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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our T​eam

Michael Collin​​​g   LinkedIn-Logo-500x500.png

Youth Services Manager
Michael has worked within the youth sector for two decades, predominantly in local government, NGO's and school settings across Australia.  In the mid-2000's, he wrote and co-hosted award-winning radio specials for NOVA FM which tackled youth suicide prevention, and in 2007, Michael's first book, The Other Side of Blue, was published to much acclaim.  Michael has twice received nominations for Australian of the Year for his work in mental health promotion with young men, including the establishment of a national charity in 2013.  The BETTERMAN Foundation aimed to empower local communities, particularly rural/remote Australia, working together to positively engage their young men with a focus on suicide and violence prevention.  In addition to his role at YMCA Manningham, Michael has recently commenced post-grad studies in International & Community Development and enjoys spending time with his young family.

​​​Debbie Pataki

​Youth Worker
Debbie has many years of experience within the disability field, with 10 years at Doncaster All Abilities Basketball. Debbie assisted in the delivery of the basketball competition whilst supporting their committee to ensure the games run smoothly, fixtures were done, whilst mentoring the club's youth leadership team. Debbie has also worked at the Pines Learning Centre for three years teaching the All Abilities participants 'Essential Skills for Work' classes. Thanks to her involvement with the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), Debbie also brings a wealth of experience in the area of youth leadership to the role.  Debbie currently coordinates our Y-Exercise Program, our Young Leaders Program and assists in the delivery of PIXELATED.  ​

Mahamed ('Mo') Ahmed

​Youth Worker
Mahamed has worked at the YMCA for over 5 years where he began as a customer service officer at YMCA Head Office and worked his way to becoming an executive assistant with the YMCA Victoria Youth Services team. During his time with the Y, Mo developed a passion in working with young people and decided to pursue a career in youth work, and is currently completing his Bachelor of Social Science (Youth Work) at RMIT. In his spare time Mo also works with young people from new and emerging communities by getting involved with numerous local community organisations and sporting clubs, he gets a kick out of assisting young people in reaching their full potential. And, he is the proud father of three beautiful children! "Learn to be grateful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.” – Jim Rhon

Min Thomas

​Youth Administration & Customer Services Officer
Min has worked in administration and customer service roles for a little over a decade.  Min brings a friendly face with a warm heart and is passionate about helping young people.  For around six years of her life, Min was also a travelling DJ, playing gigs and festivals all over the world which opened her eyes and heart to the many challenges young people face across the globe.  Min dedicates herself to bringing a positive and peaceful approach to all, young and old.

Penny Maher - currently on maternity leave

Youth Support Worker 
Penny graduated at Latrobe University in 2010 with a Social Work and Human Services Double Degree and is now registered with the Australian Association of Social Workers. In 2011 Penny joined the Manningham YMCA Youth Services team, starting off as a volunteer for the Disability Programs. Years later she is now our Passionate coordinator for both the Youth Empowerment Program and the Youth Support Program, developing and delivering both school and community programs as well as providing one on one support to young people. (Yup, that’s hundreds of young people who she’s had the pleasure of empowering!). Aside from her serious addiction to peanut butter, Penny has a talent for inspiring young people to challenge themselves and loves nothing more than making even the smallest difference in their lives!

Emma Bell

Youth Project Worker
Emma has worked in the community services sector for both not-for-profit and local government settings since graduating from university in 2012, where she studied a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Disability & Health Promotion) at Deakin University. Since graduation, Emma has worked and volunteered in youth and disability services in various roles such as support work, youth leadership, education, community capacity building, advocacy and project coordination.
In 2017, Emma completed a Graduate Diploma of Business (Project Management) to upskill and complement her interest in community project work. Emma is currently working with YMCA Manningham Youth Services on the ‘Skills For The Future’ project (funded through VicHealth). Emma is excited about working in this role and seeing the benefits that it provides for young people transitioning into work and the community.

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