Board

Under the Families Australia Constitution, the Board is comprised of up to 12 members. The Board’s current composition is as follows:

Ms Prue Warrilow: Chairperson, and nominee of Australian Community Children’s Services.

Ms Tricia Murray: Deputy Chair, and nominee of the Child and Family Welfare Association of Australia.

Professor Morag McArthur: nominee of Australian Foster Care Association

Ms Anne McLeish OAM: nominee of Grandparents Australia.

Naomi Nicholson: nominee of Australian Foster Care Association

Dr Sue Packer AM FRACP : nominee of the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Mr Paul Rajan: (Co-opted member).

Mr Simon Schrapel AM: nominee of UnitingCare Australia.

Mr Richard Weston: nominee of The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation.

The Board has established two Board Sub-committees: the Corporate Governance Sub-committee and the Finance and Financial Audit Sub-committee.

Prue Warrilow—Chairperson

Prue is the National Convenor of Australian Community Children’s Services (ACCS) and is a member of ACCS NSW executive. She represents ACCS on the National Children’s Services Forum and various Commonwealth reference groups including ACECQA Stakeholder Group. ACCS’ objective is to promote not for profit children’s services in Australia. ACCS is the peak representative organisation for all Australian community owned children’s services. Prue is the owner and CEO of Families At Work. Prue has been on the Board of Families Australia since October 2004. Prue was elected Chair of Families Australia on 8 November 2010.

Tricia Murray—Deputy Chair

Tricia has been the Executive Director of Wanslea Family Services since 2004. Wanslea provides family support, out of home care and a range of children’s services in metropolitan and regional areas of Western Australia. She has worked in the community not for profit sector in NSW and Western Australia for twenty eight years, primarily in management positions, with a focus on child protection, homelessness, family violence and children’s services. Prior to taking up the position at Wanslea she worked with Anglicare WA for nearly ten years. She is also the Chair of the Alliance for Children at Risk, a group of not for profit placement agencies seeking to improve services for children and families engaged in the sector; and secretary of WA NILS. She has a degree in Social Work, Master of Service Administration and is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

Professor Morag McArthur

Morag has spent the past 30 years conducting research, teaching social workers and consulting on issues related to vulnerable children, young people and their families. Her extensive research in the area has included studies on; 1) child protection 2) juvenile justice 3) homelessness 4) families experiencing multiple disadvantages and their service use 5) family relationships 6) substance misuse in families and 7) the development and implementation of integrated services systems for children, young people and their families.

Anne McLeish OAM

Anne is currently National Director of Grandparents Australia and state director of Grandparents Victoria. Recent national work includes a national survey of grandparents from every state and territory and all walks of life to determine their views about the future for their grandchildren and the conduct of a campaign to highlight the need for better childcare provision as an issue of national significance. Anne was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community through Grandparents Australia in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Dr Sue Packer AM FRACP

Sue has been a paediatrician since 1972 and has worked as a Community Paediatrician with a special interest in child abuse and abuse prevention since 1990.  Sue has worked in the ACT Health funded Child At Risk Health Unit in ACT over this time. Since her retirement in December 2011, she continued part time work at CARHU, where she follows up a number of children she has been seeing for years, as well as providing back-up for the regular team of doctors when needed and continuing her teaching and mentoring roles. Sue is a member of the ACT Child Death Review Committee, the ACT Domestic Violence Prevention Committee. Sue is currently Vice-President on the NAPCAN (National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) National Board. She is also on the Boards of Canberra Mothercraft Society (QE2 Family Centre), Families Australia, Kidsafe, Lyons Early Childhood School and Medical Women’s Society of ACT and Region, all helping inform her contemporary knowledge of children. Other commitments are the steering committee of the ACT Family Law Pathways Network and the ARACY. (Australian Research Alliance of Children and Youth) Early Years Chapter. Sue also chairs the Community Expert Reference Group of the ACT Asbestos Taskforce currently. In 1999 Sue was awarded an Order of Australia for services to Paediatrics, Child Protection and the Community. In 2013, the Canberra Centenary, Sue was ACT Citizen of the Year “in recognition of her personal efforts and significant contributions to the ACT community, particularly as an advocate for the safety and wellbeing of children”.

Paul Rajan

Paul is Executive Director Transport Services Northern Territory Department of Transport. He previously held senior positions in the NT Departments of the Chief Minister, Education and Local Government. Paul has worked in both government and community sector human services agencies since 1975. As Principal Policy Officer and later Assistant Director, Young Offender Services in the W.A. Department of Community Services, as General Manager of Creative LINKS Foundation and Chair of state and national youth services peak organisations, he has significant experience in policy development and analysis and in the practical application of policy in the development and operation of community programs.

Simon Schrapel AM

Simon Schrapel has enjoyed a 30+ year career of working in the Social and Community Services field in Australia and abroad in a range of policy, planning and management positions, principally focused on the funding and delivery of services by the non-government community services sector.   He is currently the Chief Executive of Uniting Communities, a South Australia based community service agency committed to social justice and inclusion.  Throughout his career Simon has undertaken a number of leadership positions in sector peak bodies, advocacy groups and advisory boards, including his leadership as President of the Australian Council of Social Services from 2009-2013 and of the South Australian Council of Social Services and Child and Family Welfare Association of Australia.   Simon is currently the Chair of Foodbank SA and a Board member of Foodbank Australia, the Chair of the South Australian Council for the Care of Children and has been a Board member of Families Australia since 2008.   Simon’s work and commitment in the area of child protection and family support has seen his active involvement in the National Forum for Protecting Australia’s Children, the National Family Matters campaign and in various other State and National bodies and advisory Boards focused on children and families. Simon was awarded an Order of Australia for significant service to the community, particularly to children and families through social welfare organisations, programs and initiatives in 2017.

Richard Weston

Richard is a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait. Over the last 20 years he has worked in Indigenous affairs in both the government and non-government sector. He led the successful regional Aboriginal health service – Maari Ma Health – in the Murdi Paaki Region of far west NSW from 2000 to 2009 where he established a range of health and workforce development strategies that delivered tangible health outcomes and created a highly skilled Indigenous health workforce. Since 2010 he has been the CEO of The Healing Foundation. The work of The Healing Foundation to date has supported locally designed, developed and delivered solutions by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that have delivered measurable outcomes. It is also building the knowledge and evidence for effective Indigenous healing practice in Australia.