"We’re a diverse team with a shared passion for creating positive change in the lives of young people.”
– Daniel Batkin, Grants and Programs Officer, QLD
“yourtown is a place that lives and breathes its ideals and philosophies. We don’t just talk about them. They’re in every word, action and reaction with each person who walks through the door.”
- Mary-Ida Walker, Kids Helpline Counsellor
Our diverse team works in a variety of ways to create positive change and includes:
- 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
- Administration staff
yourtown 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.
Peter is an experienced leadership coach for senior executives and strategy advisor to Boards and senior teams, working across Asia Pacific. He has over 25 years' senior executive experience in general management, marketing and strategy in leading national companies across a diverse range of industries. He has held general management positions in FMCG, Health, Utilities and Energy industries in both the public and private sectors.
Peter is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation, and an Affiliate Member, Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School affiliate.
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, and contract negotiation, and 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.
Kristina is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years' experience in both commerce and public practice. Kristina provides taxation and business advice to a variety of clients including individuals, investors, superannuation funds and small- to medium-sized enterprises. Kristina is a director of the BDCU Alliance Bank, a member-owned social enterprise that provides financial products and services via a strategic alliance with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. Kristina holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Australian National University, is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Trisha is an experienced in-house counsel and company secretary and brings significant insight in commercial and corporate law, governance, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions and risk to her roles. She is an independent non-executive director of Australian Traditional-Medicine Society Limited. In addition, she is a Past President and served as a non-executive director of Governance Institute of Australia for almost a decade.
Trisha holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Melbourne, Graduate Certificate of Management from the Australian Graduate School of Management and Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance from Governance Institute of Australia. She is a Fellow of Governance Institute of Australia and a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute.
Br Peter is a De La Salle Brother and a practical theologian. He has more than 30 years' experience working in Catholic education in Australia and New Zealand, including serving as a principal of schools in both countries. In 2019 he completed doctoral studies at Fordham University, the Jesuit university of New York, specialising in the area of Christian spirituality.
Br Peter’s reflections on the intersection of faith, spirituality and culture led to his dissertation that focuses on the ways in which a founding charism can be nurtured and sustained in 21st century Lasallian ministries. Br Peter is currently the Director of Formation for Mission for the La Salle District of Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea. He has held a number of Board positions and currently holds membership of the District Council of the De La Salle Brothers, the Gerard Rummery Institute, the Pakistan Sector Mission Council, and the District Governance Working Committee.
Megan was Australia’s first National Children’s Commissioner, completing her seven year term in 2020. In this role, she focused solely on the rights and interests of children, and the programs, policies and laws that impact on them. As Commissioner, Megan conducted a number of focused investigations into human rights issues for children including: self-harm and suicide; the impact of domestic violence on children; the treatment of children in custody; and the needs of teen parents and their children. She also monitored and reported on Australia’s performance in promoting the rights of children in line with its international obligations, and led the development of national principles for child-safe organisations.
Previously, Megan was the NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People and has had an extensive career in senior leadership positions in child protection and out of home care, disability, juvenile justice and early childhood services. Megan was also the CEO of the Australian Council for Social Services between 2001 and 2004.
Megan holds post-graduate qualifications in Psychology, Social Policy and Education, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Sydney, through the Research Centre for Children and Families.
“What we do requires an absolute commitment and a belief that we make a difference.”
– Tracy Adams, CEO
The executive team is responsible for the day-to-day management of all yourtown operations. They develop, implement and monitor activities to ensure we really are transforming young lives and strengthening communities.
Tracy has more than 30 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 $40 million, a client increase of more than 100%, a greatly enhanced advocacy platform for those experiencing social exclusion, and an organisational name change. Tracy has frequently addressed Government enquiries into the welfare of Australian youth.
Tracy is an Affiliated Member of the De La Salle Institute, a graduate of the Harvard Business School General Management Program, and a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML). She holds a number of for profit and non-profit Board positions, and is an executive advisor to the QUT – Executive MBA program.
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.
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).
Kathryn Mandla commenced as Head of Advocacy and Research with yourtown in May 2020 where she leads the advocacy, program and service development and evaluation and research functions.
Prior to working with yourtown, Kathryn was the inaugural Head of the National Office for Child Safety in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Chair of the OECD Working Party on Social Policy from 2016-2019. Kathryn has also worked as a senior executive in the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services in various roles responsible for children, family, housing and homelessness policies, international relations, performance management, evaluation and research.
Before moving to Canberra, Kathryn worked for the Queensland Government as a senior executive responsible for child protection policy and programs, and headed up the Office for Women.
Kathryn holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Queensland.
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.
Helen Vahdat commenced as Chief Information Officer in May 2020 where she manages the identification and implementation of business improvement processes to assist efficiency and productivity of the transformation of Information Technology at yourtown.
Prior to working with yourtown, Helen was General Manager, Enterprise & Digital Applications at UnitingCare. Helen has experience in senior management positions within private business and the not-for-profit sectors, having worked in senior IT executive roles with Goodstart Early Learning, Watpac, Thiess Pty Ltd and Transpacific Pty Ltd.
Helen holds a M.A. Information Technology from QUT.