The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors at Postvention Australia consists of some of Australia’s leading experts in suicide prevention and postvention as well as bereaved representatives. Professor Ian Webster AO launched the organisation at the NSW Parliament House in June 2013.
Dip Bus Man, Dip OHS, Certificate Counselling
Darrin is the Treasurer, and the Past President, Vice President and Secretary of SOSBSA (Survivors of Suicide Bereavement Support Association).
Darrin lost his life partner to suicide in 1999.
SOSBSA is a self-funded independent charity, run by volunteers who have lost someone to suicide. Operating support groups across Queensland, a Facebook online group with a community of over 100,000 worldwide, a quarterly newsletter and hosting an annual memorial service and social events.
Louise Flynn, PhD
General Manager, Support After Suicide (Jesuit Social Services)
Louise is a psychologist who has worked in the area of suicide bereavement for 16 years.
As Manager of Support After Suicide, a Postvention program in Melbourne, Victoria, she developed in 2003, an 8-week group program for people bereaved by suicide that is facilitated regularly in Melbourne.
The focus of her PhD was group support for people bereaved by suicide and bereaved people’s experience of the stigma of suicide.
Lidia Di Lembo
Lidia is the Director/Founder of SabrinasReach4Life Incorporated and mother to daughter Sabrina Josephine who took her life in August 2017.
Following the loss of Sabrina, together with husband Michael, they took on a mammoth 3,000 fundraising bicycle ride from Adelaide to Darwin to raise awareness of suicide, to help reduce the stigma of mental illness, promote mental health and donated $100,000 to the Black Dog Institute.
Lidia is committed and passionate about systemic change in suicide prevention, committed to advocate for those bereaved by suicide and forging strong collaborative partnerships to advance suicide prevention to help reduce loss of life and trauma in our community.
In 2019, she established the first suicide bereavement support group in Darwin, the Bereaved by Suicide Support Group NT; is a member of the PVA National Reference Group; a member of the StandBy Support after Suicide National Lived Experience Advisory Group, member of Roses in the Ocean Lived Experience collective, and Coordinator of the World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 events. Professionally, she works for the NT Department of Health as Director Strategic Governance, has over 30 years of public service experience working in executive leadership positions across both the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Government. She has been on various boards, committees, working groups and non-government community organisation, including appointment to the first Australian Council on Multicultural Affairs.
Certified Practising Accountant, Master of Management (NFP and social enterprise)
Joshua has held senior financial positions in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors.
In the past, he worked for The George Institute for Global Health, an organisation carrying out public health research, and informing policy across the world.
He currently works for Hammondcare, a large not-for-profit provider of health and aged care services, and has a passion for helping people in need.
Cherrie lost her 19 year old son Bede to suicide in 2010 and since 2011 has been President of SOSBSA (Survivors of Suicide Bereavement Support Association) in Queensland.
SOSBSA is a self-funded independent charity, run by volunteers who have lost someone to suicide. SOSBSA operates support groups across Queensland, a Facebook online group with a community of over 100,000 worldwide, a quarterly newsletter and host an annual memorial service and social events.
BA (Welfare Studies), Bachelor Social Work, Master of Management (Community)
Marika is an experienced social worker and social care leader who has built a career on enhancing informal support systems for, and with people and their families.
Marika has worked for government and non-government agencies in frontline, policy and leadership roles.
Marika brings her strategic thinking and governance expertise to PVA. Marika is a past member of the Disability Council of NSW, the Guardianship Tribunal of NSW and was, until 2012, an elected Local Government Councillor.
Annette has extensive experience in the public and private sector, community and stakeholder engagement, organisational capability, capacity building and change management.
Annette is also a Director on Tweddle Family and Community Services and a sessional lecturer at Victoria University speaking on the social determinants of health and how its impacts Aboriginal communities.
Karl Andriessen, PhD
Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne
Karl is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, and a Research Fellow at the KU Leuven, University of Leuven, Belgium.
Karl’s involvement in the field of suicide bereavement is rooted in clinical practice, starting about 30 years ago as a Social Worker in youth and family counselling, and telephone crisis lines, followed by leading positions in suicide prevention, bereavement, community mental health, and policy development. He is the recipient of several awards, has published widely, including the landmark handbook “Postvention in action: The international handbook of suicide bereavement support” (Hogrefe, 2017), and serves as Associate Editor of Death Studies.
Want to help guide the direction of postvention in Australia?
Postvention Australia is seeking Expressions of Interest from suitably experienced people. For more information, please go to our volunteer page and submit an application with your details.
Emeritus Professor Ian Webster AO
He was Chair of the Australian Suicide Prevention Advisory Council from 1998 to 2015 and is Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, University of New South Wales, and immediate past President of the Governing Council of the Ted Noffs Foundation.
Darrin lost his life partner to suicide in 1999. SOBSA is a self-funded independent charity, run by volunteers who have lost someone to suicide. Operating 4 support groups across Queensland and Northern NSW, a Facebook online group with a community of over 23,000 worldwide, a quarterly newsletter and hosting an annual memorial service and social events.
Professor Diego de Leo
Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention at Griffith University, Brisbane, which was designated as the National Centre of Excellence in Suicide Prevention in November 2008.
At Griffith he also directs the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, and the Life Promotion Clinic, a research facility that represents the only outpatient service in Australia dealing exclusively with suicidal clients. Since 2001, he is the director of the Master Courses in Suicidology.
Envoy Alan Staines OAM
For over 30 years, Alan has played a pivotal role in the recognition and development of suicide prevention and postvention services in Australia. Alan was responsible for the formation and establishment of Postvention Australia – the National Association for the Bereaved by Suicide in 2013.
Alan was the Founder and Director of Hope for Life, the Salvation Army’s Suicide Prevention Bereavement Support Services from 2006-2013. He was also responsible for developing the Australian Lifekeeper Memory Quilt initiative. He played a key role in establishing the Salvo Care Line (1983) and the Salvation Army OASIS Youth Care Centre in Surry Hills (1992). In 1991 Alan founded and helped establish Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) and for 18 years he served on the SPA Board as National Secretary. In 2003, in recognition of Alan’s perseverance and tireless efforts in suicide prevention, he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to young people through Suicide Prevention Australia and the Salvation Army. In 2004, he was honoured with Life Membership of Suicide Prevention Australia. In 2007, Alan received the Order of the Founder (OF), the highest Salvation Army honour for distinguished service. In 2013, Alan was awarded the Farberow Award from the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) at the IASP Congress in Oslo, Norway in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of bereavement and survivors of suicide loss. Alan’s ongoing vision is to establish and build a strong network that provides holistic, physical, emotional and spiritual support, comfort and understanding to enhance the health and well-being of every person bereaved by suicide.