Login

Youth Solutions

The Team

The team at Youth Solutions are passionate about providing health promotion and harm prevention services that are inclusive, culturally appropriate and serve the needs of young people in the Macarthur and Wingecarribee regions of NSW. Each member of the team brings their own unique set of skills and expertise, and as a collective, are dedicated to preventing and reducing alcohol and other drug related harm among young people in the community.

The Team Includes

Geraldine Dean – CEO

Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Arts (Social Science)
  • Diploma of Community Services Coordination
  • Diploma of Management
  • Statement of Attainment; AOD and Mental Health Comorbidity
  • Statement of Attainment; Child Protection
Biography

Geraldine joined the Youth Solutions team in 2003 and prior to her CEO position has held project coordination, communications, promotions and community relations roles at Youth Solutions.
The role of the Chief Executive Officer is to ensure that the mission and vision of Youth Solutions is inspired by and achieved through effective leadership. Geraldine oversees the implementation of the Strategic and Operational Plan, is responsible for people and culture, governance and compliance, general management of operations as well as guiding the overall delivery of services and programs.
Geraldine has extensive experience in human resource management, project management and media management, developing and implementing community development initiatives and events, website development and maintenance, coordinating internal and external communications and working alongside and developing relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders. Geraldine has also had the opportunity to work internationally as part of a sister city exchange program in Japan.
Geraldine is a champion of and displays a commitment to quality improvement and high professional standards. In 2018, Youth Solutions was again accredited at the Certificate level of Australian Services Excellence Standards.
Geraldine has a solid track record in volunteering for her local community and in a variety of capacities. Elected positions have included President and Director of a community childcare centre and Treasurer for a local junior rugby league football club. Geraldine currently sits as a Director of a well-respected disability service.
During her time as CEO, Geraldine has had the pleasure of leading the Service to achieve key milestones. Youth Solutions has received a number of awards which recognise the commitment to and the work towards improving the health and wellbeing of the local community.

  • 2014 Zest Awards – Exceptional Community Partnership in an LGA: Safe Celebrations Project
  • 2014 NSW Youth Work Awards – Service of the Year
  • 2015 Champions of the West – Indigenous Excellence: ARTucation Program
  • 2016 NSW Youth Work Awards – Peer Enrichment & Empowerment Project
  • 2017 Australia Day – Community Group of the Year: Youth Solutions’ Youth Advisory Group

In addition to these awards, Geraldine has been recognised on an individual level by being awarded the 2016 NSW Local Woman of the Year for Campbelltown.

Shannon McEwan – Finance & Operations Coordinator

Qualifications
  • Advanced Certificate in Commerce (Accounting)
  • Certificate in Office Skills (Clerical)
Biography

Shannon joined the Youth Solutions team in 2011 and currently holds the position of Finance & Operations Coordinator. Shannon works to ensure the accurate and efficient execution of Youth Solutions’ financial administrative systems and tasks. Shannon provides ongoing support to the Chief Executive Officer, the Treasurer, and the entire Youth Solutions team, and contributes significantly to the effective financial and operational management of Youth Solutions.

Emily Deans – Research & Design Coordinator

Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Public Health
  • Master of Public Health
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Health & Social Development)
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Statement of Attainment; Orientation to the AOD Field
Biography

Emily joined the Youth Solutions team in January 2018 and in her role as RDC works to ensure that Youth Solutions’ programs are evidence-based, appropriately evaluated and cater for the needs of young people in the region. Emily oversees Youth Solutions’ Academic Advisory Group, which has been established to connect Youth Solutions with other public health professionals and leading academics. Prior to her role with Youth Solutions, Emily formed part of a research team at Deakin University (Melbourne) concerned with preventing gambling harm among young men, and has worked at UoW’s Wellbeing Centre, which functioned as a mental health hub for university students. Emily is passionate about advocacy and the basic right for all individuals to have access to the resources and support they need to make healthy life choices.

Sam Young – Health Promotion Coordinator

Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Medical and Health Science
  • Statement of Attainment; Orientation to the AOD Field
  • Statement of Attainment; Child Protection
Biography

Sam joined the Youth Solutions team in January 2018 as the Health Promotion Coordinator. Sam oversees the development and implementation of Youth Solutions core projects, and provides mentoring to young people in Youth Solutions’ Youth Advisory Group (YAG) and Peer Education Program. Prior to her role with Youth Solutions, Sam worked at PCYC South Sydney as Youth Activities Officer and has formed part of a Go4Fun program team as Exercise and Nutrition Leader. Sam is passionate about working with young people within the Macarthur and Wingecarribee area to support and empower them to make safe and healthy lifestyle choices.

Rachel Kershaw – Program Support Officer

Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion)
  • Statement of Attainment, Orientation to the AOD Field
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
Biography

Rachel joined the Youth Solutions team in February 2016 and works to provide program and service support for all staff at Youth Solutions. Rachel contributes to the planning, design, delivery and evaluation of Youth Solutions core programs, and is the primary facilitator for Youth Solutions’ Drive SAFE program. Rachel is a former Youth Solutions Student Placement and Volunteer, which is testimony to her dedication to the local community and to charity work. Rachel also volunteers with the Bargo Bunnies Rugby League Football Club and has spent time working as a swim instructor for young people.

Karen Yuen– Youth & Community Development Coordinator

Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Business (major in Accounting and sub majors in Management and Tourism Management)
  • Diploma of Youth Work
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • Certificate IV Youth Work
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
  • Statement of Attainment, Orientation to the AOD Field
Biography

Karen joined the Youth Solutions team in September 2013 and currently holds the position of Youth & Community Development Coordinator. Karen is an experienced group work facilitator, and is passionate about working with young people to empower them to make informed life choices. In 2011 – 2013, Karen led the development of the Me-Power Community Resource; a ‘how-to-guide’ for facilitating life skills workshops for young people. Karen’s commitment to giving back to the local community is evident through her volunteer work for World Vision NSW, YWCA NSW, The Smith Family, the Australian League of Immigration Volunteers (ALIV) and the Chinese Parents Association (Children with Disabilities) Inc.

Amanda Dillon – Community Relations & Communications Coordinator

Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies (Journalism)
  • Journalism Cadetship
  • Statement of Attainment, Orientation to the AOD Field
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
Biography

Amanda has a background in media and communications with skills in journalism, social media management, website management and community engagement. Prior to joining the Youth Solutions team in June 2014, Amanda was the Senior Reporter at the Macarthur Chronicle newspaper. Amanda is a passionate member of the Macarthur community and has supported a range of local community events including Relay for Life, Lifeline Macarthur and the 2015 Max Potential program. In 2015, Amanda was named as a finalist for ZEST’s ‘Outstanding Youth Leader of the Year’ (12 – 25 years).

Brooke Manzione – Partnerships Coordinator

Qualifications

• Bachelor of Communication (PR)
• Statement of Attainment, Orientation to the AOD Field

Biography

Brooke’s experience in communications and fundraising spans over 10 years. She considers herself a passionate Macarthur region advocate and her career has seen her regularly work with young people and for causes who support them. Her roles over the years have seen her develop fund generating content, maintain positive relationships with stakeholders and work on large scale events. Brooke has been an association member of Youth Solutions for most part of a decade and has enjoyed both volunteering and working with Youth Solutions over that time. Brooke was also recognised by the State Member of Campbelltown and named Local Woman of the Year in 2013.

Get Involved

Youth Solutions needs your support! Learn about the many ways you can get involved.

Get Involved