Sutherland Shire Family Services (SSFS) have an experienced board and professional management team who provide strategic direction and governance over the operations of the organisation and programs. We employ over 30 people in various roles to support the valuable programs we offer in the community.
- President – Larissa Rossen
- Secretary – Julie West
- Treasurer – Ben Wood
- Board Member – Ann Murphy
- Board Member – Marcus Zeltzer
- Staff Representative – Diane Manns
- Staff Representative – Lola Hearn
Larissa’s passion is to help and work with vulnerable children impacted by trauma, abuse and neglect. After graduating with a double degree in Psychology (Hons) and Commerce from the University of Sydney, Larissa spent two years working for the Department of Family Services, Community Services, as a child protection caseworker. Following this, she worked on a domestic violence project with Sutherland Shire Family Services and NSW Police. Larissa also spent some time abroad in Kathmandu, Nepal, through the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) program where she worked for a local non-government organisation called Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN). Her AYAD assignment was to develop and implement a structured decision-making system for CWIN to protect and ensure the safety of Nepalese children.
Through her work experience and time researching this area, Larissa believes that early intervention for families at risk results in better outcomes for both mothers and their children. With education and support for women during the early perinatal period, Australian children have the opportunity to grow to their full potential, breaking the negative patterns affecting families both nationally and internationally. Without a strong family system, local community and organisations play a key role in providing care and nurture for these children.
Larissa has recently achieved her PhD, from the University of New South Wales, investigating the impact of substance use and mental health on parent-child attachment and infant development.
Diane joined Sutherland Shire Family Services in 2002 and from 2008 lead their DVPASS Project – an initiative in partnership with NSW Police to support victims of domestic violence. This project was later recognised as the best practice model for the provision of support to women and children impacted by domestic violence, and Diane was nominated as NSW Woman of the Year in 2010 in recognition of her work in this area.
In 2011, Diane assumed the position of Operations Manager, overseeing all of the various programs offered by Sutherland Shire Family Services and managing the family caseworkers and line managers, ensuring that all SSFS operations are in keeping with the principles of family work and ethical practice.
Diane was promoted to the position of Manager in 2014, where she is now responsible for the financial and operational viability of the 12 programs Sutherland Shire Family Services operates, over 30 staff and the strategic direction of the organisation. Including building the profile, role and reputation of the organisation within the broader context of the community.
Diane is a passionate and engaging leader with a strong sense of social justice who encourages collaborative involvement. Diane has a background in Social Science and completed her Bachelor Degree in Community Education at University of Technology, Sydney and most recently completed her Executive MBA at the University of Wollongong.