Our team

Julie Hourigan Ruse

Julie Hourigan Ruse

Chief Executive Officer

Julie is the Chief Executive Officer of SHINE for Kids.

She is a results focused leader achieving better outcomes for children, young people, families and communities experiencing vulnerability.

Julie has significant experience in the community sector predominantly in the areas of early intervention and prevention; domestic violence; and homelessness. She was previously the Chief Executive Officer at NSW Family Services Inc (Fams). Julie is a professionally certified Results Based AccountabilityTM practitioner, and wishes she had access to the framework principles a decade earlier than she did.

Julie has also worked in community legal centres, government legal roles and corporate accounting firms.

She maintains her legal practising certificate and has a Masters in Law (Human Rights and Social Justice). She has been an NSW Government appointed member of the Housing Appeals Committee since 2010 and a Presiding Chair since July 2013.

Julianne Sanders

Julianne Sanders

Business Development Manager

Julianne is an experienced executive with over 20 years’ experience in events, business development, communications, fundraising and marketing in the government, corporate and not-for-profit sectors.

As a long-term public servant in the NSW Government, she specialised in stakeholder engagement and consultation, whole of government strategic projects, and bringing complex innovative projects to fruition. Julianne was Director, Corporate Communications at the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADHC), and spent two years at Premier and Cabinet designing a sector-wide workplace giving initiative for NSW Government employees.

Julianne has held Board positions at Sydney Community Foundation, Australian Community Philanthropy, and the Aurora Group and is a member of the Keeping Women Out of Prison (KWOOP) coalition.

Priscilla Simpson

Priscilla Simpson

Queensland State Manager

Priscilla Simpson is the Queensland State Manager at SHINE for Kids and a proud Waanyi woman from the Gulf area in Northern Queensland.

She is passionate about the programs she manages and the direct support her team provides to children with a parent in custody and their families.

Priscilla manages a team of 5 across Northern and Southern Queensland who facilitate the Keeping Us Together Parenting Program and Stay Together, Play Together Playgroups for mums in custody at five women’s correctional centres.

In Townsville and Palm Island her team supports families and children on the outside through case management and education support and provides playgroups and evidence-based parenting programs for mums in custody at Townsville Women’s Correctional Centres.

Cilla has been with SHINE for Kids for six years.

Moana Wati

Moana Wati

Victoria State Manager

Moana Wati is the Victorian State Manager for SHINE for Kids.

An action-orientated and solution-focused manager, Moana has a passion for leadership, government engagement and advocating for the rights of children and young people in the criminal justice system.

With 20 years of experience in Counselling and Psychological support, Moana specialises in Family Violence work and has facilitated Men Living Without Violence courses and Positive Parenting programs.

Moana has developed curriculum, trained teams and facilitated Early Intervention programs for community groups and across several school settings promoting self-esteem, building self-confidence and helping understand anger.

Moana is a strong Māori woman who has held board positions in the New Zealand community, tertiary education and budgeting services organisations.

Barbara Cohen

Barbara Cohen

Aboriginal Program Manager

Barb Cohen is the Aboriginal Program Manager at SHINE for Kids and a very proud Dunghutti Woman from Kempsey NSW where she was born, raised and still lives today.

Throughout her 30-plus years working in the local community, Barb held positions with the Credit Union, Aboriginal Legal Service and Booroongen Djugun, and has been with SHINE for Kids since 2010.

Barb is passionate about the work she does and, having lived experience herself, is determined to support families and reduce intergenerational trauma so children can live in a safe and healthy environment.

Her team facilitates “Belonging to Family” (BTF), a unique and culturally appropriate program for Aboriginal Men and Women at the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre.

Barb and her team have strong relationships with local government and non-government agencies and advocate for families in the justice system.

Barb was recognised for her invaluable contribution to the region at the Women of the Macleay Awards in 2013 and was AbSec’s NSW Aboriginal Child and Family Awards “Practitioner of the Year” in 2020. This award recognises an Aboriginal practitioner’s excellence in achieving positive outcomes for Aboriginal children, families and communities.

Elizabeth Luxford

Elizabeth Luxford

National RISE Education Program Manager

Liz Luxford is the National RISE Education Program Manager at SHINE for Kids.

Liz manages a team of 10 coordinators across 6 sites and 2 states – NSW & VIC, to deliver the unique RISE program to children affected by parental incarceration.

She was the RISE Coordinator in the Macleay Valley before her appointment as the National Manager.

Liz has a background in domestic violence support, victims of crime support, family case management support at Lifetime Connect, as well as child protection case coordination at Family Referral Service.

Liz has a 20 year history of working in community services across aged care, community care, home care, the NDIS and child and family services.

Tanya Macfie

Tanya Macfie

Mentoring Manager

Tanya Macfie is the Mentoring Manager at SHINE for Kids.

As Mentoring Manager, Tanya provides leadership and support to mentors and mentees across SHINE for Kids’ Youth Justice programs.

Tanya and the mentoring team offer opportunities for young people transitioning from custody in Youth Justice Centres into the community to participate in mentoring programs that provide positive role modelling and strengths based alternatives to their previous life choices.

In her previuous roles as CALD Specialist Advocacy Worker with the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service and as SHINE For Kids’ Stand As One Mentoring Program Coordinator, Tanya built strong and effective working relationships with key community, government, legal and other support agencies.

She holds a Bachelor of Social Science/Social Welfare and has extensive experience in community services, child protection, mental health, domestic violence, crisis intervention and family work.

Tanya is committed to maximising the wellbeing of young people, individuals, families, groups and communities impacted by the criminal justice system. Her practice is informed by principles of social justice and respect for human dignity and human rights.

In 2020, Tanya was named as a finalist in the Westfields Local Hero Awards.