Daughter of Garry and Grace Lynch, founding members of HVSG. Sister of Anita Cobby, nurse, murdered in 1986 at the age of 26. Married to Walter Szyszka and mother to 16 year old twins, Cameron and Olivia. The importance of Grace’s Place personally to me is that through my involvement with the HVSG it has become obvious that there is the need in the community for a facility specifically for children/teenagers - a place that provides counselling and therapy in a programmed environment.
Children would be able to grieve and express themselves and gradually experience fun and laughter as they traverse the tender years of growth and development into young adults whilst suffering the devastating effects following the murder of a family member - in an endeavour to avoid issues that often arise later in life.
Sarah Ferguson is one of Australia's most respected journalists. In 2015, Sarah spent six months filming on the front line of Australia's domestic violence crisis for the acclaimed ABC series Hitting Home. Sarah has won three Walkleys, including the Gold Walkley in 2011. She is a reporter and presenter on the ABC's Four Corners program and has presented 7.30.
Recently at the 2015 Our Watch Awards which is administered by the Walkley Foundation, Sarah and her team won the award for Best Long form category for Hitting Home. Sarah began her journalistic career in newspapers in the UK before moving to France where she worked for the BBC. In Australia she has worked for the SBS programs Dateline and Insight as both producer and reporter.
Sarah is very committed to the causes of stopping domestic violence and furthering the needs and rights of the vulnerable. Sarah has accepted the position of Ambassador for Grace's Place as a commitment to helping children who have been affected by homicide.
Simon Bouda began his journalism career in 1976 as a part-time copyboy for News Limited where he worked for four years before moving to the Daily Telegraph in 1980. While there, he covered everything from finance to police rounds. In 1986, Bouda joined The Sun in Sydney and was appointed chief crime reporter. In 1988, he returned to the Daily Mirror, this time in the capacity of chief crime reporter.
Beginning in 1992, Bouda began an eight-year- stint as chief crime reporter for National Nine News. He reported on high-profile stories including the Sydney bushfires and the Ivan Milat “Backpacker murders,” in 1994. In 1997, he covered the Thredbo landslide tragedy. In 1999, he reported on the peace-keeping effort in East Timor as he travelled with the Australian forces on day one of the mission. In 2003, Bouda returned to Sydney as a state political correspondent for National Nine News.
The award winning journalist has had a long standing relationship with the Homicide Victims’ Support Group, including his role as Master of Ceremonies at the annual Ebony and Ivory Ball. Simon has also organised the highly successful Ride For Justice which raises funds and awareness for the HVSG.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Raymond APM, OAM (Ret’d)
Gary was one of the NSW Police detectives investigating Anita Cobby’s murder and developed a close association with Anita’s parents, Garry & Grace (Peg) Lynch. His career spans several decades in time, and several areas of expertise: NSW Ambulance Officer, Police Rescue, Critical Incident Manager, Suicide Crisis Negotiator, Detective, Crime Scene Manager, Terrorism Risk Assessor, Police Peer Support Officer & Duty Officer.
Gary retired as a Chief Inspector from the NSW Police Force and now gives back to the community through his involvement in so many areas, including Retired Police Association NSW, Police Post Trauma Support Groups NSW, The Salvation Army & Rotary. Gary is sought after for his expertise in Critical Incident Stress Management, Risk Management,
Dealing with Emotional Post Trauma, Suicide Prevention, Suicide Crisis Negotiation, Suicide Postvention, Defusing Aggressive Behaviour, Emergency Management & Crime Scene Management, Managing Mass Casualty Events, Hostage & Active Shooter Survival Techniques, Christian Speaker & Motivational Speaker. Gary has a Diploma in Vocational Education & Training.
Management Team - Martha Jabour, Homicide Victim’s Support Group.
Martha Jabour has been the Executive Director of the Homicide Victims' Support Group (Aust) Inc. since 1993. She was employed by the Institute of Forensic Medicine in 1993 to co-ordinate and to set up the support group, providing counselling, support and referrals for the family members of homicide within the counselling section. Martha trained as a grief and trauma counsellor after the death of her second son Michael to cot death at the Bereavement Care Centre and the National Centre for Childhood Grief. She acquired experience within the areas of Grief, Trauma, Policy Development, Strategic Planning and responding to crisis management whilst working both in a voluntary and paid position with the Sudden Infant Death Association of NSW. Her interests are to further promote victims’ rights and needs, with a special focus on crime prevention, particularly in the areas of domestic violence, mental health and juvenile justice.
Management Team – Jeffrey Sahyoun, Builder.
Jeff has accomplished an impressive portfolio of building projects within the Sydney metro area within short time. He incorporated his first company in 1996 and specialises in multi storey residential and commercial projects.
Jeff’s fortes lie in his intimate and detailed knowledge of building, his onsite/hands on approach to every site, and his ability to communicate and negotiate with tradespeople, subcontractors, suppliers and clients alike.
He has completed over $500 million worth of projects in his own right, prior to taking on the role as Director of Jasara Constructions and other entities. He continues to be a driving force within Sirius Consolidated Pty Ltd and Jasara Constructions Pty Ltd.
Management Team - Angelo Cusumano Homicide Victim’s Support Group Member
Grace’s Place is very close to my heart having lost my father at a young age. Our family including my mum, brothers and sister have received much support from the HVSG over the last 20 years and this project is something that I believe is needed for young victims of all generations.
Having been there myself, I understand the importance for a safe healing centre such as Grace’s Place at a very crucial and vulnerable time for victims of homicide.
Management Team - Jane Chapman – Homicide Victim’s Support Group Member
Children whose lives have been irrevocably impacted by homicide deserve the opportunity to rebuild the belief they have in themselves and their future. Grace's Place will be that lifeline where they can heal and restore, where they can be safe and supported by the expertise of the Homicide Victims' Support Group. It was with the unerring support, guidance and confidence building of the HVSG I was able to survive the murder of my brother. I am honoured and humbled to be able to be part of the Management Team that will bring this vision to reality. My undergraduate qualifications in Psychology,
Early Childhood Development and postgraduate qualifications in Human Resource Management, coupled with being a family member of homicide provides me with a skill set that I believe can be effectively utilised to facilitate the regeneration of hope to those whose lives have been shattered by the acts of others.
Management Team - Tony Barnden Blacktown City Council
Tony Barnden is Manager of Community Development at Blacktown City Council where he oversees Council’s social planning, community development and community facility functions. After graduating with qualifications in journalism and social work he has worked in a range of management roles in Family & Community Services, Juvenile Justice, Area Health Services and Local Government.
During the last five years his team has delivered $32m of new community facilities and won the 2016 Urban Development Institute of Australia Award for government leadership in facility design.
Tony is passionate about social justice and community engagement and active is in refugee resettlement, domestic violence prevention and proudly represents Blacktown City Council on this Project Control Group.
Management Team - Michael Trinh Architect
Commencing his career in 2004, Michael became General Manger of both Merrylands and Parramatta Offices where he oversaw staff and the daily functions of the business.
Michael’s willingness to help communities in his personal life such as local temples and events, assisting with working bees, cooking and donations, flowed into the company and he made it a priority for Idraft to assist professionally and with compassion wherever possible in the design and documentation of numerous community projects.
Management Team -Shane Govender
With more than half of his life dedicated to the Building Industry Shane has intensive experience working with a team to deliver high quality results across all trades in the Building Industry. Working in and amongst over 130 schools in the Western Sydney Area, Tafe Colleges and Local councils performing works that include but not limited to Ground Up Builds, refurbishments, internal fit outs, concrete and masonry, portable frame and structural, civil, landscaping, demolition and excavation.
Over the last 15 years Shane has worked with non-profit organisations, Government Sectors and within the Private Sector with Construction and Infrastructure projects.
With a close friend being involved with Graces Place and now a father himself Shane was happy to jump on board and help in any way possible to ensure that this is a success for the future HVSG.
Management Team -Sam Ayache
Sam currently works as a real estate agent and primarily focuses on site acquisition and project marketing.
Sam has worked in Rugby League for many years in Marketing/Sponsorship for various clubs and he has a wealth of knowledge in this sector. He was responsible for acquiring and managing the relationships of many top tier partners. Sam has assisted charities and local community groups in raising funds to assist with projects that require additional funding.
He is also currently involved in his local rugby league club as a coach and manages the operations of the senior teams.
Management Team -Sandy Benson JP Administration
Sandy Benson’s role for Grace’s Place is primarily assisting in the administrative , secretarial and project management areas. Sandy is retired, having spent all her working life in Office Management, Administration & Financial and Secretarial roles in Sydney.
Holder of Certificate IV in Business Administration and Justice of the Peace, Sandy is also involved in many past and present community projects and issues.