Our people

Liz Crane (CEO), Batman, and Emma Rowell (Family Food Patch Program Manager) serving healthy food from the Well Fed Tasmania truck at the Kennerley Children’s festival, 23 February 2019.

Board members

  • Andrea Porte

    Andrea Porte

    Andrea joined the Families Tasmania Board in , and has served as President of the Board since . Andrea sits on a number of not-for-profit boards, and has a passion for community, advocacy, social policy and corporate responsibility. Andrea has a keen interest in programs that facilitate wellbeing and connectedness for Tasmanian families, and is herself a mother of two beautiful children. Andrea is a Senior Client Executive with Aon Risk Services, and utilises her professional skills in strategy, governance and risk management for the benefit of the organisation. Andrea is a Qualified Practicing Insurance Broker with the National Insurance Brokers Association and a Senior Associate with the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance.

  • Kim Parker

    Kim Parker

    Kim has been a Registered Nurse for all of her working life, specialising in Midwifery and Child and Family Health Nursing. Kim has a passion for working with families with children 0–5 years of age and supporting them to reach their full potential. Kim has many years of management experience including at the executive level. Kim enjoys gardening, sailing and family time outside of work.

  • Debbie Spandonis

    Debbie Spandonis

    Debbie is currently the Hobart Branch Manager of Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Debbie is also a Committee Member of the National Insurance Brokers Association (Tas). Debbie has over 20 years’ experience in insurance and financial services and, driven by a devotion to help people, joined the board of Families Tasmania in .

  • Kate Slater

    Kate Slater

    Kate joined the Families Tasmania Board in . Kate has a strong belief in building positive partnerships with families and has a particular passion and focus in the early years. Work in the last few years has involved engaging the community to support parents and their young children. Collaboration with a range of stakeholders and using her experience as an accredited coach has developed community engagement, improving support for families. A characteristic of her work is innovation and creativity and she is focused in looking for new ways to improve outcomes for our youngest citizens. Her extensive leadership experience and working with others in different contexts (size, environment, socio-economic) and working across agencies, local government, schools and community groups has been ongoing throughout her professional career.

  • Kirsten Grant

    Kirsten Grant

    Kirsten Grant has worked in the not-for-profit sector since and is passionate about making a difference in the world. She has worked internationally in New Zealand, Canada, Mongolia, and Japan, in a range of roles from teaching English to communications and marketing. Her family is the centre of her personal life, but she also loves jogging, yoga, stand-up paddle boarding, reading, bush walking, music, craft, baking and travelling. Kirsten, with her husband and two small children, recently and happily moved back home to Tasmania.

  • Jess Greene

    Jess Greene

    Jess is a public sector union organiser, working daily to advocate for workers and to protect the public services that Tasmanian’s rely on. She also serves as a Councillor on the West Tamar Council, Chair of Laurel House, and as a long term Board Member of Playgroup Tasmania and Families Tasmania. Jess is passionate about child welfare and improving outcomes for children living with significant social disadvantage.

  • Kate Crawford

    Kate Crawford

    Kate joined the Board in , bringing a background in event management, marketing, leadership, governance and the volunteering sector. Kate is the Strategic Manager of Sector Development for Volunteering Tasmania. Kate wishes she had discovered Families Tasmania when her two children were babies and she was a young mother navigating the world of motherhood. Her motivation in being part of the Families Tasmania Board was her way of giving back to the community and investing in today’s youth, providing opportunities to make better life choices towards their future world.

  • Position vacant — term end date Oct 2021

    Icon of a cheering person. Design: Patrick Badger.

    Families Tasmania’s principal governing body is the Board. The Board operates as a Board of Governance, at a strategic level, with operational management being the responsibility of the CEO. To register your interest in filling this volunteer position, or to receive a copy of the position description, please email CEO Liz Crane at liz@familiestasmania.org.au. Download expression of interest.


  • Liz Crane – CEO

    Liz Crane

    Liz has effectively led the Families Tasmania team since . She came to the organisation with a strong background in community services, qualifications in Community Services Management and — as a mum of young kids — a genuine passion for helping Tasmanian families. Liz is a strategic leader and community advocate who works tirelessly to create and facilitate collaborative, innovative programs and events that are responsive to community needs and create opportunities for connection. In her spare time she loves baking (especially sourdough bread) and enjoys hosting and feeding her family and friends.

  • Emma Rowell – Family Food Patch Program Manager

    Emma Rowell

    Emma Rowell celebrates ten years with Family Food Patch in . She has an eclectic and rich professional background in media and events coordination, horticulture, tourism and community volunteer management. All these roles have brought her to a place where she can share these diverse skills within one organisation. Emma is passionate about creative community outreach and developing resources and tools that are fun and engaging for Tasmanian families. Living with her daughter in the Tasmanian bush, Emma loves sharing her joy of nature play, photography and bushwalking.

  • Lisa Rushton – Southern Regional Coordinator

    Lisa Rushton

    With over 20 years working in the family and community sector, Lisa is passionate about opportunities for connection, conversation, and partnership in her work with Families Tasmania. Bringing a wealth of experience, Lisa adopts a playful approach to work alongside families and believes that through sharing our stories and experiences we can grow in confidence, connection, and community. A mum to three boys who offer endless inspiration, laughter, and learning, Lisa loves the outdoors, camping, jogging, splashing coffee, and conversations. Lisa studied a Diploma of Community Services as a young adult, followed by a Bachelor of Social Science, and most recently a Graduate Diploma Family Dispute Resolution.

  • Susannah Koch – Regional Coordinator North and North West

    Susannah Koch

    Susannah joined the team in , bringing a background in counselling and education and a passion for parenting as a learned skill to Families Tasmania. Her focus is on supporting parents with information, connection and skills to be the parent they most want to be. Susannah is a trained facilitator in a range of parenting programs, and has years of experience in supporting parents with information and workshops on topics including sleep, family food and toileting using up-to-date, evidence-based information.