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 focused on reducing the stigma around suicide and talking openly and often about suicide prevention. Her passion lies in the implementation of self-sustainable suicide prevention initiatives in communities.
Outside the office, Kathy is busy with family, practicing yin yoga and learning at university. Her commitment to helping others is what drives all that she does.
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.
Crystal Paniccia is the Head of Priority Populations & Partnerships at Roses in the Ocean.
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.
Stephen Scott is our General Manager – Strategy & Policy. Stephen worked at the New South Wales Ministry of Health where he established the Towards Zero Suicides initiatives, Australia’s first comprehensive suicide prevention system. He also worked at StandBy Support After Suicide where he implemented StandBy’s expansion to national coverage of its services.
His professional background includes policy, strategic planning, health promotion, community development, communications and journalism. He spent many years studying for his qualifications in sociology, anthropology, political economy and public administration. He believes passionately that people with lived experience of suicide are crucial to combating stigma and making prevention more effective.
In his spare time, he likes bush regeneration, native gardening, the beach, and spending time with his husband and chihuahua at their home in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Michelle Dickson is a learning professional with more than 25 years corporate and executive leadership experience. Michelle stepped out of a successful corporate career path into the world of mental health and wellbeing, seeking alignment with her values and to follow her passion for increasing awareness of mental health challenges.
Michelle is our Head of Workforce Development, with a unique set of experiences to draw upon including experience in frontline Suicide Prevention with NSW Health, participation in service co-design, lived experience advisory groups, more than 20 years of experience leading the design and delivery of training solutions, being a passionate lived experience advocate and self-care blog writer.
Outside of work Michelle loves socialising with friends and family or spending time with her two fur babies – Chinese Crested Hairless dogs named Armani and Calvin. Michelle also enjoys painting, making jewellery and to always be learning something new.
A commitment to positive change has brought Andrea Reed to Roses in the Ocean as Operations & Quality Coordinator.
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 is our Brand & Design 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 the BBC in the UK and 20th Century Fox in 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.
Nichola Parry is our Head of Lived Experience Engagement & Integration at Roses in the Ocean.
Nichola arrived from the UK last year and brings with her diverse experience in both the corporate and NFP sector.
Nichola is passionate about opening up conversations and increasing awareness around mental distress. She is inspired by compassionate and caring people who are dedicated to influencing change and helping to give a voice to those who need it the most.
Outside work, Nichola has a preoccupation with anything canine related and when not spending time with her four-legged friends, she can be found in the yoga studio in her favourite pose, downward dog.
Amy Biswas is our Digital Communications Specialist at Roses in the Ocean.
Amy’s experience lies in marketing, communications and event management, namely in the Hospitality industry. With a determination to use her communication skills for a social, humanitarian and/or environmental purpose, Amy is passionate about making a difference and truly helping in the realm of suicide prevention. Her own Lived Experience and her belief that we need to normalise the conversation about suicide, gives her a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by suicide by building awareness, increasing knowledge, sharing the stories and reducing the stigma.
Outside of the office, Amy enjoys going on adventures out in nature with her dog, dining out and about (a bit of a foodie), and catching a live music gig (when possible)!
Hannah Davy is our Lived Experience Workshop Coordinator. Hannah decided to leave insurance behind and join an organisation that contributes to society in a positive way. Hannah is passionate about helping others in need and is looking forward to a fulfilling role that has a positive impact on others. Outside of work, Hannah enjoys travelling and exploring the world, nature, music, and film and tv.
Julia Granahan works as our Lived Experience & Co-design Administrator at Roses in the Ocean. She has moved into the NFP sector after 5 years of developing administrative and customer service skills and enjoys working in a collaborative environment. Outside of work, Julia enjoys spending time with the local community by volunteering at her local thrift shop, spending time with her two cats, gardening and getting stuck into a good book.
Tynan Narywonczyk works as the National Service Lead – Peer CARE Connect. His belief is that everyone can play a part in preventing suicide. He has a passion and gift for advocating and speaking on the topic of suicide and mental health. He strives for change and bringing them both out of the shadows and into the forefront of conversations which can ultimately give people the chance he was blessed with; more time to live and experience life.
Professionally he has spent the last 10 years working within the health sector in various roles delivering community development projects, advocating for reform within the public and private sector and delivering psycho-education sessions online and face-to-face. With tertiary qualifications in Social Work, Health Promotion and Counselling, he combines his lived experience of suicide with the knowledge acquired from his formal studies and world experience engaging with people from all walks of life.
When he’s not building Lego with his son or exploring nature with him, you’ll find him hiking epic places, training for the next triathlon. He genuinely loves life and people.
Mark Ellis is our National Service Lead: Suicide Prevention Peer Workforce Support Services.
Mark is a Lived Experience Advocate, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Peer Worker with 30 years of experience supporting people living with complex and enduring mental and emotional distress.
Mark has worked in a variety of professional roles across the Disability, Aged Care, Schools, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention sectors.
Mark lives in the Wollongong region and is a Lived Experience Member of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Collaborative. Whilst not working Mark spends his time with family, his dogs and reading.
Amy Corcoran works in Suicide Prevention Peer Workforce – Facilitation.
Amy’s experience is predominately in the lived experience workforce, previously working as a Suicide Prevention Peer Practitioner with the LGBTQIA+ community, and facilitating suicide prevention workshops from a lived experience lens. In a previous role she provided representational advocacy for mental health consumers and feels that empowering the lived experience voice is a must when healing and learning from others.
Amy believes kindness and compassion are important to draw on in a learning environment, and loves to foster a sense of connection using humour. Amy is a firm believer in the importance of talking about suicide to reduce stigma and support others in knowing they are not alone.
Outside of work, Amy enjoys cuddling her greyhound, watching The Simpsons (just the old ones), and being amongst the trees in nature.
Jon Eddy is our Safe Spaces Project Co-ordinator.
Jon comes from a long working career in the construction industry including successfully running his own plumbing business for many years. He also comes from a longer history of a lived experience of suicide.
After losing his son to suicide in 2019, he made a promise to him to use his grief and pain to help change the way we deal with the topic. In the early days he had no idea how a tradesman could possibly make any difference in this sector. He went forward with his diploma in life and it has led him to this incredible organisation that he’s so very proud to be a part of.
He’s very much looking forward to both learning from all but also being able to guide others through the process of setting up their own Community-led Safe Space.
We must tear down the stigma surrounding suicide and we must go forward with a firm belief that our sacred lived experience knowledge will lead the change. Compassion, empathy, collaboration and education are his mantras.
When he’s not in the office he absolutely loves to cook and to hike in the wilderness with his wife. Nature frees his soul.
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!
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.
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.