Our Mission

The primary purpose of Grace’s Place is to provide a unique place of healing and restoration for children traumatised by homicide.

It will be a place where they may be guided to believe in themselves and their future.
It is to be built in Doonside, NSW, on land made available by Blacktown City Council and Western Sydney Parklands Trust.

The Centre will be named in honour of Grace Lynch, mother of Anita Cobby and will include residential and counselling facilities. It will also be the new Head Office of the Homicide Victims Support Group (Aust) Inc.

Homicide Victims Support Group (NSW)

Founded in June 1993, the Homicide Victims Support Group (HVSG) was established when the parents of Anita Cobby and Ebony Simpson were introduced. They recognised the very real need to set up an organisation which could offer counselling, support and information to families and friends of homicide victims throughout NSW.

As a result the counselling section at the Institute of Forensic Medicine started to work with family members to introduce the concept of the HVSG.
The Homicide Victims’ Support Group (Aust) Inc.is funded by Western Sydney Local Area Health District, along with generous donations from members, friends, caring members of the public and corporate sponsors.

Our Team

Kathryn Syzszka

Patron


Kathryn is the daughter of Garry and Grace Lynch, founding members of the Homicide Victims’ Support Group (HVSG), and sister of Anita Cobby, who was murdered in 1986 at the age of 26. Through her involvement with the HVSG she has seen first-hand the need for a facility specifically for children and teenagers that provides counselling and therapy in a programmed environment.

Simon Bouda

Ambassador


Simon is an award-winning journalist and crime reporter with a long-standing relationship with the Homicide Victims’ Support Group (HVSG) as Master of Ceremonies at the annual Ebony and Ivory Ball. He also organised the highly successful Ride For Justice which raises funds and awareness for the HVSG.

Martha Jabour, Homicide Victim’s Support Group.

Management Team


Martha has been the Executive Director of the Homicide Victims’ Support Group since 1993 having been employed by the Institute of Forensic Medicine to co-ordinate and set up the support group, to provide counselling, support and referrals for the family members of homicide.

After the death of her second son, Michael, to cot death Martha trained as a grief and trauma counsellor and worked, both in a voluntary and paid position, with the Sudden Infant Death Association of NSW. Building on her experience within the areas of grief, trauma, policy development, strategic planning and crisis management.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Raymond APM, OAM

Ambassador


Now retired, Gary was one of the NSW Police detectives investigating Anita Cobby’s murder and developed a close association with her parents, Garry & Grace (Peg) Lynch. With several decades of experience, Gary now uses his expertise to give back to the community through his involvement with the Retired Police Association NSW, Police Post Trauma Support Groups NSW, The Salvation Army & Rotary and, of course, Grace’s Place.

Jeffrey Sahyoun

Management Team


Jeff is a builder specialising in multi storey residential and commercial projects with an impressive portfolio of projects within the Sydney metro area. He brings his detailed knowledge of construction, his onsite/hands on approach and his ability to communicate and negotiate to the Grace’s Place project.

Angelo Cusumano

Management Team


Angelo lost his father at a young age and, alongside the rest of his family, has received support from the Homicide Victims’ Support Group (HVSG) over the last 20 years. As such, Grace’s Place is a cause very close to his heart and he believes it is necessary for young victims of all generations.
Having been through it himself, Angelo understands the importance for a safe healing centre like Grace’s Place at a very crucial and vulnerable time for victims of homicide.

Jane Chapman

Management Team


Jane lost her brother to homicide and credits the unerring support, guidance ance confidence building of the Homicide Victims’ Support Group (HVSG) for getting her through. She believes children whose lives have been irrevocably impacted by homicide deserve the opportunity to rebuild the belief they have in themselves and their future and that Grace’s Place will be that lifeline.

Tony Barnden

Management Team


Tony is Manager of Community Development at Blacktown City Council where he oversees Council’s social planning, community development and community facility functions. He is passionate about social justice and community engagement and active in refugee resettlement, domestic violence prevention, proudly representing Blacktown City Council on this Project Control Group.

Michael Trinh

Management Team


Michael is an Architect who has shown willingness to help communities not only in his personal life but also professionally. He made it a priority for Idraft to assist in the design and documentation of numerous community projects with compassion wherever possible.

Shane Govender

Management Team


Shane has a wealth of experience delivering high quality results across all trades in the Building Industry. Over the last 15 years he has worked with non-profit organisations, Government Sectors and within the Private Sector on Construction and Infrastructure projects. Having been introduced to Grace’s Place by a close friend, and now being a father himself, he helps in any way possible to ensure the success of the project.

Sam Ayache

Management Team


Sam currently works as a real estate agent and primarily focuses on site acquisition and project marketing. He is dedicated to assisting charities and local community groups in raising funds and is involved in his local rugby league club as a coach whilst managing the operations of the senior teams.

Sandy Benson

Management Team


Sandy is retired, having spent all her working life in office management and financial and secretarial role and is involved in many past and present community projects and issues. She now assists Grace’s Place with administration and project management areas.