Who We Are

Our board

Liberty Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services is a non-profit incorporated association managed by a community-based management committee.

As the governing body, the committee has overall responsibility for managing the affairs of the organisation. The board shares a diverse skill set with a focus on ensuring the strategic and operational goals of the organisation are achieved, whilst upholding our values and mission.

The members of the board are elected annually at our Annual General Meeting. Our current members are detailed below.

Catherine Vallentine – Chair

Catherine is a solicitor and long time Port Macquarie resident, having raised her four children in Port. She has always maintained an active involvement in the community working at various times in childcare, aged care and in legal practice. She is passionate about social justice and the rights and welfare of women and children.

She has in the past been a member of the Mid North Coast Women’s Health Advisory Group and was the Chairperson of the Advisory Board of the not-for-profit I-India Australia, which changed the lives of street children in India. Catherine worked for a period with the Women’s Legal Service in Sydney which saw her working closely with the Domestic Violence Court Assistance Scheme at various courts, assisting female victims of domestic violence.

She is also a qualified Pilates instructor and enjoys yoga, running on the beach and spending time with friends and family, especially her three grandchildren.

Jacinta Spry – Deputy Chair

Dr Jacinta Spry is a General Practitioner with a special interest in women’s health and psychological medicine.

Jacinta moved to the region with her husband and two children and enjoys the relaxed coastal outdoor lifestyle of Port Macquarie.

Working at a local medical centre, family planning clinic and correctional centre, Jacinta is constantly reminded of the social determinants of health and sees family violence as a major public health issue.

Serving on the Board of Liberty enables her to support her local community and empower clients to make positive changes for their future.

Margaret Carey – Secretary

Margaret is a retired Certified Practising Accountant and is now engaged in studying for a post graduate certificate in Environmental Sustainability with UNE. She is active in LandCare programs in the local area and Kendall Community Garden.

Margaret has completed several volunteer accounting roles throughout the Asia-Pacific region with Australian Business Volunteers.

In the past she has been on the Board of Guthrie House in Sydney that provides transitional residential programs for women exiting the criminal justice system with drug and alcohol abuse issues. She has also been volunteer treasurer for NSW Greens and Aidwatch, a small NGO monitoring government foreign aid expenditure.

For fun Margaret enjoys bushwalking both locally and further afield. She travels to some remote destinations although this has been curtailed during Covid times.

Anne Modderno – Treasurer

Anne is an experienced managing director, general manager, project manager and civil engineer, having held key leadership roles in state and local government sectors, rail and civil construction industries.

Anne is a champion for safety, sustainability and diversity; and is active in her advocacy for increasing female participation in the rail industry and closing the gender pay gap.

Anne is passionate about regional NSW and is proud to now reside in Port Macquarie after relocating here with her husband and two children 3 years ago. Anne has held Treasurer and Secretary positions for the Port Macquarie Community Preschool and has joined the Board of Liberty to continue her support of our local community.

Julia Shearsby – Board

Julia is a Clinical Psychologist, working part time in her private practice. Prior to moving to Port Macquarie, Julia worked in Bankstown Hospital’s inpatient psychiatric unit and Community Mental Health Service for 15 years.

She also currently works part time as the Chaplain at Hastings Public School. Julia is the Secretary of the Mid North Coast Refugee Support Group, which supports a small group of Tamil refugees and aims to improve our country’s response to refugees.

Julia supports the Shark Cage framework and considers family violence to be one of the key issues facing our society. In her clinical work, Julia has referred to Liberty many times when supporting women through family violence, and feels privileged to be able to contribute to the ongoing success of the service.

Vanda Jarzabek – Board

Vanda has a Bachelor of Education degree and built a career in early childhood education. She was involved in the licensing of NSW Children’s Services and policy development for safe standards in childcare.

Moving to Port Macquarie in 2018, Vanda values close connections with family and friends. She enjoys sharing her passions for nature, live music, yoga, book club and travel.

Vanda believes education, women’s health and equal opportunity are central to the wellbeing of all communities. She values working with others towards Liberty’s goals.

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