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Governance and People

Family Spirit is a partnership between Marist180 andCatholicCare Sydney. We believe that in working together, we can foster better outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and families.

The partnership brings together deep and complementary knowledge, expertise and networks from both agencies.

Our people are committed to the vision and mission of Family Spirit.

From client facing to operational management, we invest in training and support to ensure that all of our staff have the best skills for the important work that they do supporting you and your family.

Family Spirit's Board and Leadership Team provide overarching governance to enable us to deliver on our mission.

The Family Spirit Board comprises:

Nieves Murray
Nieves Murray (Chair)

Ms Murray is an experienced director and executive. She was CEO of the IRT Group between 2006 and January 2018. IRT provides housing and care to over 8000 older people throughout the eastern seaboard of Australia. With 2600 employees, $1.2B in assets and almost $200M annual turnover, Nieves was instrumental in the organisation’s exponential growth during her tenure as CEO. Nieves is now CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia, a national peak body promoting suicide awareness and prevention.

Having held numerous board positions over the years, Nieves is currently a member of the University of Wollongong Council. She was appointed inaugural Independent Chair of Family Spirit in December 2017 and retains that role today.

Nieves is an active member of the Illawarra business community as well as the seniors care and housing industry at a national and international level. She was awarded the Illawarra Business Leader of the Year in 2012 and Wollongong Citizen of the year in 2016. Nieves was the catalyst in establishing the highly successful CEO Sleepout event in Wollongong and continues to volunteer on the Vinnies Van. She was also a volunteer Lifeline crisis counsellor between 2010 and 2016. Nieves is passionate about the Illawarra Region, innovation and advocating for the rights of vulnerable people.

Sharron Matayalo
Sharron Matayalo 

Sharron Matayalo joined CatholicCare in 1989 has extensive experience across a range of areas of social work including Child Protection, Out of Home Care, Domestic Violence, Working With Perpetrators of Domestic Violence, Mental Health, Working with Trauma and Addictions. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Work. Sharron is the Executive Manager of Family Services with CatholicCare. She has a Certificate IV in Frontline Management and a Certificate IV in Assessment and training. Sharron brings her wealth of social work skills, knowledge and expertise and passion for social enterprise to the Family Spirit management team and Board.

Peter Hanson

Peter Hanson

Peter Hanson is the Head of Finance and Company Secretary for Marist180.  He has held senior financial and governance positions in a government owned enterprise in New Zealand an ASX listed entity, private companies and not for profits in Australia.  Peter is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (FCA) and a member of the Governance Institute (ACIS).  He served on the Council of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants for 6 years representing Australian resident members until the merger of the New Zealand and Australian bodies.  He has served on the Board of a not for profit and is active in the lay leadership of his church.

Jonathan Raja

Jonathan Raja

Jonathan Raja is the Director of Services at Marist 180. He has over 25 years of experience across health and community services sectors in both the United States and Australia. Jonathan holds a Masters in Clinical Social Work and has experience working with young people in both acute psychiatric and foster care settings, managing emergency service response teams, and developing and managing mental health practitioner and hospital service delivery networks. He has contributed to the successful implementation of several innovative health improvement services targeting the appropriate use of medication, and provided leadership to strategic projects evaluating the efficiency of Commonwealth Government programs and to support NSW Government reform.

Luke Stevens

Luke Stevens

Luke Stevens is Deputy CEO of CatholicCare Sydney. He has broad experience in organisational management, with a proven track record converting ideas into outcomes, with a strategic understanding of key drivers and relationships, collaborating with stakeholders, and the imperative to remove obstacles to ensure effective and sustainable business operations. Prior to joining CatholicCare Sydney, Luke was the CEO of the Sydney law firm Bartier Perry. He holds qualifications in Law, Behavioural Science, and Early Childhood Education. He is a member of the Sydney University Sancta Sophia College Council, and a director of Sydney Archdiocesan Catholic Early Childhood Service Limited.

The Leadership Team consists of:

Morgan Fitzpatrick
Morgan A. Fitzpatrick (née  Childers)
Chief Executive Officer – Family Spirit Ltd

Morgan has a Master’s Degree in Couple and Family Therapy. Over the last 10 years, she has worked in and managed services for children and adults with disabilities, young people with severe and persistent mental illness, youth services, juvenile justice services, services for young people leaving care, early intervention family services, residential services for children and adults and aged care. Prior to joining Family Spirit, Morgan worked with CatholicCare for nearly three and half years and led the establishment of Family Spirit. Morgan has a strong passion for delivering the mission of the Church by assisting the most vulnerable children and families in our communities.

Paul Roberts
Executive Operations Manager

Paul has over 25 years of experience within the humanities sector; from frontline service delivery through to senior management, predominantly in the UK. He has been involved in disability, housing, mental health, homelessness, youth and aged care, day programs, lifetime offenders, addictions and generic support. Project management experience, organisational restructures, budget management, policy writing, marketing, fundraising, tender & grant applications, restrictive practices panels, NDIS knowledge and ICT involvement are all skills gained from my employment since returning to Australia from Europe in November 2012.

Jeff Hamilton
Senior Manager – Permanency Support Program

Jeff has been working in the social welfare sector since 1997.
Jeff has had various counseling and case management roles in the:
Youth Justice and Out of Home Care sector; Drug and Alcohol; Housing and Mental Health sectors.
Jeff has been in leadership roles since 2003 and is currently leading the Permanency Support Program across Bankstown and Blacktown.

Brenda Freeman
Senior Manager – Preservation and Restoration

Prior to her current role, Brenda worked in other foster care roles and has 22 years nursing background, specialising in Maternal and Child Health, Mental Health, Senior Aboriginal Health Education Officer, Mental Health First Aid Instructor and a Justice of the Peace.

Brooke Norman
Senior Manager – Youth Services

Brooke’s team works across the Bankstown and Lewisham sites. Brooke’s team primarily works with older children in foster care and/or young people leaving care (or previously in care).

Prior to moving in to her current  role, Brooke worked with CatholicCare for eight years within the youth team. Brook started out as an Adolescent Preservation and After Care Case Worker and then moving to a Senior Practitioner position within this team.

Benjamin Jeggle
Data and Project Officer

Benjamin has a Bachelor in Environmental Science. He has worked for CatholicCare Sydney for the last 5 years in a variety of data management and child protection related positions.
Previous to starting with CahtolicCare Sydney he has worked in the childcare industry as well as provided equestrian therapy for children.
In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, cycling, dancing and hiking.