Kevin is a recently retired Primary School teacher. Prior to that he worked in pastoral ministry for more than 20 years, in various Baptist Churches and Chaplaincy positions. In both these roles he gained wide experience in committees and boards of management. Kevin is the bereaved father of Stephen, who died by suicide in 2001.
He has three daughters and four grandchildren, enjoys lawn bowls, cycling and is a member of the Croydon Film Society. The Compassionate Friends was a great support when Stephen died and Kevin looks forward to joining his wife Jenny, who leads one of the bereaved parent groups, in contributing to this important work.
Amanda Bond is an executive leader with more than 25 years of experience in health, aged care, disability services, out of home care and health insurance. She is currently the CEO of CareChoice a specialist disability, youth and private aged care service provider supporting people with multiple and complex needs with around the clock care, support coordination and behaviour support services. Amanda has also held many executive roles within healthcare at Peninsula Health and private health insurance sectors with Australian Unity and Medibank Private.
As a values-driven leader, Amanda is motivated by social equality and strives to ensure people have access to quality support services in line with their specific needs, at their time of need. Amanda has volunteered as a peer support phone worker with TCFV since 2021 and is passionate about helping others in their grief journey. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) and completed an EMBA and the AICD Company Directors Course. Amanda is the bereaved mother of Matthew (2), who died in a driveway accident in 2011. She also has two daughters and enjoys travelling, sailing and spending time with her family and friends.
Vincent has been a professional accountant for more than 27 years. He returned to Australia in Mar 2020 for good not long after the pandemic started in Hong Kong.
After working in the commercial field for many years, Vincent felt it is time to volunteer and utilize his expertise for non-profit making organisations. He joined TCFV in Feb 2021 and has been working actively with our retired Treasurer, Daniel Bendel
Theresa migrated to Melbourne in 2001, soon after the death of her daughter, Clara, 7.
She had been a community worker in Church, auditor in banking, before leaving her career to start a Fair Trade shop. After Clara’s death, she has focused on volunteering with TCF, where she found a lifeline community for her grief support, meaningful use of her skills and continued learning.
Volunteering in TCFV since 2003, she was on the TCFV Board from 2005-2012, mostly as Treasurer. She returned to the Board in 2019 to facilitate the leadership needs of TCFV as President. Together with a cohesive Board team, the last 2 years have been focused on restructuring for a stronger TCFV and negotiating the COVID-19 challenges.
She continues to be inspired by the dedicated TCFV community who work tirelessly to support our bereaved membership in honour of the memory of our loves ones.
Jo Knoll has been a Board Member for two years and a Member of TCFV for over twenty years since her son, Matt, died in 1998.
Board Membership has been an exciting role and given Jo a greater insight into just how challenging and satisfying the role is in caring for our membership.
Her reasons for joining the Board were to further the public’s knowledge of the TCFV name and its work; to reinstate a bi-annual Gathering again as soon as possible and hold as many events and opportunities for members to come together. Unfortunately, the Board has been thwarted in some of its aims due to the COVID virus.
Jo is the Board Member and Chair of the Committee to hopefully work towards our next Gathering in Mooroolbark in October or November 2022.
Caring for our members and especially newly bereaved members at this time is always at the forefront of our minds and hopefully 2022 may see the virus abate and make our wishes possible.
Harriet Clegg is the Sibling Board Representative at The Compassionate Friends Victoria and after completing a Master of Social Work degree works in assisting children, young people, and their families.
Harriet enjoys supporting the organisation as a part of a cohesive team and her role is mostly centred around aiding the development of the siblings’ services offerings. Harriet helped shape the initial online chat responder platform and undertook Telephone Listening Skills and Chat Responder training to help others in their grief journey. Recently, Harriet collaborated with TCFV stakeholders on a new sibling specific website which excitingly has now been launched.
In her spare time, Harriet likes getting outside and trying new places for a hike and painting.
Bruce and his wife Catrina are parents of three sons, Liam, Rylie and Nick. They tragically lost Liam in 2011 due to a catastrophic cardiac event. They connected with TCFV shortly after and have remained passionate supporters of the organization since.
Bruce is currently a Group Leader at the TCFV Bayside Support Group. He also assists with oversight of the Group Leader role and helps with incidental tasks such as writing magazine articles under the banner of ‘Group Leaders in Focus’ and running spirituality seminars/workshops.
Bruce has previously been on the Board of TCFV and returns to the Board in 2022 with renewed vigour and zest.
Away from TCFV, Bruce is a semi-retired Company Director, a member of the Glen Huntly U3A Recorder Ensemble, an average pianist and a very average golfer.
Claire Kuhnell has completed a Bachelor of Counselling and working in the mental health and disability field with EACH. Claire is a bereaved sibling of Benoît (d. 1985) and François (d. 2019) who both died by suicide. Born in France, she migrated to Australia, and has been a member of the Compassionate Friends Victoria since 1995.
Claire completed the TCFV telephone counselling and group leader training and was a support person for the Glen Waverley bereaved by suicide support group. After a break from TCF due to moving back to France for a couple of years and raising a young family, Claire rejoined TCF and has been co-facilitating the siblings support group since June 2010.
Claire has participated in various projects including an art exhibition on the aftermath of suicide and an outreach peer to peer suicide support program led by TCFV and Life Is… Foundation.
She has recently co-facilitated an early bereavement 4 week program for parents and siblings. She is looking forward to being involved as a board member of TCFV.
Board Regional Representative
Robyn works as an Employment Consultant in Ballarat. Robyn was introduced to TCFV by the then group leader of Ballarat after the death of her son Jacob.
Robyn did the Group Leader Training in 2009 to step in and take over leadership of the Ballarat Group and has been in that role ever since.
Robyn has a community spirit both in Australia and also in Africa where she has volunteered on many occasions in the remote communities of Zambia and South Africa.
Robyn is compassionate in supporting people from all walks of life and has recently joined as a support person for the new On line Suicide Support Group with TCFV.
Robyn is excited to see where this next journey with TCFV takes her in supporting bereaved families in times of need.
Robyn is the bereaved mother of –
Jacob aged 16, died by suicide August 2002
Kate Aged 22, murdered October 2002
Patrons of The Compassionate Friends Victoria
Rhonda Galbally AC
Dr Rhonda Galbally has spent more than 25 years as a CEO in non-profit, educational and community organisations including the founding CEO of ‘Our Community’, a gateway of tools, information, advice and training to improve governance and to help Australia’s 700,000 community groups find funds, grants, insurance, business partners and board members.
Rhonda Galbally has received a number of awards in recognition of her work in social and disability advocacy. She was recognised with an Order of Australia in 1991. In 2005, she was inducted on to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and in 2012, she received the Prime Minister’s Outstanding Achievement Award at the National Disability Awards. In 2019, she was appointed a Companion (AC) of the Order of Australia.
Past Patrons of The Compassionate Friends Victoria
Margaret Harmer OAM
26th July 1933 – 15th February 2022
Margaret Harmer was born in Perth in 1933. She came to Melbourne when she was sixteen and soon after met her husband, Lindsay Harmer. She became a private secretary and married Lindsay when she was twenty.
Lindsay had the first pharmacy in the rural City of Waverley and they lived in Glen Waverley. They had three children and Margaret’s life was mostly involved with them, the pharmacy, Lifeline, Save the Children, and other community projects in the emerging new suburb. Tragically in 1973, their son Rhys, aged 11, was killed in a road accident and Margaret severely injured.
In 1978, Lindsay and Margaret commenced TCF throughout Australia. After three years, Lindsay sold the pharmacy and they both worked continually full time for TCF for 13 years. They attended four TCF International Conferences.
They have seven grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. Sadly their elder daughter, Rosalind Nixon (59), died from cancer in 2014 and Lindsay (90), died in 2019 from Parkinson’s Disease.