Chief Executive Officer
With a strong background in business management, I’ve spent many years working in the not-for-profit sector in the Northern Territory (Alice Springs) until relocating to Darwin in 2011 to work with Foster Carers Association NT. My goal in life has always been ‘to ensure I make a difference’ which lets me challenge inequities and advocate for the rights of the disadvantaged.
With interests in computing and web technologies, hockey, painting watercolours and travelling, both in and out of Australia, I continue to draw on life experiences to provide perspective and balance to my life.
Expanding the team in the new position of Operations Manager is Cheryl Schmidt. Cheryl has built her career on advocacy in the area of youth, women and children. In this newly established role Cheryl is responsible for leading the team in all areas of our core business and looking for new opportunities for our members.
A Queenslander originally, Cheryl and her family moved to Darwin with a goal to stay for just 2 years. That was over 12 years ago! The family home now found at Rosebery with her partner and a brady bunch of kids and grandchildren. The latest addition to the family is Archie the most adorable and spoilt mini-schnauzer.
Cheryl is excited to be joining this amazing, highly functioning and dynamic team whose commitment and dedication is second to none. She looks forward to working for the Association and meeting members across the NT.
I’ve recently relocated from Far North Queensland where I lived for 12 years and completed my schooling, to Darwin. My previous experience includes working in the Retail Sector and I’m really looking forward to starting my career in Business. This is something that I’ve been interested in for a while and am currently working towards my Certificate III in Business Administration.
I’ve always wanted to work in an industry with a meaningful and worthwhile purpose. I’m still searching for my passion and hope to find it as a learn more in life.
My hobbies include singing and listening to music – it keeps my soul happy, watching movies and watching my daughter grow into a cheeky yet smart girl.
Originally from Poland, I came to Australia in 2006 and feel that I am blessed to live here. I transferred to Alice Springs from Sydney in November 2011 and have now moved north to work with Katherine and Darwin carers.
I have a degree in Social Work and Resocialisation. In Poland, I worked in the Department of Foster Families and simultaneously with the Family and Juvenile Court Division.
My passion is cycling in my spare time. I love to ride my bike! I also enjoy clinical psychology literature and have great passion for social justice and for assisting those who selflessly create safe environments for children in need. I hope that I can make a small difference within the communities in which I work.
Advocate – Northern Region
I moved to the Territory to join the team and to enjoy some quality time with my three beautiful grandchildren.
I has been very fortunate to have had a varied professional career. In my last role, I provided counselling to carers, parents and children impacted by abuse, neglect and trauma as a Caseworker in Out of Home Care and Child Protection sectors in the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. I also have experience as a team leader for a NGO Family Support Service and Mental Client Support & Advocate for adults experiencing serious mental health and well-being issues.
My special area of interest is in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and the long term implications for children who are affected by this.
In my down time I enjoys activities such as meditation, jewellery making or being curled up on a comfy chair with a good book and coffee..
Advocate – Southern Region
My first career was as a registered nurse but I subsequently became self-employed in the commercial sector for many years.
In 2008 I moved from Adelaide to Alice Springs to work in a family and carer support program encompassing issues of mental health, domestic violence and substance abuse.
While in Alice Springs I also worked in out of home care for two and a half years as a supporter of carers and coordinated care for children with high and complex needs. Since July 2012 I have been the Southern Region Advocate for Foster Carers Association NT based in Alice Springs.
I have a strong interest and background in mental health carer advocacy support and family and carer education. In 2011, I represented the Mental Illness Fellowship Australia (Northern Territory) (MIFANT) at the Mental Health Council of Australia workshop on Coordinated Care in Canberra and at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Congress in Darwin. I also received scholarships to attend the Australasian Society of Psychiatric Research Conference (Neuroscience) in Sydney and Faces in the Street, an international conference on Homelessness held at the Garvin Institute in Sydney.
Tracey is originally from New Zealand and has lived in the Northern Territory for one and half years. She has worked in the not for profit sector in both New Zealand and Australia for over five years in marketing and fundraising roles.
Tracey’s new role at Foster & Kinship Carers Association NT is Marketing Assistant. She is responsible for putting together marketing material such as brochures, our quarterly newsletters, website updates and Facebook to name a few.
She was introduced to kinship and foster care at a young age through her Nana, who provided a safe and loving home for foster children for many years.
Tracey is excited about her new role and looks forward to helping make a difference and getting to know our valuable Carers.