Pathfinders is governed by a Board of Directors

7 - Patricia Schultz
Patricia Schultz – Chair

Chair on the Board of Directors

Dr Ahmed Bawa Kuyini-Abubakar – Deputy Chair

Bawa was born in Ghana and educated there as a teacher. He taught in Teachers College, Secondary School and at the University of Cape Coast between 1988 and 1996. He has worked for and established NGO’s in Ghana. Bawa brings to the board international experience in the areas of education, social welfare and disabilities.

Bawa studied health and welfare administration and ultimately social work in Norway and worked for the Child Protection Service in Norway. Bawa holds qualifications in Social Work, Religion Studies and holds a Doctorate in Education.

Bawa is currently lecturing at UNE in Special Education and Social Work.

Rosemary Curtis
Rosemary Curtis – Director

Rosemary is an Aboriginal Elder currently living in Glen Innes where she volunteers with the Pathfinders Open Door program.  Raised in Tingha and Mungindi NSW, Rosemary has experienced a very unique, colourful and gifted life to date. During her early stages of her long and accomplished career Rosemary helped to form the Tingha Aboriginal Corporation, providing local Indigenous families with housing. As well as this, Rosemary volunteered with the Health Commission to eradicate tuberculosis amongst Indigenous people living in Tingha and surrounding regions.

Rosemary has served with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and on the Aboriginal Development Commission as well as serving on numerous other boards and committees. Rosemary has worked as an Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer and has worked with the Department of Community Services for many years as an Indigenous advisor and foster carer.

Through all of this experience and much more, Rosemary has acquired a great understanding of Indigenous issues as well the issues faced by many youth today and is a valuable member of our organisation. Rosemary currently works with assisting Indigenous people living with disabilities in her local area on top of her many hours serving as a volunteer for Open Door and as a Director of Pathfinders.

Michael Siv
Michael Sivaraman – Director

An Indian by Heritage, Malaysian by birth and an Australian by choice (naturalised in 1972), Michael has lived in Australia since 1961. He is married with five children and one grandson.

Michael has recently retired from paid employment (Oct.2012) which spans across some 45 years. Almost all of his work has been in Health and Community Welfare; both with the Government and Non-Government Organisations.

In Health, after his initial training in Australia, Michael has worked mainly as Health Service Manager in Hospitals and in Community Health.

In the Non-Government Organisations Michael has been involved in Aged & Disability Service, Drug & Alcohol Service, Aboriginal Medical Service, Mental Health Recovery Support Service and in Residential Care for Homeless Children.

Michael has taught:

  • Mental Health for First year Nursing students at UNE—(2002 to 2003)
  • Community Welfare Cert IV at New England TAFE—(2003 to 2004)
  • Aged Care at Grafton TAFE—(1992 to 1994)

Michael’s involvement with Management Committees has been with:

  • NSW Council of The Aging (COTA)—2005 to 2007
  • Armidale Harmony Group—current
  • Tablelands Community Transport (2008 to 2011)
  • Armidale Women’s Centre—2006 to 2007
  • Armidale Interagency Forum—2008 to 2009

Since retirement Michael is involved as a volunteer with the Armidale Animal Shelter, Armidale Care for Seniors, Armidale Neighbourhood Centre and Armidale Meals on Wheels.

Frances Letters – Director

Member on the Board of Directors

Professor Robert Lonne – Director

Professor Lonne is the Discipline Leader of Social Work in the School of Health at UNE. Bob’s distinguished career has included direct practice and managerial positions in the mental health, statutory child protection and juvenile justice fields in both Queensland and Western Australia. . He has been an academic at QUT, University of Queensland and UNE and has held senior leadership roles.

Professor Lonne is recognised by Inquiries as an expert witness regarding child protection systems and was cited over 40 times in Queensland’s Carmody inquiry report into the child protection system. He and his UNE colleagues have undertaken research for the NSW ‘Their Futures Matter’ reforms (FACS) investigating assessment tools and policies for the ‘front door’ of child protection systems to improve access by families and children in need, and along with colleagues from other universities he has undertaken research about children’s views of safety for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

His PhD research examined the factors affecting the recruitment and retention of rural social workers, as well as the process of personal and professional adjustment they experienced when relocating to take up a position in a rural community. He has demonstrated high level national leadership in a number of areas including:

  • social policy issues
  • child protection
  • workforce issues in the health care and social assistance sector
  • accreditation standards for schools of social work.
  • other social welfare issues.

Professor Lonne remains very active in high level policy forums and committees concerning areas such as child protection reform and workforce issues affecting the health and community services. He also works closely with a number of community-based human service organisations.

Professor Lonne attended the Australian 2020 Summit in relation to the issues affecting rural communities. He was the National President of the Australian Association of Social Workers from 2005-2011, having been twice elected by members, and was formerly the Elections Officer for the International Federation of Social Work.

Alan Brennan
Alan Brennan – CEO

While the Board is responsible for the Governance of Pathfinders, the daily Operations and Administration of the organisation is overseen by CEO Alan Brennan. Alan holds qualifications in Social Work, Psychology, Education and Law.

He has worked in Human Services in New South Wales for the past 35 years and his experience spans the fields of Child Protection, Social Welfare, Disability, Juvenile Justice, Community Development and Education. Alan has worked in both the government and non-government sector.

Alan is passionate about the protection and betterment of the lives of children, young people and their families and has been the General Manager and CEO of Pathfinders since 2004.