About Us


The Visy Cares Hub is an integrated youth service centre for young people aged 12-25yrs that is managed by The Youth Junction Inc., a ‘not-for-profit’ entity with deductible gift recipient (DGR) status.

The Youth Junction Inc. developed the concept of a co-located youth agency to provide a  ‘hub’ of services in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne.

Putting all of their expertise together, funding was sourced from three tiers of Government and The Pratt Foundation to out-fit the last remaining relic of the HV McKay Harvester factory site known as ‘The Bulk Store’.

The Youth Junction Inc. launched the Visy Cares Hub in 2006 in response to a growing need to consolidate youth services in the ever changing and complex youth demographic that makes up the Western Region of Melbourne, Victoria.

Visy Cares Hub 2014

Committee of Management

The Youth Junction Inc. is an incorporated association, registered in the State of Victoria. Ultimate responsibility for the governance of the organisation rests with the Committee of Management. This corporate governance statement outlines how the Committee meets that responsibility. The Committee believes the principles of good governance underpin the values and behaviour of The Youth Junction Inc.

The Committee ensures that their mission is achieved in the most effective and efficient way.

The Committee fulfils its primary role by:

  • Selecting, appointing, guiding and monitoring the performance of the General Manager (GM) who is also the Executive to the Board.
  • Formulating the strategic plan of The Youth Junction Inc. in conjunction with the GM.
  • Approving operating and capital budgets formulate by the GM.
  • Monitoring the progress of management in achieving the strategic plan.
  • Monitoring the adherence by management to operating and capital budgets.
  • Ensuring the integrity of internal control, risk management and management of information systems.
  • Ensuring The Youth Junction Inc. complies with relevant legislation and regulations.
  • Acting as an advocate for The Youth Junction Inc. whenever and wherever necessary.
  • These responsibilities are set out in their Corporate Governance Framework.

The Committee has formally delegated responsibility for the day-to-day operations and administration of The Youth Junction Inc. to the General Manager, Mrs Karen Hart.

All Committee Members are independent in their performance of a non-executive management function and act in an honorary capacity.

Committee Members

Marilyn Duncan  President

Marilyn held the position of Chief Executive Officer at the City of Brimbank from late 1997 until May 2007. Prior to her appointment as CEO she was member of the Council’s Executive Team in the role of Director for Planning and Statutory Services for 2 years.

She is an experienced senior administrator who has held senior executive positions with the Victorian Government and private sector.

Marilyn has also chaired a number of high level committees and forums including the Sydenham Transit Cities Steering Committee, and she was treasurer for the Melbourne North West Area Consultative Committee.

Marilyn now provides consultancy services to the public and private sector utilising her broad management skills and experience to ensure her clients reach their objectives.

Stuart Bensley  Vice-President

Stuart Bensley, Member

Stuart has been a Company Director and an energy and resources consultant since 2002, prior to that he was in Senior Management and Executive positions with the Halliburton Group of Companies, British Gas and BHP. He has lived and worked internationally since graduating with a BSc(Hons) in Civil Engineering from Surrey University in the UK.

Leanne Spiteri  Treasurer & Secretary

Leanne Spiteri, Treasurer & Secretary

Leanne commenced her accounting career at Arthur Andersen in the Audit and Business Advisory Services division. In this early phase of her career, she gained extensive experience with corporate accounting procedures including accounting systems control issues, for national and multinational corporate groups. Following this, she pursued a transfer to Private Client Services within the Tax division.

Leanne joined Dominion Private Clients in 2002 as a founding member of staff. She has actively participated in the Organisation’s growth with various responsibilities and initiatives over that time as the business experienced significant growth.

With over 10 years experience, Leanne’s specialisation is in managing the taxation compliance and advice needs of Private Clients. The role commands a “hands on” involvement and commitment to value.

His experience includes significant offshore, marine and sub-sea operations as well as the development and implementation of major energy infrastructure projects around the world. He is a graduate of the AMP Program at Macquarie University in Sydney, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers and a Chartered Professional Engineer, CPEng in Australia.

Stuart is Chairman of Oceanlinx and of Renewed Carbon Pty Ltd and an Associate of Jacanda Capital. He is one of the founding members of Youth Junction Inc. and the Visy Cares Hub.

Andrew Grech  Member

Andrew Grech, Secretary

Andrew joined Slater & Gordon in 1994 and has worked as a litigator in most areas of the Company’s litigation practice. Andrew also spent three years in the then fledgling Sydney office between 1997 and 2000. Since he became Managing Director in 2000, the Group has enjoyed substantial growth, expanding from seven offices in 2002 to a network of over 50 offices across Australia in 2011. Andrew has also successfully managed the acquisition and integration of 25 firms since 2006.

Andrew’s more than 20 years’ experience as a legal practitioner has equipped him with very strong skills in the assessment and management of litigation risks. During his tenure as Managing Director, Andrew has developed skills in all facets of legal practice management.

Andrew served as the founding chair of the Youth Junction Inc., a not for profit youth charity operating in Sunshine, Victoria and remains a member of its voluntary board.

Sandra Nicholson  Member

Sandra Nicholson, Member

Sandra retired from Victoria Police on 1st July 2010 after 35.5 years. Prior to her retirement, Sandra was Assistant Commissioner responsible for the delivery of all policing services in the Western Region of State, which included the areas from Footscray to the South Australian border. These services were delivered through 1800 member of the Victoria Police to 1.5 million people in both Metropolitan and Rural Communities.

Sandra was also a member of the Victorian Police Corporate Committee, Chair of the People Management & Development Standing Committee and Member of the Police Operations Committee. She led a major review into the Ethical Standards Department addressing issues such as structure and work flow.

Sandra commenced her career with Victoria Police in 1975 and has worked in most aspects of policing, including general duties, criminal investigations, Freedom of Information and Police Training and has worked in both Metro and Rural areas.
Prior to the appointment of Christine Nixon as Chief Commissioner, Sandra was the most senior sworn female officer in the Victoria Police and resumed this position on Christine’s resignation. Sandra became a Board Member of The Youth Junction Inc. in 2010.

Grant Dreher  Member

Grant Dehrer, Member

Grant is the Executive Director of the Faculty of Workforce Development at Victoria University. Grant has a strong background in the Victorian TAFE System, having worked in it for over 20 years as a teacher, manager and senior manager.

With 20 years experience in the Victorian TAFE Sector, Grant brings in a wealth of knowledge and experience in his role. Prior to his appointment to VU, Grant was the General Manager of Education and Training at Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE, providing strategic leadership for all education and training programs, international, marketing, business development, and teaching and learning.

Grant has also held several senior leadership positions at Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE, these included; Manager – Hospitality & Educational Pathways, Centre Manager – Services Industries, and was also the staff representative on the Goulburn Ovens TAFE Board of Director for four years.

He is a Graduate of the Goulburn Murray ‘Fairley’ Leadership Program and is committed through a comprehensive work history and knowledge of Vocational Education and Training as a teacher, coordinator, manager and TAFE Institute councilor which has shaped his commitment to developing the skills and knowledge for industry, addressing both today’s and future needs and has led him to the position he holds today.
Grant became a Member on the board of The Youth Junction Inc. in 2010.

Andrew Williams  Member

Andrew Williams, Member

Andrew is the Managing Director and Principal Consultant of Agility Consulting Group as well as a Lominger Associate based in Melbourne. He is also part of the Adjunct Faculty at the Australia Graduate School of Business where he facilitates executive programs.

He advises clients across a wide range of Organisational Development issues with particular expertise in, Leadership, Executive & Senior Management Team and Individual Development, Talent Management and Executive Coaching. Andrew has been in Organisational Development and Human Resources for the past 20 years working both in global and domestic organisations.

He has an MBA and a strong record in translating business strategy into practical people and organisational focused programs. He has extensive experience working with Executive and Senior teams particularly in their areas of leadership development, individual & team coaching and top team development. Prior to setting up his own business in 2003 he was the Head of Organisational Development at Medibank Private as well as working for Ernst & Young here in Australia and in London. He specialised in organisational design and change management and worked with some large global brands.

Andrew is the new member of The Youth Junction Inc. and has held member position since 2011.

Karen Hart  General Manager of The Youth Junction Inc.

Karen Hart, General Manager

Karen was appointed in 2005 to help project develop and then manage the Visy Cares Hub, a co-located youth service in Sunshine. Her primary responsibilities include fundraising, finance, human resource, program design, service delivery and strategic planning and development of the Centre, together with executive accountability to the Committee of Management. 

Prior to taking up this position she centre managed a similar co-located youth service in Manchester UK. She is a qualified Child Protection Social Worker and has held a number of management roles, including Senior Manager of the Women’s Program for the Sacred Heart Mission, Coordinator of the Remand Unit at Melbourne Youth Justice Centre and senior practitioner within the youth justice system in the UK.

Karen holds a BA Hons. in Applied Social Work, an MSc in Social Science Research Methods and she is currently enrolled at VU, Faculty of Business and Law to carry out a PhD investigating the impact of interventions to reduce recidivism, incarceration and costs to the community for young people aged 18-25yrs.

Kerry Cowling – Youth Access & Justice Worker

Stephanie Coupar  Youth Access & Justice Worker