Our Executive Team

Each member of the Communities@Work Executive Team is an expert in their field. The team consults with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure the highest quality of services, and to meet the strategic goals of the organisation, while upholding the vision of helping make Canberra a strong, healthy and inclusive community.

Appointed as the Chief Executive Officer for Communities@Work in 2019, Lee has a long history with the organisation. Lee began her career in our early childhood programs where she became a strong advocate for children and high quality education and care. Lee's passion for the early childhood sector saw her move into a role where she had oversight of the organisation’s children's services and was instrumental in many quality reviews and framework changes. Lee's commitment and valuable experience in the organisation paved the way for her to become Deputy CEO providing strategic leadership and implementing many initiatives to deliver excellence in our program management. Lee leads by example, so her leadership skills tend to motivate, inspire and guide others to give their all for the organisation. Outside of work, Lee loves spending time with her grandchildren and playing golf.

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Andrew Chenery was appointed as Chief Finance and Operations Officer at Communities@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.

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Zelma joined the Communities@Work Finance team in early 2018. She was attracted by the varied scope of the organisation’s programs – and the drive and passion of the staff. Zelma has more than 25 years of experience in all facets of financial stewardship as well as business leadership. Her work history spans a multitude of industries, including not for profits, childcare, IT & software, hospitality, energy infrastructure and government. Zelma is no shrinking violet – she is not afraid to ask ‘why’ – and has hence encouraged organisations into re-engineering their processes and direction. This has resulted in her strong track record of driving business growth whilst ensuring full transparency over the financial performance of the company. Known for her energy and drive, her collaborative style has the ability to influence, motivate and communicate management, staff and external stakeholders.

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Jo Cochrane leads the lifestyle services team at Communities@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.

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Ruth oversees the Communities@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@Work. Ruth has worked in the community sector since joining Communities@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.

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.

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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@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@Work, Kellie loves nothing more than spending time with family and friends, travelling and gardening.

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Phillipa works alongside the Director of Children's Services to deliver high quality education and care across all Communities@Work children's services. In addition, Phillipa sits on the board of directors for Family Day Care Australia and assists the Department of Education with the implementation and ongoing review of the Child Care Subsidy System. Phillipa's career in early childhood education and care spans over 25 years across all service models, creating the opportunity to advocate for different types of care and their benefits to families. Phillipa is passionate about up-skilling and innovation in the workforce and approach to providing education and care, leading to strong community leaders of the future. Outside of work, Phillipa enjoys spending time with her family, cheering on her AFL team and supporting the local community through several athletic sporting bodies which her family are involved in.

Connect with Phillipa on LinkedIn

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