Communities at Work has over 600 dedicated employees, more than 80 self-employed Family Day Care and In-Home Care educators and nearly 100 volunteers. The Executive Team leads Communities at Work’s strategic direction and drives Communities at Work’s purpose, mission and values.
Organisational Chart Communities at Work
Communities at Work's executive and management team.
Michelle Colefax was appointed as the CEO of Communities at Work in October 2022, responsible for overseeing the strategic direction, management, and financial affairs of Communities at Work. Michelle is committed to and driven by the work of for-purpose organisations that contribute to the wellbeing, capability and capacity development of individuals in our community. She is an experienced professional executive having worked in complex operating environments in both the Community Services and Federal Government sectors. Michelle specialises in business transformation and strategy and governance frameworks, incorporating technical expertise in risk management, strategic planning, financial planning and analysis, business case development, program review, resource allocation, design, and execution in the not-for-profit and government sectors.
Andrew Chenery Chief Finance and Operations Officer
Andrew Chenery was appointed as Chief Finance and Operations Officer at Communities at Work in early 2016. His role encompasses the over-arching financial responsibility for the organisation – as well as managing the Human Resources, Governance and Compliance, Contracts and IT functions. Andrew has held senior financial roles in a wide range of sectors – including other NFP postings in aged and acute care. In addition to his work as CFO, Andrew assists with the book-keeping for a local community radio station and plays an active role in the life of his local church. Andrew thinks deeply about social issues such as supporting those who struggle financially in the Canberra community. He is a keen miniature war-gaming enthusiast, spending much of his free time either painting ‘minis’ or creating terrain for the battles to play out on.
Chris Barry was appointed the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) for Communities at Work in July 2021, leading the development and implementation of organisational strategies for growth, performance and profitability. Chris has a passion for solving complex problems and is a strong advocate for the vital role that Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) play in delivering positive social outcomes for society. Chris is a passionate Canberran, and works hard to make Canberra and the region even greater, building on our strengths to provide opportunities and support. Chris spends much of his time outside work with his family, coaching his daughter's basketball team (go Dodgers!), guest-starring in his son's iMovies and planning camping trips with his wife. He also enjoys socialising with friends and debating the issues of the day. On Saturday mornings he can be found sitting in his favourite recliner, sipping a coffee and reading the news.
Suzy was appointed to the position of People, Culture and Wellness Director at Communities at Work in March 2022. Reporting to the CEO, she works across all levels of the organisation to develop and implement effective People, Culture and Wellness strategies, frameworks, policies, procedures and programs through the People, Culture and Wellness team. Suzy has a strong history in the Not for Profit sector, previously leading roles in Human Resources with local and national organisations. Suzy is a Certified Practitioner of Human Resources (CPHR), is a registered Change Management Practitioner and has a graduate certificate in Industrial Relations. Outside of work, Suzy loves travelling, enjoys socialising with friends, reading any and all genres of books, powerlifting at the gym and waiting patiently for her daughter to come home and visit from Melbourne.
Kellie oversees 12 Early Education and Care Services, 15 Out of School Hours Care Programs, 10 School Holiday Programs, 85 Family Day Care Educators and 5 In home Care Educators, for Communities at Work. Kellie’s Management and Leadership Teams lead the delivery of early education and care to over 4,000 children in the ACT. A long standing advocate of cultural competence, child rights and the positive outcomes of childhood education, Kellie has worked at all levels of Early Education and Care. Her long and varied career began as a high school student completing a Certificate II in Child Care and spanned into opportunities for career and qualification progression throughout the last 25 years in the sector. When not leading the Children’s Services of Communities at Work, Kellie loves nothing more than spending time with family and friends, travelling and gardening.
Ruth Zanker Director of Social Programs and Volunteering
Ruth oversees the Communities at Work team that supports the most vulnerable and those experiencing hardship in the Canberra community through the provision of food, clothing and accommodation programs as well as the volunteering program for Communities at Work. Ruth has worked in the community sector since joining Communities at Work in 1994. She has had a range of roles in her career, including focuses on early childhood, supporting the vulnerable through criminal and family law proceedings, homelessness, food rescue, and emergency relief program management. She has represented the community in many peak body groups, is part of the Social Recovery Network related to disaster support and has been on both State and National Boards related to her work. Ruth's values of community are the foundation of everything she strives for both professionally and personally. Outside of work, Ruth is a keen amateur florist, gardener, and makes the most of Canberra's social and learning opportunities.
Jo Cochrane Director for Lifestyle Services (Seniors, Disability and Transport)
Jo Cochrane leads the lifestyle services team at Communities at Work, in supporting older people and people with disability, encouraging clients to lead independent, active and inclusively connected lives. Jo has over 25 years of experience in the aged and community care sectors and large not for profit organisations in the development and management of direct service programs, human resource and volunteer management, quality assurance, work health and safety and program compliance. A past recipient of an ACT Vocational and Training Excellence award, Jo is a keen supporter of personal and professional development and training opportunities for her team knowing the value that this brings to staff, programs and most of all, clients. Family, good health and well being are important to Jo and she loves nothing better than a good box-fit class, cross training and long walks with her dog Buddy, when she is not working.
Tim McNevin has more than 25 years of experience in leadership, management and training in business, government, education and not-for-profit sectors. Tim has formal qualifications in further education and has been a tertiary lecturer in the management as well as the operational service areas of the hospitality industry. He holds formal qualifications in life coaching, management, human resource development, training and career development. Tim is passionate about working with people to help them identify and reach their goals, helping them overcome difficulty and adversity and walking with them to greater levels of satisfaction, performance and effectiveness. Appointed as Principal of Galilee School since the beginning of 2017, Tim has a vision for the school that sees growth and development of the students, the staff and the facilities. Outside of school Tim is committed to his family, his faith and his Cricket Club.