Board of Directors
President - NSW
I've worked with and for young people for over 20 years and been lucky enough to have done this in many different ways. I work as a medical doctor with young people in western Sydney who are homeless or otherwise marginalised, and as an academic at The University of Technology University doing research and teaching. I have done a lot of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching as well as training of general practitioners, nurses and other health professionals. My research is in the areas of access to health care and adolescent sexuality and sexual health, and I love having young people involved in guiding, advising and shaping our research projects. I've also written the Dolly Doctor column for over 20 years and it's been a real privilege to interact with young people in this way as well. I was a member of AAAH in its early days in the 1980s and 90s and was thrilled when it got rejuvenated in 2011. I see an association like this as a great way of bringing together young people and those who work with and for them to give a united, powerful voice to youth health.Read more …
Vice President - QLD
Geraldine Dyer is a Registered Nurse and Midwife with postgraduate qualifications in Paediatric, Child and Youth Health Nursing. With many years of nursing experience within the public health and education sectors, Geraldine has worked as a clinician, educator, and manager in a variety of settings. As a dedicated advocate for adolescents and young people, Geraldine has been on the board of the Australian Association for Adolescent Health since 2015 and is the current Vice President. As a mother of 2 adolescent children with disabilities and complex medical conditions, Geraldine is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all young people through youth engagement, health promotion, advocacy, research and improved service delivery. As the Nurse Navigator for the Gold Coast University Hospital’s Adolescent and Young Adult Service, Geraldine is working with a dynamic and motivated multidisciplinary team to create a health service that meets the unique needs of the Gold Coast’s young population.Read more …
Secretary - VIC
Marc Zen is from Perth where he studied a degree in Health Sciences and works for a non-profit organisation called the Injury Control Council of WA. Marc has been an active volunteer on several youth programs with the WA Aids Council, Freedom Centre (a youth drop-in centre for LGBTIQ young people) and the Leap Youth Leadership program in Los Angeles. Marc was also one of two West Australians selected to represent Australia at the 2014 One Young World summit in Dublin, a competitive gathering of 1000 young leaders from around the world who are driving change in their local communities. He first got involved with the Australian Association for Adolescent Health in 2013 when he volunteered as a youth representative at that year's conference in Fremantle.Read more …
Treasurer - TAS
David Perez is the CEO of The Link Youth Health Service which now incorporates headspace Hobart. He has over 25 years of experience in the community sector and local government with much of it centred on developing and managing youth services and community development and leading capacity building strategies. David has demonstrated a strong commitment to strategic change management and has played an influential role the community sector in Tasmania and is a passionate advocate for collaborative practice not just within the community sector but inclusive of government and the private sectors. The provision of quality of services and the continuous improvement of the sector are things that are very close to his heart with a focus on better consumer outcomes. David is very excited about the Association being rejuvenated and the potential impact it can have.Read more …
Elected Director - VIC
Rohan is psychologist and NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow in the Centre for Adolescent Health at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne. He has a particular interest in self-harm and substance use among marginalised populations, including those with mental health problems and those exposed to the youth justice system. Rohan has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from James Cook University (QLD) and a PhD in psychiatry from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College in London, UK). He has experience working in the public and private sectors in direct service provision, secondary consultation, research, health promotion and community education. He has conducted research in Australia, Canada and the UK, and has presented his research findings at conferences in Brazil, Italy, South Africa, the USA, the UK and Australia. Rohan has co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and his articles have been published in top-tiered journals including the The Lancet, The British Medical Journal, The British Journal of Psychiatry, and The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. He has secured more than $3.1 million in competitive funding since 2013, including a 4-year Early Career Fellowship from the NHMRC to examine suicide and self-harm in young people in Australia. In 2015 Rohan was named the Early Career Researcher of the Year by Australia’s Society for Mental Health Research (SMHR).Read more …
Elected Director - VIC
Angela has been actively involved in adolescent health for the past 15 years across a range of organisations in the not -for- profit sector. She currently manages National Community Service delivery at Redkite. These essential services support families and young people with a cancer diagnosis with a focus on counselling, information, financial assistance and education and career support. Angela’s current focus is on expansion of the ECS program to ensure that young people who have experienced a cancer diagnosis stay engaged with their educational and career pathways and/or find new ones to ensure the best possible future educational and career outcomes.
Previously with Starlight Children's Foundation, with roles in research and evaluation and program management, Angela utilised her creative arts background to manage Starlight’s hospital programs at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne including the ‘Livewire’ program. Angela managed the national evaluation of this program and its delivery in mental health units across the country, with the aim to understand more about the use of arts based programs in mental health settings. Prior to this she was National Program Manager at Camp Quality.
Angela's focus has been on both State and National operations and improving current, and creating new programs to meet the needs of young people living with serious illness. Angela has worked across the not for profit sector to increase coordination and remove duplication and competition in the provision of services in the adolescent health centre.
Passionate about motivating and inspiring and empowering teams to achieve organisational success. Angela has a degree in English Literature/Drama was an invited presenter at UNIMA Conference 2008 (Union Internationale de la Marionnette) a member of SIMNA - Social Impact Measurement Network Australia and AAAH.
Co-opted Director - QLD
Jonathan has had over 11 years experience working with young people, children and their families, starting off his career as a high school teacher before moving into the not-for-profit sector. Currently part of Starlight’s Program’s Leadership Team, Jonathan manages Starlight’s Innovation Hub, a team of seven that focuses on pioneering unique projects and experiences for Starlight families who are living with a chronic condition, illness or disability. The team have led the way in utilising virtual and augmented reality training programs and experiences for children and teens in hospital. Jonathan continues to experiment with developing technologies in collaboration with thought-leaders from around the world to positively impact the lives of seriously ill youth.
Jonathan brings positive leadership, innovation and creative thinking frameworks, a strong network within the health and tech space, and a wealth of knowledge about adolescents to all projects and organisations he works with. He is super passionate about bringing uniquely fun and positive moments to children and young people living with a serious illness, particularly because they miss out on so much.Read more …
Elected Director - VIC
Ella is a current medical student and a young person. Her interest in Adolescent Health started when she was studying her undergraduate degree and attended the Youth Forum at the National Youth Health Conference in Melbourne in 2015. She has been a participant or involved with organising the Youth Forums at the Youth Health conferences since then. Ella is passionate about young people having a voice and her interest and participation at AAAH conferences allows her to facilitate an ongoing diversity of youth voice within these forums.
She has completed a research project in adolescent health for her Honours at the Burnet Institute and continues to work in Adolescent Health research when her studies allow. Ella has had an interest in working with young people since she was young, and started swim teaching at the age of 17. Now studying medicine, she is hoping to continue working with young people throughout her future medical career.Read more …
Co-Opted Director - WA
Dr Jacqui Hendriks is affiliated with the Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public
Health in the School of Public Health at Curtin University. For the past 15 years Jacqui has worked in
research, for various departments at both the University of Western Australia and Curtin University.
She currently lectures in the Sexology Program at Curtin University, supervises PhD and Masters
students and is involved in various research projects.
Jacqui’s has experience with both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, working on
numerous projects throughout Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific Region. She has a strong
background and interest in sexual health as it applies to young people and the various groups who
support them, such as families, schools and health services.
Jacqui currently manages the Curtin University RSE Project, which seeks to train and support educators
to deliver school-based relationships and sexuality education. She is also part of the SiREN
Management Team, which works to build the research and evaluation capacity of the sexual health
sector in Western Australia.
Prior to academia (and when she was young enough to be an adolescent peer), Jacqui was a peer
sexual health educator for various agencies in Perth. She is the mother to two young daughters who
are rapidly approaching adolescence.
Elected Director - QLD
Kate Thompson is a young Gurang Gurang woman from Bundaberg, Queensland. Kate completed a Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) at the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2017. Throughout her degree she was a mentor for the Young Achievers Program (YAP), which aims to support the tertiary study and career aspirations of senior secondary school students through mentoring, financial assistance and opportunities for personal growth and leadership development.
Kate currently works at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) in Brisbane as a Senior Practitioner, working across the Human Services branch to deliver workshops and coaching to improve the practice skills of Human Services staff. Kate also works at the University of Queensland tutoring classes of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work students in the course “Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”.
Kate was on the 2018 AAAH Conference and Youth Forum Organising Committee. She is passionate about closing the gap for her mob and improving health and education outcomes through youth engagement, advocacy, improved service delivery and health promotion.Read more …