Our People

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Hopefield employs quality staff to provide professional, evidence-based clinical services (psychology, counselling, speech pathology), case management, support and group services, and community education to individuals, couples, families and organisations in our community.

Hopefield Services Inc. is managed by a Chief Executive Officer under the governance of a management committee, known as the Hopefield Board, according to the Hopefield Services Inc. Constitution.

Clinical Services

Linda Salem

B.Sc. (Hons); M.Psychol. (Clinical); MAPS; ACPA
Clinical Services Practice Lead, Conjoint Lecturer, School of Psychology, UNSW Science

Linda is a trained Clinical Psychologist with close to 30 years’ experience working with children and families presenting with a broad range of emotional and behavioural problems. Linda works from behavioural family systems model to help facilitate change within the family.  Linda is also a supervisor for post-graduate clinical training in the area of child and adolescent mental health, an accredited supervisor for Pastors, and is a facilitator for Safe Church training within the NSW & ACT Baptist Association and Fresh Hope (Churches of Christ) movement. Linda is a committed Christian, loves teaching Special Religious Education (SRE) in a local primary school, is a children’s ministry worker in her local church and is a consultant on camps for children undergoing adversity.

Jair Graham

B.A. – Psych. (Hons); MPROFPSY; Associate MAPS
Psychologist

Jair is a Psychologist who works with children, adolescents, and adults and is an Associate Member of the Australian Psychological Society.  Jair brings his experiences working in private practice and educational settings to his role here at Hopefield.

He is passionate about working alongside people to help them face and overcome difficulties in a more constructive way, moving forward to a rich and fulfilling life.  Jair primarily works from a Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) perspective in order to treat a wide range of psychological issues and disorders.

Sue Chin

B. Soc. Sc. (Psychology); Grad. Dip. Counselling; PACFA Reg. Clinical
Clinical Counsellor

Sue is a registered Clinical Counsellor and member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.  She has a special interest in relationship problems and trauma, and works with individuals, couples and families experiencing difficulties in these areas.  She has also worked extensively with women who have experienced trauma and loss through domestic violence.

Sue works from a cognitive behavioural model, using interventions from Acceptance Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy to help people achieve change.  Sue is also an accredited facilitator for the ‘Tuning in to Teens’ parenting program.

Sue brings 20 years of experience in facilitating change and developing people in large multi-national corporations to her role at Hopefield.

Kate Brown

B.App. Sc (Speech Pathology); M.A. (Human Communication Disorders); CPSP; MSPA
Speech Pathologist

Kate is a speech pathologist with over 30 years’ experience working with children, adolescents and adults with speech and language impairments and has been working at Hopefield since 2014.

Kate’s areas of special interest include speech disorders, learning disabilities, developmental and adult reading and writing, social communication, multi-modal communication support for people with developmental disabilities including cerebral palsy and autism spectrum disorder, and applied behavioural analysis for communication impairments. Her approach to intervention is to use current and traditional best practice tailored to the needs of the individual and their families and carers.
Kate also facilitates groups targeting communication confidence in social situations and managing anxiety for primary school aged children.

Dr Ruth Brookman

Ph.D; M. Clin. Psych; Research Fellow
Clinical Psychologist

Ruth is a trained clinical psychologist with a person-centred, collaborative and empathetic approach. She is passionate about fostering a supportive and safe environment for others – especially for those who may feel marginalised by their circumstances.  

During her training as a clinical psychologist, Ruth obtained experience in private practice, university campus clinics, and the Children’s Cancer Centre at Westmead Children’s Hospital. Ruth also has clinical experience and background as a speech pathologist and case management in vocational rehabilitation, child protection, and criminal justice settings. She has experience working with people across the lifespan, with a special interest in supporting people who have been diagnosed with dementia and their and carers.

Ruth is also an academic and researcher with the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, and teaches within the School of Psychology at Western Sydney University. She is involved in research that promotes wellbeing and communication across the lifespan. She is a committed Christian and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society’s  ‘Christianity and Psychology’ and ‘Psychology and Ageing’ interest groups, and is also a member of the Australian Association of Gerontology.

Christina Isaac

Diploma of Counselling
Volunteer Counsellor

Christina is a registered Counsellor with the Australian Counselling Association. She is currently continuing in developing counselling skills and is enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Counselling (ongoing).

She is passionate in journeying with people to overcome the challenges they are facing to bring hope, skills, and tools to get to the other side. Her interest includes working with adolescents, young adults, and women.

Christina brings a wealth of business experience derived from 30 years’ working in the financial service and hospitality sectors. Her experiences range from owning her own businesses to leading teams in change management and consulting.

Support Services

Karlyn Johns

B. Soc. Sc.; CMSA Member
Support Services Practice Lead

Karlyn has over 20 years’ experience working with marginalized individuals in the Community Welfare sector. She is a Certified Practising Case Manager and holds a degree in Social Science, Community Welfare, and Mediation, and she is currently a member of the Case Management Society of Australia. With a career spanning a range of areas from providing case management and advocacy to young people who are chronically homeless or at risk of homelessness, to assisting those with complex care needs around mental health or addictive behaviours, Karlyn has extensive experience in constructing client centred case plans and works uniquely with individuals to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Karlyn is extremely passionate about working with those who do not fit into other service’s criteria, as well as working with homeless people or those at risk of becoming homeless. As Team Leader she oversees the Support Services program that assists people dealing with the complex issues arising from addictions, dual diagnosis, homelessness, chronic unemployment, self-harm, trauma, and more.

Rebecca Cleaver

B. Social Work
Case Manager

Rebecca has joined Hopefield as a Generalist Case Manager. She has a special interest in the issues of homelessness and mental health and is passionate about reconnecting people with their community.  Rebecca utilises a trauma-informed, strengths-based approach in her work that is guided by the individual’s own pace and goals.  She brings her previous work experiences at Brighter Futures, Mission Australia and in drug and alcohol rehabilitation and women’s refuges to her role at Hopefield. 

Matthew Cottam

Case Manager

Matthew has joined Hopefield as a Generalist Case Manager. He has a special interest around mental health and helping those in the community who have found themselves isolated and needing connection to social and government services.  Matthew utilises a person centred approach supported by his training and experience as a counsellor.

Community Hubs

Keely Oste

B. Hons Social Work
Community Hubs Practice Lead

Keely Oste is a social worker, with a specialisation in domestic violence and community development.

Keely has particular passion for and experience with working alongside female survivors of domestic and family violence, and young women involved in the criminal justice system. In previous roles, she has developed programs for these groups of people with a focus on centring clients’ stories and experiences; empowering clients’ with knowledge and resources; and connecting with the wider, local community. Based on her experience working in these spaces, Keely has a deep belief in the restorative power of supportive communities for healing and flourishing.

As the Community Hubs Practice Lead, Keely strives to create a safe space for vulnerable people in our community to flourish, find purpose and hope. She oversees the social connection groups; workshops and programs; and partnerships with other services.

The EVE Project

Helen Dwyer

The EVE Project Program Lead

Helen Dwyer has had an extensive career in the corporate and community services sectors. She has worked with people experiencing extreme marginalisation caused by domestic and family violence; homelessness; substance abuse; sex work; sexual orientation and mental health issues. In 2019 Helen co-founded The EVE Project.

Helen has a Diploma in Community Services and Case Management. Her business experience includes various management roles; events management; fundraising and case management. She possesses strong skills in relationship management, emotional and cultural awareness, communications, report and grant writing, strategic planning and public speaking.

Administration

Vicki Sherry

B. Ec.
Chief Executive Officer

Vicki joined Hopefield in January, 2015 after an extensive career in the Information and Technology industry, including her last tenure with IBM for 18 years. Bringing a wealth of experience in getting the best out of teams and delivering on goals, Vicki brings passion and skills in leading Hopefield towards professional and sustainable practice. With an interest in empowering and managing teams, and mentoring business leaders, Vicki loves working with people to bring out their best. Vicki has a heart for reaching the community and bringing God’s love in a practical way, and is delighted to be able to use her skills in building and expanding the capabilities of Hopefield.

Janet Hayes

Practice Manager

Janet joined Hopefield at the start of 2010 in the role of Office Administrator. As the first point of call for all clients, she enjoys making the process as simple as possible whilst taking the time to listen with compassion and understanding to the individual needs of each client. Janet assists clients to find the most appropriate Hopefield service or redirects them to other organisations in their area. With a background in Fashion Design, Janet exudes joy and compassion and is at the heart of everything we do.

Sarah Tollis

Fundraising and Marketing Officer

Sarah Tollis joined Hopefield in 2023 to assist in Hopefield’s Fundraising and Marketing. She is passionate about ensuring donors and clients receive timely and detailed information about the work of Hopefield. She is highly capable at using multiple platforms to engage donors and promote the mission of Hopefield: to enable people to solve issues by equipping them for change, inspiring hope and transforming lives.

Sarah has strong skills in fundraising, communications, strategic planning, marketing, volunteering and event planning. With a background in Community Services and Event Management she is a great addition to the Hopefield team.

 

Karen Watkins

Executive Assistant

Board of Directors

Ross Langford

Chair

Ross currently works as Head of Loan Review, Risk Management Australia, Rabobank. He has 30 year’s experience in the Banking & Finance sector in Sales, Support & Risk roles. He also worked as Head of Finance, Property & Administration at St George Christian School 2005-10. He is also a director of Christian Super (since 2008) & Baptist Financial Services Limited (since March 2015). Ross has also had a number of other volunteer NFP roles.

Ross has a passion for the not for profit sector (NFP). That the NFP sector be as good, safe & efficient as it can be to deliver the best services to the people who need them the most. He believes a vital part of this is the application of good governance & has undertaken several governance courses including the AICD Directors course.

Ross is married to Leanne & plays tennis in his leisure time.

Jason Ezzy

Secretary

Jason has worked as a primary school Principal in public education for over 15 years. Jason has a passion for student welfare, ensuring that students are provided a safe and happy environment to reach their full potential. Jason has worked closely with welfare agencies, both in government and private sector, to negotiate support for students in need.

Marc Rader

Member

Marc is the Senior Pastor at Gymea Baptist Church and has been on staff at Gymea since 1997. He is also a faculty member at Morling College, the Baptist theological college of NSW & ACT where he teaches in Biblical Studies and Preaching. Originally from Canada, Marc is married to Nicole (an Aussie) and they have three adult daughters.

Melisa Giles

Vice Chair

Melisa has over twenty-five years’ experience working within the field of Early Childhood Education. Melisa’s experience incorporates time as a teacher, manager and currently as a member of the leadership team of a large not for profit provider of early learning services.

In this role Melisa is responsible for policy, quality, compliance and service development.

Melisa values children as active citizens of our world who have the right to provide input into decisions that affect them.

Melisa is married to Ian and together they have two adult daughters.

Kerrin Ryan

Treasurer

Kerrin is now retired after working as an Accountant mostly in the NFP sector.  Her last roles were as Accountant at St George Christian School and then as Business Manager at Shire Christian School where she was responsible for the Finance, Administration, IT and Property of the school. During this period Kerrin was also Company Secretary.  She is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants.   

Kerrin is married to Keith and has 3 adult sons, Mitchell, Bradley and Jack.

Neil Evans

Member

Neil is now retired after nearly fifty years in the Engineering Design and Construction Industry.  He is actively involved in Gymea Baptist Church sitting on the Church Leadership Team and heading up the Stewarding Group.  Aside from this board, he chairs Daughters of Australia and the Evans Trust – both charities that work with the disadvantaged.

 

During his engineering and management  career of nearly fifty years he held positions of Managing Director and Executive Director of a wide variety of businesses with turnovers in excess of $500m.  In those roles he became an expert in large multi-disciplinary engineering projects generally in excess of $1b.

Rob Seaton

Member

Rob Seaton has joined the Hopefield Board. He has a long history in the social services sector, working across a range of services including youth ministry, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and homelessness. He currently manages Wesley Mission’s Specialist Homeless Services, which includes activities on the Mid North Coast, Central Coast and throughout Sydney. Rob was instrumental in establishing those services and their approach to care following the state-wide sector reforms in 2014, and informing the design and refurbishment of Wesley’s flagship Inner City crisis accommodation in 2021. Rob also serves on the Board of Homelessness NSW. Hopefield is delighted to bring Rob’s expertise to the Hopefield Board.