Parent Reference Group
Our Parent Reference Group provides valuable parent/carer perspectives with regard to planning, implementation and delivery of services.
Want to get in touch with the members? The Parent Reference Group can be contacted by emailing PRG@therapyfocus.org.au.
Interested in becoming a member? Download an expression of interest form.
View the PRG Terms of Reference.
Charmaine is married and had a son named Jack who sadly passed away from Juvenile Leigh’s disease; a life threatening metabolic disorder for which there is no cure or treatment. Charmaine combines her professional knowledge and expertise with her personal understanding of disability. Charmaine is passionate about challenging entrenched stereotypes, changing perceptions, and raising awareness of what people with disabilities can achieve through access, inclusion and participation.
Charmaine has extensive experience working in Human Resource Management for major Australian and multinational corporations across a range of industry sectors. She is also a Co-Founder and Director of Special Aussies Foundation; a local charity established in 2007 to assist families and children with special needs.
Amanda holds a number of qualifications in Community Services and has worked primarily in the children's services sector for 22 years. For the past 10 years Amanda has worked at SMYL Community Services as a Lecturer, and is privileged to work with a group of like-minded people. She has a strong interest in capacity building, values family, social justice and equity, and holds a passion for inclusion - particularly of families in remote communities.
Amanda's association with Therapy Focus began in 2010 when her son, who has cerebral palsy, Autism, Intellectual disability, vision impairment and Global Development Delay, entered the schooling system. She is delighted to be a member of the PRG and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge to support Therapy Focus in achieving better outcomes for families.
Emma is mother to two children aged 6 and 9. Her 9 year-old daughter has Down syndrome and has been receiving services from Therapy Focus for three years. As a parent, Emma greatly values working collaboratively with school and service providers towards agreed goals, and promoting community inclusion by sharing her own experiences and leading by example. She also believes in the importance of providing adequate services to support positive physical and mental health outcomes for parents and carers of people with disabilities.
Through her roles as a website content coordinator and an independent skincare and cosmetics consultant, Emma is passionate about the importance and impact of good customer service and effective communication. She is excited to bring her skills and values to her role as a member of the Parent Reference Group.
Frances came into contact with Therapy Focus when her son, diagnosed with autism, was picked up in 2014 for school aged intervention services. The strong relationship the family developed with their therapist’s was the motivation to be a part of the Parent Reference Group; to better understand the organisation and to work in partnership to provide the best support and strategies for her sons future. Frances believes that her role is to educate people about autism and advocate for her son and others.
Frances has a Diploma of Business Management and has worked in the retail and hospitality sector as a manager for the last 20 years. Currently she is volunteering as a puppy educator with PAWS to raise an assistance dog.
Lainey is a Bookkeeper for the business she runs with her husband. She is also a Mum to Scott, who is 11 and has autism. Scott received his diagnosis in 2013 following Lainey battling the system for 5 years. He then began receiving services from Therapy Focus when he was 8. Lainey works closely with her son's therapists and the whole family have a great relationship with the team.
Lainey believes that with effective communication and the opportunity to share her own experiences she can assist in educating others about autism, the systems, and the challenges of diagnosis and beyond. She is looking forward to helping make a difference as part of the Parent Reference Group.
Claire’s daughter has cerebral palsy and Asperger’s syndrome and has been receiving services from Therapy Focus for ten years. As Claire’s daughter moves from secondary schooling into the wider community, she will be accessing the range of adult services that Therapy Focus now offers. Claire looks forward to using her family’s lived experience of this transition to benefit the community and the Board of Therapy Focus.
Claire has long been involved with the Health Department, having worked as an independent researcher for KEMH and also been a member of their Community Advisory Council. As such, Claire has substantial experience of both sides of the clinician/patient equation.