We Listen, We Care, We Support

Governance and leadership

Leadership Team

GriefLine Community and Family Services Inc. is governed by The Associations Reform Act 2012.

Catherine Cini, Chief Executive Officer

Catherine Cini, GriefLine’s CEO is a Family Therapist, Educator and Bereavement Counsellor with over 40 years experience. Before GriefLine, she worked in private practice for 25 years.

Catherine began her career as a school teacher and then school counsellor within secondary schools. During her time as an educator, Catherine prepared a specialised framework for alternate programs tailored to year 11 and 12 students who were troubled. She then delivered these programs to adolescents.

Catherine has also worked in prisons where she designed and delivered programs for youth. The aim was to decrease recidivism within the prison system.

Catherine was also the director of Monash Family Therapy and in 2012 received an award recognising her humanitarian services to the community.

Kathleen Wells, Manager, Helpline & Bereavement Counsellor

Kathleen is a Loss and Grief Educator and Bereavement counsellor with over 26 years’ experience. Before GriefLine, she worked for 10 years as a Co-ordinator of Moongala Women’s Community House.

Kathleen has also worked as a volunteer in various roles within the community including schools and in grief and loss programs in her local parish.

Kathleen was awarded Citizen of the Year in 2014 in recognition of her contributions to the community.

Susan Mathew, Counsellor

Susan Mathew, GriefLine counsellor, looks after the Online Counselling and the Children & Youth Counselling Program. She designs and runs tailor-made programs for each of GriefLine’s young clients, while supporting their parents. She also works on the helpline and on various other education programs and projects at GriefLine. Susan’s experience living in different countries has given her an insight into the issues of migration and she is an active member of GriefLine’s Migrant Forum.

As part of Susan’s previous career in Agricultural sciences and Environmental management, she has worked with rural farming communities in India. From this exposure she has developed an acute sense of community development and identified her passion to help others achieve their full potential. At GriefLine she has been able to follow her passion, while raising a young family.

Office Bearers

GriefLine is governed by a Committee of Management who meet monthly with the following office bearers:

Patrick Gallagher, Chairman

BBus(Acc), MBA, Master of Bioethics

Patrick brings a wealth of skills and experience in accounting, general management and strategic corporate planning. He has 35 years’ experience as Chief Executive and executive management levels in aged care, sub-acute and social welfare organisations in metropolitan and rural settings. He also has 25 years of governance experience within the non-profit sector, including several roles as Chair.

Jenny Stillman, Secretary


Jenny, an equine veterinarian, has extensive involvement with community and professional bodies, including community banks, primary schools and promoting business and tourism, both as board member and president. Jenny has a long association with GriefLine and many years working as administrator within volunteer organisations.

Joanne Bryant, Office Bearer

BApSc (OT), Dip Clinical Hypnotherapy, AAOT, ASCH

Joanne is an occupational therapist and hypnotherapist. She currently runs her own company as clinical occupational therapist, providing mental health services. Accompanying her 25 years’ experience in the health sector, Joanne has also been an expert witness for court proceedings, and also managed a family printing company for 13 years.

Ewa Figiel

Ewa (Eva) has over 25 years of experience as broadcaster in the Polish Program and sound producer at SBS Radio Melbourne. Through her work, Ewa has had extensive involvement in the Multicultural Community of Australia.

She was the recipient of Victoria’s Multicultural Award for Excellence in 2010: Service Delivery to Multicultural Victoria – Individuals Journalism, Award for Excellence in service delivery to Multicultural Victoria. Her experience in radio and on-line communications, includes editorial and production of program’s, websites and social media. Radio and on-line content coordination, and production, stakeholder and community engagement, staff coaching. International journalistic work experience. Translating Polish/English.

Ewa has also co-managed the family business for 20 years.

Benil Mathew, BTech, GradDip (IT), MBA

Benil’s primary experience is in the corporate sector, with large Australian and International organisations. He has managed large projects in the technology domain and has a strong strategy and customer focus. At his workplace he finds that parts of the “GriefLine way”: empathy and listening to others, go a long way in bringing people together and getting things done. His experience as a volunteer at GriefLine has brought him closer to the community needs around support and care required by many of its members, especially in an era when technological development is enabling rapid changes in every sphere of our lives. He is a migrant to Australia and has a young family with involvement in community and sporting activities. He is also keen to leverage technology that can be used in GriefLine to improve the service delivery and operations, while keeping the core elements of the services untouched.

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