Johllene was part of the founding team of the Kokoda Youth Foundation being our first part-time employee back in 2006. In her first 5 years, Johllene experienced every role within our organisation from Association Secretary to Event Manager and even volunteer Youth leader. Johllene has first-hand knowledge of what it is like to take on the ‘Challenge’ having completed the 96km Gold Coast course in 2008 and leading 28 of our Kokoda kids in PNG later that year.
In 2011 Johllene took a break from the Foundation to pursue her own business, enabling her to spend more time with her then young family. Johllene has returned to the Foundation in 2021 as Chief Executive Officer and brings a wealth of knowledge and skills in business management and Government relations. In her spare time Johllene enjoys fishing, boating and spending time with family.
Andy has a background in the logistics and supply of equipment for major events in England that include the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge and the Queens Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. After relocating to Australia in 2005, Andy worked on local events including the Gold Coast 500, Roxy Pro, Splendor in the Grass and Gympie Muster.
In his spare time, Andy is a keen Liverpool FC fan and has mentored young players over the past 20 years to help them work towards their own footballing aspirations. In his spare time, Andy enjoys watching the (English Premier League) football and spending quality time with his wife, 2 daughters and, very importantly, Alfie the family pet dog.
Jessica moved up to the Gold Coast at the start of 2020 after spending time volunteering in an animal shelter in Peru. She was brought on board to help grow the number of participants in the Kokoda Challenge events and reach a new audience to in turn, help more young people.
She has an extensive background in marketing, as well as a creative background in graphic design and photography/videography. Jessica joined the Kokoda Youth Foundation as it has always been a life goal of hers to work for a registered charity that gives back to the community and the people within it.
Stacey began her affiliation with the KYF in 2021 as a Volunteer Leader with the Kokoda Challenge Youth Program before assuming positions within the Foundation developing, delivering, and overseeing Youth Programs being offered to teens. Stacey is passionate about assisting others to recognise their value and self-worth, encouraging them to push themselves beyond their perceived boundaries and achieve their personal goals. With 15 years military experience and qualifications in education and management, Stacey brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team. In her spare time, Stacey loves spending time with her puppies, Charlie and Boots, exploring the great outdoors, and listening to country music.
Nikki has nearly 30 years’ experience of office administration and management within the corporate, small business and political environments. She has a wealth of knowledge in developing and implementing systems and processes that enable offices and teams to achieve the highest performance and produce excellent results. In her spare time Nikki enjoys hanging out with her young family going camping, and attending and cheering on their sporting efforts. Most weekends you will also find her down at the local netball courts where she is a passionate advocate for the sport, and volunteers her time as a Coach and is President of a netball club she founded.
Keith has joined the Kokoda team having come from an experienced background in Youth/Community Development with PCYC Working exclusively with Indigenous Communities throughout Queensland with a focus on community development, facilitated through capacity building initiatives, lead to his passion for social inclusion. His desire for personal development with Indigenous youth was enhanced through the development and delivery of the Deadly Duke’s program; a Cultural variant of the internationally acclaimed Duke of Edinburgh Award Australia, to which many honours were claimed. The program gained local, national, and international recognition to where Buckingham Palace was made aware of the young people influencing their community during a NAIDOC Celebration. Their aspiring leadership, return to Country and positive Role modelling lead to some participants having an exclusive engagement with His Royal Highness Prince Edward in recognition and celebration in 2014.
Keith has worked closely with QPS to achieve this outcome and has managed several Indigenous PCYC Clubs within remote and or discrete Communities including Mornington Island, Palm Island and Doomadgee. one of his most memorable times was at Lockhart River where he was invited to travel and camp with the community during the Laura dance festival in 2015.
In 2019 Keith transitioned to Project Booyah to work with disadvantaged and high-risk youth caught in the criminal youth justice system as an alternative strategy to reduce or prevent recidivism and incarceration. Keith Served with the Royal Australian Air Force as an Airfield Defence Guard (ADG) for a period of 10 years where he served overseas including deployment to the Middle East and spent time in Iraq 2005. The structure and discipline inherited as a member of the Australian Defence Force has provided the values utilised to model and mentor youth /community programs. It is this framework aligning with Kokoda Youth Foundation that has seen Keith join our team.
Meet Amy, a highly motivated and ambitious individual currently studying a Bachelor Degree of Advanced Business (Honours) with a major in marketing and event management. Amy has a natural passion for events and marketing. Amy is also a lover of the great Australian outdoors and enjoys camping and exploring the wilderness. In addition to Amy’s academic and professional pursuits, she is also a skilled martial artist, holding a black belt in Taekwon-do. This discipline has taught Amy the importance of focus, discipline, and endurance, skills that she applies not only in her martial arts training but also in her personal and professional life. But above all, Amy is driven by a deep desire to help others. She is passionate about making a positive impact in the world and is always looking for ways to give back to the community. Amy also hopes to inspire and empower others to do their best.
Ben joins the Kokoda team with an extensive background in the tourism and technology sector focusing on operations and training for volunteers. He gets immense joy in delivering the Kokoda Challenge Events and seeing teams push pass their physical limits and achieving their goal together.
Outside of the office you will find him running around after two young crazy boys, is studying to become a certified Youth Worker or listening to the lasted podcast on Military History.
Carly is super excited to join the amazing team at the Kokoda Youth Foundation. Carly will be working alongside KYF’s other Youth Program Coordinator Chris and managing the Kokoda Pathways and On The Right Track school based programs.
She is passionate about the great outdoors and being able to use aspects of positive psychology and a strengths based approach in her work and believes that young people are incredibly capable. With a background in the healthcare industry, wellness coaching, teaching and training, Carly is looking forward to working alongside young people to see them flourish and grow into their potential.
Chris, in recent years, has been developing himself professionally and experientially in youth mentoring, rite of passage, men’s work and counselling, and is now a qualified counsellor and youth worker and is certified in rites of passage. In his role as the Youth Program Coordinator – On The Right Track at the Kokoda Youth Foundation, Chris is excited to apply a preventative approach to guide, support, role model and journey with youth while helping them realise their potential.
Prior to embarking on his journey of personal development and education, Chris spent two decades applying his knowledge and expertise in business to start-up and manage numerous businesses, including an Industrial Abseiling organisation and indoor trampoline centres. Chris is a keen surfer who loves the ocean and relishes every opportunity to spend time with his beautiful wife and young adult daughters on our stunning Gold Coast beaches.
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