Our Staff | Youth Insearch

Our Staff

Our staff are the conduit that brings together the service partners, volunteers and young people, providing the Youth Insearch program that changes the lives of young Australians.

Together we have a collection of skills, experience and passion going beyond the call of duty in each of their roles.

Stephen Lewin | Chief Executive Officer

Stephen Lewin was appointed CEO on 27 November 2019, prior to which Steve was General Manager since joining Youth Insearch in December 2014. Committed to a career creating public value, Stephen worked 19 years with the NSW Government, including senior roles in accommodation and respite, community support teams and home care. Stephen is an experienced public-sector manager who throughout his career has delivered services to societies most vulnerable people. Stephen has demonstrated his ability to adapt and exceed in new environments by moving to the non-profit sector. Through extensive practice and executive education, Stephen has built a reputation of implementing lasting change, through organisational culture assessment and transformation. While Stephen can disarm people with his integrity and understanding of others, he sets very high standards for himself and his teams, with an unrelenting focus on continuous improvement. Stephen analyses problems and harnesses the power of people, systems and data to overcome challenges and deliver excellence. Stephen holds an Executive Master of Business Administration and Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management.

Kye Gillies | Head of Development

Kye Gillies joined Youth Insearch in November 2019 as Head of Development. Kye started her career in sports partnerships with the NRL, and went on to bring in income across a number of streams for charities. For 4 years Kye worked standalone at Good Beginnings; setting up the partnerships and major donors portfolio from scratch. After Good Beginnings was taken over by Save the Children, she went on to redesign the partnerships program at Make-A-Wish. Kye was involved in the establishment of a fundraising team for Girls Academy for 2 years, which supports marginalised young aboriginal women across Australia.

Wendy Barnert | Finance Manager

Wendy Barnert commenced with Youth Insearch as the Finance Manager in June 2018 and brings with her over 19 years’ experience working within the not-for-profit charity sector. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and a sub-major in Law. Wendy also completed her Professional Year study with the Institute of Chartered Accountants (now Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand). Prior to commencing with Youth Insearch, Wendy has held roles at a top tiered financial accounting firm within the Audit Division, and at SHINE for Kids, a not-for-profit organisation that supports children with a relative in the criminal justice system. Wendy’s strengths are financial reporting and analytical skills, ensuring the organisation meets its key goal of sustainable growth to allow it to continue and support youth.

Stephanie Grant | Systems and Compliance Manager

Steph joined Youth Insearch in 2018 and is responsible for system creation and maintenance, systems training and support, reporting and promotion, and governance, risk and compliance activities associated with systems and funding obligations. Steph has a corporate background having worked at Origin Energy for 8 years - 4 years as an analyst in the Sustainability division, and 4 years as Personal Assistant within the Corporate Affairs group. Previous to this Steph worked at Macquarie Bank in the Real Estate Capital division as a Legal Team Assistant. Steph holds a Diploma of Business Administration. With a passion and natural affinity for records management, process development, and systemisation, Steph is keen to use her skills to contribute to the not for profit sector.

April Campbell | Administration Officer

April Campbell is the Administration Officer at Youth Insearch, having joined in 2018. April is responsible for supporting the team throughout program and accounts administration. April holds a Certificate III in Business Administration, Diploma in Event Management, Travel and Tourism, and Certificate II in Hospitality. April has also been a Camp Counsellor and Water Ski Instructor at Lake of The Woods summer camp in the US, working with youth through mentoring and being a positive role model and encouraging healthy risks with a safety focus. April also contributed to the rebirth of Percy’s Place; her family-owned caravan park in Sydney NSW. In her spare time, April runs her own business Light Your Life, making candles and wax melts.

Sharon Schofield | Program Quality and Partnerships Manager

Sharon Schofield is the Youth Insearch Program Quality and Partnerships Manager. Sharon has worked and volunteered for Youth Insearch since 2005 where she was responsible for setting up Youth Insearch in Victoria. Sharon holds a Diploma in Community Services Work, and in 2007 completed Youth Insearch Leaders Training. Prior to coming to Youth Insearch Sharon worked in marketing, and also held the position of Personal Assistant to the Telstra Regional Manager for Victoria for 8 years. Sharon and her husband Paul run their own plastering company and have three sons and five grandchildren. Sharon currently volunteers as the Publicity Officer for the Make-A-Wish Australia Gippsland Branch, and at Youth Referral and Independent Persons Program (YRIPP) where she supports young people in Police interviews in cases where they don’t have alternative support. "I love that I am able to provide opportunities for young people to be the best that they can be, and that we believe in them until they believe in themselves again. You can't go back to the beginning to make a new start, but you can start from now and take a new path."

Jennie Linton | Program Operations Manager

Jennie Linton joined Youth Insearch in 2015. Jennie is responsible for overseeing the Youth Insearch program staff, and 2019 marked Jennie’s 100th Weekend Workshop. Jennie holds a Diploma of Counselling, Diploma of Community Services Management, Diploma and Certificate IV in Youth Work, Advanced Diploma of Business Management, Certificate IV in Community Services, and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Prior to her current role, Jennie was engaged with Youth Insearch through her role in the community services sector as a referrer of young people. Jennie first attended the Youth Insearch program in 2006 with her clients, and was so impressed she continued to support and attend weekend programs. In 2013, Jennie became a Youth Insearch Adult Leader.

Heather Cummings | Regional Coordinator, Wide Bay Burnett QLD

For the last ten years Heather has been working in organisations supporting and assisting young people and their families who are struggling with issues affecting their lives. Heather has completed a Certificate IV in Education and a Certificate IV in Counselling. Heather has worked extensively with children in the Queensland education system with both mainstream children and children with learning difficulties in primary schools. Heather is married and has three sons. She is passionate about her community and the wellbeing of young people.

Donna Ryan | Regional Coordinator, Darling Downs QLD

Donna started with Youth Insearch in October 2019, and is Regional Coordinator, Darling Downs. Prior to this role, Donna has been engaged with Youth Insearch in the capacity as a Leader and Support Adult, and has facilitated many weekends workshops since becoming involved in 2016. Donna has also worked as a case manager and support worker in the social services sector for a number of years.

Kelly Jope | Regional Coordinator, Greater Sydney NSW

Kelly Jope is the Regional Coordinator for Greater Sydney, and is responsible for program activities, building the Sydney base for Youth Insearch, and facilitating the Youth Insearch Changing Rooms program in partnership with NSWRL. Kelly joined Youth Insearch in a student placement position in 2016 while studying counselling, and stayed on as a volunteer before beginning her current role. Kelly has since attained her Diploma in Counselling, and in 2019 completed the Youth Insearch Leader training program. Kelly managed her own business prior to moving into the not-for-profit sector, and her career change was driven by her passion for working with young people to help them gain their best potential. Kelly has three children and enjoys yoga and chilling at the beach.

Rebecca Brewer | Community Coordinator, New England

Rebecca joined Youth Insearch in August 2019 after having been involved with Youth Insearch for many years. Bec's journey started in 2004 as a Participant, and Bec then went through to become an accredited Leader in the years that followed, and has been a regular presence at weekend workshops for over a decade.

Maree May | Community Coordinator, Eastern Victoria

Maree May is started working in the community services sector after raising four children and working different jobs to fit around her family, including running her own café, with the intention to find a job that with more meaning. Maree completed a Diploma of Community Services Work. Commencing at Youth Insearch in a first year work placement. Maree loved Youth Insearch so much she stayed on as a volunteer. On completing her Diploma Maree was offered a position at Youth Insearch. Maree has been an Auswim instructor and coached junior netball.

Julie Proud | Community Coordinator, East Gippsland VIC

Julie started with Youth Insearch in August 2019 on a casual basis, and in November the same year moved into a full-time role as Community Coordinator, East Gippsland in Victoria. Julie has attended many weekend workshops since she became involved with Youth Insearch as a Support Adult in 2016, and completed her Leaders Training in 2017. Julie has also been the First Aid Officer and has been actively involved in the Sale Support Group for some time. Julie has an advanced Diploma in Disability, and is currently studying Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) and Diploma of Nursing – she is on the home stretch with both of them. Julie has a background of 20 years in disability, and farm hand jobs including milking cows and also tells us that she is awesome. Favourite things are exploring new places, beach combing and spending time with the kids and fishing and garden. She is a Mum of 3, has 2 step kids, and Grandma to 1.