“To assist families throughout Australia to deal with alcohol and other drugs issues in a way that strengthens relationships and achieves positive outcomes”.
Until recently she was responsible for all aspects of the telephone line operating and working with the volunteers. She now holds a part time position and works closely with James who has taken over a large part of her duties. Unfortunately, this has led to having less contact with the volunteers which was an integral part of her job and one which she enjoyed.
Sandra has worked closely with the Centre for Volunteering for over 20 years on supporting volunteers. She loves to read psychological thrillers and watch UK programmes on renovating houses. Sandra is a mother to Nicola and Jess and grandmother to Joshua.
Senior Manager & Co-founder
Based in Narrabri, NSW, Cigdem will provide FDS support services and programs across the New England, North West NSW area. She looks forward to establishing and facilitating regular FDS family support meetings for that area. Cigdem will provide 1-1 support for families and will deliver FDS programs including Stepping Forward information sessions and Support the Family – Improve the Outcome professional development workshops, as well as facilitating our award winning Stepping Stones interactive and experiential course.
Cigdem’s first involvement with FDS began in 2006 as a volunteer on FDS National Telephone Support Line.
Cigdem truly believes in the FDS model for supporting families and welcomed the opportunity to expand FDS supports for families across the New England, North West NSW area.
Cigdem has over 15 years’ experience working across the Alcohol & Other Drugs, Youth, homelessness, and Mental Health sectors in rural and remote NSW. Cigdem has Diplomas in Counselling; Alcohol & Other Drugs and Community Services Case Management.In her spare time, Cigdem enjoys creating art and spending time with her family and her two dogs – she prefers to call them her ‘fur-babies!’.
Prior to joining FDS, James had worked in a number of customer service, administration and learning and development roles, primarily in the Social Service sector. James is passionate about social justice and equality. James is currently completing a Cert IV Coordination of Volunteer programs.
Outside of work James enjoys most sports, collecting records, playing guitar and drums, Scrabble, gardening and DIY projects.
Prior to joining Family Drug Support, Katelyn worked in the AOD field in a residential and day program.
Katelyn believes the FDS model is instrumental in providing the support and knowledge families deserve, in a safe and supportive environment.
In her spare time Katelyn enjoys reading and spending time with family and close friends.
Family Support Worker, Australian Capital Territory
Mona is a mental health and peer support worker based in Rockhampton, QLD.
Mona completed her Certificate IV in Mental Health and Peer Work and is currently enrolled in a Diploma of Project Management.
Her passion for helping families led her to start working for Family Drug Support in April 2023. Having worked with families in previous roles, Mona understands the importance of supporting families with loved ones experiencing substance dependency without judgment. She is committed to providing compassionate care and support to those in need.
Family Support Worker, Rockhampton, Central Queensland
Edgar joined the FDS team having worked in the community sector for over 20 years. His experience and studies encompass the community services, human services, youth work, coaching and community development spaces.
Edgar brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his role having worked with youth and families in a variety of capacities particularly relating to mental health and drug and alcohol support.
Edgar is specialised in trauma informed practice and person centred, strengths-based frameworks greatly influencing his current practice. He is a strong believer in the power of connection.
Edgar has also worked as a case manager, team leader and coordinator of activities for children, youth and parents who have required wellbeing support.
He has made it a priority to live his values through respectful, authentic, caring and compassionate interactions when living and working with community members. He is committed to supporting community.
In his spare time Edgar enjoys walking, playing and watching sport, listening to music, singing, coffee meet ups and family time.
Belinda has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science and a Post Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management.
Belinda has a long work history working with children and families in the public and private sector and this has endowed her with the knowledge and skills to work successfully with families, empowering them to cope and manage during times of adversity.
In her experience as a case manager Belinda has had the opportunity to work with children and families from many different backgrounds and understands the need to listen, respect and acknowledge the power and wisdom encompassed in families. She is also aware of the barriers families experience when seeking support and works to advocate and empower families to build relationships, connect with their communities and continue to care for themselves and the people they love.
As a manager in early intervention services, Belinda has worked alongside families impacted by drug and alcohol use and understands that empathy and building relationships are fundamental to working with people to remain engaged and to strengthen families.
Belinda is excited to be part of Family Drug Support and looks forward to connecting with carers and families in the Central Queensland Region.
Jascinta has a Diploma in counselling and is currently undertaking a BA in Counselling. In addition, she has also completed a number of courses in the mental health sector.
Jascinta has vast experience working in helping professions and throughout these roles, Jascinta has worked with many families who have been impacted by drug and alcohol use. Specialising in trauma informed and person-centred practice, Jascinta has an acute awareness of the uniqueness of each individuals experience and recognises that every individual is the expert of their own life. Jascinta aims to meet each person with empathy, unconditional positive regard and curiosity.
Jascinta’s work experience, incorporated with her counselling studies has demonstrated her ability to work with families from varied cultural and diverse backgrounds, and treat individuals with inclusivity, dignity, and respect.
Heidi first started at FDS in 2009 as a volunteer and has drawn enormous inspiration and fulfillment from listening to and supporting families on the FDS Support Line and as a group facilitator. She has also benefited greatly from guidance from FDS in her personal relationships with family members with drug and alcohol issues.
Heidi has worked for universities, local government and various charities and has extensive professional experience in volunteer management, mental health, disability, training and program coordination.
Heidi has a Bachelor of Communication from UTS and is studying a Masters of Social Work. She is passionate about social inclusion and has volunteered in palliative care, refugee home tutoring, homelessness, disability respite, breastfeeding support, maternity care advocacy, and for Dying2Know Day as well as at her sons’ school and soccer club. In 2020 she founded a social support group for people with mental illness after the program they were involved with lost funding. She currently volunteers for Wesley Mission’s Aunties & Uncles program and for NSW Scouts.
Family Support Worker, New South Wales
Kylie joined the Family Drug Support team in September 2022 bringing with her 23 years of knowledge and experience working in law enforcement. Having dedicated her career within education in various spheres, she began her career in primary school education and moved into adult education within law enforcement. Kylie’s passion for education stems from the belief that education is the key to a person’s ability to see the world from a different lens and understand that everyone has their unique life path. This path should be respected without judgment. This belief prompted her to begin studying a Master in Social Work in 2021.
Kylie believes in the FDS model where people are free to share their stories in a safe space without judgement or stigma to gain the support they need. She believes it is a privilege to hear people share their stories and be able to walk alongside them throughout their journey, understanding they are experts in their own life. She believes that in doing so, people’s self-efficacy will be strengthened.
Kylie is dedicated to respect for all people, social justice and professional integrity with a strong focus on shame resilience and reducing stigma in all facets of drug and alcohol dependency.
In her spare time Kylie enjoys studying and spending time with her family, two dogs and a cat.
Family Support Worker, New South Wales
Sally is the South Australia Clinical Services Manager and facilitates support groups and the Stepping Stones course as well as delivering the Stepping Forward information sessions and the Support The Family – Improve The Outcome professional workshop. She enjoys helping people find coping skills, express their emotions and find empowerment to make their own choices and decisions while still maintaining a safe connection and support for their loved one using substances.
Sally joined FDS in June 2019, after being a support line volunteer since January 2018 but has also worked in a harm minimisation treatment service providing case management and counselling to people experiencing substance use issues. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and English, worked in the private sector for many years in targeted marketing and client engagement before pursuing further study, gaining a Graduate Diploma in Psychological Science then continuing on to complete a degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy.In her spare time Sally enjoys creative writing, reading, yoga, music and spending time with close friends.
Emma joined the South Australian Family Drug Support team in October 2022 as a Family Support Worker. Emma has had many years of experience working and volunteering in a variety of roles within the Community Services Sector. Emma also comes to FDS with prior experience within the Alcohol and Other Drugs Sector in which she provided Case Management and Crisis Support to Clients within a Residential Rehabilitation Service. Emma is currently completing a Bachelor of Social Work through the University of South Australia.
Emma is passionate about social justice and of the power of using education and compassion when working to support others. Emma is very much looking forward to promoting the FDS model and supporting families and other loved ones to navigate the challenges that come with supporting a loved one through their journey.