Meet the Team

Aftercare’s Board and Management team contain a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area of mental health. They come from many different professional and cultural backgrounds, bringing a rich diversity and dedication that is reflected in the quality of our services. The team are very passionate about the work Aftercare are doing and what Aftercare represents to people who are living with mental illness or intellectual disability.

Dr Andrew Young

CEO

Andrew joined the Aftercare Board in June 2017. After completing a PhD in engineering at the University of Adelaide in 1995, Andrew worked as a strategy consultant with Andersen Consulting, providing strategy, business and marketing advice to large Australian and international companies. Seeking to use his skills for social outcome, he took up a role as head of marketing and fundraising for The Smith Family. Andrew was Chief Executive Officer of youth cancer charity CanTeen in 2004, winning the Equity Trustees’ Not-for-Profit CEO First Year Achiever Award in 2005. During his time at CanTeen, Andrew developed and delivered a 5-year strategic plan that greatly enhanced CanTeen’s recognition and influence. He grew the organisation from 30 staff to nearly 100 and lifted turnover from $4.5m to over $22m while re-defining CanTeen’s mission, introducing a new focus on research, advocacy and collaboration and greatly broadening the reach and impact of CanTeen’s work with young people living with cancer. Building on discussions with CEO peers in other organisations, Andrew was a founding member of Emerging Leaders for Social Change (ELSC) – a group of emerging leaders with an interest in creating greater social impact through a stronger social sector and cross-sectoral collaboration. Andrew held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Social Impact 2012 to 2016 focusing on systemic social change issues and was recognised as a member of Australia’s first Impact 25 influencers in the social sector.

John (JT) Thomas

Chairman

John joined the Aftercare Board in November 2014. He has been involved in banking, finance and funds management activities for 40 years and has experience working with ANZ, State Building Society (now part of St George), Esso Employees Credit Union, The Howard Group, Challenger International and Mariner Financial. John was an industry adviser on mortgage trusts to both the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) as well as Chairman of the (then) Investment and Financial Services Association (IFSA) mortgage trust working group from 2005- 2010. From 1987-2003 John managed the Challenger Howard Mortgage Trust and grew its assets to $2.6 billion to be the largest in Australia.

In August 2010, John set up “JT Consultancy” to predominately advise fund managers in the mortgage and property trust space. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Services and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

John is a non-executive director on a number of boards, he is involved with several benevolent institutions advising on matters of finance and property and he is a former honorary Treasurer of the National Council of Churches in Australia.

Marianne Karam

Treasurer

Marianne joined Aftercare in November 2014 and is an experienced director, chief operating officer and company secretary, with expertise in developing client services and streamlining delivery of products and services within the information technology, telecommunications and not-for-profit industry.

Marianne has financial and operational experience in medium to large industry service organisations and smaller start-up companies, creating strategies and processes that enhance client services and improve delivery and lower costs, and has established well-organised, productive business units.

With experience in mergers, acquisitions, selling of businesses and policies with accountabilities to the CEO and board of directors, Marianne brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the areas of finance, operations, governance and risk management.

Dean Blomson

Director

Dr Dean Blomson joined the Aftercare Board in July 2012. Dean is best known for providing strategic business advice, and has shown his passion for the sector through his work on mergers and acquisitions in the not-for-profit sector, as well as other areas of business. Dean has facilitated strategic planning in the not-for-profit sector and has contributed to strategic planning for various organisations through his understanding of this area.

Dean has a Bachelor of Business Science (Hons.), LLB and a Higher Diploma in Company Law. He completed his PhD in 2015 which researched Board governance aspects of Mergers and Acquisitions. He has presented papers to a number of high level conferences and is quoted extensively in various magazines and publications, drawing on his significant experience in the areas of growth strategies, organic growth and corporate governance.

Leanne Gregory-Aylett

Director

Leanne joined the Aftercare Board in November 2014 with over 25 years’ experience in Executive and Senior Management roles in the financial services sector, she has an extensive background in strategic marketing, change management and people leadership.

Leanne is one of the founding members of ‘Financial Executive Women’ where she uses her experience and connections to assist women to reach their career potential. She has a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Marketing), Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Marketing) and GAICD. Leanne has a strong interest in financial literacy having participated in the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) member advice engagement committee, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Financial Literacy Community of Practice and has led forums to address underinsurance in Australia.

Sue Klose

Director

Sue Klose joined in February 2016 and is an experienced executive, board director and team leader, with a diverse background in digital business growth, corporate development, partnerships and change management. Currently the Chief Operating Officer of 12WBT, she is responsible for the execution of 12WBT’s business strategy and the day-to-day operations of the business.

In prior roles in consulting and global media companies, Sue has led strategic planning, growth strategy development and organisational change initiatives, and is passionate about helping teams continually seek new opportunities for growth and innovation. Having led the investments in a number of high-growth companies, Sue has held multiple board roles in the digital category.

Sue has an MBA with honours in Finance, Strategy and Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Economics. With a strong interest in lifelong learning and development, Sue is also Board Chair for 10thousandgirl, a social enterprise focused on financial literacy for young women, and an Advisory Board Member of the Australian Businesswomen’s Network.

Julia Farrant

Director

Gillian McFee

Acting Executive Director

Gillian joined the Aftercare Board in February 2016. Having held various leadership roles in Government and third sector social enterprises, including Director of UnitingCare Ageing, Gillian has advised on many projects that leverage her deep experience in health, housing, aged care and community services.

As Managing Director of Gillian McFee & Associates, a consulting and advisory firm that specialises in strategy, innovation and change, Gillian is passionate about designing products and services from the customer experience and putting metrics around this. She manages a busy portfolio career that combines other board roles and providing consulting services to a range of companies.

Gillian also has a special interest in how co-operatives and mutuals support new collaborative business models and empower consumers, workers and communities in a consumer-directed policy environment. She is an expert advisor to the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals.

Gillian is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of Women on Boards, where she mentors younger women. She combines this extensive work experience with an Executive MBA, post-graduate qualifications in urban studies and a Bachelor (Hons) in Social Work.

Kerri McFarlane

People and Culture Manager

Kerri has worked across both Corporate and not-for-profit sectors for over 20 years with a diverse background in Operations and HR.

Kerri holds a Bachelor of Business (Human Resources Major) from Southern Cross University, Lismore and is currently completing a Masters in Social Work (Professional Qualifying) through Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.

Kerri’s areas of expertise include Employee Engagement, Change Management, Strategic Planning and Industrial Relations.

About me: I am passionate about helping people to achieve their personal and professional goals and develop valuable relationships.

As a keen hockey player and umpire, I have focused my passion for developing others through coaching hockey teams, sporting administration, training junior umpires and mentoring managers in the workplace.

Isabelle Meyer

Executive Director, Business and Capability Development

Isabelle has over 30 years’ experience designing, delivering and evaluating support programs in the health, housing, transport and education sectors, and leading major social and structural reform. She has successfully run private medical practices and in government roles has been instrumental in developing and implementing reforms to patient management systems, patient transport, allied health service delivery, pathology and medical imaging service delivery, public transport, affordable housing, student traineeships and out of home care. Isabelle has also worked as an adviser to governments around Australia and has led key national and state reforms including the establishment of Local Health Districts, Primary Health Networks, management of the emergency medical stockpile, child protection, and parenting support services. For the last 6 years, she has focussed primarily on the establishment of the NDIS, and was involved in evaluating the original design of the scheme, legislative reviews and designing options for the new provider market place. Isabelle designed the NDS self-assessment toolkit for providers and has subsequently worked with providers around Australia to develop their strategies for their NDIS futures.  With an academic background in Sociology, Literature and History (including a Masters Degree and a PHD), Isabelle has also worked as a carer for the elderly, as a trauma support worker and as a teacher’s assistant for children with intellectual disabilities.

About me: While I am originally from Far North Queensland, Sydney (via Canberra) has been home for nearly 20 years. Our family is small but close and we are all passionate about reading – and arguing! My husband and I both spent many years in politics, working for both state and federal ministers, so there is never any shortage of opinions in our house! We love to travel, but home is very special, full of our books and decorated with paintings from the several artists in the family (Yes, everyone has opinions about each other’s art too!). Aside from the reading, debating and painting, I also sew, quilt, write, garden, teach and run a consulting business. I’m currently on a mission to create a 30 hour day to fit my life. I reckon I could quilt that!

Emma Kelsen

Finance Manager

Emma joined Aftercare in 2009 and is a former nurse who worked in the hospital environment for seven years in Russia and in the aged care and medical centres environment in Australia. After four years, Emma decided to change her career and become an Accountant. With a Masters in Business (Professional Accounting) from the University of New England, she moved into a financial role in the legal industry and, after 7 years, subsequently returned to the health industry as a finance professional.

About me: My curiosity exposes me to a wide spectrum of interests from the global economy and business practices to art, history, literature and languages. I am a passionate traveller and observer of countries and cultures. I’m always happy to socialise, meet new people from all walks of life, exchange ideas and experiences and just have a good time! In order to keep myself healthy I enjoy long walks and yoga. As I was born and raised in northern Russia, I prefer winter sports, such as skiing, ice-skating and ice-hockey.

Jason Fairweather

IT Manager

Jason joined the Aftercare team in September 2015 and brings with him over 13 years of industry experience within the Information Technology sector. Jason has a broad background across both national and multi-national organisations and experience in Financial, Manufacturing, Logistics, Retail and Medical industries. Jason carries a Masters degree in Information Technology from the University of Newcastle and has a passion for innovation and technology. Jason has a strong belief in Aftercare and the great work it does throughout our communities and hopes that through innovation and technology we can expand our reach and continue to deliver value-added services to those that need it the most.

About me: I’m a proud father of one and blessed by my supportive wife, family and friends. I have close ties to several charity organisations and volunteer my time and/or resources to support our communities whenever an opportunity arises. I enjoy the great outdoors and am very proud to be a part of a wonderful nation that supports multiculturalism and equal opportunity.

Alex Wilde

Research Manager

Dr Alex Wilde joined Aftercare in September 2015 from the University of New South Wales. She has been a research scientist in mental health research since 2005. Her PhD was on psychosocial implications of risk information about affective and psychotic disorders. Post-doctorally, Alex has developed an online depression intervention for young adults with a family history of major depressive disorder. Based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy, the programme, tailored to individual risk factors, aimed to help young people build resilience and improve well-being. Alex has published her work in peer-reviewed medical journals and presented at scientific conferences nationally and internationally. Previously, Alex was a professional science and medical writer and published articles in the mainstream media and medical press. She is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Advisory Board and a conjoint senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales.

About me: I am interested in helping to change the lives of people who experience or are at risk for a mental illness. Support in the community for mental ill health is vital for recovery. I am interested in using evidence from research to build better mental health support systems, programmes and services. I am also particularly interested in youth mental health and understanding how research can help prevent and reduce the risk of affective disorders at crucial stages of brain development.

Sylvia Grant

Executive Director, Service Delivery

Sylvia has extensive experience in the non-Government mental health sector in New South Wales and Victoria. Along with her Bachelor of Social Work and a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment, Sylvia is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Sylvia has worked for over 18 years in direct service delivery, program development, management, and training. Along with a dedicated team, Sylvia is very committed to achieving high quality services for people experiencing mental illness.

About me: I am particularly interested in social inclusion and the rights of people who experience mental illness and I am passionate about consumer oriented models of recovery that are co-designed by service users.

My commitment is to provide high quality services that are socially inclusive and recovery focused that support consumers to realise their potential, and live full and productive lives.

Stephanie Maraz

Relationships Manager

With a diverse background from marketing and design to working for a local member of parliament, Stephanie has now worked in the mental health community managed sector since 2003. She was an employee of the Mental Health Coordinating Council for over ten years in policy development, project management and partnerships. She has a First Class Honours in Sociology, and has a qualification in training and assessment. She brings to Aftercare a flexible range of skills drawing on her background and a passion for communication and community development.

About me: The arts are an important part of my life whether it be creating or simply appreciating artworks. I also enjoy meeting new people and love to travel and immerse myself in other cultures. Working for Aftercare has provided me with wonderful variety in my job, a great work culture and the opportunity to meet many interesting people working across the social sector.

Jennifer Ramos

NSW Regional Manager

Jennifer started her mental health and disability career journey with Aftercare ten years ago as a student. She has worked and studied her way through different positions within the organisation such as Support Worker, Team Leader, Coordinator and now oversees all the Residential Services in New South Wales as a Regional Manager.

Jennifer has been successful in obtaining her Social Work degree at UNSW, a Diploma in Community Services and an Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management. Since joining Aftercare she has been instrumental in the submission of tenders, obtaining funds for two transitional accommodation programs and a 24 hour Residential Group Home. Jennifer leads the Aftercare Restrictive Practices Panel and strives to continue to successfully gain more funding for the organisation.

About me: My first involvement with mental health was as a teenager, losing a close friend to suicide. This inspired me to help people get the most from life whatever that might look like for them!

I have a passion for mental health and most especially residential services which has driven me to advocate for individuals and promote person-centered care and support teams on the ground to deliver quality services with the best possible outcomes for clients.

Between wrangling three young children and a busy home life of sports, I enjoy a day to myself to unwind, listen to music and practice mindfulness!

Kate Snars

NSW Regional Manager

Kate is a leader for the teams in Western Sydney and beyond. She has an Advanced Diploma in Community Services Management, and a Certificate IV in Mental Health. Kate has worked for Aftercare since 2009 in a variety of roles, including Team Leader of Aftercare Clients’ Service of Choice 2011.

About me: I live and work in that great big green area west of Sydney and I am passionate about trees, books and small furry animals, all of which are first-rate tonics for mental health!

Amelia Callaghan

QLD Regional Manager

Amelia has over seventeen years’ experience working with young people and their families, gained from working in a variety of generalist and specialist youth services, including Child and Youth Mental Health Services, youth dual diagnosis, and alcohol and other drug services. With a Masters in Social Administration, she has held National, State and Territory roles in youth mental health and brings this experience to her work overseeing and supporting the delivery of Aftercare’s headspace services.

About me: I am particularly interested in facilitating children and young people’s healing from traumatic experiences.

I am passionate about giving young people the best possible chance of living a life with purpose and making the most of their unique skills, strengths, interests and experiences.

I have a strong commitment to innovative service models that offer ‘’out of the box’’, fun and engaging services and better outcomes for young people.

Toni Hines

QLD Regional Manager

Toni has worked in the community sector for over 20 years in various areas including youth, housing, women’s and mental health services. She has completed a Master of Social Work and has been committed to working within the mental health community sector for the past ten years in both support and leadership roles.

About me: I am dedicated to supporting those affected by mental health issues in their recovery journey. What I have found most inspiring and rewarding in my chosen field is the benefits that can be gained when there is increased opportunity for connecting to community and breaking down social isolation. This can range from being able to ‘get out the door’ of their home through to making lifestyle improvements, engaging in employment and/or meaningful activities. In my role, I am privileged to connect with a lot people, reduce loneliness and stigma that is so often associated with mental illness.

Peter Kennedy

NSW & VIC Regional Manager

With a management background in retail, HR and hospitality, Peter has worked in the community sector for the past 30 years with a focus on social justice and community resilience. His qualifications include a Bachelor in Theology and Post Graduate Counselling accreditation, and they have assisted a great deal in his long-standing experience in community engagement, leadership training, hospital and school chaplaincy.

About me: I have a variety of tastes and interests including indigenous art, photography, food and music. I am passionate about mental health and wellbeing, and it is a privilege to be part of the Aftercare family.

Craig Stanley-Jones

QLD Regional Manager

Over the past 18 years, Craig has worked in various government and community roles within the mental health sector, including roles within public and private clinical settings. He has led and assisted in the development and implementation of a range of community-managed mental health programs across Queensland, including projects focusing on consumer participation and leadership. Over the past five years, Craig has worked in senior management roles in the community managed mental health sector. Currently, Craig is Vice President for the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health Inc. – the peak body representing the Mental Health Community Managed sector in Queensland. As Regional Manager for Aftercare, Craig brings a strong history of establishing effective partnerships and collaboration on a range of community based programs and projects.

About me: I have a firm vision and passion around the importance of the Community Managed Mental Health sector and its role in supporting people with mental health issues in their recovery. I would like to see the sector continue to grow and play a more influential role in keeping people with mental health issues living in their own homes and in their local communities rather than having to access hospital services on a regular basis.

I enjoy swimming, jogging, beach volley ball and playing the odd game of football (soccer), league or touch footy with family and/or friends.

Geoff Larcombe

QLD Regional Manager

Geoff has been employed in the mental health sector for the past 12 years having previously worked as a counsellor with Mission Australia and The Salvation Army, prior to joining Aftercare.

The introduction of the PHaMs service into Queensland in 2009 provided Geoff with an opportunity to join Aftercare as Team Leader of the Inner-Brisbane South office which he held for two years before moving into the Peer Support Coordinator’s role for 12 months.

For the past three years Geoff has occupied the position of Queensland Regional Manager, looking after the Queensland PHaMs teams as well as the new Community Managed Mental Health Service in south west Queensland.

About me: I have two married daughters and four grandchildren and over the past ten years have actively participated in various volunteer activities in my local community, especially through The Salvation Army Church.

These volunteer roles include aspects of Christian Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care, Prison Ministry as well as Crisis Telephone Counselling through the Salvation Army ‘Care Line’.

I also have interests in delivering mental health training through ASIST, Mental Health First Aid and Life Coaching.