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Senior Management Team

Meet Our Senior Management Team

Our Senior Management Team consists of the Chief Executive, two Operational Assistant Directors and the Head of Corporate Services.


  • Dawn Shaw, Chief Executive, BA (Hons), Diploma in Social Studies, CQSW, MBA, MSc, ICF Coach Practitioner.

    Dawn obtained her BA (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Warwick and her Social Work training at the University of Southampton. She obtained her Master’s in Business Administration and her MSC in Executive Leadership form the University of Ulster. She also holds the strategic leadership award in social work awarded by NISCC and is an ICF qualified coach practitioner.

    Dawn has over 30 years’ experience working within children’s services, she has worked for number of Local Authorities in England, Health and Social Care Trusts in NI as well as the Voluntary sector. She has worked in residential care, schools psychological services, adoption, fostering, and early years. She was responsible for establishing Action for Children in NI which provides a range of services including supported lodgings, supported accommodation, young carers, sure start, family support and fostering service, and was responsible for the UK wide mental health programmes including the Blues programme.

    Dawn has over 20 years senior management experience in both the statutory and voluntary sectors. She was a founder member of the Children and Young People’s Strategic partnership and the Safeguarding Board for NI.

    She was the NI National Director for Action for Children and was the Deputy Executive Director of Social work with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust before commencing her post as Chief Executive with NIGALA on the 1st April 2021.


  • Patricia O'Kane, Assistant Director, BA(Hons), Dip Social Work (CQSW), Cert in Adv Social Work, Dip in Supervisory Management

    Patricia joined NIGALA in May 1997 as a Guardian Ad Litem and was promoted to Assistant Director in September 1999. Patricia obtained a BA (Hons) Degree in Sociology from Queens University, subsequent to which she studied for a Diploma in Social Work at Edinburgh University. Prior to joining NIGALA Patricia worked in Newtownards for five years before obtaining a post as a Senior Social Worker for family and child care in Down Lisburn HSS Trust.

  • Teresa Fallon, Assistant Director. BA(Hons), Dip Social Work (CQSW), Specialist Award (Child Care), MSc in Applied Social Studies (Child Care) 

    Teresa qualified as a Social Worker in London in 1984 and worked for ten years as a Social Worker and a Senior Social Worker with children and families as well as acting as an Approved Mental Health Social Worker. Teresa moved to Northern Ireland in 1994 and was employed as a lecturer for two years with the North West Institute. Teresa started to work as a Guardian ad Litem at the inception of the Agency in October 1996. After working as a Guardian for eighteen years, Teresa was appointed as Assistant Director in July 2015.

  • Sean Brown, Head of Corporate Services

    Sean has 30 years of experience in management both in the private sector and health and social care.  He is keen to make a difference in helping all those who seek assistance from health and social care.