Colin Falconer Director of InspireChilli
Colin Falconer was the driving force behind Open Talent, Advantaged Thinking, Foyer Accreditation and other initiatives at UK youth charity Foyer Federation, where he worked as Director of Innovation for 15 years. In 2015, he set up Inspirechilli to offer consultancy, training and innovation products that help organisations make inspiration work for good.
Colin is an expert advisor for Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Youth Fund, a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts, and in his spare time mentors young entrepreneurs.
Keith Bryant Chair of the Foyer Foundation
Keith is the principal of a consultancy that supports philanthropists improve the effectiveness of their giving programs.
He is the CEO of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and he is Chairperson of the Foyer Foundation and Wentworth Community Housing and sits on the Board of the Australian Alliance to End Homelessness. Prior to this, he worked as the Chief Operating Officer, The Benevolent Society (2001 – 2011) and as a Director at Deutsche Bank Australia (1989 – 1999).
Tony Keenan CEO of Launch Housing
Tony Keenan has been CEO of Launch Housing since July 2015. Launch Housing was formed through a merger of Hanover Welfare Services and HomeGround Services and Tony was CEO of Hanover since 2006.
He was formerly General Secretary of the Victorian Independent Education Union. He has served in many community and policy advisory roles including as current chair of the Inner Metro Partnership (Vic Government), a member of the Australian National Council on AIDS and the Australian Social Inclusion Board. He has served as Chairperson of the Australian Foyer Foundation, President of the Victorian AIDS Council and national president of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations. He is a graduate of the Executive Masters in Public Administration from the Australian New Zealand School of Government (ANZOG) and was awarded a Harkness Fellowship in Public Policy to the University of California, San Francisco.
Elisabeth Tuckey CEO of Ladder
Elisabeth has 30 years’ experience in corporate affairs and communications, and has an in-depth understanding of the not-for-profit, government and corporate sectors. Her previous professional roles include GM Corporate Affairs at Rural Ambulance Victoria, Head of Communications at the Bushfire Appeal Fund and Head of Corporate Affairs at Headspace.
Elisabeth is currently CEO of youth homelessness organisation, Ladder. Working with young people and communities to ensure they have the best outcomes possible has been a focus for Elisabeth for the past decade. She has a Masters of Communications, is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and is the recipient of an international award for government engagement campaigns.
Joseph Borlagdan Senior Research Fellow at the Research and Policy Centre Brotherhood of St Laurence
Dr Joseph Borlagdan is a Senior Research Fellow at the Research and Policy Centre, Brotherhood of St Laurence.
He is currently leading a longitudinal study investigating the effectiveness of the Education First Youth Foyers, an innovative model supporting young people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. Joseph is passionate about the role of sociology in addressing social problems, and is the Applied Sociology Portfolio Leader of The Australian Sociological Association Executive Committee. Joseph gained a PhD in Sociology from Flinders University in 2005 and is an Honorary Senior Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne.
Mark Cox Practice Lead Youth Transitions Brotherhood of St Laurence
Mark Cox is the Practice Lead for the Youth Transitions team at the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
He previously worked at the Kangan Education First Youth Foyer, one of the first Australian services to use the advantaged thinking approach for young people with a background of homelessness.
His professional background is in international community development and public health.
Lou Limoges Practice Lead Uniting
Lou has worked in the community services sector for both Government and non-Government organisations in Australia for almost 20 years across education, disability and welfare services. She has held several operational leadership positions in a range of different program types and has diverse sector experience.
Lou has worked at Uniting for over 8 years and currently works within the Practice and Quality Directorate focussing on implementing quality, evidence informed practice initiatives and service improvement. Lou has a passion for innovation and program design and her current role spans practice development that examines research and best practice, systems, processes, policy and procedure and quality assurance.
Renée Wirth Head of Business Opportunities SGCH
Renée works for SGCH, one of the largest community housing providers in Australia, leading a team that manages partnerships and projects that deliver an increased supply of social and affordable housing.
Renee has over 15 years’ experience in the affordable housing sector, holding roles in government and not-for-profit organisations in NSW and the UK. While at the NSW Department of Family and Community Services she worked in partnership with Yfoundations to establish the specialist youth community housing provider, My Foundations Youth Housing.
For the last two and half years she has been working with Uniting and Social Ventures Australia to deliver a new Youth Foyer in central Sydney.
Deborah Mohr Business Development Lead Uniting
Deborah is a Chartered Accountant with 11 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector. Currently, in her role as Business Development Lead for the Resilient Families directorate of Uniting (NSW ACT), Deborah works on opportunities to increase social impact through outcomes-focussed funding arrangements.
With her experience of being part of the first Social Benefit Bond in NSW (Newpin SBB) and leading the negotiations with NSW Government on a second SBB for Uniting (Foyer51), she is an advocate for linking funding to social outcomes to drive better service provision across the sector.
Suraya Naidoo Director Southern Services Housing SA
Suraya has worked in homelessness practice and policy arenas in Australia for over twenty years. She commenced her career in the youth homelessness sector working with young people and families who were homeless or at risk of leaving home early. These early experiences shaped her continued professional commitments to improve social inclusion and develop effective policy and high quality practice responses for vulnerable people in our community.
Suraya has led the delivery of homelessness and public housing services in South Australia and worked in both central and line agencies to lead and develop homelessness and disability policy reforms at state and national levels. This included working for a number of years in the South Australian Department of Premier Cabinet within the Social Inclusion Unit and Cabinet Office to support the development and implementation of models such as Common Ground, Foyer and NDIS in South Australia.
Suraya was also seconded in 2008 to the Commonwealth to support the development of the Government’s White paper on Homelessness. In Suraya’s current role, she is responsible for public housing services delivered by Housing SA and leads homelessness service system policy development in South Australia.
Anita McCurdy Manager of the Education First Foyer Berry Street
Anita McCurdy has lived in Shepparton for the past 20 years. During this time, Anita has worked in non-for-profit community services where her urge to advocate for young people has grown from her ground work as a Foster Care Worker to her current role as the first Manager of the Shepparton Education First Youth Foyer.
Anita has returned to Berry Street after 10 years with experience in a number of leadership roles at the Youth Crisis refuge and Beyond Housing. In these positions, Anita’s passion grew in leading teams in building and nurturing work place culture for successful outcomes.
Anita has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and Sociology, and is completing a Masters of Social Work, Anita is currently a participant of the Fairley Leadership program, where she aspires to build business and community partnerships in the Goulburn Valley that create opportunities to identify, develop and invest in skills and capabilities of young people.
Jane Hewitt non Executive Director SGCH
Jane has over 20 years’ experience in real estate development and accommodation management. She founded UniLodge in 1996 (a leading provider of student accommodation) and pioneered the corporatisation and professional management of student accommodation facilities on and off university campuses in Australia and New Zealand.
Jane developed this business into an operation with assets of approximately $1billion.
She is a non Executive Director of the Beacon Foundation (a national for purpose organisation serving disadvantaged young people in the Secondary School system) and SGCH (a social and Affordable housing provider in Sydney), a member of the Sydney Business Alliance to End Homelessness and was involved in the Foyer51 Project in Sydney.
Adrian Larkin Manager Youth Transitions Launch Housing
Adrian Larkin is the Manager – Youth Transitions at Launch Housing. He is passionate about social justice and ensuring that young people are given opportunities and support to succeed.
Holmesglen Education First Youth Foyer in Glen Waverley was opened in 2013 and Kangan Education First Youth Foyer in Broadmeadows was opened in 2014. Launch Housing operates both Foyers in Partnership with the TAFEs and the Brotherhood of St Laurence. Adrian was the manager at the Kangan EFY Foyer for two years before moving into his current role Managing Youth Transitions at Launch Housing, comprising of both Education First Youth Foyers and Launch Housings Youth Support Service in South Yarra. Prior to Launch Housing, Adrian has worked with young people in services covering mental health, disability, education, and homelessness.
Adrian has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of NSW, and is currently completing his Master’s in Business Administration specialising in Social Impact.
Niamh McTiernan Service Development and Practice Manager Brotherhood of St Laurence
Niamh Mc Tiernan is a Service Development and Practice Manager at the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
She currently works across the Youth Transitions portfolio on programs in youth employment, education, homelessness and Out of Home Care space.
Niamh has worked on the development and management of the Victorian Education First Youth Foyers.
John Thomson Manager Foyer Oxford Anglicare WA
John Thomson has 16 years’ experience in youth and community work, originally beginning his career on the west coast of Scotland before moving to Perth, WA in 2013.
An honours graduate of the influential Community Education degree programme at the University of Strathclyde, John has spent most of his career tackling the inherent injustices experienced by young people in developed nations, broadening the opportunities in education and employment for those furthest from economic stability. Over the last five years, he has worked hard to develop the professionalisation of youth work, lecturing at both the University of Strathclyde and Edith Cowan University. John is a Director of the Youth Affairs Council of WA, a Director of Youth Work WA – the state’s professional association of youth workers, and a member of ECU’s Youth Work Consultative Committee.
John is the Manager of Foyer Oxford, a large-scale youth homelessness initiative in Leederville.
Sharna Westley Teacher &Program Coordinator Foundation & Further Education South West TAFE
Sharna has been a teacher and program coordinator at South West Institute of TAFE for 13 years, developing and teaching in programs ranging from 1:1 outreach for students who are not able to access a classroom environment, to programs specifically designed to re-engage young parents back into education.
She is the Coordinator of the Certificate I in Developing Independence at SWTAFE and has been influential in creating an environment which allows the ‘DI’ to successfully provide the framework and opportunities for the young people of the Foyer.
Sharna is the Director of Staff on the SWTAFE board and is currently studying her Masters in Inclusive Education.