Maria has an extensive track record of work across health and human services as a practitioner, manager, trainer and researcher. Throughout her career she has endeavoured to privilege the voices of those affected by marginalisation, dislocation and disadvantage, through providing advocacy and support.
Maria has specialist expertise and qualifications in Trauma Informed Care. Her six-year role with The Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF) as National Senior Training Consultant enabled her to apply a Trauma Informed approach to her practice. She led the ACF’s program of work training professionals across many sectors in how to identify and respond to unresolved complex childhood trauma, as a major predictor of adult substance dependence, violence, mental health issues, long term unemployment, incarceration, transience, and homelessness.
From 2016 to 2019 Maria held the role of Group Manager, Service Design with The Salvation Army (TSA) Adult Services Network. In this role she developed a Trauma Informed Reflective Practice Framework and managed ongoing workforce development to embed Trauma Informed Practice into 17 programs. She also worked to review and redevelop service models across TSA’s Homelessness Services, Justice and Correctional Services, Homelessness Aged Care and Family Violence responses. Maria has expertise in service model design under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). She re-designed and transitioned TSA’s Personal Helpers and Mentors Service to an NDIS model.
Maria also has strong experience within the Family Violence sector. In her role as Manager Training, Workforce Strategy and Capability with The Domestic Violence Resource Centre and Domestic Violence Victoria, she led a team focused on sector workforce development to support implementation of the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM).
Maria’s prior experience includes roles in multidisciplinary teams within the Child Protection and Child Welfare sectors, and the Alcohol and Other Drug sector, in residential settings and in community outreach, as Manager of Counting the Kids with Odyssey House Victoria. She has worked collaboratively with Allied and Mental Health services at Mercy Hospital and Western Health, as well as in nursing roles in community settings with the DAISI Baby PASDS program.
Maria has led action research projects, and developed and maintained reporting and evaluation frameworks. With a background in Quality Auditing and Accreditation, Maria has developed policy and procedures, monitored and analysed policy and implemented legislative change. She has developed and maintained partnerships with funders, key stakeholders, and other organisations, and provided specialist tender writing. Maria has published a range of articles and papers on the design of innovative programs and service delivery models.