Our Youth Advisory Board

Communities at Work Youth Advisory Board May 2022

Communities at Work launched the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) in 2019. It comprises a voluntary group of passionate young employees from across the organisation, who provide insights to the executive board about youth issues, both within the organisation and the broader Canberra community.

Our Youth Advisory Board plays a significant role in creating opportunities for training and leadership experiences among the young members of the organisation. YAB members continuously interact with our Executive Team, gaining an insight into how an organisation’s top leaders operate and the issues that are important to them, and developing a holistic understanding of organisational dynamics and leadership roles.

Additionally, the organisation’s Chief Strategic Officer (CSO), periodically delivers Strategic Development Professional Development sessions to our Youth Advisory Board to support their leadership and strategic thinking skills.

The tenure of a YAB member ends when they cross the age of 30. Until then, a YAB member can stay on the Board for as long or as little as possible. The YAB tends to have between 10-15 members at any given time. If you have any questions or an issue to raise with Communities at Work’s YAB, please email youthadvisoryboard@commsatwork.org

Meet our current YAB members:

As Senior Program Coordinator of the Charles Weston OSHC service, Alister leads a team of up to 12 Educators in providing care for a daily capacity of 121 children. Alongside managing day to day operations, he is also responsible for meeting compliance with the National Laws and Regulations. Alister is focused on positively supporting and guiding children, with values right at home within the Children's Services team. To better meet this goal, Alister is studying towards a Bachelor of Secondary Education.

Being a member of the Youth Advisory Board, Alister is keen on developing his relationship with other areas and members of the organisation, while also utilising the opportunity to champion the youth workforce engagement to meet strategic goals, especially concerning employee well being, learning and development. In his own time Alister can either be found studying, exercising, or playing his guitar.

Alanah joined Communities at Work in March 2021. Since then, she has utilised her Customer Service and Marketing skills in new and exciting ways as an integral member of the Marketing and Communications team.

Alanah manages a range of marketing and communication activities for the organisation including the administration of events, internal communications and employee engagement. She is also responsible for leading the organisational charge on innovative initiatives such as the Communities at Work flagship podcast 'Canberra Community Convos' and community engagement initiatives that expand the organisational footprint into younger demographics. She is passionate about the growth of Communities at Work and believes that comfortable and confident employees lead to a robust and excepetionally-perceived brand.

She joined the Youth Advisory Board in 2022 to incorporate an improved Customer Experience strategy for Communities at Work's clients and employees alike. Alanah is eager to see a healthy 'youth' representation in key decisions and policy changes within the organisation, in which a large majority of the workforce is populated by young adults. She is driven to learn new skills through the YAB and apply them forward to her career long term.

Connect with Alanah on LinkedIn

Mitchell Deigan, a Communities at Work organisational support employee since 2017, assists and guides decision making through the reporting of financial and non-financial information to internal operational staff. Mitchell enjoys liaising with external stakeholders to ensure that Communities at Work is able to create meaningful and productive working relationships. He believes technology advances will greatly impact the ability for social organisations to identify and fulfill the needs of people within Canberra, whether it be through food support, childcare, housing or connection to other services.

Through the Youth Advisory Board, Mitchell wants to assist in developing the footprint and drive of upcoming young professionals while focusing on social and environmental sustainability. He is passionate about bringing Communities at Work to the forefront of the community by highlighting its social impact. In his own time, Mitchell enjoys playing board games, traveling and attending networking events.

Connect with Mitchell on LinkedIn

Tess started with Communities at Work back in 2018 as a Transport Facilitator and moved into the Seniors Coordinator role at the beginning of 2020. Over the last two years, she has worked with a team of Wellness Activities Facilitators to redesign and redevelop the Seniors' Program with a focus on health and wellbeing. Tess oversees the daily operation of the team and works closely with our seniors' clients to ensure they are able to access the service, stay engaged within the local community, and enjoy programs including exercise and variety groups, creative workshops and more recently a new woodwork group.

Having completed a degree in Public Health, majoring in Community Development, Tess is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of the Canberra population, with a strong interest in health promotion and disease prevention. She is also passionate about volunteering and has volunteered with several community groups, both locally and internationally, and has travelled to Africa to work in programs focusing on education and nutrition.

Bayden Addison has been with Communities at Work since 2016. He started working in the organisation in the Seniors' Groups and Community Transport programs overseeing the daily operations of the teams. In 2020, he completed his education in IT and moved on to the role of a Digital Transformation Specialist within the Digital Transformation team. He now assists the organisation in its progression towards digital transformation through building and updating applications, analysing current practices and increasing their effectiveness through digitalisation, increasing communication flow between program areas and employees, providing technical support to program areas, and migrating and updating systems.

Bayden hopes to share his experience within the community sector, passion for digital transformation and automation to provide an accessible and quality service for all. As a member of the Youth Advisory Board, he has a focus on improving developing and streamlining organisational practices, as well as arming the organisation with strong innovative strategies to improve its social, financial, and environmental sustainability. Outside of his working career, he enjoys making music, rock climbing and all things tech.

Catherine Nacion assists in the creation of Communities at Work's marketing collateral and ensures the brand is visually represented consistently and coherently throughout the Canberra community. Catherine works with the marketing team to create wayfinding signage, publications, stationery items, videos, and animations. She believes that design is a very important aspect of everyday life and is a powerful tool for communication.

Through the Youth Advisory Board, Catherine hopes to learn from other leaders at Communities at Work and build a holistic understanding of the various parts that make up this organisation. With a background in customer service and graphic design, Catherine hopes to assist in developing processes and procedures for the organisation that will benefit the health and wellbeing of all staff members as well as the strategic goals of Communities at Work.

Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn

Michael Malone joined the Community Development team at Communities at Work in early 2020 to work on the New & Emerging Communities program, supporting the building and growth of the up and coming community in Denman Prospect. After completing his university studies in late 2020, he transitioned to the full-time role of Community Development Officer, working on broader community development projects in addition to Denman Prospect, including 'Engage Canberra' and 'Infusion - Conversations that Count.' In 2022, Michael took on the Social Impact Evaluation project, coordinating the implementation of a social impact evaluation framework across the organisation.

Michael is keen to expand the knowledge of community development approaches across Communities at Work, including bringing them to the Youth Advisory Board and the Executive Team, alongside supporting the YAB's engagement with the wider community. He is also eager to help include the interests of younger staff in decision making, with a focus on retaining bright young employees. For instance, he helped facilitate the Tuggeranong Community Council Youth Forum in 2021 and 2022, and hopes to support increased activity by the YAB in this space.

Hannah is the Senior Supports Facilitator for the Communities at Work Disability Hubs and the Malkara School Holiday Program. Hannah works with other facilitators, operations coordinators and the management to plan workshops and activities that are meaningful for the participants of the disability programs. She is passionate about her hands-on leadership role and loves working with the clients, staff and leadership teams to constantly improve the services and programs. She enjoys being a part of the progress that the clients achieve and is driven to provide education and aid development for not only herself but other stakeholders and staff.

Hannah joined the Youth Advisory Board to contribute her thoughts and speak up for those that may not have the courage to do so themselves (especially people with a disability). Her bubbly personality and bright ideas keeps the YAB’s initiatives refreshing. When Hannah is not at work you will likely find her on a footy field or walking her puppy.

Felix Latham resides in the Finance Team as a Program Accountant and is responsible for managing the financials for Communities at Work's Seniors and Disability Services (Lifestyle Programs). He initially joined Communities at Work as an out of school hours care (OSHC) educator. Felix enjoys getting involved in any project he can get his hands, irrespective of the program area or department. He greatly appreciates being a part of the social impact that Communities at Work offers to the Canberra community through its range of services.

Felix hopes to use his diverse experience gained as a Communities at Work employee, in both organisational support and OSHC, to provide a unique perspective on the issues and projects that are important to the Youth Advisory Board. He is particularly interested in honing his strategic thinking skills and discovering innovative ways to tackle complex issues as a member of the Youth Advisory Board. When not at work, Felix spends his time skateboarding, exercising, or hanging out with his friends.

Connect with Felix on LinkedIn

Nicole's role as an Internal Auditor for Children's Services involves ensuring compliance for all sites for Communities at Work, in line with Children's Education and Care regulations and learning frameworks. She enjoys supporting the services in discovering ways to implement best practices and improving outcomes for the children. She does this by sharing best practice approaches and providing all the necessary information to help maximise the service potential.

Nicole joined the Youth Advisory Board to extend her passion for supporting people beyond Children’s Services, and to help the young employees at Communities at Work feel heard and fulfilled. She brings her expertise from an industry compliance and best practice perspective, and hopes to implement initiatives that not only matter to the youth at the organisation, but also help improve the service areas, translating to positive and quality outcomes for the organisation’s clients and community. Outside of work, Nicole spends time with her nieces and nephews, and watching films.

Connect with Nicole on LinkedIn

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