Creating a future without youth homelessness
Our Staff
Michelle Parker – Acting Chief Executive Officer

Michelle has over 15 years experience working in the youth homelessness sectors in NSW & the NT. With a social work and human rights background, Michelle has participated in Local, State & Territory, and National Policy networks to influence policy.

Michelle is currently the co-chair of the National Youth Coalition for Housing and loves facilitating discussions that bring about greater understanding. 

Michelle can be contacted on (02) 8306 7900 or 0425 228 758 or by emailing

Dr Michael Coffey – Chief Executive Officer


Michael is currently enjoying some well earned long service leave. Please direct all correspondence to acting CEO Michelle Parker 

Dr Michael Coffey is the Chief Executive Officer at Yfoundations. He began work with Yfoundations in 1988, and has since positioned himself as a leading national voice on the issue of youth homelessness. Michael holds a doctorate from the University of Technology, Sydney. 

Under Michael’s leadership, Yfoundations has developed into a great force promoting discussion and action on the issue of youth homelessness within New South Wales and Australia. Michael works closely with elected officials, policy experts, and Yfoundations’ members to foster education, cooperation, and action within the field.

Michael is a member of the NSW Premiers Council on Homelessness, the current Chair of the National Coalition for Youth Housing and sits on the board of the New South Wales Council of Social Services (NCOSS).

Michael can be contacted on (02) 8306 7900 or by emailing

Chris Stone - Senior Policy Officer

IMG_0191Chris Stone joined Yfoundations as Senior Policy Officer in September 2014. He has previously held a number of policy research and analysis roles, including as Researcher and Lecturer in university research centres and as a Research Director in an independent think tank.Chris has publications on a number of youth homelessness related areas, including the efficiency of different sectors in providing public and community services, innovation in service provision, the effects that new approaches to services can have on community sector provides, and policy reforms in vocational education and employment services.Chris also has a particular research interest in the use of social science concepts and findings to improve the effectiveness of regulations and governance. He has qualifications in Law, Psychology and Philosophy.

Chris can be contacted in the office on (02) 8306 7909, on the mobile 0417219549 or by emailing  

Colin Stokes - Health Project Coordinator

IMG_0207Colin Stokes has been working with young people since 1985. Beginning his career at the Adolescent Medical Unit at Camperdown Children’s Hospital as the artist in residence, his arts work soon turned to general youth work as Colin developed a passion for working and spending time with disadvantaged young people.

Colin helped to develop the program Cellblock and has also worked at High Street Youth Health Service and many other local councils and small organisations. He comes to Yfoundations after six years as the Coordinator of Glebe Youth Service and in 2010 was named City of Sydney’s Youth Worker of the Year. Colin has also worked on developing youth programs in NSW for Save the Children.

Colin can be contacted on (02) 8306 7908 or by emailing

Marella Gouvernet - Financial Administrator

IMG_0223Marella joined Yfoundations in May 2012 at the Financial Administrator. She has considerable experience as a bookkeeper having work in the non-profit sector for 25 years. Before coming over to the bright side, Marella worked for private accountancy firms doing bookkeeping and taxation for clients both in NSW and QLD. In the past five years she has worked in the community housing sector in Sydney.

Marella has understanding of government funding and comes to Yfoundations with strengths to make positive moves forward to creating a future without youth homelessness.

Marella can be contacted on (02) 8306 7902 or by emailing

Jessica Fielding - Policy Officer

IMG_0243Jess is the Policy Officer at Yfoundations. She joined the team in November 2012. Prior to joining the team, Jess had spent 5 years supporting a number of international development agencies in Australia, Ghana and Tanzania, largely working with young people and migrant communities. She is currently completing a postgraduate degree in Psychology and working towards becoming a child and adolescent development specialist. Jess’ passion relates to improving the rights and development of all children and young people around the world.

Jess holds a Masters of International and Community Development from Deakin University.

Jess can be contacted on (02) 02 8306 7904 or

Kiera Tallon - Senior Project Officer

IMG_0221Kiera Tallon joined Yfoundations in October 2014 in a newly created position. Her position has a focus on supporting the delivery of new service models within SHS services and monitoring the impacts of the current GHSH reforms on sector organisations. 

Prior to joining Yfoundations, Kiera has five years experience working in the social sector with three years experience working in a specialist homelessness service. Her background also involves working within the area of disability and mental health. She holds a BA Higher Degree in Social Science.  Kiera’s interests are program and service development as well as research and evaluation with publications for Age Action, involving European legislative practices within the ageing and disadvantaged populations.

Kiera can be contacted at (02) 83067903 or by emailing

Ben Corio - Generation YES Project Coordinator & Admin Support

IMG_0209Ben is the Generation YES Project Coordinator and Project Support Worker at Yfoundations. He holds a Certifivate IV in youth work and a Bachelor of graphic design from Wesley Institute. Simultaneous and prior to joining Yfoundations Ben has been a youth worker with Glebe Youth Service, the Fact Tree Youth Service and Save The Children Australia. Ben has also worked as a freelance graphic designer. 

Ben can be contacted on (02) 8306 7900 for Generation YES and for Yfoundations or by emailing 

More information about the Generation YES project

Rochelle Avasalu - Health Promotion and Training Project Officer

Rochelle is the Health Promotion and Training Project Officer at Yfoundations. Rochelle joined the team in October 2014. Prior to her commencement, Rochelle spent the past 8 years as a youth worker in the Illawarra. After completing a BA in Sociology/History, Rochelle transitioned into Community Development with CareWays Community Inc. Her position with Yfoundations involves working with Youth Services and Local Health Districts to develop and deliver sexual health training for Youth Workers, as well as to develop and facilitate ‘peer-to-peer’ education for vulnerable and marginalised young people across NSW.

Rochelle has completed a Masters of HIV, STI and Sexual Health (Counselling) through the University of Sydney and is passionate about young people making positive, informed and safe decisions in regards to sexual health.

Rochelle can be contacted on 02 8306 7908 or by emailing