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 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.
Jack recently completed studies in Youth Work at Victoria University. Jack is a compassionate young man who is driven to make a positive and lasting impact in the lives of young people. With a keen interest in domestic and international politics, he cares deeply about positive social change, especially the implementation of policy and services that seek to empower young people. Jack lives up to his own name being a 'jack of all trades' in the youth office, working across the spectrum of our programs, that includes our disability, leadership and school portfolio's.
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!
Youth Programs Worker
Tristan has worked in the health and wellness industry for over a decade and is passionate about helping people to reach their fullest potential. Tristan has proudly assisted the Manningham community to achieve their health and wellness goals through work at the YMCA Aquarena for the past 7 years. During his time there he has worked as a health and fitness consultant, massage therapist, hydro therapist, Y-exercise fitness facilitator and volunteer youth mentor. Tristan is due to finish his studies in 2017 and will graduate as an osteopath. Tristan's commitment and enjoyment in working with young people and the community has seen him taking on more program roles within the youth services team. When he's not working, studying or playing the ukulele he enjoys hanging out with his friends, family and backyard chooks, playing mixed netball, seeing bands, and cheering on the mighty Bombers.