Our People

Committee of Management

  • Maryjane Crabtree (President)
  • Diane Wright OAM (President Emeritus)
  • Marion Nott (Vice President)
  • Helen Gibson (Secretary)
  • Wayne O’Brien (Treasurer)
  • Andrea Langdon
  • Lyn Harris OAM
  • Gavin Spokes

(Currently there is one vacancy on the Committee of Management)

  • Diane-wright-new-sq

    Diane Wright OAM

    - Founder

    Through many years of unwavering effort, Diane’s vision of creating a respite and palliative care facility in a homelike environment has been realised. Her commitment to seeing the community hospice project culminate in a functioning facility has seen her meet with hundreds of community leaders, politicians, service groups and people across South West Victoria to advocate on behalf of Anam Cara House.

    Through her efforts, and those of a dedicated team of volunteers and supporters, the community rallied and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the initial purchase and fit-out of Anam Cara House Colac.

    Without Diane’s vision and dedication, Anam Cara House would not exist.

    “It’s come together as a result of ordinary people doing extraordinary things”.

    – Diane Wright, Founder, Anam Cara House Colac

  • Neil-stewart-new-sq

    George ‘Neil’ Stewart OAM

    - Founding Patron

    Neil Stewart and his wife Yvonne made the decision to attend the initial public information meeting about Anam Cara House in March 2005 because they saw the need for a place for people with a long term or life limiting illness to have respite or end of life care in surroundings that offered care and restfulness in peaceful and beautiful surroundings. After that public meeting a working party was formed to pursue the possibility of establishing such a place as a community hospice for the Western District. A Capital Fund Raising Committee was formed and Neil agreed to be Chairman of this Committee.

    At a professional level Neil is Chairman of Directors, and the third generation of Stewarts to head up Charles Stewart & Company, a well respected and most successful livestock and real estate agency that has served Western Victoria since 1917.

    Neil has been involved over many years in professional associations:

    • Victorian Stock and Station Agents Association
    • Colac Water Works Trust and Sewerage Authority (Chairman 1979 -1982
    • Executive Committee of the Sewerage Authority Association of Victoria
    • Victorian Water and Sewerage Authorities Association
    • Victorian Government Commissioner – Colac Otway Shire
    • Barwon Regional Water Authority
    • Patron of “Do Care”

    Neil has systematically put into place a fundraising campaign that has involved writing to and then following up by  phone call and then personal visits to members of  the local business community and beyond.  Neil & Michael Stewart and our Committee have set a goal of establishing a financial foundation as a reserve and surety for Anam Cara House’s operations and viability.

    In short, Neil Stewart is a man who is committed to both his family and his community and is a stalwart champion and advocate for others. Neil, and his wife Yvonne, are  particularly mindful and caring for the human dignity of others, including the  value of quality “end of life care” and are staunch advocates for Anam Cara House.

  • Naomi Lettieri

    Naomi Lettieri

    - Hospice Manager

    I joined the Anam Cara House Colac team as a Community Liaison Nurse in 2016 after living and working in the UK for 10 years – it was time to return home. Having worked in the inpatient and outpatient setting of acute health services, caring for people with cancer and blood disorders, building therapeutic and holistic care relationships with people and their carer has always been a high priority in my Nursing career.

    Respect and compassion for the unique and individual diverse needs of people and their carers means that as a Registered Nurse, I felt a synergy and draw towards Anam Cara’s Colac’s model of care and mission statement.

    Never, in my Nursing career had I ever been able to truly consider all elements of a person’s social, emotional and psychological needs to the full extent it deserved. Time pressures, acute care needs and the hospital environment just meant this was often pushed to the side by the important ‘tasks’ of care, with more limited opportunities to experience the ability to deliver holistic care.

    I was first introduced to the Hospice Model of care in the UK and was impressed by the wrap around community based model and support available for people living with, or dying from, a chronic life-limiting illness.

    From the moment I completed a placement in my Graduate Year at the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre in Oncology and Haematology, I felt I had found my reason to nurse. Building relationships of support, care and trust is key to help people navigate their most challenging times, over 25 years later, relationships, best practice and care is still the reason I enjoy nursing. I became the Hospice Manager of Anam Cara Colac in 2024 after having the great opportunity to see the background and understand the story and the mission of Anam Cara Colac as the Liaison Nurse for 7 years.

    Anam Cara Colac is an enabler for Colac and the south west of Victoria  to care for their own and to support those who are living with a chronic life limiting illness and their caring network. The visionary Committee who inspired and developed our Community Hospice have provided all of us with a unique and beautiful gift.