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PCA Families have a team of dedicated Support and Advocacy Advisors who provide helpline and flexible funding services to clients.

Amanda Bresnan

CEO

Wendy has an extensive career in health and human services and not for profit sectors having worked as a practitioner, senior manager and CEO in a diverse range of services including community health, women’s health, aged care, disability, mental health, peak bodies, hospital networks, general practice, and local government.  She is well versed in service and project management, partnership development, stakeholder engagement, strategic and area based planning, and conceptual modelling.  Wendy also has significant experience in the implementation of government reform agendas having taken key roles in Primary Health, NDIS, Aged Care and Mental Health reforms. Wendy has a strong commitment to social justice and engaging with people with lived experience and the community in meaningful ways that will deliver innovative services from idea to implementation.  In her role as CEO at PCA Families Wendy is committed to delivering the best outcomes for permanent carer, kinship carer and adoptive families and ensuring that children and young people can reach their full potential. In her downtime, Wendy has co-edited a book on Climate Change Adaptation for Health and Social Services which explores the impacts of climate change on human health and which population groups are most vulnerable to changes in climate. She also likes to escape to her beach shack where there is no internet or telephone access.

Program Director

Bruce is a social worker and family therapist with many years of experience in child and adolescent mental health, youth residential care, child protection, family services and relationship counselling. He has moved back into the sector after managing the field education course for the Master of Social Work at Federation University that saw it through a period of substantial growth and the challenges of COVID-19. He is a believer in the strengths and potential within people and likes to work with people to help them discover these so they manage challenges and can continue to grow and develop. For many years he has been a cub leader with a local scout group. He loves running activities with kids that help them thorough hands on activities to enhance their potential. Bruce moved to the Mornington Peninsula in early 2020 where he enjoys sailing his 14-foot dinghy, renovating a house and escaping into the bush to camp and bushwalk. 

Deborah Hunt

Office Manager & Member Engagement

Deborah has worked at PCA Families since it became a non-for-profit organisation in 2011.  Prior to this she worked at Telstra opening up licensed shops across Australia in between taking maternity leave.  Deborah has had many admistrative roles throughout her working life including Account Manager at a PR firm and Executive Assistant at Pacific Brands.  She has volunteered  with many community organisations. Deborah grew up in kinship care with her grandparents and together with her husband has two adopted children from South Korea.  Deborah works Monday to Thursday.

Liz Powell

Advocacy & Support Advisor - Team Lead

Liz joined PCA Families in 2014 as an Advocacy and Support Advisor. She worked for 25 years as a nurse/midwife predominately in Neonatal ICU before retraining as a counsellor in trauma, loss and bereavement intervention and psychotherapy.  She has worked in both helpline and counselling settings and is passionate about supporting families with children with developmental trauma. In her time away from work, Liz enjoys spending time with her daughters who completed her family through adoption. Liz works on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  

Ray Carroll

Advocacy & Support Advisor

Ray joined PCA Families in May 2021.  Most recently, Ray was a case manager with Anglicare in the Intensive Family Services Program. Prior to this Ray was at the Commission for Children and Young Children involved in monitoring the quality of care of children and young people in all forms of care and youth justice including the development of trauma informed resources such as ‘Calmer Classrooms…’, ‘Caring Classroom…’ and ‘Isolation to Connection…’.  Ray also managed the complaints and feedback line for children, carers, members of the public and professional parties. Earlier in his social work career, Ray worked in a number of positions with state government and non-government organisations such as Child Protection Services, foster care service delivery, kinship care support, family support and disability programs.  Ray enjoys spending time with his family on the Mornington Peninsula.  Ray works Monday to Thursday.

Vicki Coverdale

Advocacy & Support Advisor

Merle joined PCA families in early 2021 as an Advocacy and Support Advisor. Prior to joining PCA families, Merle was involved with Lifeline as a telephone counsellor and volunteering at Very Special Kids working with families of terminally ill children. For the past 8 years Merle was involved with working with Asylum Seekers in a case management role which included working at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, the Australian Red Cross Migrant Support Program, Ames Migration Agency and Life Without Barriers. Merle has worked with families that have experienced significant trauma and understands the impact that it has on the well-being, behaviour and development of children and young adults.  Merle is married with 3 grown up sons and a precious grandson!  Merle works Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

 Advocacy & Support Advisor

Virginia is a social worker, with an extensive work history in the foster care sector. This includes case management of foster carers and children encompassing intake (matching foster children with foster families to suit the child's needs and carers abilities) and Foster Care Recruitment/Training/Carer Support worker for Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO). Virginia has knowledge and skill in positive parenting techniques through the TFCO program and crisis counselling through Lifeline and OnCall. She designed the first Cyber Safety Manual specifically aimed at parents and carers of children under court orders. Virginia has worked in conjunction with Child Protection, permanent care and adoption agencies to transition foster children into permanent, loving families. She has lots of direct babysitting experience of children with a range of behaviours within the community, and has her own toddler to chase after at home. She regularly apologises for reverting to her ‘Loud Greek Mum’ voice when talking on the phone. Virginia works Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday.

Advocacy & Support Advisor - Better Futures and Homestretch

Andrea joined PCA Families in 2021 as an Advocacy and Support Advisor.  She has a Master of Social Work, and experience in child, youth and family welfare across child protection, adoption and permanent care, and children with disabilities.  She has developed initiatives for family support and out-of-home care programs, and participated in continuous quality improvement projects for disability, aged care, and women’s welfare.  She’s worked in state and local government, and not-for-profit organisations including Uniting Care Connections, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.  Andrea plays the ukulele on the porch, bakes a mean loaf of soda bread, and enjoys creative writing.  Andrea works Monday to Wednesday.

Advocacy & Support Advisor - Better Futures and Homestretch

Anita obtained her Bachelor of Social Work in 2017 as a mature aged student returning to full-time studies with two young children of primary school age. Since graduating, she has held various positions in the welfare sector, including roles in Family Violence, Mental Health, Community Health Care, Education, and Justice & Community Safety.  She has a varied skillset in complex assessment, therapeutic techniques, intervention strategies, counselling, crisis management, along with training to provide psychological first aid as part of disaster management for all persons in the affected communities.  Outside of work she enjoy spending time at several motorsport tracks/venues all over Australia watching her husband compete, or when not competing, watching motorsport live or on T.V.  She further enjoys taking her children on weird and wacky adventures to various places, or watching them compete in their chosen sport of football and Irish dancing. Otherwise, when all is quite – (not often) she cuddles up on the couch with her four cats and cocker spaniel puppy watching Netflix. Anita works Tuesday to Thursday.

Client Services Officer - Team Lead

Zahra joined PCA Families in November 2020 as a Client Services Officer. She has over 5 years’ experience in the administration and client services sector. She has provided classroom educational support working with children who have special needs. Most recently Zahra was involved with the Australian Red Cross migrant support program, providing assistance to refugees and asylum seekers whilst working with families and children who were experiencing financial hardships, homelessness and job loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is where she learnt the importance of holding a client centered approach to ensure their needs were met. Zahra is passionate about working with families with the goal to create the best possible outcome especially with culturally and linguistic diverse backgrounds. Zahra is due to finish her studies this year and will be a cross-cultural counsellor. Zahra works full time from Monday to Friday.

Sonia Wagner

Digital and Content Marketing Manager

Sonia joined PCA Families in January 2020 as Project Manager. Sonia is an experienced Education Manager with a demonstrated history of managing educational programs in schools (national graffiti and alcohol education programs) and the broader community (from social and emotional resilience to sports and coding programs). Sonia enjoys partnering with experts to present the best possible program to influence attitudes and behaviours, with research informed practical strategies.  It is these skills that translate into her work on our Youtube recordings, Click and Connect groups and our Social Media. Sonia brings her years of experience as a parent, long term intercultural foster carer, early childhood educator and school and community leader to better the lives of families.  Sonia is passionate about and has lived experience of the difference one person or one moment can make in another person’s life. Sonia works Monday to Wednesday.