety that her role at Kidsafe Victoria involves.

She enjoys exploring, experiencing new things and constantly learning.

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Sarah Mullaly

– Project Officer

Sarah has a passion for improving public health and wellbeing. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences and a Graduate Diploma of Health Promotion from Deakin University. She is particularly interested in how program planning can be used to improve child health. As a new team member, Sarah is committed to identifying best practice ideas and aims to generate awareness of child safety within the Victorian community.

Sarah loves to keep active, is a passionate Richmond supporter and enjoys spending time with friends and family.

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SHANNON  GRIFFITHS  
– COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING SUPPORT OFFICER 

Shannon joined the team following the completion of her internship placement at Kidsafe Victoria in 2020, and now applies her studies as the Communications and Marketing Support Officer.

With bachelor’s degrees in Media and Digital Design, Shannon is constantly looking to innovate and loves finding creative solutions to problems. New to the team and to the industry, Shannon is always eager to learn and apply herself to her role and give everything a go.

When not working Shannon likes to spend her time trying out new cafes with friends, travelling, and reading her way through a pile of novels.

Life Members

Joan Adams
Mark Stokes
Robert Caulfield
Ron Smith
Erin Cassell
Marianna Wickert

Sub Committee Members

Steve Reynolds (Chair)
Erica Edmands
Mark Stokes
David Mylonas
Justin Siebert
Stacey Price (Observer)
Melanie Courtney (Observer)

KIDSAFE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Established in 2020, the Kidsafe Victoria Advisory Committee was formed to inform, discuss, share and explore child injury issues and prevention strategies. Chaired by Kidsafe Victoria CEO, Melanie Courtney, the committee is composed of leading sector stakeholders across industries such as health, welfare, research and emergency services. The Coroners Court of Victoria also provides support to the Committee with updates on child fatal injury trends.

Bios on committee members are below.

Warwick Teague

Associate Professor Warwick Teague
DPhil Oxford, FRACS, FRCS

A/Prof Warwick Teague is Director of Trauma, Clinical Lead for Burns, and Academic Paediatric Surgeon at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

Warwick is active in basic science and clinical research. He is Co-group Leader of the Surgical Research Group within the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, with research interests spanning developmental biology to trauma epidemiology.

Within the state of Victoria, Warwick is a member of various trauma-focused committees for the government, Kidsafe Victoria, WorkSafe Victoria, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and chairs the Victorian State Trauma Registry Monitoring (VSTORM) Steering Committee.

Warwick is an active teaching faculty member for both the Definitive Surgical Trauma Care (DSTC, IATSIC) and Emergency Management of Severe Burns (ANZBA) courses, and enjoys championing a nuanced approach to paediatric injury prevention, paediatric trauma and burns care.

Deb Tsorbaris

Deb Tsorbaris

Deb Tsorbaris is the CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare. The Centre is Victoria’s peak body for child and family services. Deb is a passionate advocate for Victoria’s vulnerable children, young people and families.

Deb has over 32 years’ experience in the Not for Profit and Public sector and has held executive positions in organisations working across youth services, disability, homelessness, drug and alcohol support services; and employment programs. Prior to joining the Centre, Deb held senior executive positions in State Government.
Deb provides policy leadership to state and federal governments and is a strong contributor to the child and family services sector. Deb has been instrumental in working collaboratively across department, government and community sectors to address long term strategic needs and community objectives.

Janneke Berecki-Gisolf

Dr Janneke Berecki-Gisolf

Dr. Janneke Berecki-Gisolf is an Associate Professor at the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), and Director of the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit (VISU).

Janneke’s research interests include injury surveillance, Emergency Department data quality, injury data mapping and visualisation, and injury outcomes studies using a data linkage approach. She has previously designed and conducted several data linkage studies including The impact of prior physical and mental health on short and long term injury outcomes; this study was in collaboration with Worksafe Victoria and the Transport Accident Commission (Victoria).

Tanya Farrell

Adjunct Professor Tanya Farrell

Tanya Farrell is a midwife, nurse and Adjunct Professor in Nursing and Midwifery at La Trobe University

As the Chair of CCOPMM she oversees the investigation and reporting of all maternal, perinatal and paediatric mortality and morbidity as well as providing advice to the Minister for Health, Safer Care Victoria (SCV) and Department of Health (DHHS) on strategies to improve clinical care and avoid preventable deaths and significant morbidity in Victoria. The Council also manages the Victorian Perinatal Data Collection (VPDC), a population-based surveillance system that collects and analyses comprehensive information on the health of mothers and babies, in order to contribute to improvements in their health.

As the Maternity Advisor Tanya provides strategic clinical leadership and advice on issues related to maternity services and midwifery, particularly in relation to safety and quality improvement.

Mick Stephenson

Adjunct Associate Professor Mick Stephenson ASM

Mick is an intensive care paramedic (MICA) and the Executive Director of Clinical Operations at Ambulance Victoria (AV).

He has state wide responsibility for all road and air ambulance services including adult retrieval and the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine service. He also holds an Adjunct Associate Professor role in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, and the Department of Paramedicine at Monash University.

Mick’s clinical interests lay in improving patient outcomes through algorithmic care and research in the pre-hospital environment. He has contributed to a number of prominent clinical trials as a co-author and steering committee member. These include research in stroke, cardiac arrest, post resuscitation care, the potential harms of hyperoxemia in myocardial infarction, trauma systems and severe traumatic brain injury. Mick also has executive level responsibility for the development of the Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit at AV and the state’s system for equitable stroke care.

Paul Gardiner

Superintendent Paul Gardiner

Paul resides in regional Victoria with his wife and two young girls. He is a Superintendent within Victoria Police and currently works in the Capability Department.

His current role has been engaging with a number of State, Federal and Commonwealth Royal Commissions now leading into implementation of reforms. Paul’s background is predominately in regional policing with experience in developing strategies to address road trauma, responses to many major emergencies and engagement with local communities over the years.

Janine Mohamed

Dr Janine Mohamed

Janine Mohamed is a proud Narrunga Kaurna woman from South Australia. Over the past 20 years, Janine has worked in nursing, management, project management, and workforce and health policy in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector.

Many of these years have been spent in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector at state, national and international levels, and most recently as the previous CEO at the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM). Janine is now based in Melbourne as the CEO of the Lowitja Institute. She was awarded an Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity Fellowship in 2019, and, in January 2020, was awarded a Doctorate of Nursing honoris causa by Edith Cowan University.

Kym Forrest

Kym Forrest

Kym Forrest is currently the General Manager Children’s Program and Monash Children’s Hospital, Monash Health.

She has a nursing background and 30 years experience in leadership and management roles in the public sector, delivering at the strategic, operational and clinical level, including capital and infrastructure developments. Previous roles have included Operations Director/ Director of Nursing Monash Medical Centre, Program Director Women’s and Children’s Monash Health and Director for the Monash Children’s Hospital Capital project build.

Kim Howland

Kim Howland

Kim Howland is currently the Manager of Community Services at the Municipal Association of Victoria, the peak body for local government.

She is a Maternal and Child Health Nurse, with over 20 years of experience working across the sector, including as the MCH Policy Adviser for 4 years. Kim is passionate about maternal, child and family health and wellbeing and in particular how universal services can support families so that children can reach their optimal potential. She is also passionate about using evidence informed strategies and practice to achieve child health and wellbeing outcomes and is currently undertaking her Professional Doctorate in Nursing.