Board of Directors

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

 

Toni Hetherington: President

 

Toni Hetherington picture

Toni Hetherington has been a journalist for more than 30 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 Melbourne and former editor in chief of Leader Community Newspapers.

She has been in her current role as National Education Publisher for News Corp Australia for almost three years. 

 

Toni is a committee member of the Feed Appeal, which raises millions of dollars each year to feed Australians going hungry. She is passionate about helping individuals and families who are struggling in any way.

 

Her extensive knowledge, fundraising abilities and event planning experience is an asset to the FCAV Board. 

 

Toni is a long-term foster carer and has a daughter in permanent care. 

 

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.

 

Megan Sadlier: Secretary

 

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. 

 

Madeleine Kapira

 

madeleineMadeleine is a skilled professional with experience in research, evaluation, auditing and intelligence. Madeleine has worked in federal government, academia, and the not-for-profit sector with her current role being in state government. Madeleine has a passion for developing skills in business and governance as she holds value in understanding the ‘bigger picture’ and what contributes to organizational success.

 

Madeleine’s career choices are demonstrative of this; entering into roles which are compliance based that focus on doing the right thing and providing organizational structure. In doing so, Madeleine is proud of her ability to transgress organizations with her skills and experience in order to develop a well-rounded career, and more importantly, an informed perspective.

 

Social justice issues have always been Madeleine’s interest and passion, and that is why she undertook undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Criminology and Criminal Justice. This provided her with an understanding and theoretical basis of how crime impacts society, and what the sometimes ‘unseen’ consequences it can have. Madeleine is always learning and relishes in podcasts, documentaries and is an active reader. She enjoys digesting information and having new experiences where she is able to build on her abilities whilst helping others out.

 

Alexis King

 

AKing picAlexis has over 19 years’ experience working as a HR professional and people manager in manufacturing, private industry, local government and the water industry. After completing a Business Management Degree with Victoria University in 2000, her career began at Thales in North East Victoria. After 10 years in the manufacturing industry Alexis moved to local government as the Manager People and Performance at Rural City of Wangaratta. After relocating to Melbourne in 2014, Alexis commenced work at City of Darebin where she had roles working within the Aged Care and Disability team and then later working with the Executive, Mayor and Councillors in governance.

 

In 2013/14 Alexis was one of 4 Victorian local government professionals to be selected to participate in a mentoring program with Timor-Leste local government officers.  The program allowed Alexis to spend time in Timor-Leste working alongside her mentees.

 

Alexis completed her Masters in Business Administration in 2016 after being awarded a rural scholarship with La Trobe University. Alexis is now working at Western Water in the role of Organisational Development Manager.

 

Alexis is very passionate about equality, welfare and education especially with children, and is looking forward to joining the FCAV board.

Alexis has 3 children and in her spare times loves playing netball, going to the gym and cooking.

 

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. 

 

Sue Segar

 

sueI am a former Victoria Police Officer (13 years) and Qantas Customer Service Manager (16 years). Together with my partner Shaun, I am a foster carer and mum to a 2 year old girl and our 5 year old son. Through Anglicare Bendigo my partner and I have provided respite and long-term care over the last 12 months and we are currently preparing for family reunification. I have always been passionate about children and especially those in out of home care. My first-hand carer experience has inspired me to keep caring for children wherever possible - and to put myself forward for membership of the FCAV Board.

 

My experiences with Victoria Police and Qantas taught me about operating with large, complex and highly regulated systems in order to serve the public. I am passionate about working in the community and supporting families to navigate the support systems created by government and the not for profit sector. I have spent 2 years on the managing committee of our Kindergarten including as current President. We have focused particularly on parent engagement, student wellbeing and improving kindergarten governance and policies. This experience demonstrates my ability to improve systems for the benefit of families and to ensure effective engagement with the families we serve.

 

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.