Our Management Committee

 

Melissa Previtera – President (March 2020 – present); Secretary (September 2016 – February 2020)

Degree in Psychology and Social Science Majoring in Welfare Studies. Melissa comes from a social welfare background and was a long term employee with QYS from 2005 to 2013 as Team Leader for the Get Set 4 Work program assisting disadvantaged youth transition into employment. Mel is currently Area Manager at Mission Australia.


Krissy Regan – Secretary (2020 – present); Management Committee Member (2019 – 2020).

Bachelor of Exercise Science and Sports Management. After 15 years managing projects around the world Krissy Regan moved home to Townsville in 2018. As well as managing international projects she is an author a poet and Founder of Mindful Mums Qld. Krissy has developed a number of unique training programs focused on leadership, client management, managing remote teams, wellbeing and creating more mindful leaders.

 


 

Tammie Harrison – Vice President (September 2021 – present); Committee Member (2020 – 2021)

Bachelor of Community Management, Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Community Work, Certificate of Youth Work Practice and Cert IV in Indigenous Leadership.Tammie has worked in the youth sector for over 15 years including the Youth Support Coordinator Program with QYS for 9 years, and IONA House Women’s refuge for 5 years.Tammie currently works as a Senior Project Officer for the Department of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Partnerships in the Remote Service Delivery Team.


Pat Driscoll – Treasurer (September 2021 – present); Management Committee Member (November 2019 – September 2021)

Bachelor of Engineering, currently completing Master of Urban Planning and Design. Pat has been Managing Director of Software Solutions (QLD) Pty Ltd for 26 years and Chairperson of DriveIt for 13 years where he was instrumental in sourcing $12 million worth of funding for the Townsville motor sport precinct.

 


Dr Mark David Chong – Management Committee Member (2020 – present)

PhD (Law) (Syd), LLM (Merit)(Lond), LLB (Hons)(Lond), English Barrister-at-Law (Lincoln;s Inn), Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore. Dr Mark is currently a senior lecturer in criminology and criminal justice studies. He was formerly the Director of Research Education at the School of Arts and Social Sciences, James Cook University from 2012 to January 2015, and Acting Associate Dean of Research at the College of Arts, Society and Education, JCU, from July 2019 to September 2019 (3 months). He is also an external assessor (grant applications) for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Dr Mark graduated with a PhD in Law from the University of Sydney.


Joe Mikaele Ah-Kuoi – Management Committee Member (2020 – present)

Graduate Diploma of Learning & Teaching, Bachelor of Arts – English & Sociology. Joe brings to QYS his 12 years experience working with youth as a mentor, tutor and teacher in both New Zealand and Australia. Some of Joe’s professional highlights include coordinating student leadership groups, curriculum leader, head of student well-being, Indigenous leaders program facilitator and school sports coach. Joe is currently Director of Strive Lane, a Self Development and Mentoring Program.


Adriel Burley – Management Committee Member (2021 – present)

Adriel is a Member of the National Mental Health Commission. He has a wealth of experience form around North Queensland and Western Australia, and has broad, active passion for suicide prevention, following careers in Project Management of Townsville Suicide Prevention Network, Education, Residential care and consultation work for not-for-profit sector. He played an integral role in the development of Townsville’s Community Suicide Prevention Plan 2017-2020 and was a campaign leader for Operation Compass for Ex-ADF veterans and their families.


Vicki Saylor – Management Committee Member (2021 – present)

Vicki is the Director of Say La V Marketing and Events. She has worked with youth for over 20 years. In her previous work life she has established the mentoring program in the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre, and mentored participants of the Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE’s Pathways Program. Vicki is also a member of the creative arts community in Townsville.


Shannon Brown  – Management Committee Member (2022 – present)

Shannon, currently a Management Consultant/Managing Director, has developed and implemented many quality management systems for her clients so they could be ISO compliant. She has assisted her clients to establish foundational quality management systems, including document control methods, risk management, business continuity and improvement measures with experience working within government parameters. Risk management procedures and policies are within the realm of Shannon’s human resources management consultancy as she has developed and implemented policies that assist to reduce risk where the root cause is in human behaviour. Her many years’ experience in developing policies and procedures have also focused on encouraging greater teamwork, personal productivity and staff engagement.

Life Members

Brent Fergusson (Chairperson 2015-2016)
Brent worked for QYS as a Program Coordinator in 2005, moved to Queensland Health in 2006; commenced service with QYS as an ordinary committee member in 2007 and elected treasurer in 2008. Brent was QYS’s second longest serving management committee member. Brent resigned as President at the end of 2016.

Tom Evans
Tom has the much respected title of being QYS’s longest serving employee.  Tom commenced work for QYS in 2004 as a Bookkeeper and fulfilled the role of Finance Manager for QYS until retiring at the end of July 2020, an outstanding 16 years of service.

Melissa Previtera
Melissa has not only been a long standing employee for QYS but has now been a member on our management committee holding the position of Secretary from 2014 – 2020, and currently sitting as Management Committee President.

Ruth Martin
Ruth Martin has worked for Queensland Youth Services for 13 years. In that time she has supported over 1000 young parents and children. She has been a voice of reassurance, and a mentor in early childhood development. Ruth has been frugal with her funding, achieving great things on a small resource budget. Her ability to link young people with other services and their resources has demonstrated effective collaborative case management.  Ruth’s dedication to Queensland Youth Services and the young people we serve  is why the Management Committee has endorsed her joining the small Life Membership club.

Gaye Bickle
Gaye worked for QYS as the Resource Officer for 10 years before retiring in mid-2018.

Toby Marhin
Toby has been with QYS for over 11 years and has always gone above and beyond for our organisation and the youth that we serve. Toby commenced employment with QYS on September 6, 2010, with the Reconnect team as an Early Intervention Worker, bringing with him a diverse skillset from the IT industry. During his employment with QYS, he completed his Certificate IV and Diploma of Youth Work and became a facilitator in evidence-based youth development programs such as LOVE BiTES and Money Wise. He has also acted as the Reconnect Team Leader for a 6-month period too. On many occasions, Toby has used his IT skills to assist co-workers in problem solving computer issues, and even went as far as assisting in developing a Work-From-Home plan for the office during major COVID restrictions in 2020.

Feedback received from his supervisors and clients is always positive, often mentioning his mediation skills and his ability to create a safe environment for each participant. His compassion ensures both parties are understood and can share their point of view. Furthermore, he has helped many families stay connected, whether they agreed to live together or apart. Through his actions, abilities and skillset, we know that Toby will always have QYS’ best at heart. He is a huge asset to QYS, and naturally, was endorsed for a Life Membership award.

Tammie Harrison

Tammie was employed by Queensland Youth Services between the years of 2004 to 2013. She held the position of Team Leader with the Youth Support Coordinators Program. This program provided social work assistance to youth at risk of disengaging from education within the school environment.  Tammie developed working relationships with Principals, Guidance Officers, and the Indigenous Community Education Counsellors. Being an NGO employee in the school sector required diplomacy around reporting requirements, and strong advocacy skills.

During her employment, Tammie completed a bachelor’s degree in Community Management, complementing her existing degrees in Social Work and Community Services. She encouraged and coached her staff to develop their own knowledge and skills and provided excellent leadership on Indigenous inclusiveness. Tammie was also a member of the committee that launched ‘Here for Life’ in Townsville, highlighting issues surrounding mental health, particularly youth suicide.

With a little encouragement, Tammie joined the Queensland Youth Services Management Committee in September 2020.  In her time away from QYS, she worked at Iona House Youth Shelter, and is currently with the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. She brings to our committee a wealth of knowledge in both youth work and governance.

It our opinion that Tammie will always have QYS’ best interests at heart. She holds an immense knowledge of youth services and cultural inclusion. Nominating Tammie for a life membership is a small token of our appreciation for her continuous contribution to the youth of this community and to QYS.

Wendy Lang

Wendy was recruited as the CEO of Queensland Youth Services Inc. on the 24th of April 2012. Whilst entering the NGO sector took some adjustment, she was guided by Tom Evans, who was the Finance Manager at the time. His advice on managing budgets on a shoestring, and the constant challenge of managing contract end dates, was invaluable.

In 2012, QYS provided the following services: Youth Support Coordinators (YSC), Reconnect, the Young Parent Program, Get Set 4 Work, and the Youth Housing and Reintegration Service. Since then, the Education Department took back the Youth Support Coordinators services, and some programs have come and gone.

Through her vision to grow QYS and hours of collaborative successful grant writing, Wendy’s time here has resulted in various other services being delivered:

  • SQW funding (Get Set 4 Work, Youth Skills, and Ready 4 Work) – $940 136
  • Empowering Youth Initiative – Recycle Your Dreams, $1.6 million
  • Yinda – Cultural Mentoring – $500 000
  • LearnIT – Learner Driver Mentoring Program – $1.5 million
  • Extension of the Youth Housing and Reintegration Service to Mt Isa – 1.9 million
  • Project Overhaul – $1.4 million
  • ADF’s Proud Warrior – $42 467
  • Aurizon – Youth Mental Health First Aide – $10 800

Under the direction of Wendy and the Management Committee, QYS reserve funds have grown from $445 779 in 2012 to $1 108 469 in 2022.

Wendy’s 24 years’ experience in the Public Service Sector guided QYS through our first Quality Assurance and Compliance audits in 2017, under the Human Services Quality Framework audits. QYS has maintained our HDAA accreditation, with our last audit resulting in no non-compliance issues or negative observations otherwise – a 100% report card. The auditor had commented that for a small organisation, our Policies and Procedures, and systemic processes, were equal to larger organisations.

Wendy has always put QYS first. We appreciate her steadfast leadership and support in helping our organisation continually work towards our strategic goals and our mission to empower youth. Her dedication, empathy and commitment to our team, our youth and our stakeholders is truly commendable. We appreciate your efforts, hard work and guidance over the years, and look forward to what we will continue to achieve together going forward.