Chief Executive Officer, Caretakers Cottage Inc.
Laurie is first and foremost a committed caseworker who has been helping disadvantaged young people and their families for over 40 years. It is this experience that enables Laurie to develop programs and services that have truly changed young people’s lives. Laurie is passionate about helping young people to grow and successfully engage with life and the community through education, employment and social connection.
Laurie has a body of knowledge that enables him to navigate the complex network of decision makers and policy gatekeepers. Laurie is a key resource for many government departments and is a well-connected lobbyist with both government and the NGO sector.
Laurie and his wife Sara sewed the foundations of Caretakers Cottage in 1972 with a grant of just $40. Since that humble beginning, the organisation has provided accommodation and out of care support to well over 40,000 children, teenagers and young adults across the four different programs. Laurie is an industry leader and continues to take a groundbreaking approach to supporting disadvantaged young people.
Laurie has been a Board member of the peak body Yfoundations as well as the boards of some other youth services. He plays a role supporting small NGO’s that are attempting to position themselves in the youth homelessness sector.
Laurie has received a number of awards in recognition of his tireless work for the disadvantaged youth in our community. He has received a Good Citizen Award from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, and a Community Service Award from Randwick City Council, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Youth Action NSW, the state's peak body organisation for youth & youth services.
Manager, Caretakers Cottage Youth Refuge
Aliki Filis is the manager of the Caretakers Crisis Youth Refuge. Aliki is a psychologist with extensive experience at both a grass roots caseworker level and as a consultant within the Human Resources field. In either capacity she has worked with all the relevant government departments including NSW Department of Family and Community Services, NSW Department of Health, TAFE (Global) and the NSW Police Department.
Her extensive experience and skills in youth homelessness were honed through her roles with in Government and non-government organisations such as the Kings Cross Adolescent Unit and Caretakers Cottage. Her research experience has allowed for an additional abstract understanding of youth homelessness. She has researched the efficacy of mandatory notification for child protection across all relevant sectors for FACS, she has developed the NSW Police Strategy for Youth Homelessness and the training for Police dealing with Mental Illness, and has also developed the Protocols and Procedures for the NSW Health Department in dealing with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence to name a few.
Aliki has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales and a Masters of Arts (Psychology) from the University of Sydney. In her spare time, she enjoys silversmithing and playing with metals.
Case Worker, Caretakers Cottage Youth Refuge
Dee joined Caretakers in 2007 as a Youth Worker and later became the Case Worker at the refuge in 2013. Her extensive experience in the youth homelessness sector and child protection services allows her to advocate for the young residents staying at the refuge. Dee received her Bachelors in Social Work from the University of New South Wales.
Case Worker, Options Youth Housing
Dafna joined Options in 2013. She received her Bachelors of Social Work from the University of Sydney, and a Master of Management at the University of Technology Sydney. Dafna's extensive experienced in the youth homelessness sector allows her to advocate for her clients and assist them in becoming independent.
Case Worker, Options Youth Housing
Lexi joined Options in 2014. She received her Bachelors of Arts (Psychology) from Macquarie University, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. Lexi's extensive experienced in the youth homelessness sector allows her to advocate for her clients and assist them in becoming independent.
Manager, Entity OOHC & Aftercare, Horizons Youth Housing
Julie began working with the Department of Community Services at their remand assessment centres. She transitioned to working with children with disabilities before joining Caretakers in 1991. Julie has worked as a youth worker and caseworker within the organisation. She was a driving force for the development of Entity, Horizon and the Aftercare programs. Julie now oversees the day to day management of these programs.
Case Worker, Entity OOHC
Joanne went to Griffith University in Queensland and received a Bachelor of Behavioural Science and Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice. After University Joanne began working for the Department of Juvenile Justice in Reiby, Cobham and Yasmas as a Casual Youth Officer. Joanne left that position to take up a permanent position as Youth Worker at Entity in 2004 and then caseworker a position she has held with Entity since 2007.
Case Worker, Entity Aftercare
Initially starting out as a night club promoter Courtney completed her Certificate IV (TAFE) in Youth Work in 2008. part of her studies involved a work placement with Entity, where she worked as a casual youth worker. Following the completion of her studies, Courtney stayed on and was along with Julie, was instrumental in the development of the Aftercare program. In 2011, Courtney became full time caseworker for the Aftercare program.