President - Rebecca Collins
Rebecca's desire to help widowed people navigate the bereavement process stemmed from her own experience in losing her husband unexpectedly in 2013, only six weeks after their wedding.
Feeling totally devastated and unprepared to navigate the grief process and rebuild her life, Rebecca was left searching for widowed grief support and realised this was lacking in Australia. After travelling to the United States to attend a healing retreat/conference for widowed people in 2014, Rebecca turned a corner with her own bereavement and the dream of building First Light Widowed Association in Australia was born.
Rebecca has drawn upon her leadership skills, her commitment to serving widowed people and her career as a writer, professional communications advisor and events coordinator to lead the management committee of First Light Widowed Association.
Vice President - Lauren Leslie
After the loss of her husband in 2011 Lauren found true comfort and understanding from fellow widowed people. When she experienced her first widowed meet-up thanks to the connections she made via Facebook, she knew that a formal organisation to foster community amongst widowed people was needed.
Lauren commenced further study in 2016 after being awarded a scholarship from the George Alexander Foundation to study Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies) at QUT. This, together with her experience as a teacher, will help grow First Light Widowed Association so that other widowed people may find the same hope and support to rebuild their lives as she did.
Secretary - Carren Stapleton
Carren became a widow when her husband David unexpectedly suffered a heart attack at work. In the most sudden set of circumstances, she was left to manage her own grief and the grief of their blended family.
While she had wonderful support from family and friends, around 12 months into her widowhood, she began to seek out a different kind of support, those who were also widowed young and could ‘get’ her new normal. This widowed community support and the connections she made would lead her to First Light Widowed Association.
Carren has an extensive background in education and training environments, particularly in adult education. She is also an experienced manager with skills in operational program management, risk management and human resources. Carren’s organisational skills have supported the management team in the development of First Light Widowed Association.
Treasurer - Deanna Bosward
As an accountant, Deanna brings experience in financial accounting, management accounting and external auditing across several sectors including not-for-profit.
With an eye for detail, a love of spreadsheets and a can-do attitude, she is an invaluable asset to the team.
While recovering from chronic health issues herself, Deanna realised the importance of support groups and connection with others going through the same experience. She is excited to help First Light Widowed Association achieve its mission and help the widowed community in Australia.