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Our values

The Centre shares Better Place Australia’s values of compassion, optimism, professionalism and empowerment.

In addition to these, our values include:

Integrity

We believe that all research should be conducted with integrity. This includes our legal and professional obligations to conduct research in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines, but also our commitment to producing meaningful research and being accountable to research participants and the communities we work in.

Justice

All people have a right to live safe and fulfilling lives. It is our belief that the best way to achieve this collective goal is through the fair distribution of resources and access to services.

Governance

The Centre’s research and policy activities are conducted under the supervision of the steering group and the Board of Directors. CBR’s research focuses on organisational priority areas as determined by the Board of Directors. The steering group is chaired by the CEO of Better Place Australia and membership is made up of senior leadership representatives.

 

Current steering group membership:

Serge Sardo – Chair

Chief Executive Officer

Serge Sardo is the CEO of Better Place Australia. He has accumulated over 10 years’ experience as a CEO and non-executive director for not-for-profit or government organisations. In his previous role as CEO of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Serge was instrumental in establishing the Foundation as a world leader in the delivery of counselling, support and prevention programs to over 100 different locations. Serge has an MBA qualification and strong commercial experience. With expertise in preventative programs, social policy and advocacy, he has delivered and managed a wide variety of community-based therapeutic and prevention services. Serge is a member of the Board for Family and Relationships Services Australia and Scope Disability.

 

Dr Paula Fernandez Arias

Research Manager

Paula holds a Bachelor of Arts, English Literature and Linguistics (hons) and a master’s degree in Arts Gender Studies and Development. Paula completed her PhD thesis, “We only meet in the lift” An examination of Australian Multiculturalism through the Resettlement Experiences of African Refugees, in 2016. Paula has extensive research experience in the areas of families and relationships, mental health, filicide and incarceration.

 

Jenni Dickson

Executive Manager Consumer Support Services

Jenni Dickson has over 20 years’ experience in the health sector. She has a Bachelor of Nursing and a Graduate Diploma Community Health. Jenni brings to Better Place Australia a strong background in services development and quality improvement. She has a background in Aged and Community Care and has significant experience in improving the client experience

Jenni joined Better Place Australia in 2013.

 

Graeme Westaway

Executive Manager Brand, Digital & Corporate Communications 

Graeme Westaway has over 20 years’ experience in brand, communications strategy and concept development. His educational background in Science and Marketing has been used across brand strategy, services development and web interaction planning. He has developed consumer goods, not-for-profit services, insurances and preventative health programs.

Graeme’s not for profit services background covers child welfare, aged care services, government-funded services and medical research. His values are honesty, warmth and making a difference.

Graeme stood in as Better Place Australia’s acting CEO from June 2016 until February 2017.

Graeme joined Better Place Australia in 2013

 

Charlene Pierera

Lead Clinical Supervisor

Charlene holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) majoring in Psychology and Criminology, a Master of Counselling degree and is a PhD candidate with the Social Work Criminal Justice Research Consortium. While working in private practice, she has been active in the implementation and delivery of professional development programs, and clinical supervision services for practitioners in the allied health field. She has been delivering clinical supervision groups for undergraduate and post graduate students at the Australian College of Applied Psychology for ten years.

 

Mandy Strange

Elders Programs Manager

Mandy Strange holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Monash University, a post-graduate certificate in public health and is a Master of Public Health candidate at Flinders University. With over 16 years practice experience, Mandy has worked in health, mental health and family violence across acute, sub-acute and community settings. She currently manages the Elders Program, inclusive of the Elder Abuse Prevention Program, at Better Place Australia.

 

Emily Armstrong

Research Assistant

Emily holds bachelor’s degrees in Social Work and Health Science and a master’s degree in Public Policy and Management. Her previous research experience has been in public health and adolescent transition and evidence-based practice for social work in acute health settings.

 

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