12 dedicated Youth Services providing support to young people at the Visy Cares Hub

Seeing approximately 18,000 contacts every year

The Youth Junction Inc. offers 10 tailored and supportive programs addressing trauma, providing guidance and weekly upskilling workshops

The Youth Junction Inc. manage the Visy Cares Hub in Sunshine, Victoria, which offers a diverse and specialised range of youth services to young people aged 12-25yrs.

Who we are

 

COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT

Marilyn Duncan – President

Marilyn Duncan has exceptional communication, people management, and negotiation skills. These skills are associated with a unique ability to almost instantaneously identify the essence of any situation, issue or problem and work towards sustainable solutions.

Marilyn held the position of CEO at Brimbank City Council for 10 years. Before joining council Marilyn held a number of senior executive positions with both the Victorian State Government and Statutory Authorities. Since 2007 Marilyn has worked as an independent consultant assisting a variety of clients in successfully achieving their objectives.

 As President of The Youth Junction Inc Marilyn is committed to supporting the development and delivery of programs that assist vulnerable members of the community and contribute to achieving better outcomes for those who may not have experienced the opportunities or level of support she has enjoyed throughout her career.  

Leanne Spiteri – Treasurer

Leanne commenced her career at a Big 4 accounting firm.  Through the early phase of her career, she has benefited from extensive experience in dealing with corporate accounting and control issues through her role within the assurance services division, 

Over time, Leanne has leveraged her accounting and commercial knowledge and developed a specialisation in income tax, fringe benefits and capital gains tax related compliance and advisory services.  Her deep taxation knowledge has been honed through Masters study in Taxation Law and a commitment to ongoing professional development. 

Glenn Weir – Member

Glenn joined Victoria Police in 1981 as a Police Cadet, after graduating from the Academy he served in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, mainly in uniform general duties. In 1990 Glenn was promoted to the rank of Sergeant performing general duties and specialist supervision roles before promotion to Senior Sergeant in 2000.
Glenn performed a training role and station command of Frankston Police Station before performing several secondments at Inspector rank, In 2006 Glenn had a lead role in the largest police operation ever conducted in Victoria, the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, as Deputy Commander for policing operations in the Public Domain. After performing an assignment as a member of a corporate project team Glenn was promoted to Inspector in 2006.
In 2010 Glenn was appointed as the Local Area Commander in the Bass Coast Police Service Area in South-East Victoria. Whilst at Bass Coast he had command of several international events such as the Australian Moto GP and World Super Bike events.
In 2012 he was promoted to Superintendent and worked as the Divisional Commander for the Brimbank Division of Victoria Police’s North West Metro Region in Melbourne’s western suburbs until November 2015 when he transferred to take command of the Frankston-Mornington Peninsula Division.
Following several periods of higher duties at Assistant Commissioner level in Counter-Terrorism Command, State Emergencies and Security Command and Southern Metro Region, Glenn was promoted to Commander- People Development Command in March, 2017.
Glenn holds a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Management and a Graduate Diploma of Leadership and Management (Policing)

Dianne Semmens – Member

Dianne Semmens is Deputy Vice President of Vocational Education at Victoria University and successfully undertaken senior leadership and executive roles for over 15 years in a number of large TAFEs. She has diverse governance experience on various NFP Boards and Committees of Management.

Dianne’s vocational background as a teacher and then a community services crisis worker, drives her commitment to improving people’s quality of life through training and education.   

As someone who lives and works in the West, her particular interest in The Youth Junction is to ensure it is sustainable, well-positioned and well connected to offer genuine opportunities to marginalised young people to positively transform their lives.  

Andres Puig – Member

Andres brings with him over a decade of experience across Federal, State and Local government.

Prior to joining The Civic Group, Andres was the Victorian General Manager of a major communications and public relations consultancy. With experience working as an adviser to Federal and State politicians and as Victorian Assistant State Secretary of the Australian Labor Party, Andres has a thorough understanding of campaign techniques and policy making processes.

 As a former Councillor and Mayor, Andres has a keen insight into how best to manage Local Government issues, as well as their interplay with other levels of government and the community. This experience has assisted a range of private sector clients, including in the development and infrastructure sectors.

Andres specialises in providing campaign and issues management advice. He has successfully guided a broad range of clients through sensitive and often time critical-issues, including crisis management.

Andres is a graduate of the University of Melbourne with Bachelor degrees in Law and Arts.

STAFF at The Youth Junction Inc.

Dr. Karen Hart – CEO of The Youth Junction Inc.

Dr Karen Hart is the CEO of The Youth Junction Inc, appointed in 2005 as executive to the Committee of Management, to develop, manage and sustain the activities and projects of the organisation.

Karen’s professional experience spans over 25 years, where she has held a number of senior management positions in both the UK and Australia, both in government and for the last 15 years, in not-for-profit leadership and management.

Karen qualifications include BA Hons. in Social Work, MSc in Social Science Research Methods and PhD from the College of Law and Justice at Victoria University.

She holds a number of awards including The Australian – American Fulbright Scholarship Award in Not-for Profit Leadership (2014) (published Origin Foundation, Knowledge Hub), Telstra Business Women’s Award Finalist (2016), Alan J. Holding Memorial Community Service Award (2018), The Age – Melbourne’s Top 100 Most Influential People (2010).

Kerry Cowling – Program Coordinator

Sue Jenkins – Operations Coordinator

Sue holds an Associate Diploma of Business Accounting and is responsible for finance, building repairs and general maintenance, stakeholder relationships, sourcing and purchasing materials for programs for young people, budgeting of smaller programs, assisting the CEO and managing OH&S, and IT development.  Goals and aspirations are to maintain and build streamlined approaches to improve the quality of operations within The Youth Junction which in turn provides young people with a place they can feel like they are at home.  To ensure that all Operations and Facilities are running smoothly for the comfort and organisation of the staff and the young people.  

Kristine Bugeja – Communications & Marketing Coordinator

Kristine holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing and Event Management) and is responsible for the implementation of communications and marketing strategy as well as timely delivery of youth advocacy campaigns, marketing collateral and projects.  Development and coordination of all internal and external communications aligned with The Youth Junctions brand and organisational values.  Stakeholder management, social impact and content engagement and awareness development.  Goals and aspirations are to continually identify and create opportunities to develop The Youth Junction Inc. brand and profile within our community and ensure our message is current and relevant to all young people requiring our support and engagement.

Renee Galpin – 

Eliza Kandell – 

Briar Mikus – Youth Access & Justice Case Manager 

Briar holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Sociology and is responsible for working with a variety of marginalised young people in the community who have been referred by the Magistrates’ court to the Youth Community and Law Program at The Youth Junction Inc. who have been given a second opportunity to make positive changes in their life. I meet and build rapport with young people to offer them support in any areas of need and to help them to reach their full potential whether it is providing platforms for obtaining employment, engaging them in a meaningful program or simply just being there to listen.

Julie Babiano – Youth Access & Justice Case Manager 

Julie holds a Postgraduate degree in Counselling Children and Adolescence and is responsible for supporting young people referred from the Sunshine and Werribee courts to the Youth Community and Law Program at The Youth Junction Inc. The core elements of the role include case management, youth support, advocacy and a range of the interventions to provide a holistic approach to support young people to address their past behaviour, increase their pro-social behaviour, protective factors and assist them towards a commitment towards a crime free lifestyle and a stable adulthood in the future.

Jessica Tulloch – Youth Access and Justice Case Manager 

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Youth Work and started at The Youth Junction Inc. in 2017. Jessica’s responsibility integrating crime prevention services with education and training programs to provide the necessary support services in order for young people who are engaged in the criminal justice system, or who have been identified as being at ‘high risk’ of engaging in criminal behaviour, to participate and succeed in education and training in pursuit of employment. Goals and aspirations include supporting all young people with their needs and guide them in finding their strengths in order for them to work towards reaching their goals for a positive future. 

Ben Elliss – Project Officer

Ben holds a Social Work degree and focuses on integrating crime prevention services with education and training programs to provide the necessary support services in order for young people who are engaged in the criminal justice system, or who have been identified as being at ‘high risk’ of engaging in criminal behaviour, to participate and succeed in education and training in pursuit of employment.  Goals and aspirations consist of creating numerous networks in training and employment which would enable all clients to be offered opportunities to engage in training or employment. 

Emily Moustafa – Youth Access and Justice Case Manager

Emily holds a Bachelor of youth work is located in the Broadmeadows office in the Youth Community and Law program.  Emily started with The Youth Junction Inc in late 2017 and is responsible to attend court on a weekly basis to support young people and liaise with the magistrates about young people’s progress.  Attending outreach appointments with young people, including rehab visitations and offence specific case management appointments. Relationship management with other youth support services within the community and beyond.  Goals include all young people enter a positive atmosphere where they can successfully reach and accomplish their dreams. It’s important to empower young people, as they all have the potential to divert away from crime to create a new identity and beliefs which not only would benefit them; but the wider community. 

John Clark – Front Desk Administrator

John is currently studying a Certificate IV in Youth Work and started with The Youth Junction Inc. as trainee in 2015.  Johns responsibities include but are not limited to the delivery of a highly efficient administration support service to the team including excellent customer service to all visitors and users of the Visy Cares Hub in which John prides himself.  Managing the front of house operations, taking all phone calls, maintaining internal and external bookings, arranging and conducting centre tours, data processing including sign-ins of all visitors to the Hub and general maintenance and upkeep of the building.