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PCA Families have a team of dedicated Support and Advocacy Advisors, Client Service Officers and Specialist Managers who provide helpline and flexible funding services to clients or support the organisation in other ways.

Amanda Bresnan


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.

Operations Manager

Paula has over 25 years’ experience in the child and family services sector. She is a dedicated supporter for women and children and seeks innovative ways to support and assist families and to help strengthen the child and family sector. 

Paula was named joint Kingston Woman of the Year for 2022 while Executive Officer of Emerge women and children’s support network, where she worked for seven years assisting women and children fleeing family violence. During her time at Emerge she worked with DFFH overseeing the completion of the new core and cluster refuge, and completed two research projects with both LaTrobe and Swinburne Universities to look at the effect of family violence on children and the use of robots in therapeutic groupwork for primary school children.

Paula is a highly motivated and skilled Executive Officer and a previous Director of Community Services programs with an accomplished track record in sensitive organisational and political settings.  She completed the Diploma of Governance in 2021, is an accredited Family Law mediator and supervisor, a qualified Family Therapist, has a Certificate in Training and Assessment and has completed several leadership courses.  Paula has four adult children, and her first grandchild was born in September 2022. She enjoys walking along the beach and socialising with friends. Paula works Tuesday to Thursday.

Ray Carroll

Senior Worker - Helpline Support

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 Tuesday to Thursday.

Helpline Support Worker

Jessie joined PCA Families in August 2023 as a Helpline Support Worker. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology). Her previous experience is within the out-of-home-care sector, including child protection, foster care, and kinship care. As a foster care case manager, she enjoyed the challenge of finding suitable foster carers for foster children, training and assessing potential foster carers, and working with other professionals to create a supportive care team for the foster child. Jessie also loved supporting kinship carers in her role as a group worker where she successfully ran support groups for kinship carers. She also provided phone support to kinship carers who would call seeking information and advice. Jessie is passionate about working with children and families, and ensuring more children have access to the supports they need in order to thrive.

Jessie loves spending time with her husband and two sons and absolutely loves cuddling her pet cavoodle Alfie. In her spare time, she enjoys running, photography, and eating delicious baked goods! Jessie works Mondays and Fridays.

Zahra Shire

Senior Worker - Flexible Funding

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 while 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.

Vicki Coverdale

Flexible Funding Assessment Officer

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.

Flexible Funding Assessment Officer

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. 

Virginia regularly apologises for reverting to her ‘Loud Greek Mum’ voice when talking on the phone. Virginia works Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday.

Intake and Engagement Officer - Better Futures and Homestretch

Mary joined PCA Families in 2022. She is a social worker with 30 years experience, with a particular expertise in working with people from linguistically diverse backgrounds. More recently Mary has been assessing risk of harm to vulnerable children, their respective families and their community networks. She has a vast knowledge of the Child Protection System and Melbourne Children's Court processes and has worked closely with various sectors of the police force and other professionals.

In her spare time Mary enjoys spending time with her beloved dog Charlie, getting outdoors enjoying long walks in nature and taking every possible opporunity to go campling with family and friends!  Mary works Monday to Wednesday.

Intake and Engagement Officer - Better Futures and Homestretch 

Yufei joined PCA Families as an Intake and Engagement Officer in the Better Futures/Homestretch Program. Prior to this, Yufei has worked in the Flexi-Funding team for her placement, which has given her a good understanding of the organisation’s structure and working process. Before joining PCA Families, Yufei volunteered with the Red Cross and engaged with her local community, where she gained knowledge of the value of empowerment and a strengths-based approach to supporting clients and having their needs met.

In her spare time, Yufei enjoys cooking and eating delicious food. She loves spending time with her family and friends. Yufei is currently working on her master’s degree in social work and works on Thursdays.

Sonia Wagner

Client Services Officer - Better Futures and Home Stretch

Rachael joined PCA Families as a Client Services Officer within our Better Futures/Homestretch Program. She has over 10 years’ experience in Community Services and was involved with the Community Detention Program at Australian Red Cross.  Rachael lead a team in Housing & Transit, assisting Asylum Seekers move into the community from detention and help build their capacity to live independently in Victoria.  Rachael has completed Post Graduate Studies in International and Community Development.  

She and her husband are permanent carers to a young boy aged 7 who transitioned from Foster Care and they live in Central Victoria.  Rachael is passionate about seeing more children move into permanent homes and is looking forward to learning more about the sector.  Rachael works on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Intake and Engagement Officer

Tish joined PCA Families in early 2022 as a Client Services Officer. Since then, Tish has worked across multiple teams in the organisation including the Flexi-Funding team and the Better Futures team, which has given her great knowledge and experience of the organisations processes and structure.

Before starting with PCA Families Tish obtained her Bachelor of Legal and Dispute studies.She undertook multiple volunteer positions throughout her degree which helped her to gain exposure to the social justice sector, such as with Launch Housing and the Neighbourhood Justice Centre. She spent the last few years working as an events coordinator for a peak body in mental health.

Tish is now returning to study fulltime as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. Her days are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Deborah Hunt

Governance, Membership and Office Manager

Deborah has worked at PCA Families since it became a non-for-profit organisation in 2011 overseeing the growth and expansion of the organisation. Prior to this she worked at Telstra opening licensed shops across Australia.  Deborah has had many administrative roles throughout her working life including Account Manager in a public relations firm and Executive Assistant at Pacific Brands.  She has volunteered on many committees with a number of community organisations. 

Deborah grew up in kinship care with her grandparents and together with her husband has two adopted children from South Korea.