Our Team

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Kelly Parrish - Regional Manager

Kelly has been the manager for Mental Health Carers ARAFMI Illawarra for nearly 8 years. Kelly has had extensive experience in advocating and supporting carers and has firsthand experience in caring for family members that have lived experience and having lived experience of her own. 

Kelly has completed several diploma’s including Business Management, Community Services, Mental Health, Disability and Counselling. In 2007 Kelly was a nominee for Wollongong Citizen of the year for her work in advocating for carers and their families throughout the Illawarra.

 

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Alice Scott - Board Member 

Alice is a carer and a carer advocate and has been an activist in the Illawarra for many years, and has been advocating for those less Alice is involved in many voluntary organisations, including Mental Health carers ARAFMI Illawarra.  Alice has been a member of the organisation for many years and was encouraged to join the management committee when she met our long standing past President Col Levy, about five years ago. Having a family member with a mental illness Alice decided to go along to a meeting to see how she could be involved.  She has never regretted that decision. Although she is not a primary carer for her family member at the moment but Alice provides a lot of support to the family. Alice also has been the Chairperson of the Illawarra Dental Health Action Group for 14 years and she finds great satisfaction in helping people gain access to dental treatment.

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Helen Hamilton - Board Member

Helen had been a carer for many years up until her mother passed away in 2010 at the prime age of 100.  When her mother died this gave Helen time to put her caring and passion to good use and became involved in a lot of community activities along with supporting her friend Alice as a community advocate. ARAFMI Illawarra was fortunate when Helen eventually became a member of the Management Committee along with Alice. Both Helen and Alice assist in the office around administration along with helping out in our community promotions.

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Russell Edwards - Board Member

Russell has extensive experience as a Senior Executive in the Commonwealth Department of Industry. Over the past 18 years he has held a number of roles including General Manager Research and Venture Capital, General Manager Clean Technology Investment and NSW State Manager.   Russell has also been a Member of the Pooled Development Funds Registration Board, a Member of Innovation Australia’s R&D Tax Concession Committee, and a Member of the Warren Centre for Engineering Major Projects Committee and executive responsible for governance for the Industry Research and Development Board and its committees. Prior to this time he was National Operations Manager for the Australian Government Analytical Laboratories where he was responsible for seven analytical laboratories in six states and Operations Manager Southpath, where he had operational control over the pathology laboratories at St George, Sutherland and Canterbury hospitals. Russell’s qualifications include a degree in Biological Science, a Masters Degree in Biochemistry from the University of NSW and a PhD from the faculty of medicine at the University of NSW. Russell has recently retired and returned to the Illawarra and wanted to volunteer his time within a local organisation. We are very thankful that Russell accepted ARAFMI Illawarra as the chosen organisation to share his skills and attributes with.

Michael Sergent - President

After majoring in rugby and snooker in high school Michael studied social welfare and between 1974 – 1985 was the senior welfare in the Emergency Department at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. He later studied law at UTS and between 1985 – 2014 was a lawyer with Legal Aid NSW practising in mental health law, criminal law, family law and civil law, including human rights cases. Michael has had extensive experience and knowledge around supporting patients and their families through the Mental Health Review Tribunal processes.  Michael is married to Sue with three children and now currently works as a radio presenter with VOX FM community radio. We are pleased to welcome Michael’s experience as an advisor to our organisation.