Board of Directors

To view the profiles of our board members please click on their name below.

 

Toni Hetherington: President

 

Toni Hetherington pictureToni Hetherington has been a journalist for more than 25 years, much of that with the News Corp Australia media group. Her career began at the Bendigo Advertiser and has spanned five cities, nine newspaper titles and all editorial departments including news, sport, business, features and community newspapers.

Some of her key and most recent roles include Associate Editor (Lifestyle) of the Herald Sun, former National Sports Editor News Corp Australia, former Deputy Editor Sunday Herald Sun , mX editor in Melbourneand former editor in chief of Leader Community Newspapers.

She has been in her current role as Associate Editor (Lifestyle) Herald Sun for 12 months. She oversees coverage in key lifestyle areas including food, fashion, entertainment, gossip, features magazines, books, arts and events.

 

She is also Secretary of the FareShare Board, a not for profit charity that rescues surplus food and cooks free, nutritious meals for Victorians doing it tough. She is passionate about helping individual and families who are struggling in any way possible. Her extensive knowledge, fundrasing and event planning experience is an asset to the FCAV Board. 

 

Toni has a 6 year old daughter and enjoys singing, reading and cooking.

 

Tori Smith: Vice-President

 

tori

Before becoming a foster carer I worked for 10 years across several agencies providing alternative education for young people in care, then as a residential carer and as a foster care case manager. I also lived as a lead-tenant mentoring 9 adolescents. These roles exposed me to the needs to children in care, which I couldn’t ignore, and I became a foster carer myself with Anchor in 2007.  These days I do therapeutic foster care case management part-time and have been doing research about out-of-home care part-time too, both with Anglicare I have two siblings who have been in my care for nearly 3 years and look like they will stay long-term, and I maintain regular contact with a couple of kids I used to have in care.

 

My interest in becoming a board member for FCAV stems from: being immersed in the out-of-home care system; seeing its inadequacies daily; feeling its frustrations as it effects my children and the children and families with whom I work; learning constantly about better ways of doing things from other carers and professionals as well as research and academic literature (at all levels – systemic through to my own day-to-day care techniques); having a deep passion for advocating for kids and young people; and holding on to hope and belief that things can be better despite the realities of the 

status quo. 

 

Luke Sapwell: Treasurer

 

luke

I am a banking and finance professional with over 12 years’ experience working for some of Australia’s largest financial institutions.  Originally from Melbourne, I relocated to Townsville as a child. At age 8 I was placed into foster care with my sister due to a history of family violence and drug & alcohol abuse.  At age 14 our grandparents became our kinship carers until adulthood. My 10 years’ experience in the out of home care system has been a huge driving factor in my desire to be involved with organisations and projects that work with young people in out of home care, foster carers and those who work in the field. 

 

Previously I have had the pleasure of being a Young Consultant with the Create Foundation. This role gave me the opportunity to assist in the running of workshops and events aimed at educating workers and carers on various topics, as well as the development of educational materials and foster carer resources. I was also given a platform to tell my story through radio interviews and workshops. Most importantly, it gave me the opportunity to connect with other young people who were or are in out of home care. We were able to share our experiences with others who truly understood. This experience really cemented my desire to continue my involvement with organisations who work towards bettering the lives of those in or who are involved with the out of home care system. 

 

I look forward to using my role on the FCAV board of directors as a platform to share my personal experiences in the out of home care system. In doing so I hope that I can pave the way for a better experience for all of those young people that find themselves in out of home care.

 

Rachel Waters - Secretary

 

Rachel Waters

 

I am a 27 year old woman who is incredibly passionate about the Foster Care system and protecting children. I am a registered foster carer and have been a carer now for five and a half years. I currently work at the Department of Justice and Regulation in the Working with Children Check Unit as a Senior Review & Assessment Officer. My role involves undertaking assessments of individuals eligibility to engage in child related work if their criminal history record discloses offences. Prior to this role I worked at Berry Street Victoria in the out of home care program as a case manager and prior to this I worked as a Youth Worker with vulnerable young people who were engaged in the child protection or youth justice system. I graduated from University with a Bachelor Degree of Social Science (Criminal Justice) and have continued to attend training and workshops afforded to me not only due to my interest and passion in the industry but to keep my knowledge updated. My interest in joining the FCAV Board of Directors is that I would like to contribute to supporting carers and the wider child protection system in a meaningful and constructive way.

 

 

 

Megan Sadlier

 

megan

My husband and I along with our four children have been full time Foster Carer's for the last four years. We have had a range of placements and over 20 children have stayed in our home and have been part of our family.

 

My background is in psychology and my former position was working with adolescents from challenging socio-demographic backgrounds in an educational setting. Many of these students were in out-of-home care and I was part a number of their Care Teams across several agencies. It was their experiences that motivated me, with my family alongside, to become a Foster Carer. So strong is my passion for the children in the Care system that I have undertaken a Masters Degree in Social Work, with my focus being on Aboriginal children in out-of-home care.

 

I wish to advocate for the at times unheard voice of the Foster child that finds themselves in an imperfect system whose agenda can overlook the child or young person within its care. Being on the Board of the FCAV provides a forum for me to address, along with fellow Board members, these and other pertinent issues relevant to all those involved In Foster Care.

 

Chris Hansen

 

Chris

Chris Hansen is a policy and communications specialist with extensive experience in social policy, community development and reform. Chris has worked in senior policy and advisory roles throughout state and local governments, criminal courts and the higher education sector.


Prior to this, Chris worked as a communications consultant, specialising in government, politics and the community sector.

 

Chris has a strong interest in youth and child welfare, in particular the role of advocacy in creating opportunities for children and young people at risk. 

 

Since 2016, Chris has worked with as a mentor to young children living in foster care, with the Pyjama Foundation’s Love of Learning Program. Chris is currently a foster carer with Anglicare Victoria.

 

Malcolm McLeod

 

My wife Veronia and I live in Echuca and have been full-time carers for 10 years and respite carers for Veronica's parents for 15 years. We have 2 children of our own and currently care for 6 children in out of home care. 

I am on the FCAV board to continue the great work carers provide on a day-to-day basis and in previous years and help improve our system to obtain new carers and supports for kids in out of home care. We see children in OOHC as the children most in need of stability, structure, consistency and most importantly love. I would like to help facilitate this and help our young generation move forward in life with the same opportunities that children in their own homes have. 

 

Nicole Misurelli

 

nicoleMy husband and I along with our two teenage biological children have been providing respite foster care for 6 years through Berry Street. Our foster children, a brother and sister have been with us for all of this time and are part of the family. I have been employed in Human Resource Management for many years, working very closely with child protection, juvenile justice and placement and support workers in DHS – these jobs are very difficult and fraught at times but I’ve been inspired by many of the people in the industry. I think foster care and linking community agencies and groups is really important to getting better outcomes for children.

 

I have recently resigned from my role as a workplace relations manager at a Victorian University to become more actively involved in foster care. I am passionate about child welfare and equality of opportunities and hope to use my influencing and human resource management skills to achieve greater funding for the recruitment and retention of carers and for research into the long-term benefits of foster care for children and for the community. One of my aims is that my foster children will go to University because I think education is key to having opportunities in life.

 

Daryl Sloan

 

Daryl

In 1963, then aged two I was charged with criminal offences in Russell St Police Station and made a Ward of the State (VIC).

My life experiences in “Children’s Homes and Institutions” in those years left me passionate about bettering lives of children and teens who through no fault of their own are placed into what today is known as “State Care.”

 

My wife (Deb) and I live in country Victoria (Shepparton) and are foster carers of over 20 years; undertaking adolescent community placements, emergency, respite and long term care. For the last decade we have been carers of a rather high needs eleven year old lad who will remain part of our mob as long as he wants. Like other people now grown up and discharged from State Care, he always will be welcome at home, having bagged forever a part of our hearts and lives. We are also blessed to be long term carers of the naughtiest, cheekiest and possibly the most cutest and loving autistic 6 year old, we love him dearly and are in awe at the progress we see he is making in his life.     

 

My qualifications include an Advanced Diploma in Applied Systems Theory & Family Therapy, Certificates in Applied Science, Workplace Training and numerous short courses including Alcohol & Other Drugs, Mental Health, Suicide Intervention, (ASSIST) etc.  

 

I’m employed as Advocacy Program Manager & Aboriginal Advocate to engage with and work people with disabilities, their carers and within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities, supervising staff across approximately two thirds of regional Victoria and parts of NSW. Previously I worked long-term for the Salvation Army as a Youth and Family Worker in SAAP funded residential youth refuges, contingency care houses and as an Assertive Outreach Case Manager to homeless adults with complex and polymer issues.