Meet The Team

Coming together from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, our skilled team is the backbone of Friend In Me. Their ideas help shape the direction and mission of our movement as it continues to develop.

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LOUISE LARKIN

Founder & Best Friend!

Louise is a loving wife and devoted mother of three girls, Giselle, Florence and Annabelle.

Louise’s professional career began in hospitality and events at Crown Melbourne and she has never looked back.

When Louise was on maternity leave with her daughter Giselle she started a mums support group ‘West Assured Mums’ to help mothers on the journey of parenthood through trust, kindness and friendship.

When Louise learnt back in 2016 that children were missing out on going to parties her heart broke and she knew she had to make a change so Friend In Me was born.

Louise loves nothing else than seeing other people smile, especially our children.

Louise is committed to breaking the stigma of any child left behind and feeling lonely.

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PAUL BARTOLO

Treasurer

Paul is an experienced chartered accountant with over 22 years of success in providing taxation and business services, he specialises in helping SME’s and high net worth families achieve financial success. Recognised amongst his peers for his strong communication skills and rapport with clients. Personally, he is married with two boys, and in his free time he enjoys sport, playing tennis and spending time with his family. Paul is also the Treasurer of the board for the non for profit organisation, Friend In Me.

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  • ASIC Registered Agent

  • NTAA Member

  • Registered Tax Agent

  • Chartered Accountant (ICAA)

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BROOKE HARCOURT

Chairperson

  • Paediatric clinician (Paediatric Dietitian) specialising in disability

  • Medical Research Doctor: NHMRC Senior Research Fellow

  • Managing Director / CEO: Family Dietetics

  • Board Experience and coordination:

  • Chairperson: Australian Society for Medical Researchers, 2015-2018

  • Board Member: National Committee For Nutrition: Australian Academy of Science, 2016 – Current

  • Obtained >5 million dollars in research and community grants in the past 8 years

  • Policy document development / Risk Assessment / OH&S

  • Advanced First Aid

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DONNA ABU-ELIS

Legal Director

From 2004, Donna has worked as a lawyer in private practice at one of Australia’s top 10 national law firms and has also worked in-house as General Counsel for some of the major volume builders in Australia.  In 2017,

 

Donna’s son was diagnosed with ASD, so in 2018 Donna founded her own law firm, Spectrum Lawyers & Consultants, to provide a bit more flexibility to care for her three children and at the same time still maintain a professional career. 

 

Donna specialities focus on three main areas of law - building and construction law, general counsel services and Wills & Powers of Attorneys.  Donna has also completed the Foundations of Directorship course (at AICD) and has held positions on various boards and committees.  Donna prides herself in ‘thinking outside the normal restrictions’ to provide compliant solutions tailored to her clients’ needs.

 

Donna has followed the journey of Friend In Me since her son’s diagnosis in 2017 and is excited to be a board member of this amazing not-for-profit organisation.

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NAOMI LAMBERT

Community Impact Director

  • B Psych and Grad Dip Social Sciences (Counselling)

  • 5+ years experience working within the disability sector.

  • Founder of a global social enterprise.

  • Freelance Graphic Designer, Content / Copywriter and published author. ​

“We will be friends until forever, just you wait and see.”

— Winnie The Pooh