Kalparrin staff

The team at Kalparrin understand the issues involved in caring for children with special needs. Our Family Support Officers are available to speak with parents who visit or ring the Kalparrin Centre, and can offer support/information to assist in overcoming many of the daily living difficulties that most parents of children with special needs experience. We can help you find information about specific conditions, services, equipment and agencies including support groups and entitlements.

Family Support Officers

Leanne Bridges
Leticia Grant

A/Events Coordinator

Leanne Bridges

WA Special Families Program Manager

Kate Clark

Regional Siblings Initiative Program Manager

Anita Peiris

Kalparrin board

LUCINDA ARDAGH B (2)Acting Chair: Lucinda Ardagh

Lucinda has been working with St Vincent de Paul Society (WA) for the past ten years and is currently Manager of PR & Fundraising. Lucinda’s qualifications include a BA in Communication and Literature, Post Grad in Business and a BA in Arts Management.

In 2009/2010 she held the position of Acting CEO of this large organisation for a period of six months which included overarching leadership and operational management of the organisation including 80 staff and 2,500 volunteers. She successfully managed a significant change process in WA which included restructuring and strategic re-alignment of roles and objectives of the organisation, the initiation and development of several key organisational policies, the appointment of several senior staff, reporting to the board of St Vincent de Paul and representing the Society at a state and national level.

Her current role involves the strategy, development, leadership, management and reporting of all fundraising, events, community engagement, internal and external communication, marketing, media and partnerships activities and she is the delegated media spokesperson for the Society in WA.

Lucinda’s fundraising responsibilities include the development and management of all of the St Vincent de Paul Society’s campaign appeals including Christmas and Winter Appeals, Street Appeal, Newsletters Appeals, Bequest Program, Major Gifts, Regular Giving Programs, Online Giving, Capital Campaigns. Lucinda also successfully developed, launched and managed the Vinnies CEO Sleep Out event on a local and national level. Since 2010 over $4.5 million has been raised in WA for homelessness. Key to this success has been Lucinda’s ability to engage and target key business and community leaders to participate and champion the event in the community. Lucinda has a strong focus on branding, relationships and the marketing mix in ensuring successful fundraising.

Lucinda holds a position on the National Executive Committee PR & Fundraising of St Vincent de Paul Australia and is a member of the Fundraising Institute of WA State Executive.

Sarah Flanagan

Vice-Chair: Sarah Flanagan

Sarah Flanagan divides her time between her private practise where she works as a Dietitian, looking after her 2 children and of course her role on the Board of Kalparrin. Born and raised in Perth, Sarah went on the study at Curtin University before working in the Goldfields and South East Coastal region of WA. It was there that she met her now husband David and decided to travel and work overseas. Sarah was fortunate to gain experience working as a Dietitian in London, the Channel Islands and in Ghana (West Africa). Upon returning to Australia Sarah worked at a number of Perth hospitals (predominantly Hollywood Private Hospital) before taking on the role of Public Health Dietitian at The National Heart Foundation of Australia where she worked for over 2 years. During this time Sarah involved herself in a voluntary position as Deputy Chair of the not for profit group, Nutrition Australia (WA division).

In 2004 and after having her 2 children, Sarah started her own private practice working almost exclusively with a multi-disciplinary team in the field of bariatric (weight loss) surgery. Sarah took 2 years out of her practice to be with her family more and took on a role with Edith Cowan University to supervise Dietetic students completing their clinical hospital placements. Sarah has recently resumed her private practice work with Advance Surgical at the Hollywood Medical Centre. Sarah and her husband David have a strong interest in philanthropy and Sarah is honoured to be able to assist Kalparrin in the important work they do supporting the families of children with special needs.

Shawn PearsonTreasurer: Shawn Pearson

Shawn Pearson is the Business Development and Carbon Strategy Manager at CITIC Pacific Mining. Shawn has over 15 years’ experience in business development and commercial management working with PricewaterhouseCoopers as well as with resource, defence contracting and infrastructure services companies. Shawn is a Certified Practicing Accountant. Shawn has been closely involved in not-for-profit organisations for the past 10 years’ holding various positions supporting the sector including Board and advisor appointments. Shawn is the Chair of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy’s Carbon Price and Energy Efficiency Reference Group, and represents CITIC Pacific Mining on various industry groups and committees in the resource sector in WA.

Director: Michael Watts

Michael Watts is the Business Consulting Manager at Lateral, a Western Australian software and mobile application development company. He has strong business acumen and technology knowledge, gained over 15 years working within commercial business functions and information technology departments across Wesfarmers; holds an MBA from UWA, and is a member of AICD and AIM.

Michael assists both for-profit and not-for-profit organisations leverage technology to achieve strategic objectives. With two beautiful boys, both with special needs, Michael is honoured by the opportunity to assist Kalparrin provide the amazing support it provides to families.

Shaun Murphy

Director: Shaun Murphy

I am one half of a partnership that has 3 fantastic children, all of whom have special needs. With the loving support of my wife Dianne, I am able to be a Carer and stay at home Dad. Supporting our children on a daily basis is my main role. In the past I’ve been employed in several different jobs working in many countries gaining life skills and understanding of other people and cultures. I enjoyed my role on the Positive Behaviour Management Team with DSC as one of the Parent Representatives, currently I’m a member of the Angling and Sports Committee of the Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club as Fishing is one of my favourite time out, pastimes. With my wife’s help I have organized a few weekends away and several nightly events for a male Carers group that was started to support Dads and male carers to enable those in a caring role to support each other without judgment. The group is still going and has expanded and is now being facilitated by DSC. Hopefully it will grow and become part of the community development role with DSC. Other pastimes I enjoy are cooking, travel, music, poetry, movies, most team sports (AFL, Cricket, Football, Union & League).

I can be dogmatic and very practical with a great sense of humour and level headedness. A great thinker is a comment I would like to be known for and a strong advocate for my children and people with a disability.

Jane AtkinsonDirector: Jane Atkinson

I am mum to 2 young boys and became a Kalparrin member in 2008 when my son was born and I began the journey no mother imagines their life will become. I have benefited from many Kalparrin activities, such as family fun days and mums’ camps and appreciate the important role Kalparrin plays within members lives.

I have a varied experience of WA Health, initially as a pharmacist at RPH, more recently as a senior policy officer and project officer and finally as a consumer through my child. Friends describe me as a practical, down to earth person with a sense of adventure. I love to travel and spend my spare time playing tennis and volunteering for WA Special Families, Kalparrin’s on-line arm.

As a region leader I have the privilege of organising events where people can connect and I get to watch friendships and support networks grow. It would be an honour to serve on Kalparrin’s Board; I bring my experience as a program manager and policy writer, while remaining first and foremost, a parent of a SN child.

Bronwyn KerrDirector: Bronwyn Kerr

Bronwyn Kerr is the Legal Manager at Atlas Iron Limited. Bronwyn has over 7 years’ experience in a corporate law firm and as in-house counsel with a focus on commercial and resources law. In addition to being admitted to practice law in Western Australia, Bronwyn holds a diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Financial Services Institute of Australia and has completed the requirements of a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance from Chartered Secretaries Australia. Bronwyn grew up in Perth and is pleased to have the opportunity to support Western Australian families by working with Kalparrin.

DirKHeatonector: Kathryn Heaton

Kathryn Heaton lives in Bunbury and has 6 year old identical twin boys, born prematurely at 26 weeks, one of whom has special needs. Since 2008, Kathryn’s family have often utilised the services of Kalparrin during frequent trips to PMH Perth, and have benefited from one of Kalparrin’s wonderful parent relationship retreat weekends.

Kathryn joined the Board in October 2014 to use her skills and experience to contribute to Kalparrin’s support programs, and is passionate about representing  regional members because it is here where support services are often limited.

Kathryn is an environmental engineer and Fellow of Engineers Australia, and is currently working part-time in the water industry.  She is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and is a Director of the South West Catchments Council and also Board Secretary. She recently established with Senses and Lotterywest, an Australian Resource Directory linked to the Feeding Matters USA website to provide information and support for Australian parents and professionals of children with feeding difficulties.  Since March 2014 she has been the inaugural Chair of the Australian Paediatric Feeding Reference Group, which consists of professional and parent representatives from across Australia, working to provide treatment and therapy support information networks to professionals and parents of children with feeding difficulties in Australia.

Jenny Downs (1) - low resDirector: Jenny Downs

Jenny Downs is a paediatric physiotherapist working in Perth, London and Sydney and has been a researcher since completing her PhD in 2003.

She now has 10 years of research experience in relation to childhood disability and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute. Her research involves children affected with common and rare childhood conditions including Down syndrome, Rett syndrome, the CDKL5 Disorder, the MECP2 Duplication Syndrome, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Early Onset Scoliosis.

Her work increases our understanding of their natural history: from the early years following diagnosis through childhood growth and development, and subsequently through transition to adult life. Another aspect of her research is the development of robust outcome measures in relation to functional abilities and physical activity.

She is currently working on the development of a measure for quality of life for children with intellectual disability. Jenny has juggled her PhD and now research work with raising two daughters who are now young adults.



Barbara Scott

Patron: Hon. Barbara Scott

Kalparrin’s Patron is the Hon. Barbara Scott. Barbara retired from the Western Australian State Parliament in May 2009, after serving as a Member of the Legislative Council for sixteen years, representing the South Metropolitan Region. Barbara was a former teacher and has four children and nine grandchildren. She was a founding member of the Meerilinga Young Children’s Foundation and President of the Community Kindergartens Association.

Among her achievements in the Parliament she lists:

  • Significant changes in early childhood education with the provision of kindergarten and preprimary education for all West Australian children
  • The establishment of a Children’s Commissioner for Western Australia
  • The mandatory reporting of child abuse
  • The 40 km/h speed zone around all schools

Barbara is currently the President of the Friends of Ngala, and is Deputy Chairman of the Board of Ngala. She is on the Executive Committee of the Australian Family Association, is a Trustee of the May Gibbs Foundation, and Patron of the Pineview Kindergarten in Coolbellup.

Fiona StanleyFounding Patron: Prof. Fiona Stanley

Kalparrin’s Founding Patron is Professor Fiona Stanley, founding Director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, and Australian of the Year for 2003. Professor Stanley officially opened the Kalparrin Centre on 29th March, 1993.