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 CEO who is also the Executive to the Board.
  • Formulating the strategic plan of The Youth Junction Inc. in conjunction with the CEO.
  • Approving operating and capital budgets formulate by the CEO.
  • 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 CEO, Dr. Karen Hart. All Committee Members are independent in their performance of a non-executive management function and act in an honorary capacity.

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 & Secretary

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.

Key Business Areas

Having over 15 years’ experience, Leanne’s specialisation is in serving the needs of the broader client base at Mutual Trust including the advisory needs of clients across different industries, including businesses and successful individuals. Her expertise covers a breadth of taxation and business advisory matters.

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 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.

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)

Glenn has a long history of community and sporting club service.


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, dries 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.

Youth Junction Inc. Team


Dr. Karen Hart CEO of The Youth Junction Inc.

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.


Sue Jenkins, Operations Coordinator

I was appointed at The Youth Junction in May 2018. For the past 25 years I worked in a Corporate Back Ground at Chartered Accounting Firms. Although I’ve learnt a lot about finance and tax and gained a thorough knowledge of finances, in the last 8years of my career I felt that there was no real personal reward from working in the Corporate Sector. Here at the Youth Junction although I don’t directly deal with the troubled young people I still feel that reward of indirectly helping people in need by monitoring the day to day operations of this organisationSeeing the kids in their programs, hearing stories of positive outcomes makes for a sense of feeling complete. It’s an honour to work in this kind of industry and to end each working day knowing that whatever you contribute is for the hope of a better life for people in need.


John Clark, Administration

I have known of The Youth Junction Inc. and The Visy Cares Hub for 10 years, in the beginning I was a client at a dark time in my life where the services of The Visy Cares Hub they assisted me in getting my life back on track finding a home, getting a job and keeping away from drugs and alcohol with this tremendous and life-changing help I was…am very grateful so much so that I volunteered for seven years. Assisting with Programs, committees, Groups and events then in 2015 I did a program called Leadership Victoria for Karen Hart after the program was complete we sat down for lunch Karen said to me “ John I think it’s time you started working here” I was so touched as I had been out of work for nearly a year. This is what we do here at The Youth Junction Inc. we provide opportunities to better young people’s lives, I have now been employed for two years here as the Front desk Administrator and have had the pleasure to assist in organising other training programs for our young people.


Kerry Cowling, Team Leader – Y.U.P

In 2012 I commenced placement at The Youth Junction Inc. before obtaining my Bachelor of Youth Work and going on to work within the justice sector. In 2015 I was lucky enough to secure a role at The Youth Junction Inc. as a Youth Access and Justice Case Manager before later being promoted to Team Leader of the Youth, Community, and Law Program. In my opinion, the most rewarding part of my job is being able to witness the young people I work with prosper, grow and reintegrate within the community through the assistance of youth-specific interventions. To me, there’s no better feeling than ending a day knowing that you have assisted someone in making a positive and constructive change. I supervise a fabulous team of individuals who collaboratively work together to improve the lives of young people.


Renee Galpin, Team Leader – Y.C.L.P

The young people we work with have often fallen through the gaps of the service system, never really experiencing the quality of assistance they so deserve. Every day I am honoured to be making a difference in the life of a young person. There is nothing more fulfilling than engaging young people who have experienced significant adversity during their lives and providing them with support and motivation so they themselves can shape positive futures. At The Youth Junction Inc. the quality of the relationships we are able to build with young people allows them to comfortably tell their story without fear of being judged, and receive support whilst they work towards achieving their goals and dreams. I am ever grateful to work alongside other team members who each bring their own individuality and expertise to our organisation, the team is my second family and I love every single day that I come to work. Young people are our brightest future, and when informed, inspired and empowered can change the world.

Kristine Bugeja, Program Coordinator

I started at The Youth Junction Inc. in November 2015 as Executive Assistant to Dr. Karen Hart, CEO of The Youth Junction Inc. in a twelve-month maternity leave contract.  I left in December 2016 to pursue another role before being contacted by Dr. Karen Hart for a new position as Program Coordinator in which I accepted and commenced in November 2017.

Prior to The Youth Junction Inc. I completed my Bachelor of Business (Marketing / Event Management) and spent many years in event management within the arts/culture sector, before moving into the not for profit sector over 7 years ago building skills in program delivery, new policy implementation, relationship management and coordination of course / pre-accredited workshops.

Working at The Youth Junction Inc. provides me with a constant challenge, engaging in meaningful work and being part of a team that strives towards outcomes for young vulnerable disadvantaged young people is something I am passionate and find extremely fulfilling. 

Eliza Kandell, Youth Access, and Justice Case Worker

I am currently completing my final semester of the Bachelor of Youth Work at Victoria University. I initially engaged with this service as an Intern in January 2017, in March of 2017 I was offered a full-time employment position and I have not looked back since. It is truly a joy and an honour to work alongside some of the most incredible and caring people, with the added bonus of having the opportunity to do what I love every day. Each day the VISY Cares Hub offers me the chance make a difference in the lives of young people who have faced great adversity. To me, work is not a chore but my absolute pleasure and I look forward to what each day holds for me.


Emily Moustafa, Youth Access and Justice Case Worker

Emily is the Youth Access and Justice Case Manager at The Youth Junction Inc. in Broadmeadows. I started my journey with The Youth Junction Inc. as an intern where I had the pleasure to be a part of The Youth Junctions move to our Broadmeadows site. The Youth Junction Inc. offered me a lifetime of experiences which showed me that this is a job designed for me.  My goals are to ensure that all my clients have created a positive atmosphere where they can successfully reach their dreams. I believe that all young people have the potential to make a positive change and have the ability to reach their goals. I value this highly as it lays out the foundation for my professional practice.


Jessica Tulloch

Jessica Tulloch is Youth Access and Justice case Manager. Jessica has been working in this role for eight months since  graduating in a Bachelor of Youth Work at Victoria University in late 2017.  I always had a passion to help people and knew exactly where I wanted to work towards getting myself into.

Jess volunteered for a month in the Youth Junction Inc. before being offered a full time position.  I am very passionate about my role, and it is exactly who I am as a person and where I wanted to be. I love helping people in my personal life, and being a part of a professional setting in helping young is very rewarding and I could not see myself doing anything else.

Briar Mikus

For the past two years, I was employed as a Case Officer for Department of Justice & Regulation before being offered a position as a Youth Justice & Access Case Manager at The Youth Junction Inc. I was eager for a change in the work environment and cohort of clients as I have a great interest in working with young people in the community and moving to The Youth Junction has been the best decision of my life!

The work culture and staff morale is amazing and it is an absolute pleasure coming into work every day and working alongside a team of happy, supportive colleagues and managers. Working with the youth sector is truly rewarding as it is about helping disadvantaged young people with their needs to reach their full potential and assisting them in making positive progress in their life.

I feel so grateful for the opportunity to work with this fantastic organisation.

Julie Babiano, Youth Access & Justice Case Manager

l worked with the vibrant and supportive team at Brimbank Youth Services for four years managing a youth-specific facility and supporting young people 12 to 25 years who live, work, study and recreate in Brimbank. During this time l completed a Postgraduate degree in Counselling Children and Adolescence at Victoria University.

In May 2018, l received a wonderful job opportunity to work with Youth Junction Inc. successfully gaining the position of Youth Access & Justice Case Manager.  The role has been a very rewarding experience in supporting young people through case management in applying a range of interventions and strategies to support the young person and reduce their risks of re-offending.

The highlight of the role is making a difference every day, whether it’s supporting a young person, advocating for young person’s rights and help them understand their choices to create a new path to live a brighter future!