Meet The GenerationOne Team
The GenerationOne team is made up of a group of people with a diversity of skills in government, policy, marketing, advertising, media, health, university background, arts and culture, community engagement, youth work and research.
Click the links below to find out more about the team:
- Jeremy Donovan, Development Director
- Matt O'Sullivan, Manager - Vocational Training and Employment
- Kerry Pinkstone, Manager - Strategic Engagement
- John McNamara, Employer Account Manager
- Michael Starr, Employer Account Manager
- Christine Fry, Pathway Program Regional Coordinator Northern QLD
- Sharon Williams, Pathway Program Regional Coordinator, Southern QLD
- Elise Hiam, Business Support Administrator
- Bob Tronson, Communications Manager
Jeremy Donovan, Development Director
Jeremy ‘Yongurra’ Donovan is a descendent of the Kuku-Yalanji and Gumbaynngirr tribes of far north Queensland and the mid north coast of NSW.
After working as the Spokesperson for GenerationOne for almost two years, in 2013 Jeremy was appointed as Development Director, to lead the public campaign to end the disparity through employment.
Jeremy continues to make case for employer-directed training to fill the balance of jobs through the Australian Employment Covenant, work on connecting Indigenous students with careers through the Pathway Program, and build community support for a united Australia.
"I am excited by the challenges and what can be achieved in this space with GenerationOne and the Australian public. In my position as Executive Director I am ready to walk with the next generation of leaders,” said Jeremy Donovan.
Jeremy brings with him a wealth of personal experience, knowledge and understanding of the opportunities now available to Indigenous Australians, and a deep personal commitment to ensuring every Australian has the opportunity to have a dream, and to pursue it. This builds on his previous role as national spokesperson and Ambassador for GenerationOne.
Jeremy shares the sacredness of his culture to break down the barriers of ignorance that create stereotypes. He makes it his job to educate people from all corners of the world about the beauty that exists within the sacred and traditional Aboriginal culture.
At GenerationOne Jeremy uses his traditional knowledge to help the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in one generation – this generation.
“The message is clear, if we are going to end the disparity we need to work together,” said Jeremy.
Matt O'Sullivan, Manager - Vocational Training and Employment
Matthew started his career as a youth worker, seeing first hand the barriers that can obstruct success and the power of employment to change lives, and generations, forever.
Since then Matthew has continued to work in the non-profit sector, as Manager of Reality Youth and Community Services, then Program Manager for The Australian’s Children Trust, then General Manager for The Australian Employment Covenant(AEC) and now with the merging of AEC and GenerationOne, Matthew has taken on the role as National Manager of Vocational Training and Employment.
Matthew’s mixture of management and grass-roots experience means he understands what it means to employ someone who has barriers to employment, and what a successful pre employment program looks like.
He has seen some employers join the AEC with trepidation, but end up overwhelmed with the positive outcome.
"Many AEC employers say this is one of the most rewarding aspects of their work," said Matthew.
Over the years Matthew said he has seen many Indigenous Australians, particularly the young, look at their prospects and see despair, yet through a guaranteed job and a floodlit pathway to a career, hope is returned.
Matthew hopes to see the 60000 plus jobs committed by AEC employers filled with Indigenous Australians going on to develop great careers and ending Indigenous disparity for themselves and future generations.
"Employment is the catalyst for great things in a community, it breaks the cycle of poverty and changes everything, for good."
Kerry Pinkstone, Manager - Strategic Engagement
Kerry has extensive experience in the area of social policy, having been an Adviser to Ministers, Shadow Ministers and the Leader of the Opposition in the areas of families and communities, Indigenous Affairs, philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.
Commencing in 2010 as part of the start-up team at GenerationOne, Kerry's role has been to manage campaign strategy and implementation, policy research and development, commissioning and managing market research projects, developing key campaigns, media messaging and communication, community and stakeholder engagement, and coordinating major events including policy forums and employer roundtables.
Kerry is currently working towards completing her Graduate Certificate in Social Impact, at the Centre for Social Impact at Universiyt of New South Wales. Kerry was a participant of the 2012 Sydney Leaderhip Program, and in 2011 completed the Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA) Copland Program.
Kerry was born in Blacktown, NSW and grew up in Western Sydney before moving with her family to Tweed Heads to attend High School. Kerry attended Griffith University (Gold Coast) where she completed a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Exercise Science. Kerry has also worked with several leading event management companies on events including the Noosa and Mooloolabah Triathlons, the Mother's Day Classic Fun Run, motor sports races, and Weetbix Kids Try-athlon series.
Kerry's passion for ending the disparity:
"Education was the set of keys that I had to work hard for. I never questioned the reward - I knew that those keys were the future to unlocking the doors of opportunity. Every year of study and experience was another set of keys that would allow me to continue to unlock doors for the rest of my adult life.
The reason I joined GenerationOne was to make sure others had the opportunity to gain their own set of keys - to open their own doors of opportunity, and walk through them confidently into a better life. One of their choosing."
John McNamara, Employer Account Manager
John is a Wiradjuri man from Western NSW with over 25 years experience in Indigenous employment and economic development, overseeing Indigenous employment initiatives in both the private and public sector.
The frameworks John developed to recruit and train Indigenous employees are still the gold standard used today.
John has developed and implemented employment strategies with many of Australia’s top corporate organizations. Over the years he has been pleased to watch them grow into some of the nation’s leading Indigenous employee advocates.
Michael Starr, Employer Account Manager
Over the past 15 years Michael has performed in senior management and leadership roles, with special expertise in business development and building high performance teams.
Michael's career background is in business services, executive recruitment and staffing. More recently he led a team of 40 staff in the non-profit sector to deliver employment and training to disadvantaged youth.
His extensive experience has included roles as managing director, general manager and regional manager.
Michael places a high priority on building excellent, long standing business relationships built on trust.
Christine Fry, Pathway Program Regional Coordinator Northern QLD
Born in Bundaberg Queensland, Christine has worked in the education sector for years. After studying at the University of Queensland she completed a Graduate Diploma in Aboriginal Education at James Cook University in Townsville.
After working in the classroom with Indigenous students for a short time, she found her forte. It did not take her long to become advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.
In she began to specialise in literacy and numeracy education for Indigenous students at Tropical North Queensland TAFE in Cairns.
Christine joined the P Plate Program in 2010, excited at the prospect of making a difference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students across North Queensland.
Through the development of practical resources such as personalised learning plans for teachers, she firmly believes that linking the young people with committed employers is the best way to end the disparity between Indigenous and non- Indigenous Australians.
Sharon Williams, Pathway Program Regional Coordinator, Southern QLD
Sharon Williams has worked in the field of education for almost 20 years, most of these in Indigenous Education.
She began her journey as a teacher aide supporting the learning needs of primary school students, while completing a Certificate III in Education. This ignited a thirst for learning and Sharon completed a Bachelor of Education majoring in Indigenous Studies at ACU.
Since then, Sharon has had a varied and exciting career pathway. She been a classroom teacher, coordinated a Gifted Education Program for Indigenous students and worked with schools to create better literacy outcomes for students.
As an Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives in Schools (EATSIP) Officer, Sharon has worked with schools to assist in the embedding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives and then went on to develop a Leadership Program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers for Queensland’s Department of Education, Training and Employment.
Sharon welcomes the new challenges and learning opportunities she will encounter in her role as P Plate Coordinator. While working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students involved in the P Plate Program she hopes to instil a passion for learning while supporting them on exciting and enjoyable career pathways just like hers.
Elise Hiam, Business Support Administrator
Having spent nearly a decade in the sphere of all things ‘customer-centric’, Elise loves nothing more than to ensure that whomever she is working, supporting, or engaged with, is accommodated to and collaborated with to her fullest potential.
Elise’s tenure with the likes of Centrelink, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals & Telstra has equipped her with a good understanding of big business, whilst keeping the focus and importance on catering to the individual.
Volunteering for Meals on Wheels, Assistance Dogs, and GetUp.org are just some of Elise’s community focussed passions, along with being an avid ambassador for all things ‘empowering’ to local communities (Recognise.org.au & CultureIsLife.org just to name a couple)
With a dual certificate IV in Project Management & Frontline Management, Elise is working towards adding a Certificate IV in Web Based Technologies to her growing portfolio of qualifications, and completing her Bachelor of Arts in Languages & Applied Linguistics in the future.
Fun Fact: Elise LOVES Salesforce.com, and loves learning more about how to leverage its amazing capabilities as a Customer Records Management Cloud platform.
Bob Tronson, Communications Manager
Bob comes from a property development and finance background, having previously worked for CBRE Valuation and Advisory – Asia Pacific, Hazell Bros. Development and Westlink Consulting.
In 2012 Bob joined the team at Free to Shine, an Australian NGO based in Cambodia working to end sex slavery through education. Bob was tasked with enhancing existing sponsorship models as well as creating new pathways into corporate and educational sponsorship.
Joining GenerationOne in 2013, Bob organises GenerationOne’s digital and media campaigns, working on programs such as the CEO for a Day Competition and Community Champions Network.
Bob grew up in Tasmania before completing his VCE at Melbourne Grammar as a boarder. He completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Property Valuation) at RMIT in 2010 and is currently working towards completing his Masters in Corporations and Business Law at Curtin University.
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