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
WA Special Families Program Manager
Executive Chair: Libby Lyons
Libby Lyons is an experienced and well-connected Public Affairs professional, and has managed public affairs functions for a diverse range of private and publicly listed companies and government agencies for many years. Libby has valuable management and “hands on” experience in issues management, crisis management, media relations, stakeholder relations, partnerships/sponsorships and government relations.
Libby has been on the Board of Kalparrin as a non-executive Director since 2012. Libby took over the role of Chair in July 2013 following the resignation of the previous Chairman.
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.
Treasurer: 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: Jenny Bourke
Jenny Bourke completed her Masters of Public Health in 2002 and since then has worked in the area of intellectual disability studies at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research. She is Manager of the IDEA (Intellectual Disability Exploring Answers) Database, which is held at the Institute. Jenny is involved in a number of studies at the Institute including an investigation into trends in autism in WA, the Down Syndrome Needs, Opinions, Wishes study and mortality associated with birth defects by race and location. She has presented at a number of national and international conferences on topics related to the epidemiology of intellectual disability.
Director: Tracey Barnes
With over 25 years experience in the banking industry, Tracey Barnes has strong business acumen and an extensive network. In her current State Manager role, Tracey leads 200 staff across 30 branches, and is focused on executing strategies to accelerate the growth of the business. She holds an MBA from Curtin GSB, and is a member of AICD and FINSIA. Tracey has been named the Winner of the 2013 Telstra WA Business Women’s Awards in Private and Corporate Sector, and also nominated as Finalist in Business Innovation category. Tracey understands the challenges families of children with special needs face, herself having had a child with a major disease. As a director and board member, Tracey is excited to help Kalparrin become a strong and sustainable organisation.
Director: Beverley Gay
I grew up in country NSW, doing correspondence school until the age of 10 and then finishing school in Sydney. I trained as a physiotherapist in Sydney and have worked there as well as Canberra, country NSW and overseas. Princess Margaret Hospital has been my main place of work in WA but I have also worked at Midland and Joondalup Child Development Centres, the Association for the Blind and in private practice. After taking the plunge to ‘be my own boss’ in 2007, I now work as a private paediatric physiotherapist.
I am married with two adult boys, one adopted, one un-adopted. I love gardening, walking, running and travel. My mission is to help families to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit. My goals are to walk in Nepal, visit Africa and to live healthily until I am 100 years old.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.