PACFA CEO stepping down

Maria Brett is stepping down as the PACFA CEO and will leave PACFA in the coming months to pursue new career opportunities.

Maria has served PACFA for nearly 10 years. During that time, PACFA has more than doubled in size under Maria’s leadership and the quality and integrity of our work has continuously improved, supported by Maria’s skills and areas of expertise, and her passion and commitment to PACFA’s mission.

Maria has been able to contribute to PACFA’s development across the breadth of the organisation’s functions and activities from advocacy and communications, to ethics, professional standards, strategic planning, human resources, financial management and governance.

When representing PACFA, she has been able to speak with authority on behalf of the profession, while also having a nuanced understanding of the political context and policy settings that impact on our advocacy work. Maria has overseen PACFA’s engagement with government and private health funds, which has resulted in significant progress with our advocacy for professional recognition for counsellors and psychotherapists. 

Maria was a key contributor to the achievement and implementation of PACFA’s restructure, including a merger with ten other associations, the establishment of PACFA’s Branches and Colleges, the development of PACFA’s professional development program, and our new professional journal, Psychotherapy and Counselling Today. 

Maria has also made valuable contributions to the quality of PACFA’s policies and standards, including the PACFA Code of Ethics, the Scope of Practice for Registered Counsellors and, most recently, PACFA’s new Membership Pathways. 

In her announcement to the PACFA team, Maria said: “It has been a privilege to serve PACFA and to have had the opportunity to make a contribution to the counselling and psychotherapy profession in Australia as the PACFA CEO. It has also been a pleasure working with every one of you, and with all of the excellent team members who have come and gone during my time at PACFA.”

I have personally worked with Maria for the whole of her tenure as CEO and I have greatly valued the skills and expertise she has brought to PACFA in the CEO’s role. We have worked together very closely to advance PACFA’s mission, sharing the PACFA journey for nearly 10 years. 

It is a significant change for PACFA to farewell Maria as the CEO and to prepare for the next phase in PACFA’s development and growth with the appointment of a new CEO. The PACFA Board will be commencing the process to recruit a new CEO in the coming weeks. 

We will formally farewell Maria and celebrate her contribution to PACFA at the next PACFA Council meeting, scheduled to take place in Sydney on 27 and 28 March 2021.

Thank you, Maria, for your contribution to PACFA and to the counselling and psychotherapy profession. The PACFA Board and the wider PACFA community wishes you well for the next steps in your career.

Dr Di Stow
PACFA President