Our people

Liz Waters (CEO), Batman, and Emma Rowell (Family Food Patch Program Manager) serving healthy food from the Well Fed Tasmania truck at the Kennerley Children’s festival, 23 February 2019.


  • Mel Knuckey – Manager

    Mel Knuckey

    Mel joined the Families Tasmania team in , and has over 14 years experience working in the community sector, with the majority of her career working as a Manager of a Southern Tasmanian Neighbourhood House and a community/youth development worker for a Council in North-West Tasmania. Mel is extremely passionate about making a difference to the lives of others, specifically families, and her values strongly align with the ones that underpin Families Tasmania. As a mum of two children, Mel loves spending quality time with her family and going on adventures. She also enjoys playing social netball, spending time at the beach and volunteering with the Rotary Club of Hobart.

  • Emma Rowell – Family Food Patch Program Manager

    Emma Rowell

    Emma Rowell celebrates ten years with Family Food Patch in . She has an eclectic and rich professional background in media and events coordination, horticulture, tourism and community volunteer management. All these roles have brought her to a place where she can share these diverse skills within one organisation. Emma is passionate about creative community outreach and developing resources and tools that are fun and engaging for Tasmanian families. Living with her daughter in the Tasmanian bush, Emma loves sharing her joy of nature play, photography and bushwalking.

  • Lisa Rushton – Southern Regional Coordinator

    Lisa Rushton

    Lisa joined the Families Tasmania team in 2019 bringing over 20 years’ experience working in the family and community sector. Lisa is passionate about opportunities for connection, conversation, and partnership for families. Lisa adopts a playful approach to work alongside families and believes that through sharing our stories and experiences we can grow in confidence, connection, and community. A mum to three boys who offer endless inspiration, laughter, and learning, Lisa loves the outdoors, camping, jogging, cold water dips, coffee, and conversation. Lisa studied a Diploma of Community Services as a young adult, followed by a Bachelor of Social Science, and most recently a Graduate Diploma Family Dispute Resolution.

  • Susannah Koch – Regional Coordinator North and North West

    Susannah Koch

    Susannah joined the team in , bringing a background in counselling and education and a passion for parenting as a learned skill to Families Tasmania. Her focus is on supporting parents with information, connection and skills to be the parent they most want to be. Susannah is a trained facilitator in a range of parenting programs, and has years of experience in supporting parents with information and workshops on topics including sleep, family food and toileting using up-to-date, evidence-based information.

  • Sarah Johns – Project Manager

    Sarah Johns

    Sarah has worked in the community/social services sector for over eight years in various roles including: supporting parents and children after separation, creating and coordinating youth programs, life coaching and personal growth workshops, and community engagement. Sarah believes strongly in equity and is passionate about creating opportunities for all community members to be seen and heard, to feel empowered and have access to the support they need. As mum to two boys and a new grandmother, Sarah treasures the value of family and savours her other great loves of being in nature, cooking delicious food and sharing time with her cherished friends.

Board members

  • Kate Crawford – President

    Kate Crawford

    Kate joined the Board in , bringing a background in event management, marketing, leadership, governance and the volunteer management. Kate is the Strategic Manager of Sector Development for Volunteering Tasmania. Having recently welcomed little Jimmy to her family after an 11 year age gap, Kate is excited to engage with the many valuable offerings of education, connectivity and play as she embraces life as mum of a newborn again! Her motivation in being part of the Families Tasmania Board was her way of giving back to the community and investing in today’s youth, providing opportunities to make better life choices towards their future world.

  • Christian Attfield – Vice President, Public Officer

    Christian Attfield

    Christian joined the board in 2022 and has a background as a government advisor and public servant. He currently manages TasWater’s relationships with local and state government stakeholders and community groups.

  • Tanya Greenwood – Secretary

    Tanya Greenwood

    Tanya is a project officer with the Fingal Valley Neighbourhood House, delivering the mobile early learning and parenting support program, Building Blocks, which travels across NE Tasmania supporting families and children 0–8 years. Tanya has a background in social welfare, early childhood education and care and was a keen participant in local playgroups and school and sporting groups when her two children were younger. She was previously coordinator of Hub4Health (a not-for-profit community organisation based in St Helens), currently serves as a member of the Break O’Day Employment Connect and Youth Collective North East Coast Tasmania steering committees and is a community representative on the Premier’s COVID-19 Regional Recovery Committee (North). Tanya is passionate about giving every child in Tasmania the opportunity to thrive and grow and to see all families with the support they need to care for their children.

  • Bo Xu – Treasurer

    Bo Xu

    Bo joined the Families Tasmania Board in 2022 as the Treasurer. Being a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Bo brings extensive experience in financial management, sustainable growth, strategic thinking and leadership. Bo has a passion in education and community development. He sees Families Tasmania as a great platform to help young people and their families grow in a healthy, connected and enjoyable way. Bo has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Professional Accounting.

  • Andrea Porte

    Andrea Porte

    Andrea joined the Families Tasmania Board in , and has served as President of the Board since . Andrea sits on a number of not-for-profit boards, and has a passion for community, advocacy, social policy and corporate responsibility. Andrea has a keen interest in programs that facilitate wellbeing and connectedness for Tasmanian families, and is herself a mother of two beautiful children. Andrea is a Senior Client Executive with Aon Risk Services, and utilises her professional skills in strategy, governance and risk management for the benefit of the organisation. Andrea is a Qualified Practicing Insurance Broker with the National Insurance Brokers Association and a Senior Associate with the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance.

  • Riantha Naidoo

    Riantha Naidoo

    Riantha joined the Board in May 2022. Riantha is a South African, New Zealander now living in Melbourne. She is expecting her first child and is excited to begin her journey of motherhood. Riantha holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Commercial Law through the University of Auckland. She is a Chartered Accountant through CAANZ and SAICA and has experience in commercial leadership, project management, financial accounting, statutory reporting, international entity reporting as well as internal and external audit. Riantha also holds a certificate of risk in financial services through CISI. Riantha’s finance and accounting career spans 10 years, with career highlights being Financial Controller of Silverstar Casino and Hotel which is the 4th largest casino in South Africa’s largest hospitality group, Tsogo Sun. Riantha was also Acting CFO during her time at Silverstar. She is currently working for Australian Unity in Group Finance and Strategy. Riantha is an analytical thinker who enjoys working with a variety of stakeholders to contribute to the strategic growth and long- term direction of organisations. She is passionate about health and wellness and started various projects during the pandemic, particularly a podcast and has published a book both centered around holistic wellbeing. She is a strong advocate of supporting families, communities and future generations, empowering them to lead healthy and meaningful lives.