CEO: Robyn Cotterell-Jones
Robyn has led VOCAL over the past 22 years from its humble beginnings as a homicide support group to the state-wide advocacy agency that it is today. With extensive management experience in both the public and private sectors, Robyn established the Victim Support Unit in 1998 and the Family & Child Safety Team in 2012. Robyn was awarded the Order of Australia medal in 2016 and brings formidable strength and enterprise to her work as CEO. Naturally a life coach, Robyn delights in offering staff, volunteers and clients alike strategies for positive change. Robyn is currently on long service leave, taking a much needed break and enjoying time with family.
Acting CEO: Kerrie Thompson
After spending ten years in the Australian Defence Force (Army), Kerrie made a career change and undertook a Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Counselling). Coming from a trauma-informed perspective, Kerrie is committed to empowering clients through psychoeducation and believes that knowledge is the key in making informed choices. She loves exploring how the brain can be rewired after experiencing trauma. A passionate advocate for victims’ rights, she is also committed to ensuring victims’ voices are heard throughout Local and State Government settings. In her time off, Kerrie enjoys relaxing with her family, sipping coffee at the beach and remains in the Army Reserve.
Senior Victim Support Specialist: Vanessa MacDougall
After travelling the world for many years, Vanessa settled in Australia to pursue a career in herpetology (handling snakes) and became an Australian citizen in 2010. She soon discovered her true passion for working with people in trauma and has been practicing in the field since 2013. With training in Counselling and Trauma-Informed Care, Vanessa is an integral part of the Victim Support Unit and is dedicated to supporting clients experiencing complex post-traumatic stress disorder. She is also currently completing a clinical qualification in Resource Therapy. In her time off, Vanessa loves to exercise and swim in the ocean.
“The things that make me different are the things that make me” – Winnie the Pooh
Victim Support Specialist: Hannah Stenstrom
Hannah has experience working for NGOs in the mental health sector and has held both community development and case work roles. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) with a major in Government and is interested in social change. Hannah has a passion for understanding what makes people tick and loves getting ‘the system’ to work better for individuals. Her writing skills are vital to the VOCAL team in advocating for victims’ rights via NSW Government legislation. Originally from Sydney, Hannah never tires of exploring new sights around town with friends and family.
“The beginning is always today” – Mary Wollstonecraft
Victim Support Specialist: Nicola O’Brien
Nicola has over a decade of experience working in Community Managed Organizations specialising in mental health and strengths-based care. Holding qualifications in Counselling and Mental Health (non-clinical), Nicola forms an essential part of the VOCAL team and brings a wealth of knowledge, empathy and understanding to her work. She believes there is no correct formula for living and enjoys spending time with the under five-year-olds in her family who approach life and learning with infectious enthusiasm. Nicola is also completing a Social Work degree part-time.
“Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value” – Albert Einstein
Administration Assistant: Wendy Baugh
Wendy is an experienced high-level administration professional who has worked in both the private and public health sector. Known for her calm demeanor and gentle approach, Wendy is passionate about working in the non-for-profit sector and uses her highly-regarded organisational skills to keep the office in order. Her role model is Donna (from television show Suits) which means she is fiercely loyal and has an uncanny ability to know when someone needs a coffee!
Everything Finance: Selina King
Integral to the running of our service, Selina does an amazing job maintaining the finances for both our non-government organisation (the Victim Support Unit) and our registered charity division (VOCAL Inc. NSW). Selina is a registered Business Activity Statement Agent and runs her own successful business, Concise Accounting.
All things Computers: Innovative Computer Solutions
Dan the Man and his team at IC-Solutions provide staff with incredible service and speedy support when computer problems arise. Always there and always willing to help, IC-Solutions provides ever professional tech support for which VOCAL is extremely grateful.
“You see problems? IC-Solutions.”