Chatter Matters is a young, charitable organisation based in Tasmania. Our focus is on building communication skills in those who need it most and sharing the success stories that follow.
Who we are
Many thanks are extended to our patron Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC Governor of Tasmania.
This is what we say about Rosie:
Founder and passionate speech pathologist who keenly feels the privilege of having been trusted in therapy by vulnerable children, their families, and other individuals over many years; but who has lamented inequity in access to service.
Speech pathologist Rosalie Martin, is the founder of Chatter Matters and was awarded Tasmanian Australian of the Year for 2017 for her work in helping prisoners crack the code of reading.
For three years, Rosie visited Tasmania’s Risdon Prison as a volunteer to deliver Just Sentences, a Chatter Matters pilot project that has been achieving astounding results. With specialist knowledge in the acquisition of language, and in the processing and production of speech sounds, Rosie was able to uncover hidden literacy problems and tackle them head on. As a result, many of the people in her program learned to read in a matter of months, and Rosie showed how many lives, currently on hold in prison, can be transformed.
Her work with inmates led Rosie to complete Criminology Honours in 2016; and she has current plans to complete a PhD in Criminology.
Rosie also runs her own private practice, specialising in services for children with autism spectrum disorder and language-literacy disorders. Her 33 years of experience as a speech pathologist have included one-to-one intervention, establishment of school-based programs, liaison with health and education practitioners, and innovative design of therapeutic responses which combine evidenced interventions and individual nuance.
In 2015, Rosie completed accreditation as a Facilitator for the Centre for Courage & Renewal. She now runs retreats and other events to bring this wholehearted work of courage development to leaders and others.
Rosie has loved her own family life and raising her two sons, and has a passion for valuing human communication and kind interaction at all levels of ability. She is a winger of everything that might be fun and a lover of beauty in all its forms.
It is with much delight that we welcome Robin as the new Chair of Chatter Matters! Here is what we have to say about Robin:
Bringing keen and expert knowledge of the law, and valuing all people in their human worth, Robin is a generous, warm, kind advocate filled with the passion that arises from deep integrity.
Robin has recently completed over six years as Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner. She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales in 1999, and was admitted as a legal practitioner in the Supreme Court of NSW in 2000. While undertaking her studies in law, Robin worked full-time as the Project Officer to establish the Disability Advocacy Service in Alice Springs and then as the co-ordinator of that service, before moving to Sydney to take up the role of Co-ordinator of the NSW Disability Discrimination Legal Centre.
Shortly after completing her degree, Robin spent a year in Canada where she worked as a legal researcher with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Returning to Australia in 2000, Robin worked temporarily as a solicitor for the Northern Aboriginal Legal Aid Service acting for the family of a young Aboriginal man who died at Don Dale Detention Centre. She then returned to Sydney where she was employed initially as a Lawyer and then as a Senior Associate at Henry Davis York. In 2004, Robin became CEO of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), Australia’s largest public interest legal practice, and Director of the Public Interest Law Clearing House.
Robin is a graduate of the 2006 Sydney Leadership Program (now Social Leadership Australia) and an accredited Mediator with the Resolution Institute. Robin was a member of the Women’s Advisory Council to the NSW Department of Corrections for several years while CEO of PIAC. Robin is a member of the Advisory Board to the Melbourne Social Equity Institute at the University of Melbourne and in her paid and voluntary work Robin continues to focus on human rights and equal opportunity, the development and implementation of proactive social and social justice policy and programs.
Us, talking about Rikki:
Vivacious, energetic, incisively-thinking lawyer and advisor who juggles complexity with grace, while warmly progressing it toward freedom and abundance. An asset on the Board as both Secretary and kind human being.
Rikki is an Arts/Law/Hons graduate of the University of Tasmania. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and was admitted as a Legal Practitioner in the Supreme Court of Tasmania in 2009.
In 2012, Rikki completed her Masters in Conflict and Dispute Resolution at James Cook University, and in 2013 graduated from the Tasmanian Leaders Program – all while working as an Adviser in the Federal Parliament, the Senate and the Tasmanian Parliament (2010 – 2014)
Rikki is passionate about education. The recipient of numerous awards for the furtherance of education, she has continued to make contribution on the Boards of organisations which support equity of access: the former Tasmanian Academy, the Colony 47 Partnership Brokers Scheme, the Link Youth Health Service – and now Chatter Matters.
Rikki is currently a Sessional Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, and is also working across a range of projects within the Tasmania Law Reform Institute. Her primary work relates to measures to improve access to justice for people with disability and complex communication needs in the criminal justice system.
An experienced traveller, Rikki has been through close to 50 Countries, including working and volunteering in Eastern Africa and South America.
What we say about Emma:
Warm and generous accountant with abounding curiosity and desire to both contribute and enjoy. We welcome Emma to the Board as our new Treasurer.
Moving to Tasmania in 2010, Emma joined Chatter Matters as Treasurer in November 2017 and will be assisted by, and help mentor, fellow Board Member and graduate accountant, Tracy.
Although Emma has been a partner in her own Hobart accountancy and business advisory firm, Halys and Sells, for the past 5½ years, her early career was in a very different field. After growing up in NSW and moving to Queensland in her teens, Emma studied for a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in wine science, at Charles Sturt University and it was there that she met her husband.
For 10 years, Emma and her husband lived on a big commercial vineyard on the Darling River in Far Southwest NSW. However Emma’s fascination with numbers overtook her interest in wine making, and from 2004-2007 she studied by distance for a Masters of Professional Accounting with the University of Southern Queensland whilst working as a trainee accountant.
Those early years working in a rural community brought home to Emma the issue of illiteracy and poor language skills for many people working on the land. As more and more important documents such as WHS forms have to be filled in online, a lack of reading and writing skills becomes increasingly disadvantageous.
Emma is therefore delighted to assist on the Chatter Matters board; not just as Treasurer, but drawing on a wide range of experiences and skills to make a difference in her adopted and beloved new home State.
Andy van Emmerik:
This is what we say about Andy:
Steady, just, wisely-circumspect and fun-loving engineer with an eye for fine things, and with interests and talents as wide as the sky.
Andy is a Tasmanian, whose early childhood in Hydro Tasmania construction villages has left an indelible sense of innovation and community, which he sees as the distinguishing feature of being Tasmanian.
Andy has enjoyed a long career as an engineer and entrepreneur, underpinned by a fascination in finding new solutions to old problems. His experience has spanned the commercial and government sectors, with projects from the development of new bridges, highways and local streetscapes; to manufacturing lifts for homes – all with a focus on extending the consumer benefit through innovative design features. His work has also included environmental initiatives to protect threatened species on our roadsides, as well as a variety of import and export projects.
Andy has maintained a lifelong interest in the work of faith-based organisations in personal development, and is passionate about social innovation. It is this passion that drives Andy’s involvement with Chatter Matters, and in particular our charity’s work in providing a systemic solution to repeated incarceration through the development of better communication skills.
This is what we have to say about new board member, Becky:
Fabulous, effervescent, clear-seeing communications and marketing specialist filled with desire to share, give back, support and enjoy the beauty of a full life along the way.
Currently the Tasmanian State Manager of Ministerial and Parliamentary Services for the Federal Government, Becky’s 30-year career spans three countries and has primarily involved leading communications for government and industry, and as the head of not-for-profit organisations. As Director of the Heritage Trails Foundation of New Zealand, she won the prestigious ASTA Smithsonian Award for environmental tourism, and went on to win many state and national awards as founding Director of the Bibbulmun Track Foundation in Western Australia. Becky was then asked to lead communications for the Countryside & Rights of Way Act (2000) in the UK, and was later appointed Head of Communications and External Affairs for England’s Commission for Rural Communities which focussed on tackling rural disadvantage. Moving to Tasmania over 12 years ago, as Director of Communications and Economic Development for Launceston City Council, Becky was awarded the Telstra Business Women’s Award for community and government. She also led International Communications & Customer Relations for the University of Tasmania.
We say this about Richard:
Kind, visionary, ideas-man and serial volunteer with a small-business and investment background – wholly motivated by compassion and supporting others to support themselves.
Richard (Rich) Martin has a background in small business, training and mentoring. He is an accredited facilitator with the Center for Courage & Renewal and has particular interests are in mindful personal-development for men and others who have experienced disadvantage and loss. He works in his own businesses, which include property, storage and IT support, and volunteers other time in a wide range of local community-development projects.
We say this about Tracy:
Incredibly professional and extremely hard-working, with sharp eyes and keen insights, Tracy is a truly dynamic individual who is an asset to this Board and all her friends and colleagues. She also makes the best dumplings we’ve ever eaten!
After working for 10 years in human resources and project management in Shanghai, Tracy yearned for change.
In 2014, she gained a place with the University of Tasmania (UTAS) studying for an MBA majoring in professional accounting and fell in love with the natural environment and friendly people of Tasmania. Once graduated, her application for Australian permanent residence was successful and she gained a position as a part-time Financial Officer with Polkadot, Tasmania’s largest liquor wholesaler.
Tracy also spent two semesters as a casual lecturer at UTAS teaching Master of Accounting students, while commencing full-time in her current position as a graduate accountant at WLF Accounting & Advisory in Hobart.
Tracy looks forward to helping Chatter Matters with its accounting needs and believes it will be beneficial for her to experience the world of accounting from a client’s perspective. Tracy also has a personal interest in the work of Chatter Matters, knowing all too well the struggles of understanding and acceptance associated with language and communication barriers.
About Ani, we say this:
Wholehearted, multi-talented practitioner of the sciences which support human wellbeing, Ani is passionate, generous, and an advocate of flourishing for all.
(Pic coming soon…)
Ani provides coaching, psychotherapy and training for individuals and teams. Her focus is on Positive Psychology approaches including Emotional Intelligence testing, utilising the rigorously researched MSCEIT V2, training in Emotional Intelligence, Competence and agility, ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), including Mindfulness and Meditation for personal and professional empowerment and growth.
A lecturer in Medical Education, Master of Wellness, Master and Bachelor of Social Science and Counselling/Coaching and in Bachelor of Teaching, Ani has a broad range of expertise in tertiary, government and business settings.
With a focus on flourishing, thriving, resilience and well-being for people from all professions where work/life integration, stress, shift work and demanding workplace environments exist, Ani works with professionals including medical practitioners, lawyers, public sector middle managers, teachers and allied health professionals such as counsellors, nurses, paramedics and pharmacists. Ani has facilitated support groups for cancer patients and their carers, and workshops focussed on depression and anxiety in rural and remote Australia.
Ani is a published researcher, has presented at conferences, evaluated programmes, and written training manuals in collaboration and counselling.
With additional training and experience in crisis intervention, suicide prevention, non-violent communication and gardening, Ani can provide mentoring and support with enthusiasm and passion.