Our People

Foster Carer & Child | Family Spirit Staff

A team committed to families

Our team is committed to the vision and mission of Family Spirit and do everything they can to support the many children, young people and families in need.

To make sure there is support at every stage, we invest in ongoing training for all Family Spirit staff. Embracing innovation and growing our skills, we deliver consistent care and meaningful support when you need it most.

Our leadership

Sheree James

Chief Executive Officer

Sheree James is the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Officer at Family Spirit.

With 30 years’ experience within the Community Services Sector, Sheree is qualified and registered as a Specialist Behaviour Support Practitioner, Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Educator. She holds a Bachelor Arts (Psy), Grad Dip Applied Science, Grad Dip Family Therapy, Master Medical Science, and Grad Cert Behaviour Support.

Prior to her role at Family Spirit, Sheree has previously provided leadership to several multidisciplinary therapeutic teams and has had extensive experience in Clinical Governance and Quality Assurance. With a passion and interest for Child Protection, Out-of-Home Care and Adoptions, she is also an experienced assessor and trainer within the sector having taught at TAFE NSW, ACAP and Bidura College.

Lauren Ficarra

Executive Manager, PSP Operations

Lauren is a skilled and dedicated mental health professional and program leader, having worked across the private and not-for-profit sectors for over 15 years.  Lauren has a deep understanding of the complexities of the out of home care and permanency space, and is committed to supporting children, families and carers with compassion and expertise. 

Lauren has been a part of the Family Spirit team since 2019, working primarily with children and families as they navigate their emotional and legal complexities of the permanency journey.  With a strong background in the areas of adoption, guardianship and adoption focused counselling, Lauren is dedicated to providing expert guidance and leadership to achieve positive, trauma informed outcomes. 

Lauren holds a Bachelor of Psychology, multiple certifications in governance, counselling, positive behaviour support practices and business management, and is a registered adoption counsellor with the Department of Community and Justice.

Alicia Johnson

Aboriginal Practice Lead

Alicia Johnson is a proud Muruwarri woman who has had extensive experience working with Aboriginal communities providing counselling, advocacy, and clinical expertise to mob in Community.

Alicia holds a Bachelor of Health (Mental Health) and is undertaking her master’s in social work.  Alicia has demonstrated experience and specialised skills and knowledge working with Aboriginal families & Communities in Aboriginal Mental Health, trauma recovery, healing, drug & alcohol family violence, sexual assault counselling, PHSB and child protection with the embedded holistic approach to culture, connection, healing, and wellness.

Lisa Wicks

Executive Manager Child & Family

Lisa Wicks brings over 25 years of dedicated experience in the out-of-home care sector to her professional journey. Having immersed herself in the dynamic landscape of child protection, out-of-home care and disabilities, Lisa is deeply committed to enhancing the well-being of children, young people, and families under her care.

Drawing from her extensive professional experience, Lisa possesses an innate ability to offer relatable depth to her work. As an experienced practitioner in the ARC framework and training in the CALM methodology, Lisa brings an extensive understanding and experience of trauma-informed care to Family Spirit.

Lisa’s lived experiences of being a foster carer have enriched her understanding and compassion for other carers. It is through personal and professional experience that drives her to be a catalyst for change.

Debbie Gallagher

Senior Office Manager

Debbie Gallagher, senior office manager at Family Spirit has an extensive career in leading and supporting teams in community-based settings from an organisational and operational perspective.  Her experience includes supporting pivotal mental health research at University of Sydney, coordinating mental health services across Sydney through the ATAPS program, and several years in Women’s health. 

As a mother and grandmother, Debbie shares a warmth of understanding around the needs of parenting.  Debbie is also very familiar, understanding the complexities of foster caring, having supported her parents who were foster carers for over thirty years in the Bankstown area. 

The Family Spirit Board

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

Jonathan Raja

Jonathan Raja


Jonathan Raja is the Director of Services at Marist180. 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.

David Stefanoff

David Stefanoff

David Stefanoff is the Director of Strategy at CatholicCare Sydney. With a background in banking and structured investing in both public and private markets, David transferred his learnings to the social services sector in 2017. Since then, David has been responsible for delivering several projects at CatholicCare Sydney, including leading the development of the agency’s response to several state and federal funding opportunities.

David is a lay member of the St Vincent’s Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee and currently spends his spare time either preparing for or walking a Camino de Santiago.

Megan Sprague

Megan Sprague

Megan has 20 years senior management experience in the private and not for profit sector. Holding both a BBA and BFA (Hons), she has worked extensively in achieving workplace relations reforms, improving safety practices, and implementing government led initiatives such as the Local Area Coordination under the NDIS.

Inspired by the courage and passion of people facing and overcoming injustice, Megan works in partnership to enable continuous improvement of strategically aligned services and sustainable business practices, to achieve positive outcomes for vulnerable persons.

When not working, Megan is an avid lover of the Australian bush and contemporary Australian art.

Foster Carer & Two Boys | Contact Family Spirit

Contact Us

Call our team 9am to 5pm weekdays on 13 18 19
(In an emergency please call 000)

Family Spirit Ltd, Suite 301, 2-14 Meredith Street, Bankstown NSW 2200

To send us a message or to be contacted by a staff member please complete the contact form below.