yourtown is a registered public company with an independent Board and governance and organisational structure headed by a CEO.
“We take the time to listen, understand and encourage young people to find their place.”
Our Board members are experts in various fields. Together they are responsible for the overall business, management and direction of yourtown.
The Board’s most important role is safeguarding the trust that clients, donors, corporate partners and government place in yourtown. The Board is committed to best practices in governance, accountability and transparency. All members are volunteers and receive no remuneration for their service.
Welcome to our new Chair
“As the leader of yourtown, I’m focused on building on our established platform of tackling the issues affecting children and young people across the country.”
Gerry is an experienced company director with both listed and unlisted entities. He has over 25 years experience as a senior corporate executive with expertise in the financial, strategic, systems/compliance, management and human resources areas of companies in the mining, building and property development industries
Gerry is a past non executive director of two ASX listed companies, Villa World Limited and CuDeco Limited, and was the General Manager/Chief Financial Officer, Executive Director of Villa World Limited from 2000 to 2005. Gerry is also an advisory board chair of two private companies and is the proprietor of a mentoring consulting business.
Peter is a business advisor to leading Queensland businesses, specialising in marketing and business strategy, executive coaching and organisational development. He has over 25 years senior executive experience in general management, marketing and sales with leading national companies across a diverse range of industries. He has held general management positions in FMCG, utilities and energy industries in both the public and private sector.
John has had broad executive senior management and consulting experience spanning over 30 years in the corporate governance, strategy and commercial arenas. His experience has been gained across several sectors in a wide variety of companies. He is currently an executive director of WEPL management consultancy. He is a former director of the Governance Institute of Australia.
Jack has a long association with yourtown having been the General Manager of BoysTown Lotteries from 1997-1999 and its Chief Executive Officer from 2004-2008. Other business appointments have included CEO of the Metropolitan Ambulance Services, CEO of the Port of Melbourne Authority, and various executive appointments with Melbourne Water. He has extensive experience in corporate governance, executive management and financial reporting.
Margaret has held senior positions in the university, government and non-government sectors and played a critical role in developing and implementing innovative, early intervention and prevention initiatives that promote the health and wellbeing of vulnerable children. She has extensive expertise in strategic policy and research, inclusive governance frameworks, the development of collaborative partnership agreements, contract negotiation, the management of multi-site placed-based initiatives for successful implementation of evidence based programs and innovative models of service delivery.
Kristan is a partner of a leading independent Australian law firm with a background in property and corporate advisory. She advises property developers, government and government owned corporations, major landlords and tenants, listed corporations and private clients in a vast array of transactions. She has presented at a variety of legal conferences in the property and commercial sectors, including the Property Council of Australia. Kristan's memberships include Queensland Law Society, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Property Council of Australia and Urban Development Institute of Australia.
An educator since 1972, Br Ken has been the Principal of the De La Salle College Cronulla (NSW), St Bede's College Mentone (VIC) and Oakhill College Castle Hill (NSW). He was a Foundation member of the yourtown Board and the Board of St Michael's College Henley Beach (SA).
Loki is an experienced Manager in KPMG Australia’s market-leading human and social services consulting practice, where he is engaged as a key adviser to governments, not-for-profits and private providers. Loki has a strong background in policy and law reform to support vulnerable children, youth and families, and prior to joining KPMG he worked as an adviser for three years to Australia’s National Children’s Commissioner. Loki has practical experience in organisational governance, risk management and strategic planning, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Maria is the Manager, Information Security of a leading Australian university. She has over twenty years of IT experience performing strategic roles and delivering programs in the fields of information security, IT strategic planning and enterprise architecture in government, telecommunications and higher education. Maria is a recognised industry expert, frequently being asked to speak globally about IT policies and frameworks, ICT risk management and business continuity management. She has published academic papers and her extensive knowledge is used to deliver IT projects and educate university students about the safe use of online media.
Ben is SBS's Head of Editorial for Online and Emerging Platforms, leading the overall strategy for the SBS online network and social platforms. He was previously Editor of Good Weekend magazine for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age; and Editor of national current affairs magazine, The Monthly. He's been a contributor to the Financial Times, and the collection of his journalism, In Conversation, was published in three languages. He's served academic fellowships at the Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University, co-edited a book of cultural theory for Duke University Press, and won a Churchill Fellowship to research investigative journalism in 2014.
Br Ambrose is retained in a consultative capacity on professional standards, international governance, financial planning and management for the Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Pakistan District of the De La Salle Brothers. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Education, a Life Member of the New South Wales Schools Rugby Union and a Diplomat of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology, Manly.
Br Chris is Chair of the Lasallian Mission Council Ltd and a Director on the Boards of St Michael’s College Adelaide (SA), St Bede’s College Mentone (VIC) and Oakhill College Castle Hill (NSW). He is Auxiliary Provincial and Chair of the Economic (Finance) Council of the De La Salle Brothers in the District of Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea.
Br Ambrose Payne – Vision and Commitment
“His strong vision, values and commitment resulted in the significant growth of services for young people and families of Australia.
Br Ambrose became the Chair of the organisation when it was incorporated as a Public Company in 2002 and retired in April 2016.
As Chair of yourtown, Br Ambrose sought to maintain a strong focus on professionalism whilst nurturing the vitality of those who are involved in the delivery of our Mission. He provided exemplary leadership of the organisation and an unwavering commitment to service. Importantly, he has ensured that yourtown is well placed to meet the needs of disadvantaged children, young people and families both now and into the future.
His leadership helped guide the significant growth of services that connect with tens of thousands of young people each year. This included the expansion of employment and training programs, development and expansion of accommodation responses for families escaping domestic violence and of those experiencing homelessness, the development of research and advocacy platforms to give voice and inform social policy and most recently, the change of organisational name.
We will continue to be inspired by Br Ambrose’s unwavering commitment to our Mission.
Br Ambrose became the Chair of the organisation when it was incorporated as a Public Company in 2002 and retired in April 2016.
As Chair of yourtown, Br Ambrose sought to maintain a strong focus on professionalism whilst nurturing the vitality of those who are involved in the delivery of Mission. He provided exemplary leadership of the organisation and an unwavering commitment to service. Importantly, he has ensured that yourtown is well placed to meet the needs of disadvantaged children, young people and families both now and into the future.Read More
The CEO and yourHeads are responsible for the day-to-day management of all yourtown operations. They develop, implement and monitor activities to ensure our work practices embody our organisational values, and are transforming young lives and strengthening communities.
Tracy has more than 26 years' experience with yourtown and was appointed CEO in 2008. In this role, she is responsible for implementing the organisation's strategic direction and ensuring its operations are conducted with the highest standards of integrity and accountability.
Since being appointed to her current position she has directed significant company growth, including an operating budget increase of more than $20 million, a client increase of more than 100% and a greatly enhanced advocacy platform for those experiencing social exclusion. Tracy has frequently addressed Government enquiries into the welfare of young people in Australia.
Tracy is a graduate of the Harvard Business School General Management Program and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (AIM). She is also Vice-President of Peakcare Queensland, Queensland's peak body for child protection, a member of the Cannon Hill Anglican College School Board and a member of the Lasallian Mission Council.
Geoff joined yourtown in 2007 and leads the finance, property, IT and business systems teams. In 2009, Geoff also assumed the role of yourtown Company Secretary. He has over 20 years experience in financial and management accounting, spanning commercial, government and not-for-profit organisations in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Cara joined yourtown in 2008 and leads yourtown's People and Culture team, encompassing human resources, work health and safety, and remuneration and benefits. She has more than 20 years' experience in both human resources and operational management positions across a variety of industries, within Australia and Asia Pacific.
Tracey started at yourtown in 2013. She leads the development and implementation of all brand management and fundraising growth strategies for the organisation including corporate partnerships, donor and yourtown luxury Art Unions. Her more than 20 years in marketing and communications includes roles at Fairfax Media, Mercedes-Benz (Daimler Chrysler), BMW, MINI, Lamborghini and Cartier. Her memberships have included the Gold Coast Motors Events Co Marketing Communications Committee and Brisbane Lions AFL Marketing Communications Committee. She has also worked with the Uniting HealthCare/The Wesley Hospital and Research Institute and McDonalds Australia (Ronald McDonald House Charities).
John has been with yourtown since 2000 and leads the advocacy, research and evaluation for the organisation that generates new knowledge about issues impacting young people, and how to effectively respond. He has 11 years’ experience as a practitioner in the areas of child protection and juvenile justice, and 26 years’ experience in executive management within Government and the not-for-profit sector. John has led teams providing child protection, juvenile justice, disability, out of home care, community funding, and social and economic development programs within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. A member of several Boards, he is President of the Foundation for Independence Recreation and Social Training (FIRST) and a member of the Social Impact Measurement Network Australia (SIMNA). John is a Partner Investigator in several research projects funded by the Australian Research Council.
Brendan commenced at yourtown in 2003 to help establish our employment, education and training programs and their associated regional delivery network. In 2016, Brendan was appointed as our Head of Client Services, leading the implementation and delivery of integrated client services in line with our organisational strategic framework. Prior to working with yourtown, Brendan spent five years as a senior manager with a major national recruitment agency following 16 years with the Federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) in a variety of operational and senior management positions. Brendan has a Graduate Certificate in Business and extensive experience in the training and employment services industry in the private, public and community sectors.
“The year has seen significant expansion, change and achievement.”
Our diverse team of more than 550 staff works in a variety of ways to create positive change. They include:
• Youth workers
• Indigenous mentors
• Tradespeople and vocational trainers
• Employment consultants
• Community development workers
• Child and family workers
• Human Resource advisors
• Marketers, fundraising and media advisors
• Researchers and policy writers
• Administration staff
“We're a diverse team with a shared passion for creating positive change in the lives of young people.”
yourtown’s successful tender submissions for the jobactive, Transition to Work and ParentsNext contracts led to our need to engage more employees in these programs designed to help young people get a job.
In 2016, our number of staff grew by
The organisation underwent a restructure designed to achieve our strategic objective of integrated individualised service responses.
This included changes to the Executive Team and most significantly, the amalgamation of our two client services divisions – counselling with employment, education and training – into a flatter integrated structure.
In addition, a newly formed People and Culture team was appointed to focus on the performance, development and capability of our people. First priorities for this new team include a full review of Core Skills training and the design of a manager development program.
Superior General says well done!
We were privileged to have the Superior General Br Robert (Bob) Schieler recognise some of our long-term staff during his visit from Rome in April 2016. He praised yourtown’s Lasallian ethos, saying it is a powerful reflection of the rich diversity of the Lasallian Mission.
A Lasallian Leadership Conference was held in Sep 2015 bringing Lasallian school and yourtown leaders together to explore leadership in Lasallian organisations. Twenty-two (22) participants worked with Senior Lasallian Leaders to discuss ideas and opportunities across our sectors.
What our people say
In April 2016, we undertook our third biennial Employee Engagement Survey to better understand the sentiment of our people about the organisation, what’s working well and identify opportunities for improvement. We were pleased to receive the following results:
• an identified organisational culture of success
• The yourtown values ranked the third highest factor in what makes our organisation a trulygreat place to work
survey response rate
increased trust in the executive team
of employees say yourtown is a 'truly great place to work'
level of disengagement halved in 2016
An organisation action plan is being developed in response to the areas which present an opportunity for improvement.
This will include:
• Manager development
• Training, development and career opportunities
• Exploring perceptions of bullying and favouritism in the workplace
• Employee recognition
• Team problem solving.
This year, 10 staff members received financial support towards their ongoing education. This included:
Masters level study in:
- Business (Philanthropy and Non-profit Sector)
- Social work, and
- Clinical Psychology.
and an Advanced Diploma of Management.
Workshops were also undertaken in mediation, therapeutic groupwork and change management.
“It's been great having organisational support to keep up with the latest thinking in the not-for-profit sector through the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies.”
Health and wellbeing
yourtown aims to be a lead agency in ensuring the safety and wellbeing ofour staff.
Lost work days due to workplace injury were reduced by a further 20% this year, directly impacting on our WorkCover premium and confirming our approach to creating a safety culture is working.
Staff were supported by our Employee Assistance Program. Practice Supervision and Core Skills training was also made available to our client-facing staff.