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 the CEO 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, Leadership Victoria and is a current Board Director at Mental Health Victoria.

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 also completed Leadership Victoria’s Williamson leadership program.

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 to lead the life of their choice.

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.

Michael Bowers, Chief Finance and Information Officer

Michael has over 35 years’ experience as a Finance Professional working in large multi-national organisations and private businesses across a broad range of industries, including financial services, transport, catering, facilities management and disability services. A Certified Practicing Accountant, Michael brings to ermha a range of skills including Financial Accounting, Business Partnering, Budgeting, Negotiation, Management and Business Planning. With personal lived experience of disability, Michael is also a supporter of the NDIS and the positive change it will bring to the sector.

Robyn Haydon, Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer

Robyn has spent most of her career helping people who do great work to win more work. A successful business development consultant for more than 20 years, she has helped organisations in highly competitive industries to win hundreds of millions of dollars in new business, while being a sought-after speaker and author of three books (including an Institute of Management bestseller). Robyn has also held senior marketing roles in the private sector, managing brand and market position, external communications, and new business pursuits.