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The YMCA struc​​​ture

The National Council of the YMCAs of Australia (YMCA Australia) is a federation of 17 Member Associations across Australia. Each is governed by a local voluntary Board of Directors elected by its members. YMCA Australia, through its membership of the World Alliance of YMCAs, controls the rights to the use of the YMCA name and trademarks in Australia. Through a process of licensing and Charter Membership, YMCA Australia devolves the right to use the YMCA name and trademarks in local communities to independently incorporated YMCA Associations, such as our YMCA of the Northern Territory.

Northern T​erritory governance

YMCA has been providing services to communities in the Northern Territory since the 1950's through separately incorporated YMCAs in Alice Springs, Katherine, Palmerston and Darwin. In 2016, YMCA Members agreed to amalgamate into the YMCA of the Northern Territory. YMCA now operates two companies, The Young Men's Christian Association of the Northern Territory Ltd and The YMCA of the Northern Territory Youth & Community Services Ltd.

The Board can have a total of ten Directors of which six are elected by the Members and four can be appointed by the Board itself.

At least three of the elected Directors are drawn from the Community Advisory Committees which have been formed in each region.

The Community Advisory Committees are comprised of members who have an interest in furthering the YMCA's vision in local community. This structure ensures local engagement and that local community needs, relevant to the YMCA's vision, are heard and represented on the Northern Territory Board.​​

 Our Board of Directors

Board Member

Matt Fawkner

President and representative of the Katherine Community Advisory Committee

Matt is the principal legal officer at the Katherine Woman’s Information and Legal Service. As a director of YMCA Katherine, he has been influential in the amalgamation of the three Territory YMCAs into the YMCA of the Northern Territory. Matt is a foundation board member of the charitable organization, Youth Assist and has held several director positions on Aboriginal corporation and agency Boards.

Board Member

Helen Williamson

Treasurer and representative of the Alice Springs Community Advisory Committee

Helen holds a Masters in Business Administration and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. As the CFO of Tangentyere Council in Alice Springs, Helen’s connections with one of the largest Aboriginal organisations in the Northern Territory provide an excellent reference point for YMCA’s work in improving the lives of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantage people in Australia.

Board Member

Foster Stavridis

Board Director and representative of Darwin/Palmerston Community Advisory Committee

Foster has an extensive background in HR Management, executive leadership and strategic planning developed through executive and senior project positions within the Queensland Police Force and with the Northern Territory Government since 2003, particularly with Aboriginal Health Service agencies. Foster has a strong commitment to serving communities through his leadership roles. He is currently the President of the children’s charity, Variety NT, Deputy Chair of the Northern Territory Advisory Board for Red Cross and has director and committee involvement in a range of international charities.

Board Member

Kate Vanderlaan

Board Director elected by the Members

Kate has been a Police Officer for 38 years rising through the ranks to hold supervisory positions as Sergeant and Senior Sergeant. She became a Commissioned Officer in 1997 and held Superintendent and Commander roles in Senior Management, responsible for a Division and Region, including the position of Commander of the Professional Standards Command for 2 years. She currently holds the rank of Deputy Commissioner. Kate’s experience brings to the Board extensive problem solving skills and an understanding of the social issues surrounding disadvantaged youth, alongside a strategic focus and a commitment to governance and adaptive leadership.

Board Member

Carol Dowling

Board Director elected by the Members

Carol is a local Indigenous woman from Katherine. She was a teacher for over thirty years with a wide range of experiences and knowledge. Carol is an active member of the wider community. She is a member of the Kalano Community Association Council, Chair of the Katherine Region Action Group (KRAG), member of the Katherine Women’s Crisis Centre committee and a member of the Katherine Local Reference Group on Domestic and Family Violence.

Board Member

William (Bill) Yan

Board Director elected by Members

Bill is General Manager at the Alice Springs Correctional Centre. Bill is a committed supporter of the community and continually strives for inclusiveness for all. He has been the President of the Alice Springs Off Road Race Club and on the Executive Committee for the Finke Desert Race. Through his role at the Alice Springs Correctional Centre, Bill has developed valuable relationships with Government Departments, local regional councils and Aboriginal Elders & Communities.

Board Member

Selina Pollard

Board Director (Board Appointee)

Selina was first admitted to the Supreme Court in 2003. She practiced in commercial law for a large Northern Territory law firm before taking on the role of Legal Counsel for Northern Territory Airports. Later she took on the role of Commercial Manager and then Manager – Continuous Improvement & Innovation for Northern Territory Airports. In November 2017 she commenced as Legal Counsel for Jacana Energy. Selina has previously held volunteer roles with the Heart Foundation of the Northern Territory and with the Charles Darwin University Foundation as a Board Member. She brings to the Board a high level of legal, financial and strategic skills, together with extensive experience in change management, stakeholder networking and relationship building.

Board Member

Deborah Curry

Board Director (Board Appointee)

Deborah holds a Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning. She is employed as a Senior Project Officer for the Northern Territory Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics. Since commencing work with the Northern Territory Government in 2009 she has held a number of Management and Leadership positions. Deborah was a Director of the Planning Institute of Australia from 2012 to 2016. She was also Chair of the Board’s Education Committee from 2013 through to November 2016. As a town planner an important part of the professions’ role is to shape cities, towns and regions which offer a high degree of amenity to the community. Deborah’s work experience as both a planner and Director of the Planning Institute of Australia has allowed her to collaborate with a diverse network of planners, non-planners and various organisations, a skill she brings to the YMCA.

Board Member

The Honourable Sally Thomas AC

Board Director elected by the Members

Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas AC has served as Magistrate and then Chief Magistrate of the Northern Territory from 1986 to 1992. She was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory from 1992 to 2009; the first female Judge in the Northern Territory. In 2003, Sally was elected as Deputy Chancellor to the Council of Charles Darwin University and to Chancellor of the University in 2010, a position she held until 2016. In October 2011, Her Honour was sworn in as the 20th and first female Administrator of the Northern Territory. Her term concluded in October 2014. In January 2014, she was named a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the people of the Northern Territory, particularly to the judiciary and social justice, to the advancement of women in the legal profession, to youth, and to the promotion and development of tertiary education. Sally also holds many Board positions on community organisations within the Northern Territory. Her Honour brings to the YMCA Board, not only an invaluable breadth of skill, experience and knowledge, but a compassion and empathy for people, shaped through her many years’ experience serving communities throughout the Northern Territory.

Board Member

Andrew Thorogood

Board Director and representative of the Alice Springs Community Advisory Committee

Andrew is the Acting Manager, Southern Region - Small Business Champions Team at the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation in Alice Springs. He is an experienced business owner having operated a chain of jewellery stores across the Northern Territory and South Australia for thirteen years before joining the Northern Territory Government. This background, together with his more recent experience in working with the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation to support and grow business in the Territory, provides YMCA with a strong business and entrepreneurial approach to compliment the other skill sets of the Board. Andrew brings to the Board project management and performance analysis skills along with strong change management and dispute resolution skills. He has a high level of proficiency liaising and engaging with industry related bodies and government departments.

 Our Executive Team

Board Member

Andy Buckton

Chief Executive Officer

Andy Joined the YMCA in Perth in 2002. He has held a number of senior management roles with the broader YMCA including CEO of Eastern Goldfields YMCA. Andy has a Master of Science in Sport and Recreation Management, a degree in Business Studies and over 20 years’ experience in the Not for Profit Sector. He has held a number of Executive Manager positions for YMCA WA and was responsible for the rollout and establishment of 3 multipurpose sport and recreation centres in both metropolitan and regional locations, and the construction of a $2 million Early learning Centre. Andy has significant strategic and operational expertise and has played a central role in the amalgamation of the three Territory YMCA’s and the establishment of the YMCA of the Northern Territory.

Board Member

Elizabeth Stiller

Executive Manager, Children and Family Services

Liz Stiller is an experienced early childhood professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in a broad range of early years settings. Most recently Liz worked with the Department of Education NT as an authorised officer undertaking the assessment and rating of early years services as part of the national quality agenda. Originally from Melbourne, Liz has gained impressive experience working in both NFP and government organisations including Gowrie Victoria and the City of Kingston. Liz is a dynamic early childhood leader with a reputation for ensuring ethical practice and leading teams to achieve their best.

Board Member

Ron Mell

Executive Manager, Governance and Finance

Ron is the company secretary of the YMCA Territory group. Ron was the principal of a CPA practice and a business proprietor before taking on the role of CEO of the YMCA of Perth. Following the successful development of the YMCA in Western Australia he took on the role of National CEO for YMCA of Australia, a position he held for five years. In 2016, after moving back to his hometown in Perth, he has lead the amalgamation of the three Territory YMCAs and the formation of the YMCA of the Northern Territory.

Board Member

Christy Sharp

Executive Manager, Support Services

Christy Sharp began her journey with YMCA in February 2017 initially in a temporary position to manage the new payroll system implementation and provide assistance as a People & Culture Officer. Christy's skills and qualifications were quickly recognised and she moved into the full-time WHS Advisor role in October 2017. In May 2018, Christy was promoted to the Executive Manager – Support Services, responsible for Human Resources, Work Health & Safety and Payroll. With previous experience as WHS and HR Manager in the building construction industry and over 11 years' experience in key business areas of work health and safety, human resources, payroll and finance Christy brings a wealth of knowledge to the YMCA.

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