CEO, Bronwen Edwards founded Roses in the Ocean in 2011 following the suicide of her brother Mark a few years earlier.
A fierce advocate for the development of lived experience designed and led, non-clinical alternatives to care, Bronwen is passionate about empowering others with a lived experience of suicide to contribute their unique insights to its prevention. She strives to keep her feet in the grassroots, her head in the strategic influencing space, and her heart very much on her sleeve.
Bronwen is a personal trainer in the wee hours of some mornings, just for fun, and loves escaping to her favourite beach and travelling to interesting places.
After a career in education administration and working with young people with learning, physical and socio-emotional needs, Kathy Poulton joined Roses in the Ocean in January 2018.
As our General Manager – Operations and Quality, Kathy is passionate about reducing the stigma around suicide and talking openly and often about suicide prevention. Her commitment to helping others is what drives all that she does.
To keep herself grounded Kathy connects regularly with nature, dabbles in aromatherapy and studies theology, just for fun.
Kerrie Mattiske is the Finance Manager of Roses in the Ocean, having previously worked in similar roles in the Not-for-Profit and Philanthropic sectors. Kerrie also has experience in taxation and corporate advisory and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Kerrie has been involved in executive or board roles in the Not-for-Profit sector for almost 20 years, and enjoys working with teams of passionate, caring and committed professionals.
When not in the office, Kerrie keeps busy by supporting her two children in their chosen sports (water polo, netball and soccer) as well as catching up on reading, enjoying the outdoors, camping and holidaying with her family.
Roses in the Ocean’s Workshops Manager, Jacqui Gillespie is extremely passionate about suicide prevention, mental health, human rights and the environment.
Jacqui’s management background in fashion, early childhood education, family business, mental health, suicide prevention and human resources has given her a plethora of experience from all walks of life.
This has fuelled her love for working with people and building a strong culture of empathy and human connection while always remembering to celebrate individuality.
When she is not trying to save the earth and everyone in it through composting, strict recycling and social activism, you will find Jacqui in the sun (as she is solar powered), by the pool, at the beach or walking in nature with her family and puppy.
Martina McGrath is the Research, Evaluation, Diversity. Equity and Inclusion Officer.
Martina has worked in Occupational Health and Safety and Human Resource Management and is now undertaking a PhD at the University of Queensland, with a research focussing on lived experience of suicide.
In her spare time, Martina loves music, good food, great conversation and spontaneous road trips (maps and pre-planning optional) heading off with her camera gear to enjoy nature and capture life’s moments.
Shannon Howat worked in senior administration roles in TV production and advertisement before joining Roses in the Ocean as National Operations Coordinator.
After producing ad campaigns for several not-for-profits, Shannon was inspired to leave ‘show biz’ and work in a more meaningful role directly connected to helping people in need.
A commitment to positive change has brought Andrea Reed to Roses in the Ocean as Program Administrator.
Andrea’s 14 years in the medical, health and human services industries has provided a wealth of knowledge, compassion and understanding and helped to support a very healthy stationery obsession.
Andrea is grateful to be able to help in a hundred small ways and strongly believes the secret to having it all is believing you already do.
With a diverse background in graphic design, branding and creative product development, Julie Holmes joins the team as our Visual Content Specialist.
Julie’s passions are directed towards visual creativity, including all aspects of design, production, publishing and photography – all part of telling a story.
Having worked for corporate media companies in the UK and the States, Julie was looking for a more meaningful role when she moved to Australia, helping to tell the story of those who need to be heard.
Out of office, you’ll find Julie outdoors walking in nature and indoors chasing her two rescue cats around the house.
Jenny Roberts recently joined the Roses in the Ocean team as Communications and Workforce Officer, with a focus on Lived Experience Collective engagement.
Jenny has worked in the mental health and suicide prevention space for 10 years. Prior to that she worked in politics, but don’t hold that against her. Jenny believes in social justice and will fight to the bitter end for those being treated unfairly.
Jenny wants to give up sugar but with the cakes and brownies always in the office, this is proving harder than originally thought.
Crystal Paniccia joins Roses in the Ocean as the Executive Assistant to the CEO, Bronwen Edwards.
Crystal has significant experience in strategic support and project management across the corporate, government, NFP and NGO sectors. Crystal is passionate about contributing to positive change within communities, previously working with Traditional Owners to deliver beneficial outcomes for protected areas.
When she’s not in the office, Crystal loves to get outdoors, a BBQ with friends, travelling literally anywhere, or just curling up with a good book.
Melissa Newman is the Lived Experience Coordinator for the Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast region.
Melissa is at her best when empowering individuals within our diverse community to break down barriers. For the past 20 years, Melissa has used her skills as an Adventure Leader in outdoor pursuits and personal training to achieve this.
Melissa’s passion is to empower people particularly those with a lived experience of suicide to have a voice. By sharing her story and lived experience of suicide, Melissa is excited to be working towards making greater community connections in the Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast region.
Bridget Betzold is the NSW Lived Experience Project Coordinator.
Bridget has worked in mental health, youth work, community development, and peer work roles for the past 5 years and has recently completed a master’s degree in social work.
Bridget previously worked as a florist and while she loves roses, sunflowers are her absolute favourite. Bridget is incredibly passionate about systemic change and believes that grass roots and community-led initiatives are the cornerstone of making the world a better place.
Hailing originally from Detroit, USA, Bridget loves Motown music, anything to do with sci-fi, being in nature as much as possible, cooking up vegetarian feasts, yoga, and cuddling her two cats. She is also a published poet and has experienced firsthand how powerful storytelling can be in giving someone the opportunity to be heard in a genuine and impactful way.
James Gallacher is an engaging leader who brings exceptionally well-developed relationship-building, coaching, mentoring, facilitation and consultative skills to his role as Facilitator with Roses in the Ocean.
James has a passion for supporting people to break through with new ways of thinking and working, and an emphasis on building connectivity, confidence, positive self-concepts and awareness.
James is an incredible husband, awesome father of twins and devoted dad to the family dog. He’s also a passionate Collingwood AFL supporter, anxiously awaiting that next premiership flag.
Sam Fewings brings lived experience, change management and a deep caring to his role as a Facilitator for Roses in the Ocean.
Sam has 20 years experience as a Senior Executive in Insurance and Human Resources. His second job is as a married father of two and working on his tennis game.
Sam is a member of the lived experience panel for the Black Dog Institute and the Ministry of Health Zero Suicide initiative and is passionate about helping those struggling with mental health issues.
Roma Aloisi brings to her role as Facilitator an extensive career in education as: Leader, Consultant, Researcher and Teacher.
Roma is passionate about equity and loves to learn. Roma seeks to understand how societies, systems and people operate. She promotes reform and social justice. She believes we can work together to make the world a fairer, kinder and better place.
Impassioned to explore how othering, identity and shame interact as contributors to mental ill-health, suicide and complex bereavement, Roma hopes that by shining a light on difficult and silenced arenas, communities can face uncomfortable truths and be transformed by them.
As a creative, Roma enjoys pursuits that nurture her spirit: writing, drama, design, film, music, singing, crafts and cooking. Nature replenishes her: gardening, at the beach, camping out bush and she finds AFL footy especially cathartic!
Celia Taylor is a coach, mentor and facilitator, including supporting people through periods of organisational and personal change.
As well as running her own business, Taylored Results, Celia has worked with large companies specialising in transition coaching, seminars and support. She also conducts workshops in career transition and team dynamics.
Having worked at senior levels in the government, private and not for profit sectors, Celia is an experienced mentor for executives, managers and high value employees.
Celia loves working with Roses in the Ocean and feels privileged to facilitate workshops and mentor people with lived experience of suicide.
Lindy Zillman first became involved with Roses in the Ocean when she completed the Voices of In-Sight training with her sister in March 2016. She is a member of the Lived Experience Advisory Group at Roses in the Ocean, assists with screening for workshops and training, and is one of the Facilitators for the Peer CARE Companion workshop.
As a Peer Companion for the Way Back Service in Tweed Heads, Lindy also volunteers her time supporting others, her professional experience includes education, counselling and the law. She also runs her own business with her husband.
For fun she writes and illustrates children’s books, loves to go to the movies and the beach. Lindy lives with her husband Bruce and her two dogs Bella and Butch in Northern NSW.
Carrie Lumby is a member of the facilitation team and a strategic advisor involved in a number of key projects, including the development of an individually tailored peer workforce for suicide prevention supports.
She is a passionate lived experience advocate in both mental health and suicide prevention. The current focus of her advocacy work is the co-design of Safe Spaces at a regional, state, and national level. She is also a lived experience member of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative, which is taking a whole-of-community approach to reducing suicide in the region.
Carrie loves the way otters wrap themselves in kelp and hold hands so they can float together while having a nap. She thinks it’s a great example of creative collaboration.
Hayley Purdon is a Facilitator, lived experience advisor and advocate and a member of Roses in the Ocean Lived Experience Advisory Group.
She currently serves on a number of boards and committees in the suicide prevention and mental health sectors and holds a Masters Degree in Suicidology.
Hayley’s passion is for understanding the ways people describe their lived experiences and how they can be used for maximum impact, both personally, and within the community.