Meet the leadership team shaping Yfoundations
Whether we’ve come to Yfoundations with a history in the sector or are introducing new ideas and skills from another field, we’re here because we care about child and youth homelessness.
Candidates for the Board are drawn from a wide cross-section of experience and expertise within the homelessness and out-of-home care sectors in NSW.
Yfoundations welcomes interest from the membership. If you are interested in holding a Board Director position and would like to discuss becoming a Board member, please contact Trish Connolly at [email protected]
Nerida is a passionate advocate for children and young people, supporting equality and focusing on vulnerable young people and our future community leaders. She has worked in the youth homelessness and youth services sectors in both metropolitan and regional areas, and served on various community sector boards and committees.
As well and providing leadership and strategic direction as President of Yfoundations for over 16 years, Nerida also chairs the national Youth Homelessness Matters Day committee and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Treasurer, Regional Delegate – Illawarra
Eleonore has worked in the Community Services Industry for over 30 years. Eleonore has an MA in Psychology, a degree in Public Administration, and a Diploma of Frontline Management. She is the General Manager of Southern Youth and Family Services and brings a wealth of experience in contract management, financial accounts and policy development.
Secretary, Regional Delegate – Hunter New England
Alan has more than 40 years experience in establishing, consolidating and delivering refuges for homeless young people and families, out-of-home care residential care, foster care, supported independent living programs, wrap around services, restoration, family support and child protection services to produce positive outcomes for children, young people and families in New England, North West Tablelands and the Mid North Coast of NSW.
Alan is the CEO of Pathfinders, a not-for-profit involved in providing crisis accommodation, outreach services, refuges, short-term accommodation and supported independent living programs. He is committed to delivering safe and nurturing environments for children and young people. Alan is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Specialist Delegate – Education and Training
Kellie has been working in the youth homelessness sector for 15 years and the youth sector generally for over 20 years. Kellie currently heads up a national youth employment program working with young people at risk of long-term unemployment to address barriers to gaining and maintaining employment, and then providing long-term support to ensure a successful transition.
Michelle has worked in the community services sector for over 25 years across the youth, housing and homelessness, and LGBTQIA+ sectors. Her work has included direct service delivery and case management, community and sector development, quality assurance and compliance, and organisational and executive leadership. She joined Youth Off The Streets (YOTS) in 2021 as Manager of Engagement and Support, focusing on youth justice and youth engagement programs, before moving into the Interim Operations Manager role. Michelle is currently Director, Youth Support Services, YOTS.
Metropolitan Delegate – Nepean Blue Mountains
Richard holds more than 22 years experience working in a variety of roles across government, public and not-for-profit sectors. This has enabled him to shape and influence overall service practices, including both internal and external policy reviews. Richard is self-motivated and committed to delivering improvements across the range of multifaceted systems we work in to enhance service delivery to young people and build stronger community resilience.
Lisa is the CEO of Taldumande Youth Services and has over 30 years of experience managing youth-at-risk programs in both the education and community service sectors. Prior to joining Taldumande, Lisa managed programs with young people in out-of-home care residential care, young people within the Juvenile Justice system, and community education programs in Sydney’s western suburbs. She also managed an alternative learning centre for high-needs young people and delivered restorative practice workshops in schools across Australia.
Lisa is passionate about sustaining positive organisational culture and maintaining strong staff morale to ensure young people receive the focus and care they deserve and to which they are entitled.
Regional Delegate – Northern NSW
Meena has worked in the housing and homelessness sector for over 23 years and in 2018 was one of the five finalists of Coffs Harbour Woman of the Year Awards. She has extensive experience in the governance of not-for-profit boards, committees and working groups, including the Board of Homelessness NSW and Warrina Women & Children’s Refuge.
Meena brings extensive knowledge about the barriers and challenges that marginalised and vulnerable children and young people in rural remote areas face in trying to secure long-term suitable and affordable housing. She is keen to contribute to this space of advocacy that influences, informs and enables government policy for vulnerable children and families in the community.
Metropolitan Delegate – South Eastern Sydney
Laurie began his role with homeless youth in 1977, founding Caretakers Cottage Paddington, and was also a founding member of the Youth Refuge Association (now Yfoundations). He is actively involved in policy development while participating in various government advisory bodies. Laurie is CEO of Caretakers Cottage, a provider of out-of-home care, crisis accommodation HYAP, early intervention programs and transitional housing.
Regional Delegate – Western NSW
Jody has worked in the not-for-profit sector in Western NSW for over 20 years. She has extensive experience working in leadership positions for community-managed NGOs that have a specific focus on supporting vulnerable children, young people and families. Jody has tirelessly advocated for quality service provision and sustainable funding in the organisations in which she has worked.