Sherrie became active in QHVSG in 1995 as a Founding member. Her family has also been involved in the Group since that time in a number of roles. Sherrie was the president of the organisation from 1995 through 1998 and a staff member from 1998 through 2006.
Sherrie is committed to promoting education, awareness, and training within the organisation and to the wider community to promote the needs and the welfare of families impacted by homicide. As a previous Board member, Sherrie understands the challenges of negotiating a broad range of systems including government, non government and the business sector in promoting the multitude of needs experienced by our membership.
Sherrie has a Registered Nurse License (FLA - USA) and Bachelor of Social Work and is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker who has a specialised in Child Trauma Counselling for 15 years. In that time Sherrie has consultated and liaised with Police, Child Safety, Education, Health and Mental Health, Victim Assist and Department of Justice, as well as, community and private organisation.
Sherrie is now in private practice and provides trauma counselling and psychotherapy to children, adolescents and adults. She also provides group art therapy specialising in trauma healing and recovery.
Sherrie feels honoured privileged to serve QHVSG and its members.
Leanne became engaged with QHVSG in 2012 after her son Tim was listed as a missing person. Even though six people were sentenced in relation to Tim’s homicide, Tim’s remains have never been located.
Leanne’s main focus and passion is on providing support for members especially those living in rural and regional areas. Leanne is a passionate Peer Support Leader and enjoys being able to support fellow members and provide a voice for them. Leanne is a dedicated Court Supporter, and arranges the Memorial Day, Awareness Day and the Christmas party in Mackay. Leanne is a previous QHVSG volunteer of the year recipient.
Leanne brings extensive fundraising experience. From 2006 to 2012 she was involved in raising funds and awareness for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (QLD). During this time Leanne raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help purchase lifesaving medical equipment for RFDS aircraft.
Leanne’s family has appreciated immensely the support provided by QHVSG and she dedicates he time to give back.
Leanne has a little verse which she believe epitomises the wonderful care given by QHVSG –
“Thanks for showing me that even on the darkest days the sun is still there, just behind the clouds, waiting to shine again – Lisa Harlow”
Conor’s professional career spans 15 years in which time he has held various commercial, economic and policy advisory roles. Conor has worked within a variety of commercial and public service organisations including utilities, global advisory firms and the Queensland Parliament. Conor possesses intimate knowledge of Queensland policy and law making processes along with professional and academic experience in infrastructure development and financing.
In 2020 Conor gained entry into the University of Queensland’s Doctor of Medicine (MD) program. During his medical studies Conor has focussed on developing the skills necessary to achieve excellence in patient centred care through translation of biomedical and psychosocial knowledge to the clinical environment. Conor has special interests in critical care and rural medicine, and management of patients experiencing traumatic stress.
Conor joined the QHVSG Board in 2021 after learning of the important and unique contribution the organisation makes to the wider community through both support and advocacy for those impacted by homicide. Through his role on the Board, Conor works to assist in the development and execution of the QHVSG’s operational and strategic objectives to ensure the organisation’s capability enables it to continue to deliver the highest quality support services and advocacy.
Monique became a member of QHVSG when her 36 year old brother Mitchell was murdered in April, 2009.
Monique is a professional Early childhood educator and has run her own successful business for over 20 years. She has been a volunteer with QHVSG since 2010 and in 2015 first served on the QHVSG Board of Directors as a General Board Member.
As a Peer Support Group Leader Monique is aware of the importance of peer support. She has supported many members through home visits, telephone support, Court support and facilitating the monthly Gold Coast Support Group meetings.
Monique is committed to raising awareness in the community, supporting our education programs and providing advocacy for our members. She has shown total commitment to making a difference in the life of our members.
Monique is a dedicated fundraiser and has volunteered at many events. Monique is innovative and has been involved in the organising events such as the 2015 Brisbane Walk for Support and Family Fun Day, Annual Night of Recognition and Christmas Celebration and the Children’s Christmas Party. Monique was also a key driver behind the Member Weekend retreats which commenced in 2018.
Monique was recognised for her volunteer efforts in 2014 and 2018 when she was awarded the QHVSG Volunteer of the year. In 2022, Monique was joint recipient with her mum Gai Ferrario.
Monique feels privileged to support our members in memory of her brother, and finds a great deal of comfort in surrounding herself with people who have experienced homicide in their lives.
Julie became a member of QHVSG in July 2011, when her son Damian Leeding was murdered.
Initially Julie went to the meetings for support, but it soon became apparent to that this organisation was unique in what it did for its members. Julie realised that she would like to be a part of helping others through this horrific journey we have to face, and consequently she has served on the board previously.
Julie is committed to supporting the board and staff to achieve greater outcomes for members in all facets of the organisation, be it support, legislative reform, education programs and research projects: building awareness and developing an inclusive engagement strategy.
Julie is a keen advocate of law reform, and will continue to support members by helping to implement new strategies for law reform and advocacy to achieve positive outcomes for our members and continues to strengthen existing relationships, while forging new ones with community organisations and government. Julie helps to develop new and innovative programmes to re-engage with our members to identify support mechanisms.
Julie is currently chairperson for the Body Corporate committee where she lives on the Gold Coast. She has previously worked with girl guides being a leader, and been active with many sporting groups, such as Nippers, soccer and swimming clubs. Julie has a strong and various ties with the community and have utilised these to great success in helping to source and secure major prizes for our fundraising efforts.
Julie has helped with the Marketing and Communications Projects with QHVSG Brisbane Family Fun Day, Walk for Support, International Women’s Day Dining With Daisies breakfast, Gold Coast Family Fun Day and Walk for Support and the Inaugural Annual Night of Recognition and Christmas Celebration.
Approximately six years ago Bernadette attended her first peer support meeting after being introduced to QHVSG by a friend who had lost his brother to homicide. Her friend asked Bernadette to attend a meeting with him as he knew that she had survived a mass murder at Ayers Rock in the Northern Territory in 1983. Bernadette was surprised by the support provided at the meeting as she didn’t think anything could help. Bernadette has attended the peer support meetings ever since due to the wonderful benefits it offers.
Bernadette's belief in peer support led to her volunteering for QHVSG. For several years, Bernadette has provided court support, telephone support, undertaken home visits and has assisted at many events including the Gold Coast Awareness Day, Night of Recognition and Children’s Christmas party. Bernadette has also at times facilitated support group meetings. In 2021, Bernadette was recipient of the QHVSG Volunteer of the Year in 2021.
Bernadette's background in business ownership, provides her with broad experience in customer service, financial knowledge, communication and critical thinking skills. Having lived in remote Indigenous communities, Beradette has a deep understanding of the family ties with first nations people.
Bernadette cares deeply for QHVSG and understands the importance of members feeling supported and heard. She looks forward to sharing her skills, knowledge and passion to help the Board deliver the best support possible for the QHVSG members, and to advocate for needs.
Sarah is originally from Tasmania and wanted to find a group that supported vicitms for most of her life - sadly no such organsation existed there.
When Sarah came across the QHVSG Facebook page, she immediately sent a direct message to voice her interest in volunteering into peer support. Sarah has felt like she was able to find a family that she had always been searching for.
Sarah has over a decade of professional experience across a range of industries, with expertise in administering business accounts, online sales platforms and customer relationship management. Her willingness to listen and support others is a skill that Sarah wants to utlise to enable an open door for members to have to share their needs and ideas.
Sarah's experience on boards over a ten year period will be an asset for our work, as will her enthuisiasm for knowledge of fundraisng, event planning and relationship bulding.
Chief Executive Officer
Brett has a Bachelor of Education and has worked at executive levels since 1998. His work across government, private and not-for-profit sectors has provided a board range of experiences to bring to QHVSG.
After a successful twenty year career in Secondary education, Brett made the shift to the not-for-profit sector. This change was inspired after undertaking nine years of voluntary work as an ambulance officer in a small community, where Brett found a great sense of personal satisfaction in being able to help people who in crisis. During his time in that voluntary role, Brett saw the impact of homicide on individuals, families, and an entire community.
Brett has worked on government legislative review commitees, ministerial forums, and has successfully advocated for systemic and legistive changes on local, state and national levels. Brett was a community board member on the Parole Board QLD from 2018-2021.
Brett was appointed as CEO of QHVSG in May 2017, where he is honoured to be able to serve.
MEET OUR PATRON
“I am honored to be the Patron of the Queensland Homicide Victims’ Support Group (QHVSG). It is not until you are close to a family which is affected by an act of homicide that you truly appreciate the long lasting devastating legacy that is left behind. It is impossible to overstate the important work and support that is undertaken by the QHVSG in supporting families in the aftermath of a tragic homicide. I encourage you to explore the valuable information and support available and to reach out to QHVSG if you or someone you know has been affected by homicide.”
Patron, COMMISSIONER KATARINA CARROLL
Commissioner of Police, Queensland Police Service