Management Committee

PATRON

Dorothy Hoddinott AO

Dorothy Hoddinott was principal of Holroyd High School 1995-2018, where one in every two students had been in Australia less than three years and some 60% of all students were of refugee background. She has long been a strong advocate for the human rights of children and young people, particularly young refugees and asylum seekers. Dorothy was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2008 and was the 2014 Australian Human Rights Medalist. She was a Fellow of Senate of the University of Sydney 2010-2017 and has been a Pro-Chancellor of the University since 2015.

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Kathie Herbert

Chairperson

Kathie is is a life long social justice activist and advocate with broad networks Australia wide. She has been involved in grass roots campaigns organising against the Vietnam War, Nuclear Disarmament, Climate Change Action, Aboriginal Rights, Anti- Apartheid Movement ,conservation and environmental protection, Public Education and Women’s Liberation among others and a member of many organisations fighting for social change, including The Moratorium Movement, Student Underground, NSW Parents and Citizens Federation, Search Foundation, The Greens, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and Rural Australians for Refugees.

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Kathie has helped manage and co-ordinate numerous successful public events on advocacy and awareness raising with the BMRSG team such as the the direct online interview with Behrouz Boochani from Manus Island, book events including one with Tom Keneally, film nights, music concerts and fundraising efforts.

Kathie, a resident of the Blue Mountains since 1975, is a well known and respected member of the community . For the past 26 years she  has been part of the team of Megalong Books,  a successful local business which continues to sustain intellectual life with a social conscience. As a qualified librarian she has also worked in the BMCC library service.

Kathie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (majors in History and Economic History)  UNE and a Graduate Diploma of Arts (Library and Information Science) CSU.

Judy Lynch

Deputy Chairperson

Member of Community Visitors Sub Committee

Member of Finance Committee

Now retired, Judy Lynch worked for many years in the electorate offices of both Federal and State Members of Parliament. As well, she has extensive experience as a high school English teacher.

In her work for local politicians, Judy was required to liaise with and coordinate action between government departments, community groups and constituents. Developing strong working relationships with local organisations was a key feature of her role.

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On behalf of the local member, she advocated for individuals and groups within the electorate.

As an educator, Judy taught English to high school students. Her focus was on empowering young people through the development of strong literacy and critical thinking skills.

Judy has served as Secretary and Treasurer of the management committees of community based childcare centres. These roles required strong administrative skills and an understanding of compliance and governance.

Laurie Brackenreg

Treasurer

Laurie has a lifetime experience of financial management in large corporate companies in the Electronics, Food and Printing industries, thence non profit charities including HopeStreet Kings Cross (7 years) , voluntary organisations including state treasurer for Girls Brigade NSW and finance manager and board member of the Sydney Street Choir. He has a strong commitment to social justice and his family has developed strong connections to a refugee who visits for holiday breaks through the Home Among the Gum Trees project.

Bachelor of Business -Accounting 1979.

Jane McQueen

Secretary

Jane has over 35 years experience in health and community sectors of government and non-government agencies.

She has held a number of management, operational and capacity-building roles in community health, women’s health and indigenous health. Jane has been involved in inter-professional, clinical supervision & communication training for health staff, and has taught undergraduate and masters social work courses @ university, & community services @ TAFE.

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Jane has highly developed skills in relationship management, organisational governance, policy development, strategic planning and negotiation.

From 2009-2010 Jane was a member of the National Executive of the Australian Public Health Association. In 2014 she went to Hanoi as part of a team with Sydney University’s Hoc Mai Foundation teaching medical English to Vietnamese doctors.

Qualifications

2008 Fellow Australian College of Health Service Executives

2001 Master of Primary Health Care (UWS)

1981 Bachelor of Social Work (UNSW)

Rebecca Cooper

Assistant Secretary

Community Visitor

Rebecca has been involved with BMRSG as a community visitor since 2018.

Born the UK, Rebecca has a background in community and family support, working and volunteering in the not for profit and voluntary sector for over 25 years. Previous organisations include The Children’s Society, a UK government ‘Sure Start’ program (establishing services for families and focused support for refugees and those seeking asylum) and the Refugee Council.

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All roles have involved supporting people seeking asylum and refugees from all over the world, in many different ways. Rebecca has previously been a committee member and treasurer of a not for profit pre-school in the Blue Mountains. 

MA, GradCert, BSc(Hons), CHE

Roger Grealy 

Committee member

Coordinates Cars for Refugees program

Event Co-ordinator 

Roger has been a high school science teacher, an organiser of fund raisers for various causes,
an environmental advocate and a  trade union activist.
He has been involved in election campaigns for forty plus years as an independent for local ,
state and federal elections.
He has been a visitor to refugees in Villawood Detention Centre and to refugees living in the
community since 2013

Julie Martin

Committee Member

Julie has lived on Dharug and Gundungurra country in the Blue Mountains for more than 25 years. Originally trained as a clinical psychologist she worked for many years with NSW Health. In that position she undertook public health research with a focus on Sydney’s culturally diverse western suburbs. Widely travelled, Julie thrives on cultural diversity. She is a committed feminist and has served on the Board of the Blue Mountains Womens’ Health and Resource Centre for some years. Julie has a particular interest in the impact of trauma on people’s lives and human resilience in the face of adversity. She is active in resourcing the work of BMRSG community Visitors in supporting refugees. As well she brings to her role, sound knowledge of governance requirements in regard to operating a charity.

Joy Connor

Committee Member

Joy has worked in social justice advocacy including Executive Chairperson Social Issues, Baptist Union of NSW (13 years) and Senior Policy Officer Shelter NSW, taught in disadvantaged schools and TAFE, and assisted disadvantaged groups to have a voice including working with Indigenous people to establish the Aboriginal and Islander Baptist Council of Australia and as co-ordinator Park and Village Service, equipping residents of NSW Caravan Parks to lobby for more security of tenure. She has served on a number of non-profit boards including the Tenants Union of NSW and Thrive Blue Mountains.

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Joy has been involved with BMRSG since its first public meeting when she helped put out the chairs and is currently in touch with people seeking asylum in detention.
MPhil Arch (research on mZarginal housing,) M.Mgt, BA Dip Ed.

Senthilpavai Kasiannan

Committee Member

Finance sub-committee

Senthil works in Public Service in the Blue Mountains. Since moving to Sydney, she was briefly exposed to refugee issues while helping translate subtitles for the Refugee Film Festival.

She works primarily in the area of Cultural Heritage Management. She has worked in advocacy for cultural heritage in India.

Since living in the Blue Mountains, she has been a member of BMRSG, actively participating in visiting refugees and people seeking asylum using her language skills

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(Tamil and Hindi/Urdu) and helping in interpreting. She has been concerned and connected to refugee issues through BMRSG for nearly a decade.

Qualifications

PhD in Archaeology (Cultural Heritage Management)

M.Sc (App Sc) (Cultural Heritage Management)

Marianne Chaffe

Barbara Barnard

Eva Trcka

Dr. Hal Ginges

Public Officer

Solicitor and Barrister Dr Ginges is a criminal defence lawyer who has devoted many years to defending and representing people who are often on the margins of society.

He is the Principal Lawyer in a respected local legal firm.

He cannot abide cruelty to animals or humans and is passionate about advocating for just and compassionate treatment of refugees and prisoners.

Member of the Law Society of NSW
B.A. (Hons) M.A. LIB. (Crim Law) PhD