Meet Our Team

Chief Executive Officer: 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. A passionate advocate for victims’ rights, she is committed to ensuring victims’ voices are heard throughout Local and State Government settings. In her time off, Kerrie enjoys relaxing with her family, drinking coffee at the beach and remains in the Army Reserve.

Vanessa MacDougall

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 practising 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: Sara Cooley

Sara has a BA Hons in Humanities and has a Post Grad in Social Work (UK ) and moved to Australia in 2014.
In the UK, Sara was a Police Officer (general duties and a Detective) and found that her Social Work experience enabled her to support victims whilst ensuring the best outcomes. Sara has worked in both government and NGO sectors and most recently worked in Melbourne supporting victims of crime. Working from a strengths based approach, Sara empowers clients on their journey of recovery. A keen music fan, Sara loves to travel and enjoys all that Newcastle has to offer.


  Victim Support Specialist: Brooke Ross

With 15 years corporate HR experience in Australia and overseas, and after a series of personal life changing events, Brooke made a decision to change her career focus and completed a Diploma in Community Services.  With a passion for helping people, Brooke believes it is the way in which we choose to view life that can have the biggest effect on our health and well-being and is committed to supporting our clients on their own individual journey.   Outside of work Brooke enjoys partaking in the many activities that make her feel happy.


Administration : 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.


 Concise Bookkeeping and Business Services : Selina King

Selina is “everything finance” ! 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.”
IC solutions website