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National Organisation for FASD Australia

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Welcome to the website of the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (NOFASD) Australia.

Our people

The NOFASD Team

We strive for excellence in everything we do. Our goal is not only to provide quality care, but also build relationships with each individual, making them feel valued and important no matter how complex their needs.

We’re also focused on raising awareness and community support by providing education workshops and training on a variety of FASD-related topics.

The NOFASD team is dedicated to supporting individuals with FASD. We provide the highest quality of coaching, education and training for our clients so they can live their best lives possible!

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Louise Gray

Chief Executive Officer

BA, B Ed, Master of Sociology

Louise is an experienced leader in the Not for Profit sector and is currently the Executive Officer of NOFASD Australia. She holds a Master of Sociology degree from Murdoch University awarded for a research project centred on community knowledge and awareness of alcohol in pregnancy and has travelled to Canada to observe approaches to therapeutic prison environments, FASD awareness and education; and employment programs.

Cheryl

Cheryl Dedman

Chair of the Board

Cheryl Dedman is a parent and full-time carer of a young adult living with FASD and the current Chair of the NOFASD Australia Board. She has a passion for advocating for families, carers and individuals living with FASD; believing it is essential to nurture the mental health of carers through encouraging their self-care.

Cheryl believes the key to providing the best possible life outcomes for those living with FASD, or those caring for them, is educating professionals and families. Preventively, Cheryl sees it essential for not only women but the wider community to be educated regarding the risks and dangers of consuming alcohol during pregnancy, viewing it as a systemic societal issue.

Cheryl advocates for the community, along with friends and family to actively encourage and support pregnant women to abstain from consuming alcohol during and before their pregnancy. Prior to becoming a full-time carer, Cheryl’s background was in the fitness industry, education and childcare.

In the Australia Day 2024 Honours List announced by the Governor General, Cheryl was announced as a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to community health. This honour recognises Cheryl’s long-term commitment to raising community awareness of the risk of prenatal exposure to alcohol, and to reducing the stigma that surrounds Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder so that families, carers and those living with this condition are better supported.

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Christine Brooks

Board Member

B.Ed.

Christine is a primary school teacher, with a special interest in Early Childhood education and facilitating parent groups. She has worked in a Northern Territory community and now enjoys short term fostering of a little girl from NT.

With her partner she regularly has students from Worawa Aboriginal College for home stays.  She is keen to increase the awareness of FASD within the school setting through the education of school staff.

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Sophie Harrington

Chief Operating Officer

Sophie is the Chief Operating Officer for NOFASD Australia. Sophie has held positions in frontline services and senior management, across a range of sectors to include alcohol and other drugs, out of home care and justice, providing services to multiple young people and families impacted by FASD.

Sophie is a FASD educator and coordinator of NOFASD’s lived experience expert advisory groups. She is a member of the Steering Committees for the National FASD Awareness Campaign and the FASD Diagnostic Guideline Review, as well as the FASD Hub Advisory Committee.

Sophie has lived experience of FASD.

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Professor Elizabeth Elliott

Board Member

Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM FAHMS FRSN is a Distinguished Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney and a renowned Paediatrician at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, Westmead. She is Co-Chair of the National FASD Advisory Group, convened by the Australian Government Department of Health and a Director of NOFASD Australia.

For over 20 years she has been involved in clinical care, research, advocacy, and policy development on FASD and alcohol use in pregnancy. Her career is dedicated to advancing human rights, health, and quality of life for ill and disadvantaged children.

Internationally, Professor Elliott was a member of groups that developed World Health Organisation guidelines for identification and management of alcohol misuse during pregnancy and an International Charter for the Prevention of FASD, and invited speaker at the WHO’s inaugural Global Summit on Alcohol, Drugs and Gambling. In Australia, she led development of the first Australian Guide to the Diagnosis of FASD, the FASD Hub, the FASD Registry and the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in FASD and contributed to national (NHMRC) alcohol guidelines and Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Australian Medical Association (AMA) policy. She is involved in developing the Learning with FASD resources for educators and the Every Moment Matters national awareness campaign.

Professor Elliott is Head of the NSW Service for Assessment and Management of FASD; Co-Director of the Centre for Care and Intervention for Children Affected by Drugs and Alcohol; and Director of the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit. Her research includes epidemiological, pregnancy cohort and prevention studies and work to address FASD in remote Aboriginal communities, out-of-home care and the juvenile justice system.

In 2008 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to paediatrics and child health. In 2018 Professor Elliott received the 2018 Excellence in Healthcare Award from the Australian Medical Association, and the James Cook Medal for significant contributions to improving the health and quality of life of ill and disadvantaged children in the Southern Hemisphere.

Kymberley McKay ACM

Board Member

Kym McKay has been employed by the Department of Justice, Corrective Services since 2012, and is the Superintendent at Boronia Pre-release Centre for Women, Western Australia.  Currently, Kym also holds the position of Assistant Commissioner for Women and Young People.

Boronia Pre-release Centre for Women delivers a philosophy-driven model that is focused on providing every woman an opportunity to maximise their potential to positively, confidently and safely re-enter the community. Boronia delivers trauma-informed services to a minimum-security female prisoner cohort and their children, in a community-focused therapeutic setting. Boronia was opened in May 2004 and since then has become internationally recognised for service provision in the justice environment.

Kym commenced his career in justice with Western Australian Police, before transitioning to the private sector and then Corrective Services during the inauguration of the West Kimberley Regional Prison. Kym’s strong connection with the Kimberley Region has driven his interest in improving the lived experience of people in contact with the justice system. He became aware of the long-term harms of prenatal alcohol exposure and has actively supported the growth of FASD-informed service delivery. This has included promoting the role of men in pre-birth planning, healthy pregnancy and early childhood development.

Kym has developed a broad level of experience within justice by delivering managerial oversite at multiple Adult Correction facilities including Bandyup Women’s Prison, Broome Regional Prison and Boronia Pre-release Centre for Women. This led to him being awarded the 2016 Commissioner’s Leadership Award for excellence in recognition of outstanding service to WA Corrections, and in 2018 he was Western Australia’s inaugural recipient of the Australian Correction Medal for service excellence in the Australia Day Honours Roll.

Kym is committed to increasing recognition of FASD in justice settings to provide better service and more effective pre and post release planning.

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Tony Miers

Public Officer

Tony is a retired South Australian Public Servant. His career commenced in the civil and structural engineering areas of the Public Buildings Department before moving on to the Coast Protection Board, the Department of Recreation and Sport and lastly the Regional Economic Development Division of the Economic Development Authority. He project managed one of Australia’s first and arguably more significant government online transaction platforms before moving on to an economic sustainability program prior to his retirement.
Tony’s involvement with FASD commenced as a foster parent with his youngest daughter who was eventually diagnosed with partial FAS. His wife Sue Miers is the founder of NOFASD Australia, which was established in 1998. Both Tony and Sue have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience in FASD through raising their daughter who has presented the challenges, and it must be said the joys, that are associated with the condition.
While Tony is currently the Acting Treasurer of NOFASD, he has served as the Public Officer of the Organisation for the last twenty years. Notwithstanding this, he considers his primary role to provide support to the well-recognised effort and achievements Sue has made in the FASD field. This support has ranged from establishing and managing the first website (when the organisation was called NOFASARD), acting as Sue’s “roadie” on the many trips and presentations she has made over the years, accompanying her on countless meetings with politicians and senior government advisors and not the least sharing in the ups and downs that Sue’s persistent activism has involved.
Along with Sue, Tony is part of the history of NOFASD Australia and his vision for the Organisation is that one day it’s role and services will no longer be required.

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Robyn Smith

National Helpline Manager

Robyn has worked for over 10 years in community based not-for-profit organisations. Her experience includes aged care programs, parenting advice and support programs, offender reintegration, school students and youth at risk transition strategies. She has worked with many clients and families affected by FASD, especially in the prison system.

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Julie Flanagan

National Projects and Communications Manager

BA Qld; MBA UNE

Prior to joining NOFASD Julie worked for 13 years in the tertiary education sector coordinating projects involving collaboration with academic staff, students and external partners. She has had a long-term interest in the disability sector, including working as a teacher’s aide with children with mild intellectual disabilities, while undertaking her initial Bachelor’s degree. Subsequently, while working as an Education Officer at the Queensland Art Gallery she developed the Gallery’s Disabilities Assistance Program, designed to enable more effective access to the art displays and allied educational activities of the Gallery for those living with disabilities.

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Charlene Tate-Lovery

Project Support & Governance 

Charlene has 16 years’ experience in the not for profit community sector. Her experience includes administration, governance, and human resources within career development and employment, and alcohol and other drugs services in metropolitan WA. She holds a Diploma in Human Resources Management, Certificate IV in Business (Governance), and is a current member of the Australia Human Resources Institute (AHRI). She is very interested in FASD prevention and is passionate about promoting awareness of FASD.

Kurt Lewis

Communications and Project Support

Kurt holds a Bachelor of Justice and Legal Studies and a post graduate Bachelor of Laws. While studying he worked for 7 years as a Library Assistant at Maroochydore Library. Kurt has volunteered with multiple organisations including Street Angels, Rave Safe and Friends at Court, where he provided non-judgemental support to community members including those impacted by FASD, homelessness, and alcohol and other drug use. Kurt’s contributions to raising awareness of FASD, and the risks of alcohol use, include developing the first series of a podcast titled Pregnancy and Alcohol: The Surprising Reality.

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