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Staff

Pam Barker

Chief Executive Officer

Pam joins the Yfoundations team with extensive experience across the not for profit sector. Pam’s experience at ACON New South Wales’s largest LGBTIQ Health Service as the  National Program Manager of the Health & Wellbeing Program and as a Senior Manager at the Black Dog Institute.

Before this Pam managed Open Doors Youth Service, QLD’s largest LGBTIQ youth service supporting young people between the aged 12–24 years. Open Doors Youth Service is a Reconnect funded organisation providing homelessness prevention and psychosocial support to young people. Pam advocated for change in policy reform at both state and federal government levels partnering with stakeholders to affect change across QLD for LGBTIQ Youth.

Pam is studying her degree in Psychology and will register as a Clinical Health Psychologist specialising in youth and sits on the board of WayAhead Mental Health Association.

Pam brings a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and passion to the homelessness sector  advocating for our members and to improve the lives of young people across NSW.

Natalia Gale

Projects and Policy Officer

Natalia is a Projects and Policy Officer at Yfoundations and works with the youth homelessness sector to bring about positive change to the lives of vulnerable young people.

Natalia holds a psychology degree, a law degree and a Master of International Legal Practice. She spent a year working in policy and advocacy for a women’s rights organisation in London, before joining the Yfoundations team after a year travelling around Australia.

Through her work Natalia is committed to human rights, social justice and bringing about long term change to address disadvantage.

When she’s not at work, Natalia enjoys rowing, chasing waterfalls and brunch in the sun!

Jessie Halligan

Policy and Projects Officer

Jessie is Yfoundations Policy and Projects Officer and has a particular passion for incorporating young people’s voice and perspective into our work. Jessie began working at Yfoundations in 2012 whilst completing a Masters of Social Health and Counselling through Macquarie University. After 3 years at Yfoundations, and having graduated from university, she left to travel the world. Jessie returned to Sydney and gained frontline experience as a Case Worker, working with children and young people at risk of and experiencing homelessness. This frontline work allowed Jessie to fully comprehend the complexity of homelessness and how it impacts all aspects of a young persons life. Since then, Jessie has returned to Yfoundations and brought new knowledge and insights into her new role.

In her spare time Jessie enjoys ocean swims, travelling, and enthusiastic singalongs to power ballads.

Gemma Luckett

Research Lead

Gemma joined the Yfoundations team in 2018, bringing her experience in homelessness research.

Gemma has spent 6 years working at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with a primary focus on housing and homelessness. She managed the NSW/ACT homelessness count for the 2016 Census, and continues to advise the ABS as a member of their Homelessness Statistics Reference Group.

Gemma is passionate about using research to raise awareness and solve social issues. She has worked at NGOs, collaborating with staff to conduct research and program evaluation. Gemma is particularly proud to have worked on the Mission Australia Youth Survey, revealing insights into youth mental health, homelessness, and the impact of social inequality on career aspirations.

Gemma holds a Bachelor in Psychology (honours) and a Masters of Policy and Applied Social Research.

Outside of research, Gemma’s passions are architecture, travel, and adventures with friends.

Ben Corio

Health Promotion and Training Officer

Ben is Yfoundations Health Promotion and Training Officer, he delivers sexual health competency training for youth workers across the state as well as collaborating with partners to improve sexual health outcomes for young people in NSW. Ben believes strongly in confronting disadvantage wherever it exists and working towards equitable solutions. Ben has worked for Yfoundations in various capacities since 2012, he has also worked as a frontline youth worker in community services and for a large NGO delivering life skills programs inside a Juvenile Justice facility.

Before working in the community sector Ben was as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. When not at work Ben is an avid cyclist, lover of nature, aspiring jeweller and proud dog owner.

Nusrat Jahan

Health Project Support

Nusrat is a young public health professional who recently completed her Masters in Health Services Management. It was her willingness to help people and her ability to empathise that motivated her to complete her medical school following post-graduation in public health. She has recently joined the health team of Yfoundations as Health Project Support. She is working on the development of the online version of Sticky Stuff Training. Sticky Stuff Training is currently a day long face-to-face training program targeted at youth workers as well as health workers on how to engage young people around the topic of sexual health. By creating an online version of the training, youth and health workers will also be able to easily access a mobile, self-paced content and can learn at their own comfort and requirement.

Lauren Brown

Real Estate Training Lead

Lauren has joined the Yfoundations team to develop and implement training under the Real Estate Engagement project. With a professional background in Community Development with Women’s Health as well as Arts program development within the Education sector, creativity in the welfare space is definitely a passion and strength. Whist working towards completing a Bachelor of Social Work in 2019, Lauren also holds a Diploma in Community Welfare as well as Training and Assessment qualifications. Lauren is also life giver to two loud teenage boys who continue to challenge and motivate her both personally and professionally – this gives her a personal understanding of the challenges facing youth today.

Gabriela Soares

Administration

Gabriela has joined the Yfoundations team to take on a business administration traineeship. Gabriela is originally from Darwin, in the Northern Territory and relocated to Sydney in October 2018. Gabriela wishes to pursue a career as a social worker in the future. Gabriela is keen and willing to learn more and develop her knowledge of the sector.

Work with us towards a society where all young people are valued, engaged and supported.