Management Committee

The purpose of the Management Committee is to provide people with ABI and their families the opportunity to play a key role in the design, operation, management, services and support provision within Families4Families.

Recommendations and decisions include funding and fundraising, ABI experiences, administration, support scheduling and provision, peer support delivery and planning, volunteer management and any other matters felt to be generally relevant to the operations, development, growth and sustainability of the Network.

The Network Support Committee functions solely as a voluntary body, though members are reimbursed for relevant and approved expenses related to their committee role. The Committee has no fewer than 5 and no more than 20 members. Membership is based on skills and motivation, with a majority of members being ABI impacted people or family members. Members are supported by Network staff and may be provided with relevant training if required.


Chairperson & CEO:

Dr Jennifer Farnden

Jen Farnden Headshot3


Jen is a Wife and Carer of husband Michael; Mum to Sydni and Cassie and Stepmum to Jody; a creative and unique Jewellery Artist prior to becoming Carer to Michael after his 2008 Motor Vehicle Accident; an activist for all Carers and those with disabilities – particularly in relation to the lack of understanding and support for those dealing with brain injury.

Jen is also an experienced University Lecturer/Researcher in the fields of Business and Accounting (specialising in psychology based judgement research utilising qualitative and quantitative social research methods), and then became an entrepreneur establishing and operating her own successful jewellery design and manufacture business called Casni.

Jennifer now works as CEO for Families4Families and is currently also the Chairperson of the Management Committee.



Barbara Bishop (Mother-in-Law of ABI Survivor, Supporter, Volunteer)

Barbara Bishop joins the Management Committee with plenty of lived experience of disability and ABI within the family. As Jennifer’s Mum, she has been an active volunteer for Families4Families since before its creation, providing vital support in early fundraising endeavours, catering events and morning teas and continuing to do a huge amount of cooking for all our group events and sessions. Barb worked as a School Services Officer doing the financials for a $2m budget at a R-7 school for many years of her 35 year tenure with the Education Department, and brings these skills to bear as Treasurer for Families4Families. Barb knows first-hand the challenges that come with ABI, having supported Jennifer and Michael through his accident and hospitalisation, and continuing to be a great family support throughout rehab and beyond. Jen says her Mum is one of the reasons she has been able to establish Families4Families – “without my dream Mum I could not do half of what I do, nor would I have been taught to want to by her values and modelling of great tenacity”

 Deputy Chairperson:

Michael Farnden (ABI Survivor, Woodwork Artist, Volunteer)

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Contact Details:

PO Box 185

Myponga    S.A    5202



Michael is an ABI survivor of a Motor Vehicle accident. He successfully ran his own business, Southern Pine Furniture and then renamed Cottage, Antique and Pine Furniture for more than 25 years from industrial retail spaces in Lonsdale and, later, Hackham. He changed the business to a wholesale one and ran this concurrent with caring for his aged and frail Mother from 2006-2008 when he was involved in a serious car accident. Since May 2008 Michael has been focusing on his rehabilitation, and his business was closed down in June 2008 by his family and friends due to his condition and injuries. At that time it was unlikely he would be able to return to his passion, yet now, after years of hard rehab work, he is once again doing woodwork but on a hobby artist basis. He has recently had pieces in the Julia Farr Exhibition and his joint Resilience Exhibition during SALA 2012. Michael assists other ABI survivors at Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre’s “Shed” – a place where he is able to assist and apply his woodwork skills. Michael’s special talent is in creating wood furniture from broken and old pieces of other items. For instance, turning an old wardrobe into a display case, or a shelf unit into a dresser. This ‘rebirthing’ is all original and quite unique.


Sandra McClung (Proud ABI Mother, Grandmother, Supporter and Carer)

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Contact Details:

Suburb of residency:
Seaford Rise

Phone: 8386 2191


Sandra is the mother of her adult son with ABI and Grandmother, she left full time work to look after her son and help him to regain his confidence, self-esteem, some independence and get back into daily life.

Sandra joins our committee wanting to improve the quality of support and treatments for ABI patients and their families.

Marie Knight (ABI Survivor)



Contact Details:

Phone: 0434 909 554

5 years prior to my illness I was a very busy organised single Mum who had been through a very nasty divorce. I was the Personal Assistant to the Regional District Director & Assistant Regional Director at the Mt Barker Regional Office for Department of Education & Children’s Services, which meant organising 2 people & many committees. I had done this role for 3 years. I had a very busy responsible life, was enjoying my mid 40s & just moved in my new partner Geoff, 6 weeks prior, when my life took a drastic turn –

I am an ABI survivor since being diagnosed in February 2011 with a very rare immune disease called Cerebral Vascultiis (Which Drs said should have killed me) resulting in many Strokes and an extended stay in the QEH Stroke Unit with results including a ABI & some physical disabilities. I spent 4 months in Hampstead Hospital, whilst also undergoing Chemotherapy as a possible cure for my disease? Then from there onto BIRCH Felixstow for over 12 months Rehab whilst undergoing flare ups of my disease through my rehab time. All in all I’ve had 2 Brain Biopsies, 12 Plasma Exchanges, 2 Lumberpunctures, 6 months Chemotherapy, Angiograms & MRI every 3 months- Finally I’m in Remission.

After my partner Geoff, daughters Renee & Sophie & my sister’s all having gone through this terrible nightmare, especially in the early days @ BIRU with little or no support for our very real & urgent needs for my care & subsequent long difficult road of ongoing rehabilitation & support is why I want to give something back to others in similar positions.

I have recently resigned from my job due to Total Permanent Disability. This is why I want to help others – pay it forward!

That’s my reason for joining the Families4Families Management Committee


Greg & Heather Bull (Parents of ABI Survivor)


Greg & Heather

In 1981 Greg and Heather and their 2 year old daughter were living in Wollongong NSW when their new born son contracted meningitis. He survived a long, difficult and traumatic battle for his life and acquired a significant brain injury. As there was no “before and after ABI”, their challenge has been to recognize and deal with son James’ medical, developmental and psychological problems as they have presented from early childhood through to adulthood. These problems have been constant and significant throughout his life and remain so today.

Greg is a Civil Engineer and his work in the heavy construction field often required the family to travel and live in regional and country areas of SA and NSW. In 1988 they returned home to Adelaide to better access support for James.

Heather has worked as a full time mother and carer for the family which has included becoming involved as a volunteer in many and various groups supporting young people with special needs. In between Heather owned and ran a successful small business for some 9 years.

Both have extensive experience in the disability area in support of James, having been involved and connected with disability services and the disability community for over 30 years now in South Australia and NSW.

Both are now retired and dedicated to maintaining the best life for James that they are able to facilitate as his carers and believe being involved and committed to supporting F4F is an important part of life together as an ABI impacted family.

Mark Williams



Howdy all, my name is Mark Williams, I am an extremely fortunate man in that I have a wife that I adore, 2 children that make me proud and humble and 2 of Kathleen’s girls that keep us on our toes. I am an ex service man, 34 years as an operating theatre nurse, nurse educator but my greatest job is as an ABI survivor after I encountered gravity and a Mercedes 4WD whilst on a motor cycle in February 2011. Even though I am quiet, polite and well spoken I want to make a difference for the ABI family out there.





Linda Durbridge

Linda Durbridge



Gillian Neeson

I grew up in London before arriving in Australia with my husband and my 7yr old son in 1980. I have worked in accounting and office management for about 35 years and as a postie for 15 years. At the same time I worked as a Personal Carer. I have also been involved with the scouts and Australian Army Cadets.

I have had a lifelong interest in motorcycling and horses.  Since my 2 horse related ABIs I have given up my motorcycle licence and rehomed 3 horses as I have balance and mobility problems that made it difficult to ride and care for my horses.

I first became aware of Families4Families in early 2014  while doing rehab at BIRCH.  As I have progressed with help through peer support I wanted to become involved as a volunteer and I have also joined the Management Committee.”



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