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 Corporate 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
Corporate 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 members as well as strengthening and evolving partnerships with our existing members. 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

Peta Magick
Program Development Manager

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

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

Josie McElvogue
Communications Coordinator

Josie brings a creative flair to ABCN’s external communications. She loves to share the ABCN story through photography and digital content, and also lends a hand to student alumni projects. When she’s not in the office, Josie is at university studying Communications and French. 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

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

Amy Weaver
Digital Projects Manager

Amy’s experience at ABCN spans program development and management, communications and she now focuses on digital programs and strategy. With a background in teaching, educational consultancy and publishing, she’s passionate about the power of education to change lives. Originally from the UK, she’s lived in Rome, Buenos Aires and most recently Sydney for the past 9 years. 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

Sharon Akapi
Office Administrator, NSW

Sharon has a background in accounting and administration and was a financial controller for 10 years before recently completing a degree in social sciences and counselling. Her career change fulfils a long-time dream to help young people and she is thrilled to be aligned with an organisation making such a difference.

Irene Banda
Program Manager, NSW

Irene is on maternity leave in 2020. Read more

Maree Drury
Program Manager, NSW

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

Becky Robertson
Program Manager, NSW, and Scholarship Relationship Manager

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 dual role, where she combines her facilitation skills with managing scholars and mentors in our ABCN Foundation scholarship program. 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

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 really enjoys working with young people. Ola also works with individuals to help them overcome past traumas and conquer stubborn fears through group coaching and private hypnotherapy sessions. In her free time, Ola loves reading, travelling, and watching movies. Read more

Vic Team
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

A woman wearing an orange top is smiling at the camera. She has blonde hair.
Jaimee Kindt
Development Hub Project Manager, VIC

Jaimee is responsible for research into developing the financial capabilities of young people through collaboration. She has experience in the education and community sector as well as the public and private sector in program management and research. She is passionate about improving opportunities for young people. Read more

Louise Manka
Program Manager, VIC

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 ABCN programs. Read more

Catherine Morris
Program 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. She looks forward to coming to work each Monday morning, knowing she is influencing positive outcomes. 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.

QLD 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

WA 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

SA 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

get in touch with us today

Please contact us on 02 8988 6850 or by using the form below: