Committed to strengthening individual, family & community life.
Kyabra is a community-based organisation committed to strengthening individual, family and community life. Established in 1976 as Sunnybank Family Support, Kyabra continues to provide support and training to thousands of individuals, families and community groups on the south side of Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
We believe all people have inalienable rights as agreed to in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and that all should have equal opportunity to access the benefits of their society.
We believe strengths and capabilities should be acknowledged as the most important resource for change. We believe that while people will generally be doing their best with the resources that they have, complementary, external resources can be useful for change to be achieved and maintained.
We embrace innovative ways of creating effective responses to changing needs and current understandings. We see innovation as nourished by continuous research, evaluation, reflection, training and financial diversity.
Jean joined the Kyabra team in 1999 in the then Supported Accommodation Service, having a background in supporting those that were homeless. Over the ensuing years Jean was also able to gain experience in the area of child protection and then domestic and family violence. A social justice framework and strengths approach has guided her work, along with the importance of networking, collaboration and partnership to provide the best possible outcomes for families and individuals. Jean values the offering of a supportive learning and developmental environment that harnesses existing strengths and resources that are applicable with both the work that is done with community members and as a part of organisational life.
Manager, Quality Assurance & Support Services
Dianne has been with Kyabra since 1999, in management and project roles. Prior to this, Dianne worked in the Disability Sector as a Speech Pathologist and Team Leader. Dianne has completed studies in Community Management and has assisted in developing some of Kyabra’s management approaches. She continues to have a keen interest in how strengths-based approaches can be applied across all levels of organisations.
Manager, Group Work & Training
Trish joined Kyabra in 2001 as the teaching Director of Kyabra’s Early Years Centre. Her background was Infant Primary teaching. Trish has since completed and updated train the trainer in many relational parenting groups, a Graduate Diploma in Creative and Experiential Arts Therapy and a Masters Degree of Gestalt Therapy. Trish has worked in several teams across the organisation, including the Foster and Kinship Care Team and Early Intervention and Training. Her journey through the different teams in the organisation has landed her in a place where she still maintains a twinkle to her eye and a passion for the work. Her particular passion is supporting community members, her team and others in the organisation in the areas of parent child relationships; lifting up the vital importance and role that parents play in a child’s early years’ physical and emotional development before they start their formal years of education.
Manager, Case Management & Coordination
Tracey joined the Kyabra team in 2004 as a support worker working alongside children and young people living with a disability, while completing her degree in Psychology. Since then Tracey has worked in the areas of Disability, Accommodated Support, Housing and Homelessness, Foster and Kinship Care and NDIS Supports Coordination. Tracey is committed to maintaining a positive workplace culture as well as a keen interest in facilitating the practice and professional development of Kyabra team members. This is with the hope to provide a valued role for staff as well as the best possible outcomes for the community members connected to our services and programs. Tracey enjoys opportunities for networking and collaborating with other agencies as a way of keeping a connection and presence in the Human Services community and forming referral pathways from mutual clients.
Manager Intake & Assessment
Shirley joined Kyabra in 2015 as the Manager of the Intake and Assessment Team. This was an exciting time for Kyabra and she enjoyed the challenge in her work as the intake roles formed and the team grew. Shirley’s experience and skill set comes from the journeys community members and colleagues have invited her on. She has had many frontline and management positions throughout her career in a variety of non-government settings. Shirley has worked alongside women in the area of domestic and family violence in women’s refuges and other community organisations and in sexual violence as a young women’s counsellor and community educator. She further developed her growth and knowledge when working with community members from a refugee or asylum seeker background. She also has a background in training and professional development. Kyabra’s strengths based approach fits well with Shirley’s professional frameworks. She is passionate about social justice and equity of access to services, which is core to the work in the intake team.
Manager, Sunshine Coast
Laine joined the Kyabra team in 2021 as the Accommodation & Domestic & Family Violence Coordinator, before moving into the Sunshine Coast Manager position. Laine has a degree in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies. Her professional background is in Child Protection in Victoria, having worked across multiple roles in and alongside this space. Laine has experience in working with high-risk youth and infants, foster and kinship care, contingency planning, project work and has worked in various leadership positions since 2014.
Laine’s passion is in working with families impacted by domestic and family violence and plays an active role in this sector. Laine also has a keen passion for strengthening outcomes in the intersection between domestic and family violence and homelessness and is a strong advocate through networking, collaborative practice and relationship building across various networks. Kyabra’s strengths-based framework and practice principles align closely with Laine’s professional values, which see her striving to maintain positive workplace culture, promoting professional development in her teams and strong collaboration with key stakeholders and community members.
Manager, Organisational Services
Ben is a Chartered Accountant who joined Kyabra in 2015. Previously, Ben held a wide range of commercial roles. Ben applies his skills and his experience to ensuring the highest standards of financial and organisational services. His commitment to accountability and transparency is reflected in the quality of financial reporting to both the Board and to Management. Ben works to ensure that direct service staff have efficient and effective systems to support their work.
Meet the Board
With a passion for supporting vulnerable people and developing robust communities, Nick has pursued a career in the profit for purpose sector. Nick’s unique skill-set has allowed him to gain extensive experience as a consultant in business development and strategic design, using innovative ways to create sustainability in the not-for-profit sector. Through project management, work-shopping and presenting to large groups, Nick support’s organisations in a variety of areas, such as culture- building, change management, innovative service delivery, revenue stream development- based on customers needs and wants. Nick enjoys working with people and their customers/clients to determine their pain points in finding a solution. He enjoys the development of new ventures and promise a passionate group of people can bring to their community. Nick has had a connection with Kyabra for many years and believes in the strength- based approach and values the Kyabra community embodies. Nick is excited to support Kyabra in continuing as a leader delivering sustainable services to the most vulnerable in the community.
Samira is a Community Development Practitioner with a strong passion and commitment to social justice, community capacity building and social inclusion of marginalised families and communities. She is inspired by Kyabra’s integrity, vision and integrated model of practice. Samira has worked in various roles with a wide range of people and portfolios since 1994, and she is delighted to contribute her knowledge and experience in Community Development, Social Work and cross-cultural communication to the community through Kyabra.
Following completion of a Bachelor of Human Services in 2012, Lexie joined the Kyabra team in early 2013, working as a Resource Worker in the Disability Services Team. While working at Kyabra, Lexie completed a Master of Social Work, and a Bachelor of Laws.
Lexie currently works as a lawyer with the State Government and has a strong passion for social justice and improving outcomes for individuals and families. Working across employment and administrative law, Lexie’s previous experience is as a social worker in non-profits, working across child protection, housing and homelessness, and disability programs (Lexie was an employee of Kyabra for almost 10 years!). Lexie has also been involved in community development project work with other community organisations while working at Kyabra.
Lexie has a keen interest in Kyabra’s values and framework for practice, particularly strength-based practice which strongly aligns with her own practice framework. Lexie is a fierce ally to the LGBT+ community and was instrumental in the implementation of the Gender in Practice working party at Kyabra and the LGBT+ inclusivity project. Lexie is also an advocate for positive partnerships and believes this is vital for securing positive outcomes for community. In line with her strong interest in partnerships and supporting outcomes for children, Lexie also sits on the Local Advisory Council of Edmund Rice Camps Qld, who has partnered with Kyabra to provide camp services since 2017.
Outside of working full-time, you will find Lexie running around after her 3 kids (+ 3 step-kids), playing hockey for QUT, enjoying Pilates, surfing at Kirra, or snorkelling up north.
After leaving Kyabra as an employee in January 2023, Lexie is excited to continue to support Kyabra in a different capacity through Board membership.
Since completing a Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management) and Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology), Tania has spent her career working as a HR Practioner. Within this field, she has worked across a broad range of areas including culture building, talent management, leadership development, organisation structure design and learning and development.
Tania is passionate about providing people with the right tools and environment to do their jobs and allow them to bring the best of themselves to work each and every day.
Beyond the professional realm, Tania has maintained a passion for social justice and supporting those marginalised and vulnerable in the community, as evidenced by her volunteer work in the not-for-profit sector.
Tania aligns closely with the values of Kyabra and the benefits it brings to the community and is passionate about using her work experience to contribute to the ongoing success of the organisation.
Tania balances working full time with raising her two young daughters.
Kyabra works with a number of government and community organisations in working towards our hopes for a fair and safe community. We see that these collaborations provide improved outcomes for individuals, families and communities.
An Executive Board of voluntary, elected community members is responsible for Kyabra’s strategic governance, in line with its Constitution. The organisation maintains accountability to stakeholders through the implementation and maintenance of sound governance and management systems. Our policies, procedures and practices conform with relevant standards across all service areas.