Our Staff

Chief Executive Officer
Christopher Hall MA, BEd, GradDipAdol&ChildPsych, CertIV TAE, MAPS, MACE, FAIM
For the past 20 years Christopher Hall has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, a government funded specialist bereavement service, which is based in Melbourne, Victoria. He is a psychologist who has developed a specialisation in the field of grief and bereavement over the past 25 years. Chris has trained many health and education professionals in grief theory and interventions both in Australia and internationally. He has a strong interest in child and adolescent grief, complex bereavement experiences and the organisational impact of grief and loss. In 1999 he was elected to the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement (IWG) and has served as Chair of the organisation. He is currently Secretary/Treasurer of the IWG. He is currently the Immediate Past President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, one of the oldest interdisciplinary organizations in the field of dying, death and bereavement with over 2,000 members. A Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, Christopher is also an Honorary Fellow of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne. He serves as the Editor of the journal Grief Matters: The Australian Journal of Grief and Bereavement and Associate Editor of Death Studies. In 2010 Christopher was appointed to the Coronial Council of Victoria.


Manager - Health Promotion and Education
This position is currently vacant
The Manager of Health Promotion and Education is responsible for managing the rapidly growing suite of professional education and training activities and events delivered by the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement. This suite caters for thousands of participants every year, and is inclusive of metropolitan, regional and interstate training; customised training and consultancy services; post-graduate courses; the biannual Australian Grief and Bereavement Conference; and international educator events.

Manager - Bereavement Counselling and Support Service
Wendy Howard BBSc (Psychology), Cert YouthWork

Prior to joining the ACGB Team in April 2013, Wendy worked within a broad range of service areas from both an operational and developmental perspective. She has extensive experience working with individuals, children, youth and families in a case management capacity and also held responsibility for management and supervision of staff, volunteers and students who provide direct client care. From a project management perspective, she has implemented various new service initiatives that have involved planning, administration and evaluation. In her role as Manager - Bereavement Counselling and Support Service, Wendy is responsible for coordinating ACGB's bereavement support services. The Manager ensures that all program key result areas are achieved, develops systems and support structures to effectively manage operations of the service, and utilises effective management practices that enhance the operation of the service. Wendy’s role also involves consultation relating to specialist interventions, community education and promotion; and ensuring that all Counselling Service staff, practitioner associates and interns receive regular clinical supervision and support.


Susan Meyerink - Regional Outreach Consultant BSocW, Grad Cert Bereavement, Counselling, CBP, Member, ACA

A staff member since 2012, Susan is a Certified Bereavement Counsellor, with a special interest in, and compassion for, bereaved parents. Susan has provided one-on-one counselling (telephone and online) for ACGB clients; and, as part of the internship program, clinical supervision to student counsellors. Susan has over ten years of counselling experience providing Employee Assistance Programs to the education and health care sector and palliative care sector; and has worked with Asylum Seekers. Susan has a background in recruitment, and has managed metropolitan and regional multi disciplinary teams in Disability Employment Services. Susan recently worked in a remote indigenous community, facilitating a work-for-the-dole program. Upon her return to the Centre, Susan was appointed to the role of Regional Outreach Consultant, developing resources for regional counsellors as well as collating a referral directory for the five regions of Loddon Mallee; Hume; Gippsland; Grampians; and Barwon South. The long-term objective of her current role is to build and support the capacity of the bereavement care system in regional Victoria, working within the five Victorian Department of Health regions, of Barwon Southwest, Gippsland, Grampians, Hume and Loddon Mallee. A major part of my role is service mapping, and making contact with regionally based workers, to find out about the services they provide, which when completed will be a valuable referral tool. I will also be asking regional practitioners to determine how the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement can add value to their roles. This might be in terms of access to resources, training, including webinars, secondary consultation and clinical supervision. As a Certified Bereavement Practitioner, I am looking forward to meeting workers in the regions. My aim is to develop strong working relationships, share resources, ideas, and offer training, supporting the valuable work being done in regional Victoria. The long term objective of the role is to build and support the capacity of the bereavement care system in regional Victoria, which will enable bereaved individuals and families living in those regions to access specialist bereavement support services. If you would like further information or you have a query, please call Susan at the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, on 03 9265 2100.
 

 
Administrator - Business Operations
Dirk Shenton
 AssocDipBus (Acctg), Diploma in Mental Health
Dirk Shenton joined ACGB in October 2010. He has been an accountant for many years and currently has responsibility for all operational business administration, finance, technology and human resource functions of ACGB.




Reception/Office Administrator
Tania Pearce
 CertIIIBusinessAdmin (Acctg), CertIVTAE
Tania joined the ACGB team as the Reception/Office Administrator in June 2013. She is responsible for the smooth running of Reception including answering the telephone in a courteous and professional manner; receiving and conveying messages in writing, verbally and electronically; liaising with clients and their families in a compassionate manner; undertaking banking and receipting procedures; processing mail; general office duties; developing office procedures; and participating in ongoing professional development activities.  Tania also manages the ACGB Membership and Subscription programs.
Reception/Office Administrator
Michelle Schultz
Michelle joined the ACGB team as part-time Reception/Office Administrator in January 2014. She has a long working background in client relationship, customer service and service improvement across many fields including health, government and corporate IT. Michelle (alongside Tania) is responsible for the smooth running of Reception, including answering the telephone in a courteous and professional manner; receiving and conveying messages in writing, verbally and electronically; liaising with clients and their families in a compassionate manner; undertaking banking and receipting procedures; processing mail; general office duties; developing office procedures; participating in ongoing professional development activities; and managing the ACGB Membership and Subscription programs.


Administrator
Renata Gralinski
 Cert IV BusAdmin, AssocDipBus (Acctg)
Renata joined the ACGB team in September 2011. She provides administrative support to ACGB and is involved in projects relating to business operations. Renata also conducts telephone assessments, maintains the client database system, oversees client satisfaction reviews and maintains the portfolio of resources available to purchase through the Centre.






Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator
Desiree Jacobson
BA, Cert VI T&A
Desiree has worked for over 10 years as a Communications Officer and Publicist in a wide variety of fields including Festivals, Events and Tourism,  and has developed and executed a number of successful digital media campaigns.  She has also worked as a freelance writer, contributing to a variety of (printed) lifestyle and online publications. 
Education Administrator
Janet Mackie
Janet, ensures that all training registrations are processed and appropriate material is sent out to training participants. This member of staff also undertakes a range of administrative functions such as reception, information dissemination and maintaining an extensive database.






RTO Coordinator (Quality and Compliance)
Maria Szucs
 BA, GradCertTESOL, NAATI Level III, DipTrainDes&Dev, Cert IV TAE

As the RTO Coordinator (Quality & Compliance), Maria is responsible for the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement's continued registration as an RTO; the management of compliance framework, accreditations and auditing processes; as well as course development, qualification updates and training support.



Courses Coordinator
Amanda Gentile
 BA/BT, Cert IV Management, Cert IV TAE

Amanda joined the ACGB team as Courses Coordinator in 2015. She has extensive experience within the Education Industry of Coordination and Professional Development. The Courses Coordinator, coordinates extended courses for students wishing to specialise in bereavement counselling or bereavement support. Most students have a community service or health profession background as well as expertise in generalist counselling.




 

Intake Administrator and Specialist Bereavement Counsellor
Janice Butera BA (Psych), GradDipCounselling, MA Counselling, VocGradCertBerCouns&Int
Janice’s role at the Centre involves the assessment of calls to our service. The intake process enables clients to be screened for bereavement support. Janice also allocates new clients to counsellors in both Mulgrave and in Richmond. She also conducts secondary consultation with other professionals.
Janice also performs bereavement counselling via face to face and online, she is an advocate for e-counselling, especially for those clients who are unable to travel to our counselling sites. Janice is also a Practioner Associate at the Centre where she helps to facilitate the Kids Grieve Too (KG2) group every fortnight.
 

Specialist Bereavement Counsellor - Support Groups, Clinical Supervision & Education
This position is currently vacant



Specialist Bereavement Counsellor - Clinical Supervision
Miguel Lopez BSoSc, BPsych, VocGradCertBerCouns&Int, assocMAPS, MACA

Miguel has been part of the ACGB team since August 2013. He provides one-to-one counselling, clinical supervision for the Centre's Internship Program and oversees the running of the men's bereavement group. Miguel’s background is in Clinical Psychology in Chile, working with children, adolescents and adults. He is a specialised Bereavement Counsellor and has studied broadly in the area of grief.  Miguel’s therapeutic background is one of a psychodynamic approach and the new schools of psychoanalysis. Miguel has recently completed specific training in the treatment of complicated grief in the USA.

 

Specialist Bereavement Counsellor - KG2 Children's Support Group Program
Jackie Tarabay BCouns, DipShamSt, NLP Master Practitioner, GradCertBerCouns&Int

Jackie co-facilitated the Kids Grieve Too (KG2) program for the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement during 2014 and joined the ACGB as a Specialist Bereavement Counsellor and Co-ordinator/Facilitator of the KG2 program in 2015. Jackie’s expertise as a facilitator and counsellor includes working with people from a diverse range of socio-economic backgrounds across the corporate, community and non-for-profit sectors. Jackie has facilitated and worked with support groups for organisations including Schools Mentoring Australia, the Reach Foundation, Parkville Detention Centre, Giant Model Management, Big Brother – Big Sister and Bogga Road Jail in Brisbane. 


Specialist Bereavement Counsellor - Internship Program and Clinical Supervision
Jenny Field MCouns, AdvCertAODSt, MACA, GradCertBerCouns&Int

Jenny joined the Centre in 2012. Alongside seeing clients, Jenny also oversees the Centre’s Internship Program; manages and provides supervision to Interns and Practitioner Associates; and coordinates the production of two newsletters (Bereavement Practice in Palliative Care and Bereavement Practice for Clinicians and Service Providers). Jenny has previously worked in case management and counselling positions within family support, domestic violence, addiction and dual diagnosis settings; and has an interest in theories and thoughts related to attachment, meaning making and continuing bonds around grief and loss.

 

Regional Specialist Bereavement Counsellor - Barwon South West Region
Christine Rawson
 PostGradDipLoss&GriefCouns

Christine Rawson is based in Geelong as a part time Bereavement Counsellor for the Hope Bereavement 18+ Service in partnership with the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement.She has over 10 years experience as a loss and grief practitioner in areas including; suicide prevention, family support, road trauma and adoption. Whilst constantly mindful of self-care within this work, Christine strives to acknowledge the uniqueness of every person she meets, through a strengths based, client centred approach in a genuine and respectful manner whilst constantly reassessing personal and professional growth.Christine also works as a Regional Sessional Counsellor for Road Trauma Support Services of Victoria and Wombats Wish organisation for children bereaved of an important person.