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ACOSS Board

The ACOSS Board is comprised of representatives of our National Member Organisations of our National Member Organisations and State Councils of Social Service.

Board elections are held every two years.



Francis Lynch

ACOSS President

Francis Lynch

 

Francis is the Chief Executive of Ruah Community Services, an organisation which operates services in the areas of homelessness, mental health, domestic violence, and employment services.

He has worked in the non-government community services sector for many years, across a wide range of service types including children’s services, child welfare, youth services, AOD services, emergency relief, community development, employment services, mental health, homelessness and counselling services. Francis has been involved in a range of social policy activities including advocacy on child welfare issues.

Francis was President of the WA Council of Social Services, and is on the Board of Community Employers WA, and the Board of the Australian Council of Social Service. He has a Bachelor of Social Work, Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management, Master of Social Work and a Master of Business Administration.

Michael Bleasdale

ACOSS Treasurer


Michael Bleasdale

 

 


 


Michael is an individual member of ACOSS. He is currently the CEO of the NSW HMMS State Council, and has recently worked as an Executive Director of the Attendant Care Industry Association (ACiA), and as one of three Executive Directors of the Leadership Team at People with Disability Australia Inc (PWDA). Michael has over twenty years experience working within the Australian non-government sector, particularly in disability service provision. He has also worked as the Principal Researcher for the Disability Studies and Research Institute, and as an independent trainer and consultant. He briefly worked in the NSW Public Service, as part of the Executive team at the NSW Office of the Protective Commissioner.

Michael has demonstrated a strong commitment to the rights of people with disability, co-founding and convening the Australian Disability Network from 1994-2000, moderating the OzAdvocacy email discussion list between 2000 and 2002, and serving on a number of boards of management, including the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability, the Intellectual Disability Rights Service, and the Down Syndrome Association of NSW's Up Up and Away Committee. He was also chosen to serve on the NSW Ombudmsan's Reviewable Disability Death's Advisory Committee between 2004 and 2006.

Hang Vo


National Member Organisation Representative

 

Hang Vo

Hang has 17 years experience in the not-for-profit sector, ranging from community based agencies to international organisations, including deployments to major disasters in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Hang is currently the Head of Strategic Operations for Services and International at Australian Red Cross and has dual responsibility for strategy development and implementation across a diverse portfolio.

Hang is herself a refugee who came to Australia with her family in 1978 as part of the first wave of Vietnamese 'boat people'.  She has personal insights into the challenges of resettlement, as well as a deep appreciation of the rich contributions made by diverse migrant communities to Australian society.

Hang is a current Board Director of Springvale Community Aid and Advice Bureau.   She has degrees in Social Work and Arts and a Master of Business Administration (Executive).

Gerard Thomas

National Member Organisation Representative

Gerard Thomas

Gerard Thomas is the  Policy and Media Officer with the Welfare Rights Centre, Sydney and the National Welfare Rights Network. He is also a policy adviser to ACOSS on employment and income support issues. 

Gerard has previously worked for pensioner organisations for a decade, and has represented the interests of income support recipients to on Centrelink Reference Groups and the DEEWR Participation Taskforce, which led to re-vamp into parental obligations. With others, he contributed to the exposure of impacts of the Social Security penalty system, and its negative impacts upon Indigenous job seekers and their contribution to homelessness.


Bettina Cass

National Member Organisation Representative

Bettina Cass

Bettina Cass is Emeritus Professor at the Social Policy Research Centre, University of NSW and also Professor (part-time) in the Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University. She was previously Professor at SPRC from 2005-12 and Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney (1984-2005). Her areas of research include: analysis of policies for families with dependent children and carers for people with disability, chronic illness and frailty due to ageing; policies to facilitate the balancing of employment and caring responsibilities; policies for disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people; analysis of income support policies with special emphasis on equity, adequacy and labour force assistive programs; grandparents who are primary carers of their grandchildren;  social policies to address poverty and social exclusion and promote social inclusion. She has undertaken analyses of social policies for the Commonwealth, NSW and South Australian governments. Many of her research, review and reform projects have been carried out with community sector agencies, including ACOSS, Carers NSW, Carers SA, Carers Australia, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Mission Australia, The Smith Family and the Benevolent Society.

 


John Falzon

National Member Organisation Representative

John Falzon

Dr John Falzon is a political sociologist, poet and author of The language of the unheard (2012).  He is Chief Executive Officer of the St Vincent Paul Society National Council of Australia and has written and spoken widely on the structural causes of exclusion and inequality.  He has worked in academia, in research and advocacy with NGOs, and in community development in large public housing estates and he has served on a number of government advisory boards including the Australian Social Inclusion Board.

Mark Bagshaw

National Member Organisation Representative



Fiona Given

Special Assembly Representative

 


 

Jane Stanley

Special Assembly Representative

 

Jane Stanley

Jane Stanley was the Executive Officer of the Council of Single Mothers and their Children, Victoria from 2005 – 2013.  Strongly committed to social justice and equality for women Jane worked tirelessly to improve the conditions of single mothers and their families.

Jane has represented the needs of single mothers in a wide range of settings, through political advocacy, representation of single mother issues to government and community organisations, and involvement in research.  She has written numerous submissions to government inquiries on a wide range of policy issues.

Jane has over 15 years experience working in community organisations in direct service and group work roles, and has also held positions in the Victorian government in policy development and administration.  She now works in the Department of Social Work at the University of Melbourne, and is a member of the National Advisory Committee of the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children.

Bernie Dwyer

NTCOSS Representative

Bernie Dwyer

Bernie is the CEO of Amity Community Services Inc in Darwin. He has worked in the community sector for more than twenty years, predominantly in the areas of mental health, alcohol and other drugs as well as gambling.


He is the President of NTCOSS and Vice President of the National Association for Gambling Studies.

 

Noel Mundy

TasCOSS Representative

Noel Mundy

Noel has been the State Director for Mission Australia in Tasmania for the past 7 years. He is currently the President of TasCOSS and has been on that Board for the past 3 years and has also been actively involved in a number of other Tasmanian Boards, Committee and Working Parties.

Noel grew up in Tasmania and is passionate about working in partnership with other community service agencies, government and the business sector to ensure that everyone is able to achieve their full potential and live within a healthy and supportive environment.

Noel is a proud father of 3 daughters who provide him with inspiration and purpose for his work.

Sarah Fogg

NCOSS Representative

Sarah Fogg


Sarah is a member of the NCOSS Board and is NCOSS’ nominee to ACOSS Board. She has over 25 years experience in public policy with broad-ranging interests and experience including in ageing issues, housing, consumer health issues and family and children’s services.

She has worked for older people's organisations at state and national levels, the New South Wales Government and had a number of roles in the not-for-profit community sector. She is currently Senior Manager Policy in at The Benevolent Society.  She also has over 10 years experience as a board member of not-for profit organisations and brings this governance experience to the ACOSS Board.