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Our Team - Open Place

OUR TEAM



The name, Open Place, reflects the intent of the service which is to be place-based, accessible and welcoming. We are open to new ideas and to learning from our service users about what works and what doesn’t.

Tracey Anderson is the manager of administration at Open Place and co-ordinates the administrative processes attached to the requests for assistance with counselling, support funding, social and support group activities and the travel and family reunion funds. Tracey also manages the administrative processes for the building and for reception. Tracey has worked for Berry Street for over three years and previously held administrative and personal assistant positions in a number of large community and private sector organisations.

Kaylee Ison is an Administration Officer at Open Place who works closely with all Service Users and team members. Kaylee supervises our demanding Front Desk service along with many other tasks associated with the position.

Lydia Wasilenko Is an Administrative Officer at Open Place who works closely with the counselling team to help organise counselling for Forgotten Australians. Lydia works alongside Tracey, Claire, Kirsty and Kaylee in the administration team and also helps with the Friday Cook-up.

Claire Roberts works with Tracey, Liz and Lydia in the Administration team. Claire also assists with applications for financial assistance in health matters and Liz with the Friday Cook-up.

Kirsty Veale is part of the Admin team along with Tracey, Claire, Liz and Lydia. Kirsty assists with applications for financial assistance for health needs. Kirsty has worked in the Employment and Youth Services sector for several years and has a study background in Community Services.

Eithne Donlonis the Manager of the Records and Coordinated Support teams at Open Place. Eithne worked at Anglicare Victoria for over 7 years and helped to establish and manage the agency’s Heritage Service for people who spent time as children in any of its former homes or institutions as children. Eithne has also volunteered at WIRE (Women’s Information Referral Exchange), a breakfast program for people who are experiencing homelessness and a child care centre in Tanzania. Eithne’s background is in social work with a particular interest in redress for people who experienced all forms of abuse in ‘care’.

Tasha Mekisic is part of our Coordinated Support team and assists with accessing health services and with referrals to other support agencies or community networks along with applications for financial assistance for health needs. Tasha has worked and volunteered in the Community Services sector for several years and has a study background in Community Development and Case Management & Community Services.

Lesley Jones recently moved from Adelaide where she worked for 3 and a half years as a counsellor and case manager with Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants as well as people attending the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse at Relationships Australia SA. Whilst there Lesley coordinated the social group, Christmas party, Silly Season activities, Consumer Reference Group and Friday Food drop with Second Bite.
Prior to that Lesley spent 12 years with Centacare Country SA in a regional capacity providing counselling, education and dispute resolution.


Caroline Carroll OAM is the Community Education Coordinator. Caroline works to help educate other service providers about Forgotten Australians and the ways that the community can work with them. Caroline is the president of the Alliance for Forgotten Australians [AFA]. Caroline is herself a Forgotten Australian and comes to Open Place with a background in providing services and advocacy to Forgotten Australians through her previous role at VANISH and the Interim Service for Forgotten Australians.

Lyn Langanke works alongside Caroline as a Community Educator. She also plays an important role in the Richmond, Preston and Geelong social and support groups. Lyn is herself a Forgotten Australian and is partner to a Forgotten Australian. Lyn has qualifications in community welfare. Most recently Lyn worked for Odyssey House.

Siobhan McGuinness is a part of the Records, Find and Connect team and works alongside Anne and Diane in assisting Forgotten Australians to search for their own and their known family members’ records and past history. Siobhan works closely with Find and Connect, VANISH and Pathways and with the Department of Human Services Adoption and Family Records Service. Siobhan has recently moved to Melbourne from Galway in the West of Ireland where she worked for the last seven years as a genealogical researcher, assisting people to locate records and discover the history of their Irish ancestors. During this time, she was also the Assistant Coordinator of a community response project which supported the long-term unemployed through a programme of adult education, training and personal development.

Anne Kidd is a part of the Records, Find and Connect team and works alongside Diane and Siobhan who assist Forgotten Australians to search for their own and their known family members’ records and past history. Anne has previously worked in various youth welfare and homeless services.

Diane Jacobson is a part of the Records, Find and Connect team and works alongside Anne and Siobhan who assist Forgotten Australians to search for their own and their known family members’ records and past history. Diane has previously worked with VANISH

David Hartmann is is the manager for the counselling and Royal Commission teams. David liaises with external counsellors who provide support to Forgotten Australians through Open Place funding. Part of his role is to help locate suitable counsellors for Victorian Forgotten Australians and their family members, wherever they may be around Australia. David is a professional counsellor with a background in family therapy. He has worked as a manager in a number of drug and alcohol and homelessness services and most recently worked for Odyssey House in the Family Eclipse Program.

Ruth Adams is a counsellor, working alongside David, Kelly and Michelle, who provides direct counselling and group work to Forgotten Australians. Ruth also liaises with external counsellors who provide support to Forgotten Australians through Open Place funding. Ruth has studied psychology, narrative therapy, and family therapy and has previously provided counselling to family members of people suffering with alcohol and drug addictions.

Michelle Wald is on the counselling team and works alongside David, Kelly and Ruth. She provides direct counselling and assists Forgotten Australians and their family members to access external counselling services. Michelle has an extensive experience in providing counselling to people who have experienced trauma across their lifespan. Michelle is a Social Worker and is currently studying a therapeutic approach called Somatic Experiencing.

Kelly Meadmore is a counsellor working alongside David, Ruth and Michelle providing counselling to Forgotten Australians. Kelly is also part of the Royal Commission team, working with David and Virginia to provide support to Forgotten Australians with the process of making a submission to the Royal Commission.
Kelly has extensive experience working in the AOD sector, Homelessness and Community Mental Health. Kelly has also worked in a voluntary capacity with people experiencing Alcohol and Drug issues for 15 years.
Kelly has a Diploma in Alcohol and Other Drugs and is currently completing a Bachelor of Social Welfare.


Virginia Carey is part of our Royal Commission support team. Virginia works with Kelly in supporting Forgotten Australians around the Royal Commission. Virginia is also the drop in centre Co-ordinator Monday to Friday from 11am to 4pm. This role provides assistance to visitors in the drop in centre. Virginia previously worked in the homeless sector for seven years.