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.
David has been the Chief Executive Officer at Kyabra Community Association Inc. for over 23 years. He has been involved in the development of organisational structure and practice that is congruent with both community development and strengths based approaches. David worked early in his career as a community development worker before applying the same principles and beliefs to his role as Manager of a number of human service organisations and services. He has embraced the challenge of seeking ways of giving life to values of respect and justice in organisational life and practices.
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 & Reporting
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
Colleen joined the Kyabra team in 2019. Colleen is the Sunshine Coast Manager of the Keys Early intervention program (KEIHS) across Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Gympie regions and Accommodation and Family Domestic Family Violence Program for the Sunshine Coast region. Colleen has worked across the homelessness sector on the Sunshine Coast for the past five years, managing youth shelters, transitional and supported accommodation programs across a number of NGOS. Colleen’s background is in homelessness, OOHC and residential care and child protection, in Victoria and Queensland, as well as family law pathways and group work and training. Colleen studied a Social Work degree at Latrobe University in Bendigo, Victoria, and has worked for a number of NGOs across Victoria and Qld, managing teams working with vulnerable and complex children, individuals and families. Colleen promotes a social justice framework and strengths based approach to her work and managing teams, and has keen interest in driving change in the sector through networking and collaborating with other agencies as a way ensuring that community members have access and equity to the services to support their family/individual needs.
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
For more than 30 years, Lori has worked with governments and NGOs in the United States, Australia and Singapore. During this time she has conducted social research and evaluation in education, employment, health (including mental health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health), housing, early intervention, juvenile justice, disabilities and family policy. She has provided government agencies with policy and strategic advice on these issues. She continues to facilitate strategic planning with advocacy and service agencies and to evaluate the outcomes and impact of policy and program investments. Lori also has extensive teaching and training experience, including specially-designed strategic planning and evaluation courses for senior bureaucrats and service providers, tertiary courses in research, policy development and evaluation, and workshops for practitioners across health, community services, workforce development, innovation, visioning, planning and priority setting. Current interests include development of user-friendly systems and tools for measurement of outcomes, impact, social value and the new forms of investment in social benefits.
Cathy is Kyabra’s current Treasurer and Board Member. Cathy is a practising accountant with many years of experience. She is also a CPA and a Chartered Tax Adviser. Her experience enables her to assist the Board to continue to serve the community and achieve Kyabra’s goals.
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.
Leighton is a senior real estate lawyer at one of Australia’s largest law firms. He manages significant commercial transactions on a day to day basis and has a considerable advisory and transactional practice. Before commencing his legal career, Leighton was part of the Kyabra team working as a Family Support Worker. He brings with him an understanding of Kyabra’s organisational values and an appreciation for its community-focussed objectives.
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.
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.