ABOUT 2017-08-28T11:17:01+00:00

EACH YEAR WE CONNECT WITH
30,000 YOUNG PEOPLE THROUGH

Our education programs
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Concern Australia works with vulnerable young people and children, aged 5-21, creating opportunities for them to enjoy full and meaningful lives.

Concern Australia is a dynamic not-for-profit organisation which finds its roots in the work of John Smith and the God’s Squad Motorcycle Club, dating back to the 1970s.

With a dedicated team of 35 staff and 35 volunteers, Concern Australia connects with 30,000 vulnerable young people and children Australia wide, through six innovative programs focussing on Education, Housing and Homelessness, and Justice.

Concern Australia’s unique approach makes a difference.

VISION

An Australia where vulnerable young people and children have HOPE for a successful and positive life.

MISSION

Concern Australia works in partnership with young people and children, creating opportunities for them to enjoy full and meaningful lives.

VALUES

Faith

Integrity

Respect

Belonging

OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM

Michelle Crawford joined Concern Australia in May 2016 as CEO, and is delighted to be leading an organisation with such a rich history, whose work with young people is as relevant today as when it was founded more than 30 years ago.

With 25 years of experience working within the community sector, Michelle brings to Concern Australia, a knowledge of a diverse range of services including Microfinance, Employment, Education, Training and the Governance of Not for Profit organisations. Her background has included oversight of partnerships with Business, Government and various funding arrangements which led to innovative responses both domestically and in other countries.

She is passionate about practical responses that address the exclusion faced by people living on the fringe, mobilising partnerships with a strong focus on responses that are developed and delivered by community, for community.

Michelle has a Masters in Social Science, Graduate Diploma in Adult Education and Bachelor of Business. She is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Board Member of First Nations Foundation, and previously Chaired the Australian Financial Inclusion Network (2008-2016) and Wavecare Counselling Service for 5 years (2006-2011).

Chief Executive Officer

Georgette Wardan joined Concern Australia in April 2016 as the Business Operations Manager. Joining Concern Australia has allowed her personal and professional life to be aligned in the core values held by the ethos of this long standing organisation.

Georgette brings to the team over 25 years’ experience from the world of corporate, not for profit and the education sectors. Georgette’s breadth of management experience has included Finance, Human Resources, Compliance and Administration. Managing the teams at Concern Australia is a privilege to be able to support the wonderful programs being delivered for the community by our multi-cultural community members.

General Manager – Business Operations

Andrea Greenwood joined the Concern Australia team in February 2015 as the General Manager of Service Delivery. Having the privilege of working alongside some of the programs within Concern, she was drawn to the initiative, passion and unconditional support shown to young people by the Organisation (so jumped on board) !Her background includes 20 years’ experience working with adolescents initially within a church setting and then moving into the youth justice and child protection systems of DHHS.

Andrea has managed some of the Victoria’s most complex, marginalised and vulnerable young people delivering responsive and assertive case management, accommodation and mentoring programs. Her extensive experience has seen the delivery of more creative, therapeutic and supportive models of service that ensure every young person has the best chance possible to be safe, secure and succeed.

Thriving in the context of partnerships, stakeholder engagement and policy change, her passion has seen her hold positions on Government statewide reference groups, strategic leadership groups and reference panels. Her innovative thinking is well regarded within the community sector as a change agent. She holds a strong passion for leadership development and building a generation of workers that strengthen community, create life options and ‘hold hope’ for the most vulnerable.

General Manager – Service Delivery

OUR BOARD

Jason joined the Board of Concern Australia in 2012, serving in various capacities before taking on the role of Chair in October 2015. For the last 8 years, Jason has worked as an adviser to Members of Parliament, specialising in policy and communications.

Having been involved in outreach programs for at-risk youth, Jason has seen first-hand the power of creating hope in the lives of young people. He is passionate about seeing young people, regardless of their circumstances or background, equipped with the skills and hope they need for the future.

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Board Chair

Terrence Baxter has served on the Concern Australia Board since early 2013, and is the CEO of MMM Australia as well as serving as a credentialed Minister with the Apostolic Church Australia.

Terrence has over 30 years’ experience in business, in the IT Industry with some of the world’s largest service providers. In 2009 Terrence branched out into his own business as a consultant, specialising in Service Delivery and Strategic Planning prior to taking up the role as Chief Executive at MMM Australia. Active on several Christian ministries Boards, Terrence has balanced a busy work life with ministry in all parts of Australia across a broad cross section of Christian Churches as well as a sports chaplain for an EFL Club.

Vice Chair

Kathleen (Kathy) Williams brings a strong background in the areas of finance and governance.

She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2015 Australia Day Honours list for her service on the Board of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) between 1999 and 2002 (the last two years as Chair), her continued service as Treasurer of the ATA until 2014 with crowning achievements in the development of the ATA’s national headquarters in Canberra and the national truck safety standard, TruckSafe.

Kathy also served as a member on the Board of the Collections Council of Australia (2004-2010). She also serves on the Board of Synod of the Uniting Church of Australia.

Treasurer

Tara joined the Board of Concern Australia in 2013 and took on the role of Secretary in 2015. She is also Chair of the Fundraising Committee. She is a business consultant with over 20 years of business and management experience including as a Partner in Corporate Finance at Deloitte and her own internet start up business, which she sold in 2015. She is heavily involved in the community sector, most notably: serving on the board of Baptist World Aid and as a teacher and mentor of human trafficking survivors at the Freedom Hub Survivor School. She is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Secretary

Priscilla Robinson is a Member of the Board who has had training in nursing, communicable diseases and disaster management. She works as an epidemiologist and public health teacher at La Trobe University.

Priscilla has a passion for people and works for equal access to education for all. She is keen to see the students she has trained transfer their knowledge and skills to other parts of our wonderful world. In 2016 Priscilla became an Honorary Associate Professor at La Trobe University.

Ordinary Member

Presently, holds the position of Director, Corporate Service with the Lowitja Institute which is a health research organisation that focus on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Catherine has over 30 years experience within the NFP area and the Victorian Government, holding a number of senior positions.

Catherine has a strong commitment to social justice and the development of strategies that will improve the wellbeing of all Australians. She holds a Master of Business Administration, is a Fellow of Certified Practising Accountants, and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ordinary Member

Michelle has 20 years’ experience in communications, marketing, public relations and stakeholder relations roles, spanning a diverse range of sectors including not-for-profit, government, professional services and public relations consulting.

Michelle is currently the Marketing & Communications Manager at Scope, one of Australia’s largest providers of disability support services. She has a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Communication Management.

Ordinary Member

Rev. Dr. John Smith is an honorary Member of the Board who is well known as the Founder of the international God’s Squad CMC movement. John is also a well-respected human rights activist, public speaker, anthropologist and social commentator.

Honorary Member

ADVISORY GROUP

University of Melbourne

Skills/Focus

Youth & children. Mental Health & suicide prevention, Education and employment, Community Sector. Previously on the Concern Australia Board in the late 1990s

World Vision

Skills/Focus

Youth, Poverty, Faith Community. Previously on the Concern Australia Board in the late 1990s.

The Salvation Army

Skills/Focus

Youth, Homelessness, Education and Training, Community Sector, Faith Community. Previously on the Concern Australia Board in the late 1990s.

ABC Journalist

Skills/Focus

Faith Community, Media. Previously on the Concern Australia Board in the late 1990s

CEO – Kildonan Uniting Care, Chair – VCOSS

Skills/Focus

Youth, Homelessness, Community Sector.

CEO – Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare

Skills/Focus

Youth, Homlessness, Community Sector.

Independent Philanthropist

Skills/Focus

Founding Executive Director of the Philanthropy Australia Community Sector and practices as a consultant to the not-for-profit sector, philanthropy and government.

Jason McDonald

Board Chair Concern Australia

Michelle Crawford

Chief Executive Officer Concern Australia

Andrea Greenwood

General Manager Service Delivery Concern Australia

OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE

Concern Australia is proud to announce the achievement of the “Service Excellence Certificate” against the Australian Service Excellence Standards (ASES).

ASES ensures that organisations are operating confidently and efficiently in actively applying sound management to meet legislative, industry and government guidelines. Organisations will also be confident that they have effective communication, strong partnerships and a safe and healthy environment for staff and consumers. Consumers can feel confident in the service provision, make informed decisions and play an integral role in the development and planning of services.”

OPERATIONAL POLICIES

Child Safety Commitment

Concern Australia is committed to providing child safe and protected environments in all its activities and programs and has a zero tolerance approach to child abuse or exploitation. Contact and working with children is a critical responsibility. Children have the right to be safe and protected.

Delegated authority at Concern Australia

  • Concern Australia will ensure the safety and wellbeing of the victim of abuse, including supporting referral and access to external services
  • Concern Australia will comply with all relevant legislation and statutory requirements
  • Concern Australia has appointed the “CEO” as the “Child Safety Representative” to ensure Concern Australia is committed to providing and maintaining child safe environments, a code of conduct policy and good practices to protected children.

Michelle can be contacted by phone: 03 9470 2972 or via email: michelle.crawford@concernaustralia.org.au

Protective concerns

You are concerned about a child because you have:

  • received a disclosure from a child about abuse or neglect
  • observed indicators of abuse or neglect
  • been made aware of possible harm via your involvement in the community external to your professional role.

What to do if you are concerned about a child

  • If you believe a child is in immediate danger, in a life-threatening situation or you have sufficient information to form a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed against a child, please contact the police immediately by dialling 000
  • If you have a reason to suspect a child is experiencing harm, or is at risk of experiencing harm, please report your concerns to the local provider or Child Protection Emergency Service, Call 13 12 78 – (24 hours/7 days)
  • Have notes ready with the observations and child family details.