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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

Interim CEO

Amanda Bresnan has worked in and with the community and non-government sector for many years. Amanda was previously CEO of the Australasian Association of Nuclear Medicine Specialists. Prior to that she was Manager Strategy at Djirra; and CEO of Community Mental Health Australia.

From October 2008 to 2012 Amanda was an elected Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the ACT Greens. Amanda was the ACT Greens spokesperson for health, disability, housing, ageing, multicultural affairs, transport and corrections.

Amanda is currently an independent Board member of AIVL – the Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League; and a Board Member of WIRE (Women’s Information and referral Exchange Inc). She was Patron of ACT Mental Health Week in 2013 and 2014, and was a member of the ACT Ministerial Mental Health Advisory Committee. Amanda is also a judge for the Hesta Community Sector Awards.

Amanda is passionate about gender equity and rights, and addressing discrimination in all its forms. Amanda believes in inclusive communities where all people regardless of where they live, background, income, age or gender status are free and able to participate fully in society.

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

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.  

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

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.

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.

Zahra Shire

Client Services Officer

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

Project Officer

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.