Our Staff | Youth Insearch

Our Staff

The staff are the conduit that brings together the service partners, volunteers and young people, providing our suite of programs that change the lives of many young Australians. They have a collective of skills, experience and passion going beyond the call of duty in each of their roles.

Heath Ducker | Chief Executive Officer

Heath Ducker is Chief Executive Officer of Youth Insearch. Heath joined Youth Insearch as CEO in 2012, bringing both his experience as a teenage participant in the program and his professional expertise. Heath is a professional public speaker having addressed audiences across Australia. In 2010, Heath appeared alongside now Prime Minister Scott Morrison on ABC’s Q&A and is a strong advocate for social justice within the political arena. In 2008, Heath was featured on Australian Story, and was the recipient of ADC’s Australian Leadership Award, presented by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Heath graduated from university in 2005, earning his Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) and Bachelor of Laws, and in 2006 gained his Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice. Heath is currently studying his MBA at Sydney University under scholarship, and is expected to graduate in 2019. Heath began his career as a lawyer in 2006, with leading national law firm Gadens. In 2007, Gadens granted Heath 3 months absence to work as a legal reporter at the South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHDRC) in India. From 2009-2011, Heath worked at the Department of Premier and Cabinet (NSW) as Advisor to the Attorney General. Heath has held directorships with Aunties & Uncles (2008-2011) and Youth Insearch (1997-2005). During university, Heath led treks across the Kokoda Track for Adventure Kokoda. Heath is a published author of his book "A Room at the Top", which tells the story of his life growing up, and how as a teenager, the young people at Youth Insearch empowered him to throw off the shackles of an almost Dickensian childhood.

Stephen Lewin | General Manager

Stephen Lewin joined Youth Insearch in December 2014, and is General Manager at Youth Insearch. 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.

Jennie Linton | Program Manager

Jennie Linton joined Youth Insearch in 2015. Jennie is responsible for overseeing the Youth Insearch program, works with and supports all volunteers. 2019 marks 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 | Community Coordinator 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.

Sharon Schofield | State Coordinator VIC

Sharon Schofield is the Youth Insearch State Coordinator, Victoria. 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."

Maree May | Community Coordinator VIC

Maree May is new to working in the community services sector, after raising four children and working different jobs to fit around her family including running her own café, she decided 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.

Nikki Shields | Regional Coordinator NSW

Nikki Shields joined Youth Insearch in May 2018. Nikki has always enjoyed mentoring young people and has been working in the community services industry since 2009. Nikki is responsible for managing Youth Insearch programs and projects in the NSW New England region, while also delivering direct program services to both Narrabri and Moree regions. Prior to commencing employment with Youth Insearch, Nikki worked at Tamworth-based not-for-profit Joblink Plus. Nikki worked in various roles during her employment, but most enjoyed the work associated with managing youth programs. Joblink Plus and their program has and continues to work very closely with Youth Insearch, and it was through that connection that Nikki was able to see firsthand the changes that young people were making through participation in the Youth Insearch program. Nikki is happily married and a proud mum of two amazing daughters.

Kelly Jope | Community Coordinator NSW

Kelly Jope is the Community 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.

Jane Lampitsi | Development Officer

Jane commenced with Youth Insearch in January 2018 as their Development Officer – passionate about sourcing funding in support of Youth Insearch - empowering young people to take control of their lives, having worked with various other youth-based charities throughout her career. Jane has over 25 years’ experience in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, and her extensive experience includes human resources, project managing events and fundraising, establishing corporate relationships, and creating online digital content. Jane also has more than 9 years' experience as a grant writer. Whilst working in both the commercial and charitable sectors, Jane concurrently applies her skills to assisting various charities. Jane is a founding member of the Thalassaemia Society of NSW – a registered Charity formed by the families of children suffering from blood related disorders, and has held the positions of Chairman, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, as well as having been a member of the Executive. Jane led various committees including Fundraising, Functions, Publicity and Newsletter in a volunteer capacity over a 22-year period. Jane was a member of the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) from 2008 to 2010, and a committee member of Juvenile Arthritis Fundraiser (JAF) from 2008 to 2012.

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.

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.