connectEDspace - support for young people

Young people can face all sorts of pressures – including problems at school, with friends or at home.
connectEDspace is a website by Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV), dedicated to young people to help provide all the information they need to deal with the stuff they go through each day.

Aboriginal Family and Relationship Support


RAV provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and individuals to help strengthen family relationships.

Counselling provides an opportunity to talk with a professionally trained person to discuss couple issues, conflicts with friends, relationship breakdown, parenting, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, grief, sexual problems, childhood sexual abuse, stress and work related tensions and disputes.

visit deadlyrav.com.au

Executive team

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    Dr Andrew Bickerdike - Chief Executive Officer

    Dr Andrew Bickerdike is CEO of Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV).

    He holds tertiary qualifications in both economics and psychology, and a Doctorate in Dispute Resolution. Andrew has experience and specialist training in individual, marital and family therapy, and family dispute resolution, and has practiced as a mediator and family dispute resolution practitioner for over 20 years.

    Andrew has a particular interest in research and evaluation and has initiated and implemented many research projects examining the efficacy of family services programs, in particular mediation services, in the naturalistic setting. He has recently been an industry partner in three current large Australian Research Council Linkage research projects. Collectively these research activities have attracted national and international interest and have influenced the design of models of practice.

    Andrew holds positions on external boards, committees and advisory bodies including:

    - Board Member of Relationships Australia National

    - Board Director of the Mediation Standards Board

    - Board Member of the Australian Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts'

    - Foundation Member of the Australian Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (ADRAC)

    - Member of the Subject Matter Expert Group for the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council – Family Services

    - Chair of Relationships Australia National Family Dispute Resolution Network

    - Chair of Relationships Australia National Research Network

    - Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

    - Former Part-Time Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission to the Review of the Family Law System (appointed June 2018)

    - Former Member of the Family Court of Australia Expert Reference Panel

    - Former Member of the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (NADRAC).

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    Shiranthi Sivarajah - Chief Financial Officer

    Shiranthi Sivarajah is the Chief Financial Officer of Relationships Australia Victoria and has responsibility for the sound and proactive stewardship of the organisation’s finance, long-term sustainability and business management. She is responsible for the leadership of the corporate services areas of Information Communication and Technology, administration, assets and property management, executive support and business contract compliance.

    Having more than 15 years’ experience in financial and operational management within the private and community-based not-for-profit sector, Shiranthi provides a commercial focus with the ability to streamline business operations that drive growth, sustainability, increase efficiency and bottom-line surplus. Shiranthi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, with majors in Accounting and Business Law, and is a member of both AICD and CPA.

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    Anastasia Panayiotidis - General Manager Clinical Services

    Anastasia Panayiotidis is the General Manager of Clinical Services at Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV). She has over 20 years’ experience as a clinician, with a background in psychology, family therapy and clinical hypnotherapy.  She is passionate about systemic practice which informs and empowers people, and practice standards which are of the highest clinical standards, ethical and humanitarian, helping to keep children and families safe, and to make a difference to our society.

    Anastasia has worked both in private practice as a consultant and clinician, and in government. She has taught in Masters programs in family therapy, counselling, psychotherapy, ethics, research methods, psychology and social work, at La Trobe University and Monash University, both in Melbourne, and in Hong Kong and Singapore. Anastasia’s specialised research interests are in medical research ethics, trauma and the impact of trauma on people’s lives, having conducted post-graduate research on the impact of Traumatic Brain Injury on couples and families.

    Anastasia has been the Vice-Chairperson of the Human Research Committee at Austin Health for seven years, having previously sat on the Human Research Ethics Committee as a counselling expert for seven years. She is passionate about multiculturalism and encouraging diversity in our society, and is committed to community service, having Chaired the Board of Directors at Pronia, a leading ethno-specific agency providing community services to Victoria’s Greek speaking community.  Anastasia has served on the Board of the Institute of Social Neuroscience.

    She has over two decades of clinical, teaching, leadership and governance experience, overseeing clinical governance and the strategic direction of the clinical and community programs at RAV, based on respectful relationships, care and compassion, innovation, and research and evaluation.

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    Michael Beres - General Manager Operations

    Michael Beres is the General Manager Operations at Relationships Australia Victoria and is responsible for leading the effective and efficient delivery of the organisation’s services, both strategically and operationally.

    A strategic leader with experience in both commercial and social services organisations, Michael’s experience and expertise spans strategy development and execution, general and operational leadership and management, business development and project management.

    Michael has managed and supported disability and aged care, social enterprise, and children and youth service delivery in operational management, strategy and support services management roles at Uniting/Wesley Mission, OzChild and Good Shepherd. Prior to this, Michael held numerous commercial leadership roles spanning the health, higher education, mining and retail sectors.

    Passionate about supporting and enabling those less fortunate in our community to lead their best lives via the design, development and delivery of effective and efficient consumer-centric services that deliver improved social outcomes, Michael has served on numerous community sector boards including at Carers Victoria, Very Special Kids and Good Shepherd Aged Services. Michael has tertiary qualifications in business (MBA) and science (BSc) and is a Leadership Victoria Williamson Fellow.