Lifetime Friends

Lifetime Friends of arbias is an acknowledgement awarded by the board of directors for making a substantial contribution to people with alcohol or other substance related brain impairment.

Barbara Carter

Barbara Carter was on the board of arbias from 1997 to 2004 and was president from 2000 to 2004. She accepted the opportunity to join the arbias board with enthusiasm when she encountered arbias in the course of her work as a guardian and advocate with the Office of the Public Advocate.

Barbara has great respect and admiration for the unique and important work of arbias. She has worked at the Office of the Public Advocate for 15 years now and is manager of advocacy and guardianship, having first joined OPA as the coordinator of the Community Guardianship Program.

Barbara started her working life as a secondary teacher in the technical education system and after post-graduate study, was a lecturer in political science and political philosophy at Monash and other universities for ten years. She has also been a member of many diverse community organisations, from helping to establish the first community garden plots in Melbourne and organising a local food co-op to being on committees and boards such as her local conservation society, Hanover and arbias.

When not working at OPA she is now the proud grandmother of two little girls, likes to sing and play the pipe organ and to escape to a beautiful part of South Gippsland, near Wilsons Promontory.

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Professor Simon Crowe

Simon Crowe is the professor and head of the school of psychological science at La Trobe University in Bundoora. He has a PhD in the neurobiological basis of memory formation, and has also completed a training program in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Melbourne.

He is the past chair of the heads of department and Schools of Psychology Association, vice president of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and co-chair of the Science and Research Advisory Group of the APS.

Professor Crowe maintains a strong research program in the biological basis of memory formation, as well as conducting studies into the neuropsychology of neuropsychiatric disorders and a variety of neuropsychological assessment issues.

He has published one previous monograph (The neuropsychological effects of the psychiatric disorders), and has authored more than 80 refereed journal articles and numerous book chapters, conference presentations, notes and commentaries. He is the past editor of the Journal Australian Psychologist (2000-2005). He has supervised 40 doctoral degree candidates (PhD and DPsych.) as well as numerous masters and fourth year theses.

Professor Crowe is a member of the Expert Reference Group of BeyondBlue and a grant evaluator for the ARC, NH & MRC, BeyondBlue, Smoking & Health Research Foundation and the Neurological Foundations of New Zealand and Israel.

He continues to conduct an extensive practice, largely in the area of medico-legal disputation, and is an independent neuropsychological examiner for the Workcover Authority and the Transport Accident Commission in Victoria, Australia, from which his extensive experience of the behavioural and emotional effects of TBI has been drawn.

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Jenifer Lee

Jeni was a founding member of arbias and a member of the first committee. She was involved during the difficult early days whilst fighting for recognition, and had seen the company develop into today’s structured, professional organisation.

Above all Jeni had said that it was a pleasure to know and work with the people associated with arbias and that it was a wonderful experience to enjoy a connection with people who share the same commitment, which is rare within any organisation.

Jeni was a solicitor who practiced in human rights law, who had came to law after a history in social work. As a social worker, she worked in the area of alcohol and drugs, and in 1982 was appointed to the position of State Director of the Statewide Alcohol & Drug Services. During this time she managed and implemented the first national drug strategy as well as the Victorian component of the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse.

Jeni also introduced the first community based programmed approach to the delivery of services. Prior to this, whilst employed with community services, she was responsible for the management of the Women’s Refuge Program, the Financial Advice Program and the Family Counselling Program. She also had experience in the areas of child protection and health prevention.

When returning to study, Jeni was one of a group of women who saw a need to establish a mechanism to make education available to women, and set up the first neighbourhood house in Greensborough, and then lobbied to establish three more. As a result of this the women published a book called “Brian’s Wife Jenny’s Mum”. Whilst working in the alcohol and drug area she noticed that women were not receiving services and, using the neighbourhood house model, she set up the first “women’s only” program in Victoria.

Jeni also lectured in law and welfare, with particular emphasis on “duty of care” and “legal report writing”. She had an interest in community health and community participation, formally being a Director of Bayside Health, and Chair of the Community Advisory Committee. Jeni contributed to a publication in the Health Issues Journal on community participation.

She was a member of the law institute, and chair of the law institute disability committee. She was a keen walker, cinemagoer and book reader.

Jenifer's contribution to arbias was significant, her involvement in the organisation can still be seen in arbias today. Jeni will be greatly missed by all members of the arbias community.

Her family has printed her obituary in The Age: A proud Fighter for Justice For Many

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John McMahon

John McMahon has been in the health and welfare field since 1980. He spent several years in youth work with the then Department of Community Services Victoria (CSV), before entering the drug and alcohol field in the mid 1980’s.

John was employed by WestADD in the establishment of Aurora House, a non-medical residential alcohol withdrawal unit, in 1986. He was deputy director in the planning stages and the first director in its operational stage.

John worked at St. Vincent’s Hospital Department of Community Medicine (later Department of Drug & Alcohol Studies and now Department of Addiction Medicine) for fifteen years in various roles including clinical supervisor of the Drink Driving Program and clinical supervisor of the Forensic Treatment Program. He now works in case management in the Department of Justice.

John was one of several in the field invited to a meeting in 1989, convened by Marilyn Hage, with a vision to establish a service to support those with alcohol related brain injury. That service, driven by Marilyn’s energy, developed into what we now know as arbias. John was on the board of arbias for eleven years from 1993, and was president for two years. He retired from the board in 2004.

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Thomas Ian Paxton AM

Inaugural Chairman of arbias Inc.

Ian was born in Alphington, attended the Fairfield State School and Collingwood Technical College. He qualified as an electrician before entering the Baptist Ministry in 1961. He was ordained in 1966 and served as the pastor in the West Melbourne parish. His interests were in the ecumenical movement, contemporary Christian worship and the provision of health, welfare, education, housing and employment services in the inner city.

He is a graduate of Melbourne University (Dip Soc Stud BA) and Latrobe University (M Soc W). Ian and Elaine have three sons and four grandchildren.

Following parish service, he was employed in the Dept. of Community Medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital when the proposal by Marilyn Hage to form arbias became a reality. The primary focus of arbias in the beginning was people who were homeless and suffering brain damage – the people who constantly fall through the gaps in the service networks. Ian was chair of the Victorian Advisory Committee to the Federal Minister for Social Welfare on Homelessness in the 1970s, and saw the introduction of the Homeless Persons Act.

Ian continued his involvement in arbias when he joined the Mission of St. James and St. John in West Melbourne as Associate Director. He was chair of VACRO for eight years and participated in numerous campaigns that influenced social policy at both the state and federal level.

In the second half of the 1980s he was appointed CEO of Baptist Community Care in Victoria. He resigned from arbias and VACRO to concentrate on new challenges. His active interests focused on the care of families and children, prison reform, the care of the elderly and the health and welfare of marginalised groups. In this period he served as chair of the Victorian, Australian and International Associations for the housing and services for older people. He retired from full time employment in the late 1990s.

Over the past nine years he has acted as a consultant to non-government and government health and welfare services in Victoria. At the same time Ian and his wife have become involved with an Indonesian ecumenical charity, serving small communities of marginalised people who are extremely poor, living in East Java and those suffering from natural disasters. They participate in meetings seeking reconciliation between people of all faiths throughout Indonesia.

Paxton House was named in recognition of his role as inaugural chair.

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Kaye & Bruce Pringle

Kaye and Bruce began their long relationship with arbias in August 1992 when they purchased 226 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, and altered the building to suit the specific requirements of arbias. Due to expansion, further renovations became necessary and these were carried out in 1994. By the year 2000, arbias had once again outgrown the building, so 183 Gertrude Street was purchased and altered to suit.

The owner/tenant relationship proved to be most harmonious, and both Kaye and Bruce derived pleasure from their fifteen year involvement with arbias, stating that this had been greatly enhanced by the excellent relationships they enjoyed with arbias management and staff.

Ms Margaret Hamilton, AO

Margaret has had over forty year involvement in the alcohol and drug sector; initially as a social worker responding to people who, among other problems, had significant brain injury as a result of alcohol use and who were often homeless and socially isolated.

Other roles have included programme development and evaluation together with research and roles in education and training including the ten years she spent as coordinator of Alcohol & Drug Education for Medical Students at Melbourne University before being appointed founding Director of Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre which established clinical, research, education and training programmes and policy capacity.

In the early days of arbias Margaret was involved in supporting senior staff and others through advocacy, mentorship and service linkages. She has been especially concerned for those who are faced with multiple problems including, most recently, as the Chair of the Multiple and Complex Needs Panel in Victoria working with others toward ensuring that people with acquired brain injury, together with other problems, were appropriately cared for.

Margaret continues on the Australian National Council on Drugs and the Prime Ministers Council on Homelessness. She is Vice President of the Cancer Council Victoria and is also on the Board of VicHealth.

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Ms Jelena Popovic

Mr Greg Whelan

Mr Peter Tierney

Mr Martin Jackson

Associate Professor Mr Warrick Brewer

Mr Mark Mileo