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:
- Matt O'Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer
- Jeremy Donovan, Senior Advisor
- Sharon Jones, Senior Account Manager, WA
- Leon Epong, Senior Account Manager, QLD
- Mark Thomson, Senior Account Manager, VIC
- Jade Delaney, Business Support Officer
Matt O'Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer
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."
Jeremy Donovan, Senior Advisor
Jeremy ‘Yongurra’ Donovan is a descendent of the Kuku-Yalanji and Gumbaynngirr tribes of far north Queensland and the mid north coast of NSW.
Jeremy drives the campaign to end the disparity through employment by continuing to make a 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. 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.
Sharon Jones, Senior Account Manager, WA
Sharon Jones has 20 years experience in employment, training, community and economic development as well as human resource management. She has an extensive knowledge of business development, supporting Aboriginal people with negotiation of contracts and infrastructure and developing business proposals for financial assistance.
Sharon has previously enjoyed great success managing and operating her own business which undertook a number of contracts to review remote training, development of employment policies, providing technical advice to Aboriginal community based organisations and managing design, development and delivery of Aboriginal cultural training.
Sharon has been comprehensively involved in both the public and private sectors working intimately with Aboriginal communities, mining companies and government agencies. She excels at providing a coherent link for all stake holders to effectively facilitate the employment of Aboriginal people into sustainable jobs.
Leon Epong, Senior Account Manager, QLD
Leon Epong has over 25 years experience working in Employment, Education and Training, particularly within Indigenous Affairs.
His work includes placements in Executive and Management Level positions with the Australian Government, Queensland State Government and private enterprise.
Over this period he has gained extensive and diverse experience and knowledge of relevant policies, programmes, initiatives and services in the employment, education and training space.
Leon has managed and mentored staff, managed regional offices in locations such as Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Townsville, Mt Isa, Cairns and out-posted sites in Cape York and the Torres Straits.
Mark Thomson, Senior Account Manager, VIC
Mark Thomson identifies strongly as an acknowledged member of the Dhulanyagan Clan of the Yorta Yorta Nation and Wiowurrung speaking people, along with his northern Irish heritage.
Mark has experience as current Chairman - Board of Directors of Worawa Aboriginal College - providing leadership and cultural guidance to the college Executive and fellow Directors.
Previous work experience has provided an opportunity to liaise constantly with Indigenous community members and organisations on a professional and persoanl level. Mark has extensive experience in rural and remote Aboriginal communtities, training local people in a variety of workshops. This experience has helped develop a deep understanding of strengths and issues relating to Indigenous communities on a broad level.
Mark is a Founding member and representative of Red Dust Role Models - a health promotion charity working in remote Indigenous communities.
He has extensive involvement in community events as an organiser and participant in Indigenous community sporting carnivals. These experiences have contributed to a developed understanding of entrepreneurship as it relates to community development.
Jade Delaney, Business Support Officer
Jade grew up on the Mid North Coast of NSW but it wasn't until she moved to Broome in 2006 that she started to learn about the history of her home town and of Aboriginal Australia. With a focus on Indigenous studies, Jade became passionate about the disparity that exists for many Aboriginal people and dedicated her education to learning about the historical context and contemporary challenges facing the Inidgenous community. After volunteering for several months, Jade was delighted to join the GenerationOne team.
"Working with GenOne has given me a fantastic opportunity to be part of something that is helping thousands of individuals and communities across Australia. I feel incredibly proud to be a part of it."
Jade is repsonsible for the administration of GenerationOne's operations and provides support to the team across the country.
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Social Justice and Indigenous Studies.
GenerationOne are interested in understanding the issues and solutions from all Australians as
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