These are the awesome people who make up Reach.

Meet the crew, champions, ambassadors and get to know some of the peeps who work behind the scenes.


The Reach crew design and deliver our workshops and have experienced the same kind of stuff you might be going through.


Heaps of young people who've experienced Reach have gone on to do some amazing things.

Our champions are some of them – they're former participants and now life-extraordinaires. As teens, they all came to Reach for different reasons – whether it was to build confidence, push their comfort zone or get a day off school! They all reckon that Reach was a key reason they were able to chase their dreams.


Check out this inspiring bunch! Meet our Reach ambassadors.


There are over 30 professionals (and all round excellent people) who work at our Melbourne, Sydney and Hunter Valley hubs. They have a combo of skills, experience, expertise and passion – and contribute their hearts and heads to making Reach tick.


Chris Naish:     CEO
Eleanor Bignell:     National Manager, Marketing & Communications
Ranko Vukomanovic:     General Manager, Finance & Operations
Chris Doig:     National Manager, Development
Kim Smiley:     Manager, Reach Enterprises
Danielle Cirillo:     Manager, VIC Programs & Government Liaison
Emily Cant:     Manager, NSW Programs & Teaming
Olivia Powell:     National Manager, Learning & Development
Dr Karen White:     National Manager, Wellbeing


Mattie Young:     Coordinator, Program Adminstration
Program Manager, Seek
Penny Diplock:     Coordinator, NSW Admin
Jodi Deutrom:     Coordinator, Community Programs VIC
Bron Dyason:     Manager, Hunter Programs & Wellbeing
Sumi Hebbes:     Manager, Community Programs NSW
Sharon Petrovic:     Manager, Education Programs NSW


Hannah Whittle:     Wellbeing Professional / Program Manager, Ramp
Leah Kirby:     Wellbeing Professional / Program Manager, Grounded
Alex Turner / 
Caitie Bleeker
    Administrative Assistants, Grounded
Genevieve Carey:     Manager, Wellbeing & Community Programs NSW


Tracy Fang:     Financial Accountant
Doris Yue:     Finance Assistant
Miranda Sowden:     Manager, HR
Damien Gray:     Office & Volunteer Manager
Eloise Tallis:     Executive Assistant to Chris Naish CEO


Max Affleck:     Coordinator, Corporate Partnerships
Denise Cheng:     Manager, Partnerships NSW
Deb Renshaw-Jones     Manager, Trusts & Foundations
Madeline Smith:     Manager, Events
Catherine Ross:     Manager, Fundraising
Angela Lindrea:     Coordinator, Fundraising
Frankie Swithinbank:     Manager, Business Dev. & Community Partnerships


Jeremy Dooley:     Manager, Learning & Development NSW
Jade Deutrom:     Manager, Learning & Development VIC
Will Kibby:     Admin Coordinator, Learning & Development


Alex Hill:     Officer, Graphic & Digital Media
Karl Backhouse:     Coordinator, Digital Marketing


Matilda Barrie:     Program Manager, Reach Enterprises
Kieran Christopherson:     Program Manager, Reach Enterprises


Our Board are a bunch of successful business leaders and professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the governance and strategic direction of Reach.

Board Chris Wilson
Chris Wilson

Chris Wilson was appointed chair of the Reach Board in May 2016 after joining the Board in late 2013. Chris is currently a partner in the Koda Capital Philanthropy and Social Capital team and previously was a Director of JBWere’s Philanthropic Services team. In 2012 and 2013, Chris’ work contributed to JBWere and NAB Private being awarded the Outstanding Philanthropic Services Award from the Australian Private Banking Council. Chris is on the Founding Committee of Impact100Melbourne, a fundraising initiative designed to raise $100,000 from 100 donors in support of the Melbourne community.

Pete Williams Copy

Peter Williams


Peter joined the Reach Board in June 2014.

Peter is a recognised thought leader and practitioner in innovation, with a particular focus on digital innovation.

Although his professional training was as a Chartered Accountant, Pete started working with internet technologies in 1993 while working in the UK. On his return to Australia in 1996, Peter founded an eBusiness consulting group within Deloitte Australia.  Since that time, Peter founded Deloitte Digital, now one of the largest web and mobile development firms in the world today.

Peter is a sought after speaker and media commentator both locally and internationally, and has worked with boards and senior executives of many companies – helping them understand and adapt to the rapidly changing digital environment.

Peter was recently named as one of Australia’s top Digital Influencers, is Chairman of Deloitte’s Innovation Council, an Adjunct Professor at RMIT, and a Board Member of Deloitte Foundation and Circus OZ.  Pete is also an active member of the community – assisting in the Vic Bushfire relief, QLD floods, Christchurch Earthquake, as well as actively undertaking student mentoring.

Alice (1)
Alice Macdougall

Alice was appointed a Director in September 2014. She joined the Board’s Audit and Risk and Fundraising Subcommittees at the same time. 

Alice is Special Counsel, Herbert Smith Freehills.  With 14 years’ practice as a charity lawyer specialising in tax, structuring and governance for charities and foundations, she is considered one of Australia’s most respected and experienced charity and non-profit legal experts.  Prior to moving into charity law, Alice had 13 years’ experience as a corporate lawyer including 4 years in London.

As well as having a strong commitment to the wellbeing of young people, Alice is a supporter of diversity in the workplace and retention and promotion of women. She is a member of the Victorian Women Lawyers Work Practices Committee and various Freehills diversity committees. She was also a founding member of the Freehills Community committee.

Alice holds a Bachelor of Science and an Honours Law Degree from Monash University and was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1987.

She is currently a member of the Law Institute of Victoria, the Australian Charity Law Association, the ACNC Professional User Group and Victorian Women Lawyers; and is also a Director of Carey Baptist Grammar School.


Anthony Klein

Anthony Klein

Anthony was appointed a Director of Reach in late 2014, having been an External Expert member of the Audit and Risk Subcommittee for two years. On joining the Board Anthony took on the Chair of this Subcommittee.

Anthony is a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), based in Melbourne and has over 21 years professional experience as an Australian income tax, international tax and M&A tax specialist, including two years working with PwC Hong Kong.

Anthony has been involved in a wide range of transaction roles, including acquisition due diligence, divestments, takeovers and IPOs of locally listed companies and multinationals, involving transactions ranging in value from $10 million to $25 billion. He has specialised in providing tax services to multinational corporations, across a variety of industries.Anthony has had the following leadership roles in the tax profession in recent years:

  • Co-leader of PwC’s Corporate Tax practice in Melbourne – a team comprising of approximately 23 partners and 80 staff.
  • Leader of PwC’s International Tax and Transaction Services team
  • PwC’s international tax leader for the Asia Pacific region
  • National leader of PwC’s China tax practice in Australia
  • Victorian leader of PwC’s China practice
  • ChChairman of the organising committee of the Tax Forum of the Taxation Institute of Australia
  • Member of the Commonwealth Treasury Working Party in relation to the reforms to the non-resident capital gains tax rules
Christopher Whitnall, Managing Director/Founder talkforce

Christopher joined the Board in April 2015 and has been a member of the Reach NSW Advisory Committee, currently as Chair. He has participated in countless Reach programs and has been a mentor, friend and coach to the crew over many years.

Christopher facilitated the very first formal Reach strategic planning session with the then Board in 1999 (and still has the notes!). He brings significant experience in strategy, leadership, governance and culture development and equally importantly, embodies the spirit and values of Reach.

As the founder and Managing Director of talkforce, Christopher established and drives the philosophy which makes talkforce unique among people development companies.

He is passionate about working with individuals, teams and organisations to develop their people and performance.  He  brings clients the benefits of over twenty-five years of practical experience. He has worked with thousands of people, from individuals to groups of 600.

Facilitation, presentation skills, team dynamics, leadership development and creativity and thinking are Christopher’s key areas of focus.

His corporate clients span a wide range of industries across Australia, Asia Pacific and the USA and include; Apple, Covidien, ASX, Advisian, IHG, Hoyts, Publicis Worldwide, Globecast, The Australian Ballet, MCN and Val Morgan.

Christopher also works with other non-profit organisations including Oasis Youth Support Network, The Salvos Youth Foundation, WEAVE Youth and Community Services and

Tom Canny
Tom Canny

Tom joined the Reach Board in April 2015. Most recently holding a key role in the Crew Leadership Team, Tom is a respected member of the Reach family who believes wholeheartedly in the space that we create for young people and adults alike. He is committed to understanding and preserving the ‘essence’ of Reach and passionate about making sure that young people continue to have the same opportunities that he enjoyed so they can walk into a space that truly drives them towards their personal greatness.

Reach has been a part of Tom’s life since 2006 and he continues to facilitate school workshops, training for community workshops and delivers crew training amongst many responsibilities.

Mike Mcshane
Mike McShane

Mike joined the Reach Board in April 2015, having been involved with Reach for many years. He has participated in Camp Massai and a range of other programs, and through his business and partner, has provided significant support to Reach through major fundraising events such as the annual McLardy McShane Lunch and golf days.

Mike has had a long and rewarding career in insurance. He started what was to become a lifelong career after choosing to join Sun Alliance immediately after leaving school. Mike has worked in all facets of the insurance industry including general broking, claims, financial services and for the national industry association, NIBA.

Mike started his own business in 1999, McShane Business Services, which he grew consistently over eight years and then merged with Don McLardy & Associates in 2007 to create McLardy McShane.

Mike continues to service a large number of clients, and although he has experience in all areas of business insurance, Mike has a particular expertise in the mobile plant, cranes and earthmoving industry.

Mike is married with three daughters and is a passionate Demons supporter.

Lindsay Oades

Lindsay Oades

Lindsay’s key interest is positive mental health and wellbeing across all key contexts within society ie educational, health, business and public policy. Lindsay’s contribution has been recognised by his numerous invited international keynote presentations and several awards, and his recent consultancies include the Australian Mental Health Commission (working on the Contributing Life Project), NSW Mental Health Commission (involved in the development on the Wellbeing Collaborative), Department of Education and Community (consulting on the development of the NSW Wellbeing Framework for Schools) and Maudsley International (international global mental health consultancy).

Lindsay was an invited visiting researcher to the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London in 2013. Lindsay is a co-editor on the International Journal of Wellbeing Lindsay’s outstanding teaching record was recognised in 2013 with an Australian Gorvernment OLT Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. Lindsay has published 92 refereed journal articles and book chapters, has three book contracts under contract, has supervised twelve doctoral students to completion. Lindsay’s key research contribution has been a systematic and sequential approach to develop and implement recovery oriented mental health service provision, mainstream policy now in the English speaking world. This has involved the development of the Collaborative Recovery Model (CRM), a service and organisational development model, now used in all mainland states of Australia. This is a positive mental health approach to people already with illness. A related contribution is the Stages of Recovery Instrument (STORI) which is a mental health outcome measure, now translated into 8 languages. Lindsay has been part of teams that have gained over $2.6m in competitive research funding, and contract research or consultancies (domestic and international) of over $594,000 in applied health and education contexts.

Tom Imbesi

Tom Imbesi

Tom was appointed Chairman of Deloitte Australia in May 2017 and has more than 30 years’ experience as an auditor in Australia and the United States. Tom became a Deloitte partner in 1999 and specialises in the provision of assurance and advisory services to large ASX listed companies. He was appointed Victorian Managing Partner in 2015 and held this role for two years during which the office achieved significant growth. He is strongly connected in the business community and is an adviser to Boards and management across the corporate sector.

Amanda Officer (Legal Secretary)

Amanda Officer

Board members, external experts and even our crew also contribute their time to the Board Subcommittees. These are held at regularly throughout the year.

  • AUDIT & RISK SUBCOMMITTEE Anthony Klein (Chair), Alice Macdougall, Tom Imbesi, Chris Naish, Max Affleck, Beth Knight, Will Kibby, Ranko Vukomanovic (Sec).
  • IMPACT SUBCOMMITTEE Michelle McQuaid, Lindsay Oades, Chris Wilson, Tom Canny, Mathew White, Dianne Vella-Brodrick, Chris Naish CEO, Dr Karen White (Sec).
  • FUNDRAISING SUBCOMMITTEE Chris Wilson (Chair), Alice Macdougall, Emma Warren-Smith, Kimberly Downes, Sarah Buckley, Tim Mitchell-Adams, Mike McShane, Peter Williams, Dymphna James, Charlie Syme, Max Affleck (Crew).


Reach was established in 1994 by Jim Stynes OAM (AFL Brownlow Medalist, youth motivator, and Victorian of the Year 2003) and Australian film director, Paul Currie.

Jim and Paul were two young men who recognised that too often the greatness in young people was hidden behind fear, anger or hurt. Reach was born from a desire to inspire every young person to believe in themselves and get the most out of life.

Our Founders

Paul Currie

Co-Founder of Reach, Paul Currie, studied extensively in high-level performance psychology and actor training. As the founder of the Elliot Currie Drama Studios in Melbourne, Paul has a wealth of actor and theatrical directing, having trained some of Australia’s leading performers. Paul’s experience with, commitment to and understanding of young people was instrumental to Reach’s appeal and early success.

Paul’s work ranges from commercial and film directing to massive scale live events. He produced the feature film ‘Under the Gun’, directed the critically acclaimed documentary ‘Lionheart – The Jesse Martin Story’, and also served as ISIS Communications’ Creative Director for ‘World Reconciliation Day’, a live and filmed event that featured Nelson Mandela and Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter. Recently, Paul directed Every Heart Beats True: The Jim Stynes Story, as a personal tribute to his good friend, and Co-Founder of Reach, Jim Stynes.

Currently based in LA, Paul is the founding shareholder of Lightstream Films.

Jim Stynes

Born in Dublin, Jim Stynes was brought from Ireland to Australia in the mid 1980s as part of a Ron Barassi inspired program to recruit Irish footballers for the Melbourne Football Club. Described as ‘Australia’s most successful sporting experiment’, he played his first senior game in 1987 and retired 264 games later in 1998.

On the football field, his honours include the 1991 Brownlow Medal and four Melbourne Football Club Best & Fairest awards (1991, 1994, 1995, 1997), equaling the club record. His most extraordinary achievement was playing an AFL record-breaking 244 consecutive games between Round 17 1987 and Round 4 1998. Jim was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2003.

In March 2012 we farewelled our beloved co-founder after a three year battle with cancer. Jim’s journey was documented in Every Heart Beats True: The Jim Stynes Story.

Jim believed there is greatness in each and every one of us. He not only encouraged us to see this for ourselves, but supported over half a million young Australians to recognise this for themselves, too.

We continue to miss Jim every day.