Meet the Management Team
Founder and Op Shop Manager
As Crystal's mum, I can relate first hand to the devastation of the loss of a child, having the lived experience, brings care and understanding to others facing an uncertain future. Prior to Crystal's diagnosis I spent many years working in the welfare sector and in the field of relationship counselling. I am currently the Manager of the Crystal Lee Foundation Op Shop in Koroit. Since opening the shop we have been building community awareness of the services we provide.
I am proud of the work we do and feel honoured to be helping others.
As Crystal’s father and a Foundation member of the board I am committed to the purposes of this Foundation. I am proud of our achievements thus far and endeavour to provide guidance and a lived experience perspective to the Crystal Lee Foundation Board. A lifelong resident of the Western District I presently work in the Private Rental Assistance Program and as a Support Worker and Broker in the homeless field, dealing with disadvantaged people, following a career in dairy farming.
As Crystal’s cousin I am very proud and grateful to be a founding board member of the Crystal Lee Foundation. It was Crystal’s vision to support young people and their families when faced with a cancer diagnosis. I am honoured to be apart of this vision. I have 25 years experience in healthcare as a Registered Nurse, currently I am Deputy Director of Nursing Critical Care and Medical Services at South West Healthcare Warrnambool. I have a strong passion for community and leadership and strongly believe in equity in healthcare and healthcare service delivery in regional and rural areas
Board Member/ Secretary / Treasurer
I have forty years experience in finance and administration including thirty years in Education Administration as a school Business Manager with a University Certificate of Management from Deakin. I am a Director of Warrnambool College Foundation and Warrnambool College Cooperative.
Following a career in public sector management spanning over forty years encompassing a variety of organisations, I retired to Port Fairy with my husband in 2020. We have involved ourselves in many aspects of local life and have felt very welcomed by the community. When I learned about the Crystal Lee Foundation, I was incredibly moved by Crystal’s story and inspired that Jo, Trevor and the family had turned their own tragedy into something positive for others. I am grateful for the opportunity to apply my experience in Management, Service Delivery, Policy and Governance together with my qualifications in Leadership, Human Resource Management and Accounting in support of the work of the Foundation.
I joined the team at the Crystal Lee Foundation in the role of Bereavement Counsellor in 2022. I have been humbled by the personal invitations to accompany those who are dealing with the death of a loved one or are preparing themselves for this, sometimes both at the same time. Death is not a part of life’s journey that is readily embraced, however being able to reach out for support is an experience valued by those seeking time and space to grieve in their own way. I hold a Bachelor of Theology, Certificate IV in Disability Services, Certificate IV in Celebrancy and have completed a Clinical Pastoral Education Course and a Mental Health First Aid Training Course. I have also had the privilege of being involved in leading funeral services and am also a registered Marriage Celebrant. I have been fortunate, throughout my working life, to provide support to others in a range of positions. I have worked in aged care training and supporting volunteers, assisting with the intake, transition and tenancy services at Salvo Connect, offering Pastoral Care to participants of Mental Health Services across Southwest Victoria, working in schools as a Teacher’s Aide and creating and delivering programs for the staff of Tasty Plate. As a volunteer I have contributed to a variety of organisations in the local community and beyond including Lifeline Southwest Victoria as a Phone Counsellor, Trainer, and Chair of the Board of Governance. I have contributed to the Southwest Advocacy Association & Victorian Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission (Disability). I also have been involved with St Joseph’s Parish Warrnambool volunteering for St Vincent de Paul, Social Justice groups and the Bereavement Team and have volunteered with the Holiday Actors and Dog’s Dinner as Life Member, President and Committee Member.
I have been with the foundation since day one. I remember talking to Crystal about her idea for a foundation to help people like herself, young people who have cancer and may be dying. It really was inspiring, that while she was facing her mortality at such a young age, she was thinking about how something should be done to help others after she was gone. That is the reason why I was so honoured to be invited to help start the foundation and what keeps me motivated to ensure that we can make a positive contribution to our community. I hold the role of Business Manager at Gunners Business Solutions where I work with businesses across Southwest Victoria to leverage the technology available to them to improve the way they work. I believe that technology is a driver for change and that by helping local businesses succeed it helps the whole region. I am community minded and like to do things that have a positive affect on our local area. I enjoy keeping up to date with technology & security trends, fishing, cooking & spending time with my wife & dog.
I am a qualified Catholic primary school teacher who has been teaching in a variety of roles for over 30 years. Having had many roles in leadership, from mentoring first year teachers to Acting Principal and being part of many committees, both at work and in the community, I bring a wealth of working knowledge and skills. I have spent 21 of these years teaching in Koroit and have held a variety of roles in the community at the Koroit kindergarten, Koroit Football Netball Club, Irish Festival Committee, St. Patrick’s Parents and Friends and Infant Jesus Parish. I have strong connections to the community and enjoy volunteering to strengthen it. I also bring a personal understanding of dealing with a child who is diagnosed with cancer as my son was 22 when he was diagnosed with primary mediastinal Bcell lymphoma. He is now in remission. This is another reason why I wanted to join and support the Crystal Lee Foundation.
I have almost 20 years' experience in the health sector as a Naturopath and Nutritionist running a multidisciplinary practice in Brisbane prior to relocating back to Southwest Victoria in 2015 where I have focused on my career in the Social, Community and Not-For-Profit sectors. I currently manage the Healthy Engaged Communities Unit at Warrnambool City Council where I oversee the operations of the Archie Graham Community Centre, West Warrnambool Neighbourhood House, the Youth Engagement Team, Community Connections Program and Volunteer Connect. My role also includes partnership, stakeholder engagement and community development, particularly in areas related to diversity and inclusion such as multicultural issues, disability awareness, LGBTIQA+ inclusion and First Nations communities. I have qualifications in Health Science, Human Nutrition and Community and Youth Work.
I am delighted to be a part of the Crystal Lee Foundation for several reasons, the main one being that I knew Crystal. I am married with children and call Wangoom home. I have been involved in education for over 30 years and Emmanuel College was where my relationship with Crystal began. I enjoy gardening, caravan travel, reading and cooking
Mr Raj Samrai BSc (Hons) Pharmacy MRPharmS
With a career as a Pharmacist academic I am now retired. I have over 35 years’ experience in the healthcare sector, principally in the UK and more recently here in Australia. With a specialist interest in obesity and chronic diseases management I pioneered one of the UK’s first weight management clinics. As Education and Training Manager at Deakin University I have been involved in the delivery of professional development to Allied Health Professionals across Victoria. As Director of a Health and Wellness Clinic and an accredited Health Coach I am passionate about empowering individuals to take ownership of their health by providing one-to-one advice and support on lifestyle and nutrition to promote positive health outcomes. Having lost many close friends and several family members, including my mother to cancer, I’m no stranger to the hurt and anguish that cancer leaves in its wake. I value the importance of having social and emotional support during these times. Throughout my pharmacy career I have witnessed families devastated by the loss of loved ones, almost helpless to do anything to mitigate their loss. I have specifically dispensed chemotherapy medicines and have collaborated with oncologists to help improve quality of life of cancer patients and so promote positive, more bearable outcomes. I’m a fitness fanatic with a great love for the outdoors. I have competed in several ultra-marathons, climbed some big mountains and a regular participant of the Murray to Moyne bike ride. Other interests include family holidays, trying to surf, bushwalking and gardening. Currently, I’m actively involved in the design of our new off-grid home.
I am a Koroit local who came to the CLF Board in 2022. I am married with two adult children and one grandson. I have worked as a health professional since 1982, currently as the CEO at Moyne Health Services. I feel strongly about supporting growth of local community capacity and capability to strengthen communities and individuals.
Crystal Lee Foundation Patron