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. We can help you find information about specific conditions, services, equipment and agencies including support groups and entitlements.
General Manager – Carrie Clark
Carrie brings to the Kalparrin team a wealth of experience working in senior community development and communications roles in the mining sector and local government. Prior to joining Kalparrin she was with Platform Communications coordinating the delivery of strategic communications projects for corporate and not for profit clients.
Before her work with Platform she had eight years’ experience in the mining industry working for Atlas Iron, CITIC Pacific Mining and BHP Billiton. Here she worked with businesses and not for profits to design and deliver programs and services that bring benefit to communities. She has experience leading teams to deliver outcomes in the areas of community development, internal and external communications, government relations, brand management, media liaison, social media management and event management.
Carrie has a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development and Sociology. She has lived and worked in regional communities and brings lived experience of having a brother with special needs.
Family Support Officers
Kalparrin Families Group Administrator
At the 2015 Annual General Meeting Sarah and David Flanagan were endorsed as Family Patron’s, joining the Hon Barbara Scott in her support of Kalparrin.
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 pre-primary 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.
Sarah and David Flanagan have been closely linked to Kalparrin for the past 4 years since Sarah became a Director of Kalparrin in 2012. Sarah is a Dietitian who divides her time between her private practice, being a mother to two busy children and together with David, supporting a number of philanthropic interests.
David is the Managing Director of Atlas Iron and the current Chancellor of Murdoch University. David is a passionate supporter of giving in Western Australia and doing things to make his family proud. David was named West Australian of the Year in 2014 and made an Eisenhower Fellow in 2013. David has received a number of awards over the years including the inaugural Governors Award for Giving in 2011, EY Entrepreneur of the Year (Business) in 2010 and First Among Equals, 40 under 40 in 2009.
David is also the Patron of Many Rivers and Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre.
Sarah and David are delighted to continue their involvement with Kalparrin as Patrons. They believe in the vision of Kalparrin and wonderful work they do supporting West Australian families.
Founding 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.
Chair: Lucinda Ardagh
Lucinda is Fundraising Manager for Fremantle Dockers Football Club. She has been an integral part of establishing the Fremantle Dockers Foundation, an exciting initiative for the Club which supports its community and social inclusion activities, elite performance and on field success, pathway and development programs for aspiring athletes.
Prior to her role at the Fremantle Dockers, Lucinda was with St Vincent de Paul Society for ten years as WA Manager of Public Relations & Fundraising. Her role involved the strategy, development, leadership and management of all fundraising campaigns and activities, events, community engagement, internal and external communication, marketing, media and partnerships.
Notable achievements during her time at St Vincent de Paul include being part of the strategy, development, launch and management of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout in WA and on a national level. She was on the National Executive Committee PR & Fundraising of St Vincent de Paul Australia and responsible for raising over $65 million for the organisation.
Lucinda is currently a member of the Fundraising Institute of WA State Executive and Vice Chair of Prepare, Produce, Provide. Her qualifications include a BA in Communication and Literature, Post Grad in Business and a BA in Arts Management.
Vice-Chair: 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 Price Waterhouse Coopers 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.
Treasurer: Michael Watts
Michael Watts is the Business Analytics Practice Manager at NEC Australia. Michael has strong business acumen and technology knowledge, gained over 15 years working within commercial business functions and information technology departments across Wesfarmers. He 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.
Director: 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.
Director: Bronwyn Kerr
Bronwyn Kerr is the Legal Manager at Atlas Iron Limited. Bronwyn has over 9 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.
Kathryn Heaton lives in Karratha and has 7 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 and a mother’s respite weekend.
Kathryn joined the Board in November 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 in the water industry. She is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is a member of Kalparrin’s Finance and Governance Committees and a Board member of her children’s local primary school. In 2014 she established, with Senses and Lotterywest support, 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 then 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 families of children with feeding difficulties in Australia.
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.
Rob is a Father of 2 young boys. His professional life has been in Information Technology where he has worked for the Finance industry in both Perth and Sydney. More recently he has taken to running his own small business which gives him the flexibility to work around his family’s needs. Rob’s first exposure with Kalparrin was in 2008 when his youngest son was admitted to PMH with meningitis. The family endured a 3 month stay at PMH and although his son survived his medical emergency he was left with a brain injury from his illness. Since that life changing moment Rob reduced his work commitments to become the primary carer for both of his young boys. Through the years of ongoing therapy and medical appointments, he understands the strains and in many cases isolation faced by families with SN children. His passions include AFL football where in 2014 he launched and coached a team of over 45 special needs children to give them the opportunity to play sport within a community based club. He hopes his experience as a father of a SN child and his passion for a more inclusive society will be of use to the wider Kalparrin community.
Director: Marani Hutton
Marani Hutton, Physiotherapist, currently works as the Area Allied Health Advisor for SMHS and is involved in strategic workforce planning, HR, leadership, change management, professional development and education and training strategies to support Allied Health and Health Science professionals as well as service planning during reconfiguration of an unprecedented capital works program. With a background in training & education, OSH and Aboriginal health, Marani has lead a number of internally and externally funded projects for WA Health.
Marani represents SMHS on a number of disability portfolios including membership to the Department of Health (DOH) Disability Health Network, supporting the ‘My Way’ trial at Cockburn Kwinana and leads the Disability Liaison Officer project at Fiona Stanley Hospital (now up to phase 3).
Deputy Chair of the WA Health Northern and Remote Country Governing Council (2012-2015), and Board member of the Curtin School of Physiotherapy Advisory Board, Marani has held Board roles requiring governance, leadership and strategic planning.
Marani has spent the past 25 years working for WA Health and has experience in general private practice and self-employment in training and education. 14 years were spent working for the WA Country Health Service across the remote North West Kimberley region servicing both adults and paediatric clients. She moved to Perth with her family in 2005.
Marani has a 12 year old nephew with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism who lives regionally. She brings to the table lived experience as a carer providing 24/7 lived in care and understands the complexity of challenges that face families caring for children with special needs. Marani is particularly interested in supporting rural, remote and regional families and appreciates the need for support, love and acceptance.
Director: Leanne Bridges
Leanne has been a member of Kalparrin for over 10 years. Her daughter has an intellectual disability and her diagnosis led Leanne in the direction she has been following every day since. During this time she has held various positions at Kalparrin, on the board, as an office volunteer and a staff member. She was a parent representative, Secretary and Vice Chair on the board, volunteered in the office helping with the organisation of mother’s weekend amongst other tasks and as a staff member was both Events Coordinator and a Family Support Officer. Her new career is now as a Support Coordinator with a service provider in Midland helping families in the NDIS Trial Site coordinate the supports within their NDIS plans. This involves connecting people with support workers to assist them in reaching their goals, liaising with service providers, researching information on the services available and give assistance using her lived experience and local knowledge to connect them with their community. She also volunteers her time to give talks to families and service providers about her experience as a mother of a child with special needs and as a support coordinator.
For Leanne becoming a member of the Kalparrin ‘family’ was life changing and she is passionate about Kalparrin and the incredibly important role it plays in people’s lives. She left Kalparrin as a staff member to pursue her career but would like to stay connected to this warm, supportive and empathic organisation so shr can help families on their journey in the same way the amazing people brought her to this organisation 10 years ago.