Our Leadership Group

Karenza Louis-Smith, Chief Executive Officer

Tertiary qualified with a BA (Hons) in Youth and Community work Karenza has over 25 years industry experience working in the UK and Australia. 12 of these have been as CEOs of leading, award winning for-purpose organisations. Her areas of expertise include designing and leading services that respond to mental illness, psychiatric disability, offending (including services for those at risk of entering the criminal justice system) as well as drug treatment and homelessness. Passionate about changing the world, Karenza has participated in intensive leadership development with the Global Leadership Foundation.

Alys Boase, Chief Operations Officer – Intensive Services / Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Alys is a tertiary qualified executive manager with 26 years’ experience in the mental health, disability and homeless sector. Recognised for excellence in leadership in the Mental health sector in 2014 Alys won a Catholic Health Care Award Social Outreach for community mental health service provision to asylum seekers, refugees and newly emerging communities in Victoria. Alys has recently completed Leadership Victoria’s Williamson leadership program.

Julia Canty-Waldron, Chief People and Culture Officer

Julia has spent over 20 years working across for-purpose organisations and in government. She has delivered direct services, designed and lead services and shaped service systems, policy and strategy in order to reduce disadvantage and increase justice. Julia has a master’s in management (Strategic Foresight) and has studied Scenarios at Oxford University. She is passionate about getting the best out of people through smart thinking, systems and action.

Teresa McClellandChief Operations Officer – Community Services

An experienced and well-respected community sector professional, Teresa has been managing social services and leading multi-disciplinary teams, particularly in the disability, mental health, aged care and children youth and family sectors for over 20 years. Teresa has a Masters’ degree in Social Sciences (Policy and Human Services) and recently completed the Rivers and Ranges’ Regional Community Leadership Program. Teresa promotes a focus on practice leadership and purposeful community engagement to enable the people we support lead the life of their choice.

Michael Bowers, Chief Finance and Information Officer

Alf Francett, Senior Practice Leader: Northern Territory

With more than 30 years’ sector experience Alf’s areas of expertise include specialist behaviour assessment, designing, developing, and implementing therapeutic interventions and behavioural support strategies for a wide range of clients living with a mental disorder, psychiatric disability and psychosocial disability often considered as being dangerous to themselves and others. Alf’s area of specialism focuses on working with people with highly complex, multiple and challenging disabilities often in situations where no other service has been able to engage with the person.

Sally Wall, Manager 

Sally is tertiary qualified with a BA (Education) with more than 30 years industry experience. She has worked for community organisations designing and leading programs in employment, disability and mental health as well as working at the NDIA National Office.

Jacqueline McGowan Jones, Senior Manager Top End


Michele Cottam, Manager 

Michelle has immersed herself in the field of Community Mental health for over 20 years, working within the UK and Australia, she has worked in multi-disciplinary teams in many settings. Michelle is a strong advocate for social justice and is passionate about reducing the stigma around mental illness and dedicated to seeking solutions and improving outcomes. Michelle excels in empowering and advancing peoples capacity for growth and development.