Board Members

The FRSA Board consists of seven elected members and up to two additional co-opted members, at the Boards’ discretion.

They meet four times annually to discuss governance and long-term goals, approve major actions of the organisation, support FRSA to fulfil its mission and ensure implementation of the FRSA Strategic Plan 2016.

Each Board position works on a two year term, and no Board member can exceed a maximum of three consecutive terms.

FRSA is responsible for supporting the Board, and for coordinating the Call for Nominations and ballot each year.

The Call for Nominations will be sent no more than 4 months prior to the AGM.

To nominate a potential candidate, you must be the authorised Member Delegate of an FRSA Full Member organisation who has not nominated any other candidate, and the person you are nominating must be the authorised Member Delegate of a Full Member or Associate Member organisation. All nominators, seconders and nominees must have their fees paid in full by the Call for Nominations date.

Useful Documents

The following documents are available to prospective nominees; please contact us or (02) 6162 1811 for copies:

  1. FRSA Position Description – Board Member
  2. FRSA Constitution 2016
  3. FRSA Policy and Procedures Manual
  4. FRSA Annual Report 15-16

FRSA Board Members (2016 - 2017)

Michael Austin

MSW, BSW, Grad Dip Couple & Family Therapy

FRSA Board Chairperson
Finance & Governance Committee

Appointed: 15 November 2012
Re-appointed: 6 November 2016
(Current term expiry AGM 2018)

Michael Austin was elected to the Board of FRSA in November 2012. As Board Chair during this time, Michael has played a significant leadership role during a critical time for the sector. He has represented FRSA at national consultations and meetings with senior government representatives and Ministers, including former Social Services Ministers Kevin Andrews and Scott Morrison and current Minister Christian Porter. Michael has played a strategic role, with the Board, in positioning FRSA with the new 5 year national contracts for the sector under the Family and Communities Program, and contribution to the Discretionary Grants review process. Michael has led a major human resource review of the FRSA Secretariat, overseen the Secretariat’s transition to a new Executive Director, and introduced enhanced Board processes to strengthen FRSA’s governance systems. Working collaboratively with the Board and the Executive Director, he has played a key part in the implementation of FRSA’s current strategic directions.

Michael’s service on the Board is underpinned by his long-term support for the work of FRSA. Michael has contributed to FRSA Conference organising committees, Parliamentary advocacy days, FRSA Child Inclusive Practice forums, FRSA Research Fund, and led or facilitated his organisation’s staff presentations at a number of FRSA national conferences.

Michael has worked in the community and social services sector for 31 years. Currently, he is Director of CatholicCare Wollongong, a multi-service community agency providing a broad suite of family and relationship and social services in regional NSW and south west Sydney. Michael holds a Masters in Social Work and Couple and Family Therapy and has held practitioner, manager and executive leadership roles in the family and relationships sector.

Michael has served on the Executive Committee of the NSW Family Therapy Association, as Vice Chair of the Board of the Institute of Counselling, Sydney, and he is a member of the Advisory Board of the Bachelor of Behavioural Science and Counselling at the University of Notre Dame. He has actively supported and engaged in interagency partnerships and joint research projects, and has presented papers at national conferences including the ANZ Family Therapy, Family Law Systems, FRSA and National Implementation Conferences. Michael brings to the FRSA Board a long standing commitment to family and relationship services, and a passion for working for a strong, diverse, collaborative and vibrant sector that delivers positive outcomes for Australian families.

Dr Deborah Hartman

Dip. Teach, B.A., Grad Dip TESOL, M.Ed., PhD

Chairperson of the Research Advisory Committee
Sector Events Committee

Appointed: 7 November 2013
Reappointed: 12 November 2015
Reappointed: 24 November 2017
(Current term expiry AGM 2019)

Dr Deb Hartman is the Assistant Director of the Family Action Centre (FAC), at the University of Newcastle (UON). As a long-term member of the leadership team at the FAC, she has been involved in service delivery, teaching, research, governance, strategic planning, staff development and financial and human resource management in the Family Services Sector for over 19 years. The FAC is a unique multi-disciplinary, multi-functional centre in the Faculty of Health and Medicine, which undertakes teaching, research and direct service delivery built upon empirical and theoretical research frameworks and implementation science with the aim of supporting strong families and capable communities.

Along with the Centre’s newly appointed Director, Distinguished Professor Alan Hayes, Deb’s work involves strategic management and building the discipline of Family Studies. She is a leader of the Family Action Centre’s role in the federal government Expert Panel on Families and Children. The FAC is a member of the Planning and Implementation panel and Industry List and is currently supporting nine separate organisations to plan and implement family programs in regional NSW, including several with a high representation of indigenous families.

Deb also coordinates the International Family Studies specialisation in the Master of Family Studies. In this role, she is a member of the Global Consortium for International Family Studies (GCIFS), a consortium of universities with a focus on teaching and research in Family Studies.

Deb is Chair of the Academic Committee of the GCIFS, and in this role has instigated international research partnerships with the aim of strengthening the mental health and wellbeing of rural and remote families. In a second term, she would continue to bring these capacities in leadership and interests in family to my responsibilities as an FRSA Board Member.

Marie Morrison

BSc Psych (Hons), AICD Member

Board Deputy Chairperson
Finance & Governance Committee

Sector Events Committee

Appointed: 7 November 2013
Reappointed: 12 November 2015
Reappointed: 24 November 2017
(Current term expiry AGM 2019)

Marie Morrison has held the position of CEO at Relationships Australia NT (RANT) for almost ten years. Marie brings the experience of having delivered a broad range of Family and Children’s Services, especially to large numbers of Aboriginal and Islander clients in remote and isolated parts of Australia. Marie has a varied background including community development, clinical work, policy development and management. Her leadership and organisational skills were nationally recognised when she won the Northern Territory Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award. Marie brings the experience of 27 years of living and working in the Northern Territory including in remote Aboriginal communities.

Marie has considerable knowledge in delivering a wide range of Family and Children’s Services including Family Relationship Centres, other Family Law Services, Counselling, Education and other Family and Relationship Services, counselling for traumatised children and capacity building projects, including Communities for Children, as a community partner in several projects.

Sue Christophers

Diploma in Management, Cert IV Training and Assessment

Research Advisory Committee
Sector Events Committee

Appointed: 6 November 2014
Re-appointed: 1 December 2016
(Current term expiry AGM 2018)

Sue Christophers is the Senior Manager Community Engagement with AnglicareSA. In this dynamic leadership role within AnglicareSA’s Community Services portfolio, Sue oversees the Community Engagement Service Stream with program areas focussing on children, families and communities. Sue has more than 20 years experience in community services with a strong focus on community development and connection.  Sue’s passion and commitment around putting children and young people at the centre of communities is at the core of what she does and has made her a sought after advocate and advisor. Sue was involved in the development of the Communities for Children sites in Onkaparinga and Playford and has a leadership role in the South Australian Communities for Children all-sites network.

Throughout this time Sue has developed significant relationships and partnerships across South Australia and Australia inclusive of Federal, State and Local Government, Non-Government Organisations, Business and Community.  Sue is currently an active member representing AnglicareSA, including convening and chairing, of numerous State and National Steering groups and networks that include: Together SA (Director), Child Aware Onkaparinga, Children and Families Round Table, SA Family Law Pathways Network and the Southern Adelaide Regional Alliance Planning group.  Sue is familiar with the governance requirements and responsibilities inherent with membership of these committees and groups and has recently completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Company Directors Course.

FRSA members can expect Sue to be a strong advocate for an integrated approach across all Families and Communities program areas with a particular emphasis on the synergies between Communities for Children and other Family and Children’s services and Family Law services. Sue is passionate about collaborative practice and ensuring that all voices are heard in decision making processes. She is committed to recognising and building on the strengths of communities to provide healthy, supportive and child friendly environments.

In her current Senior Management role she is responsible for programs within Family Law, Family Relationships, Specialised Family Violence and Communities for Children program areas.  Sue is able to recognise the value of diverse approaches to meeting the needs of children, families and communities including effective strategic planning and translation of strategic objectives into practical and achievable actions.  She has a strong commitment to working in partnership with Government and Non Government organisations to deliver a whole of community response.

Paula Washington

Research Advisory Committee
Sector Events Committee

Appointed: 1 December 2016
(Current term expiry AGM 2018)

Paula Washington has worked in the social services sector for 22 years across the areas of child protection, alternative care, counselling mediation, aged care, volunteer and disability support services. She has been in leadership roles for more than 18 years, managing residential, counselling, therapeutic, dispute resolution, employment and educational services across rural, remote and regional centers in Central and North Queensland.

Paula has an undergraduate major in psychology and MBA majoring in dispute resolution. Her areas of interest include service development and strategic planning with particular focus on National Disability Insurance Scheme service development and Domestic and Family Violence Interventions. Her passion for innovation has driven the development of a series of initiatives responding to regional issues for the Northern and Central Queensland regions including research and development of family wellbeing initiatives for FIFO and mining families, development of programs for Defence and Military families that resulted in securing funding, ongoing strategic and practice linkages with James Cook University.

Paula is presently involved in regional leadership groups focused on workforce development for the Disabilities services sector, integrated domestic and family violence responses, the Townsville West Communities for Children Committee and is the Chair of the North Queensland Family Law Pathways Network.

Glenda Devlin

Finance & Governance Committee
Research Advisory Committee
Sector Events Committee

Appointed: 24 November 2017
(Current term expiry AGM 2019)

Glenda Devlin has worked for over thirty years in the Family Services sector, with experience as a practitioner, senior manager and senior executive across multiple service types and in regional and major city contexts. Glenda initially trained as a Social worker at UNSW, followed by a Master’s Degree at La Trobe, and has a ground up understanding of the sector with extensive relationships and networks built across the organisations working in the Family Services arena.

Over the last ten years, Glenda has developed expertise in the core areas of board responsibility including change management, strategic planning, financial reporting and risk management through her management experience and support of other organisations, alongside training at the Australian Graduate School of Management at UNSW and as a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Director’s Course. Particular achievements in Anglicare have included supporting a client centred organisational culture through a number of significant changes including a merger with another organisation in mid- 2016; implementation of a number of new businesses within Anglicare (government and donor funded); and the development of three organisational Reconciliation Action Plans along with a role as ongoing role as co-chair of the RAP Working party.

Glenda has been an active participant in FRSA conferences and Senior Executive Forums. She has presented at FRSA conferences, been a member FRSA conference committees and has been involved in sub-committees looking at both the Performance Framework and Contractual issues.

Serge Sardo

Finance & Governance Committee
Research Advisory Committee

Appointed: 24 November 2017
(Current term expiry AGM 2019)

Serge is the CEO of FMC Mediation and Counselling and a Board Director for Scope Disability Services and Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA). Prior to these roles he was the inaugural CEO of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation where he was instrumental in establishing the Foundation as a world leader in the delivery of counselling, support and prevention programs to over 100 different locations.

Serge has accumulated over 10 years’ experience as a CEO and non-executive director for not-for-profit or government organisations.  As a psychologist with nearly 20 years’ experience, Serge has delivered and managed a wide variety of community based therapeutic and prevention services and has been a member of two Ministerial Advisory Councils at the state and federal level. With an MBA qualification and strong commercial experience, Serge also brings to the role expertise in marketing, social policy and advocacy.

His Honour, Judge Matthew Myers AM

Co-Opted Board Member

BA, B.Laws, GDip Family Dispute
Resolution, M.Laws

Appointed: 6 February 2015
Reappointed: 17 February 2016
Reappointed: 24 November 2017
(Current term expiry AGM 2018)

His Honour Judge Matthew Myers AM was appointed as an ALRC Commissioner in February 2017 to lead the inquiry into the incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Judge Myers was appointed to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in 2011. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales and holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales, a Master of Applied Law (Family Law) from the College of Law and a Vocational Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution from Bond University.

Prior to his appointment, Judge Myers undertook work as a Notary Public, Accredited Collaborative Family Lawyer and as an Accredited Family Law Specialist with separate accreditation in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.  Judge Myers had additionally worked in the area of family law mediation both as a Nationally Accredited Mediator and as an Accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner with CentreCare and Legal Aid New South Wales. From 1999 until 2010 Judge Myers was a member of the New South Wales Community Aid Panel.

Judge Myers was awarded the NSW Law Society President’s medal in 2011 and received the award of Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2013 for services to the community in the area of welfare and family law.

Judge Myers is a member of the Board of Family and Relationship Services Australia, member CatholicCare Advisory Council (Broken Bay Dioceses), member Law Society of New South Wales Indigenous Issues Committee, member Federal Circuit Court of Australia Indigenous Access to Justice Committee and RAP Working Group, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Family Law Pathways Network, member of the Central Coast Family Law Pathways Network Steering Committee, member of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council, member of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council,  member of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, member of the Honoured Friends of the Salvation Army, member of the Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Reserves and holds the Commissioned Officer rank of Squadron Leader. Judge Myers is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

Terms for Current Board Members

Michael Austin since AGM 15/11/12 to AGM 2018

Deborah Hartman since AGM 07/11/13 to AGM 2019

Marie Morrison since AGM 07/11/13 to AGM 2019

Sue Christophers since AGM 06/11/14 to AGM 2018

Paula Washington since AGM 1/12/16 to AGM 2018

Glenda Devlin since AGM 24/11/17 to AGM 2019

Serge Sardo since AGM 24/11/17 to AGM 2019

Judge Matthew Myers since 6/2/15 to AGM 2018

Executive

Chair: Michael Austin
Deputy Chair: Dr Deborah Hartman
Treasurer: Marie Morrison

Finance and Governance Committee

Chair: Marie Morrison (Treasurer)
Members:

  • Michael Austin (Board Chair)
  • Serge Sardo
  • Glenda Devlin
  • Jackie Brady (ED – Ex officio)

Research Advisory Committee

Chair: Deb Hartman
Members:

  • Glenda Devlin
  • Serge Sardo
  • Sue Christophers
  • Karen Field (Co-Opted)

Sector Events Committee

Chair: Paula Washington
Members:

  • Sue Christophers
  • Marie Morrison
  • Glenda Devlin
  • Deb Hartman

Co-Opted Board Members

  • Judge Matthew Myers