To view information on Coronavirus COVID-19 click here.

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

Amanda Bresnan

Interim CEO

Kris is an experienced Anglicare respite carer and appreciates the challenges and opportunities facing permanent care and adoptive families. She has strong financial and strategic skills, developed during her 5.5 years as Chair and CEO of the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB), 28 years with KPMG as a technical accounting expert, Director of Goulburn Murray Rural Water Corporation and genU as well as an independent member of the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.  As AASB CEO, Open Gardens Australia Board member and Audit Committee Chair, YHA Bushwalking Victoria President and Hawthorn Tennis Committee member she has extensive experience in developing and implementing strategies, policies and processes for small organisations, including managing risk, corporate governance and compliance.

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.

Vicki Coverdale

Advocacy & Support Advisor

Trish joined PCA Families in 2021 as an Advocacy and Support Advisor after completing a Bachelor of Social Work which focused on Indigenous cultures in New Zealand.  She has experience as a Medical Social Worker in a low socio-economic setting. Previous to her social work studies, she worked as a support worker for people with disabilities in both residential and vocational settings. Trish has also had lived experience as a kinship guardian.  This is her first role back in the workforce after having a bi-lateral total hip replacement. Prior to her surgery, Trish was using a wheelchair, however, to see her now you would have no idea that she had been through this. Trish is passionate about men’s mental health and how the impact of trauma in our families can affect the males of the family and loves to travel and see the world. Trish works Tuesday to Friday.

 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.

Zahra Shire

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.