Shannon is a Gumbaynggirr woman from the Mid North Coast of NSW with family and bloodline connections to Bundjalung, Tiwi Islands and Dunghutti countries. Shannon has been working in the child protection and out-of-home care sector for 20 years and has developed a unique blend of practice, cultural and cross-cultural knowledge, and leadership experience for which she is highly regarded.
Shannon has a strong contemporary working knowledge of the child protection and care system as an Aboriginal practitioner and senior leader and is currently the State Director, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Practice and Partnerships at Life Without Barriers.
Shannon’s Board experience has included: Director and Deputy Chair of Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council from March 2016 to January 2023. Whilst in the role as Director and Deputy Chairperson, Shannon has participated in legislative, policy and procedure reform across several industries. She has worked for many years to build robust relationships, enabling her to give frank advice and contribute to written submissions about how legislation, policy and procedures infringe upon Aboriginal Cultural Responsibility and Rights to Community and Country (Land, Waters and Airspace), and the protection of critically endangered migratory species of both fauna & flora.
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Winangay Public Officer
Paula Hayden (MSW) has extensive experience of working with children and families with multiple and complex needs. Paula is experienced and insightful clinician Paula worked as a Senior Social Worker at the specialist Child Protection Unit in Westmead Children’s Hospital NSW. One of only two specialist units in the state Paula worked in a multidisciplinary team which included medical professionals and senior social workers. Paula undertook complex assessments, for courts and the Department of Communities and Justice, and refined her clinical skills working with children and families who had experienced intergenerational trauma and abuse. It was in this context Paula developed innovative resources which promoted a trauma informed collaborative approach which focused on children’s safety, recovery and healing.
Paula has co-authored a range of resources which have had national application.
A founding member of Winangay Resources, Paula was a major contributor in the development of the award winning, trauma informed, culturally safe, and strength-based tools. She has worked alongside First Nations Elders, Consultants, workers and kids to develop resources which embed stronger ways of working, and reflect First Nations people’s knowledge, expertise and resilience.
Paula has consulted for jurisdictions and NGOs across Australia. Published nationally and internationally, Paula has presented a numerous conference in Australia (SNAICC, Child Aware, ACWA) and at the International Conferences, Dublin, London, Vancouver, and in Edinburgh alongside Professor Fiona Arney Director Australian Centre for Child Protection.
Burramatagal country (Parramatta NSW) has been the country Paula has been privileged to live and work, raise her kids on for 30 years. This is the country that keeps her strong and she loves to walk on.
Kim Squires has over twenty-five years’ experience in business management and administration. Kim is married to a proud Darug man. Kim and her husband were both raised and still live on Dharawal Country (Illawarra Region).
Kim and her husband have been passionate and tireless advocates for Aboriginal children and believe children are always better off with family. Kim and her husband are currently kinship carers. Kim’s family were assessed by an independent assessor who used the Winangay Aboriginal kinship carer assessment tool.
As a kinship carer Kim’s knowledge extends to all aspects of the out-of-home care sector and the need to remain child focused especially during the stressful periods of family contact and court hearings. Kim recognises there are some highs and lows to being a kinship grandparent but to witness her grandchild learn trust and love again and to see her thrive in safe and protective environment makes it all worthwhile.
Kim’s extensive carer knowledge and valuable insights were soon recognised by the Winangay team, and she was appointed to the position of treasurer earlier this year. Kim is committed to the ongoing development of the Winangay tools and resources.
Kim likes to spend time with her family and is a ‘would be’ artist, she has been painting and drawing for the past three years and loves to encourage and draw with her grand-kids and other children.