Allegra Spender, ABCN CEO
Allegra Spender
Chief Executive Officer

Allegra brings fresh perspectives from her experience in the corporate, business, government and non-profit sectors. Her passion is driven by the experiences of her own mother, who made the most of every opportunity as a 10-year-old new arrival to Australia. She loves that working with inspiring young people, and the wonderful mentors who support them, makes every day purposeful. Read more

National team
Carolyn Bruce
Head of Partnerships

Carolyn is a passionate advocate for the power of mentoring. At ABCN, she specialises in building sustainable community partnerships, driving value for our members and inspiring new members to join our network. Her favourite part of her role is developing partnerships that drive innovation, enabling us to work together in preparing young people for the future of work. Read more

Rebecca Edwards
Strategic Partnerships Manager

Rebecca is a sustainability and CSR professional who loves helping business drive meaningful sustainable change. Within her role, she helps to scale ABCN’s reach and impact, through nurturing and securing new strategic grant programs for ABCN as well as strengthening and evolving partnerships with our members. Read more

Belinda Montgomery
Corporate Partnerships Manager

Belinda leads new member engagement by identifying and growing synergistic partnerships. She also works with our existing members to innovate and strengthen our collaborative impact. She loves that in this role she combines her extensive experience in business development with her passion for supporting youth. Driven to make a difference and a champion for mentoring she 100% believes, you can’t be what you can’t see. Read more

Greg George
Regional Manager and VIC Manager

Greg heads up our Melbourne office and is responsible for program delivery across VIC, QLD, SA, TAS and WA. He has over 25 years’ experience in senior corporate and commercial roles across a number of different industries and is enthusiastic about inspiring young people to achieve more than they thought possible. Read more

Liam Dooley
Regional, Rural and Remote Program Manager

Liam manages ABCN’s exciting 3-year project to expand our programs to schools in regional, rural and remote Australia. He brings experience in community engagement, government relations, advocacy and school-based program development from his many years in the not-for-profit sector. As a proud country boy raised on the NSW mid-north coast, Liam is passionate about supporting communities to improve outcomes and work opportunities for young people. Read more

Peta Magick
Head of Program Development

Peta is responsible for the design and development of ABCN programs – the perfect role to combine her experience in the corporate, education and community sectors, with her passion to enable social change through collaboration. She loves witnessing the transformation that takes place for both students and mentors when given the opportunity to connect, share and learn together. Read more

Maree Drury
Program Development Manager

Maree is originally from New Zealand and also lived in Scotland for many years where she gained extensive experience working in corporate social responsibility. She loves that her role at ABCN combines several passions at once – facilitating programs, witnessing the connections between students and mentors and adding value to the education of young people. Read more

Rachel Walker
Foundation Manager

Rachel has a strong background in the not-for-profit sector with senior management roles in international NGOs and national charities, specialising in fundraising, marketing and communications. Responsible for the successful running of ABCN’s Foundation, she is driven by a desire to level the playing field and help more young people to achieve their dreams. Read more

Louise Manka
Foundation Program Delivery Manager

Never work with animals and children, they say, but Louise is always up for a challenge and has done both. Her early career as a zoologist transitioned to education and training, mentoring, and learning and development. More recently, an alignment between career and life resulted in a happy return to the not-for-profit sector where she loves organising and delivering the ABCN Foundation's 3-year Accelerate program. Read more

Rose-Anne Manns
Communications Manager

A former journalist, Rose-Anne loves roles that combine her three key interests: storytelling, facilitating and contributing to the community – which makes her current job the perfect fit for her. She’s responsible for ABCN’s brand messaging, she sometimes delivers ABCN programs and she always feels great about working for an organisation that has such a strong social purpose. Read more

Reshma Ganesh Babu
Communications Coordinator

Reshma is pursuing her double masters in media and creative industries at Macquarie University and has a background in journalism. She lives by the principle of 'Give more than you get' and has been actively involved in making a positive impact and fostering change whenever and wherever she can. Her current role perfectly combines her passion for both media and social work. Read more

Gerry Meleady
Operations Manager

Gerry works behind the scenes to ensure ABCN runs smoothly and efficiently (and is also our unofficial go-to for anything slightly technical). He has a background in science and worked in the industry for 12 years before moving across to the not-for-profit sector in 2009. Not surprisingly, he is passionate about increasing student engagement in STEM, particularly those from low socio-economic areas.  Read more

NSW team
Peta Melki
State Manager, NSW

Peta has operational, relationship management and leadership experience across corporate, not-for-profit and Aboriginal organisations. Peta first began her journey with ABCN many years ago as a champion working at one of our member companies, where she saw first-hand the impact of education and mentoring in developing aspiration and creating opportunity for young people. Read more

Ola Radka
Ola Radka
Program Manager, NSW

A former English teacher, Ola is passionate about personal development and helping people build their self-confidence. In addition to program management, she sometimes also facilitates ABCN programs, which she loves as she enjoys working with young people. Ola also works with individuals to help them overcome past traumas and stubborn fears through group coaching and private hypnotherapy sessions. Read more

Becky Robertson
Program Manager, NSW

Becky believes in the power of a well-placed word from a trusted mentor to change the trajectory of a young person’s future and she is proud to be part of the ABCN Team. She brings vast experience working with youth mentoring bodies to her role, where she combines her facilitation skills with organising programs. She was previously involved in managing the ABCN Foundation's scholarship relationships. Read more

Karoline Simonovski
Program Manager, NSW

Prior to joining ABCN in 2011 Karoline worked in the private sector across various industries. Karoline loves engaging with diverse communities and bringing programs to life. She is constantly inspired by the development and growth of students (and mentors!) who embrace ABCN programs.

Samantha Tan
Program Manager, NSW

Sam studied business law before moving to the UK for five years where she worked in financial services. Now back home, she is happily following her passion of supporting youth in the community and is inspired every day by the students we work with and their hidden potential. Read more

Ella McDermott
Ella McDermott
Program Manager, NSW

Ella is passionate about empowering young people to achieve their full potential and is constantly humbled by the strength and resilience shown by the students who participate in ABCN’s programs. Prior to joining ABCN, Ella spent seven years working in the tertiary education sector, where she delivered social inclusion and outreach initiatives across NSW for students from regional/remote and First Nations backgrounds. Read more

Einat Piper
Program Manager, NSW

After more than 12 years of program delivery in the private sector and being a mentor and a company champion with ABCN, Einat has joined the team fulfilling her dream to work in a not-for-profit organisation that supports young people to reach their full potential. Einat loves the ability to use her program delivery skills to deliver programs that impact students. Read more

Victoria team
Catherine Morris
State Manager, VIC

Catherine worked in hospitality, human resources, facilitating and training before starting her dream job at ABCN. She loves that her role opens a whole new world of possibilities to students who have no access to it any other way. After three and a half years as a Program Manager, she is excited to further develop her leadership skills in her role as State Manager. She looks forward to coming to work each Monday morning, knowing she is influencing positive outcomes. Read more

Vanessa Aitken
Program Manager, VIC

With a background in youth work, community welfare and personal coaching, Vanessa has extensive experience collaborating and working with our younger generation. Her role at ABCN allows her to work closely behind the scenes with our member companies and schools, as well as being front of house facilitating programs for our mentors and students – a fantastic dual aspect of the role. Read more

Katie Pinchas
Program Manager, VIC

A teacher, literacy coach and content specialist, Katie’s life mission is to support young people to grow and achieve. Katie thrives as a facilitator of learning, drawing on her background in theatre, experience in Indigenous education, talent for communication and her love of creating inclusive spaces. These skills are all used in Katie’s work at ABCN, ensuring students and mentors get the most out of their partnership. Read more

Ulrike Reinholdt
Program Manager, VIC

Ulrike left her global corporate career to spend more time with her family and is now using her business acumen and passion for education as a program manager. Originally from Germany, her experience living and working in several different countries and cultures have equipped her with a unique viewpoint not just for business but also for the cultural diversity among its people. She loves to make a difference in young people’s lives.

Queensland team
Heather Smith
State Manager, QLD

Heather combines a corporate background with her strong desire to make a difference to the opportunities for youth through mentoring experiences. She loves the variety her role offers in working with both school and corporate partners, strengthening relationships, and facilitating workshops (Interview 2 Impress is her favourite), where she can directly impact program outcomes and delivery. Read more

Alison Blacker
Program Manager, QLD

Alison is a firm believer in the power of education and mentoring to create opportunities for all students. She combines a background in civil engineering with program management and facilitation skills to deliver a variety of programs. Her favourite is Innovate, where she loves seeing students develop teamwork and collaboration skills through STEM-focused activities. Read more

Sarah Seminutin
Program Manager, QLD

Sarah combines past experience and knowledge in social work with a passion for empowering others in her program management role. She loves facilitating and working with young people and is particularly excited about programs that enable young people to upskill, think outside the box and gain new skills. Read more

Western Australia team
Tiffany Edwards
State Manager, WA

After 15 years in the travel industry and a career break to look after three children, Tiffany jumped at the opportunity to join the ABCN team six years ago. She enjoys connecting the two very different worlds of the corporate and education sectors, and loves making and building relationships with such a broad range of people. Read more

Anneliese Bennett
Program Manager, WA

In her past life, Anneliese spent many years in theme park management and enjoyed an expat life in the Middle East. She loves the journey that ABCN provides – fine-tuning her facilitation skills and meeting inspiring students and energetic mentors – and is proud to be working for an organisation that makes such a difference. Read more

Jane Heath
Program Manager, WA

Jane spent 17 years in the UK aviation industry before moving with her family to sunny Perth. She has worked with other not-for-profit organisations in youth and community engagement and education. She is passionate about working with young minds and seeing the growth that mentoring brings. Read more

South Australia team
Cathy Torjul
State Manager, SA

Cathy has extensive experience in management and the employment services sector. She has worked with unemployed youth, and trained and mentored school students. Responsible for managing and facilitating all ABCN programs in South Australia, she values social justice and has a strong desire to see people reach their full potential. Read more

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