Logan Together

Meet the Backbone team

Our Backbone team is hosted at the Griffith University, Logan Campus.

Powering the Logan Together collaboration takes work. That’s the role of the small but intrepid band of relentless optimists who make up the Backbone team.

Matthew Cox – Director

After chairing the working party that established the Logan Together initiative during 2014/2015, Matthew Cox was appointed its Director in July 2015. Prior to this role, Matthew spent a decade at the Australian Red Cross, heading the organisation’s human services and community and economic development program in Queensland.

Earlier Matthew had a career in local government and in communications and marketing. 

Matthew is a member of the Logan City of Choice Leadership Team and is currently its co-chair.

He has four kids and has worked in Logan, Brisbane, regional, rural and remote Australia, Melbourne and London.

When I was three I wanted to be either a sea captain or a garbage bin collector – the guys who hung off the back of the garbage trucks, jumped off, ran up our front path and swung our metal bin up on their shoulder.   They’d then run back to the truck and throw the bin to their mate who’d unload it into the truck and throw it back. This was before wheelie bins.

I remember talking to my grandmother – who I was very close to – about my career interests.  She told me that sea captains had to go down with their ship if it sank, so by the time I’d got to kindy I settled on being a garbage bin collector.

Email Matthew: matthew.cox@griffith.edu.au

Sandra Fields – Deputy Director

Sandra grew up in Beenleigh and began her career in the social services industry in the late 1980s. She established and ran the Beenleigh Youth and Community Combined Action Program – a community development and youth support initiative – in 1991 before moving on to become the Director of the Youth Affairs Network in Queensland in the mid 1990s.

Senior roles in Brisbane City Council followed before she was appointed as the Director, Office for Youth in the Queensland Government.

For the last 15 years, Sandra has run her own consulting business, FieldWorx, specialising in strategic planning, organisational development and community development and engagement. In this capacity Sandra has worked with leaders across Government at all three levels, the business community and at the local community level to plan and enact change on issues big and small.

Recently Sandra has worked with Torres Strait elders to create a Torres Strait Languages Charter and Plan and a new language centre for the region, developed Gold Coast City’s Ocean Beaches Strategy, developed the business case for the creation of the Community Services Industry Alliance and led strategic development projects for organisations as diverse as Cairns City Council, Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum and BlakDance Australia.

When I was at kindy my mum was responsible for my fashion and hair styling (home made outfit pictured, complete with crooked kindy fringe, all with love!)  I still make that face when I’m concentrating!!

Email Sandra: sandra.fields@griffith.edu.au

Sherena Oxley – Community Insights and Information Systems Lead

Prior to joining the Logan Together Backbone Team in April 2016, Sherena was an Executive Manager with the Australian Red Cross. In this role, Sherena led the reporting, knowledge management and business operation units.
With more than 17 years industry experience, Sherena has a passion for strategic learning, and the use of data and public knowledge to inform real time, evidence-based decision making. Sherena enjoys working directly with community to ensure their voice informs service design and continuous improvement. She has broad experience in the development of solutions to support access to – and engagement with – relevant, meaningful information, and is excited to work collaboratively to drive continuous improvement and innovation in Logan.

Email Sherena: s.oxley@griffith.edu.au

Matt Statham – Community Solutions Lead

 Matt joined the Logan Together Backbone team in 2015 as the Community Solution Leader. His previous experience includes senior management positions with the Australian Red Cross and government departments within the area of youth justice. Matt has considerable experience in direct delivery and leadership of services to vulnerable children, youth and families.

At Logan Together, Matt is responsible for leading the community through partnership and co-design processes to solutions addressing population level social issues.

Within the last 18 months, Matt has lead community members, health agencies and academics in Logan to solutions in relation to peri-natal health issues which have resulted in improved relationships, the development of an innovative community-wide maternity hub program and re-thinking of community engagement processes in local hospitals. 

Email Matt: matt.statham@griffith.edu.au

 

 Victoria Parker – Marketing and Communications Lead

Part time

Victoria Parker is a nationally awarded marketing communication professional with over 18 years’ experience working in the private and public sectors, with a particular interest in the community, housing, and property development industries.

For the last two years, Victoria has been leading a behaviour change project for a government utility encouraging safe behaviours around inland waterways. This campaign was recognised by the industry, wining national and state awards over the last two years.   Prior to that Victoria led the establishment of a residential housing Research Foundation. The Research Foundation initiated a rolling program of research that continues to provide critical insights into what housing solutions are needed so thriving and sustainable communities are created. Also, in this role Victoria repositioned the organisation to better reflect the critical role that development and housing plays in the lives of Queenslanders.

Victoria sits on the Board of the Lady Bowen Trust –  a Queensland Government established entity that provides practical help to Queenslanders who are experiencing, or are at risk of, homelessness to stabilise their lives and build a better future.

I had to confirm this with my mum, because I was sure I had higher aspirations at 5 years, but apparently my overriding desire was to be able to read (and it didn’t come easily or fast) and to get roller skates for my next birthday.

Email Victoria: v.parker@griffith.edu.au

Jen Kyriacou – Executive Support Officer

Part time

 Jen joined the Logan Together Backbone team in 2017 with extensive experience in co-ordination and executive support within not for profit organisations.

Jen’s previous positions at the Australian Red Cross saw her undertake a number of roles, including Membership and Branch Coordinator for Queensland. Jen’s most recent position was as Community Liaison Officer for Endeavour Foundation, where she worked with families to help increase their knowledge and encourage their preparedness for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Jen’s various roles in not-for-profit organisations has seen her gain experience in governance, accountability, service provision and the importance of customer service. As a Board and founding member of the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics Australia, Jen has learnt first hand the importance of volunteering and how passionate individuals can make real change to improve the lives of loved ones. Jen’s passion lies with building foundation community for children with a disability, ensuring they have the opportunity for an ordinary life.

When this photo was taken I wanted to be Italian.  There was a lovely old lady who lived behind our house and I used to go down there when mum wasn’t watching and she would feed me full of spaghetti.  Parental supervision was minimal in those days.

Later on in childhood, when I started Prep, I wanted to be Agnetha from ABBA.  I had the ABBA Arrival album (the one with the helicopter on the front) which was my pride and joy.  I performed for my parents friends and family.  They were mesmerised by my talent and I’m sure never got sick of hearing me sing. 

Email Jen: j.kyriacou@griffith.edu.au

Karen Dawson-Sinclair – Community Empowerment Agent Lead

Part time

With almost 25 years experiences working on the front-line in early childhood education and the social services sector, Karen Dawson-Sinclair brings a unique and rare skill set to Logan Together. Much of her professional career has been spent working with kids and families in Logan, and, after spending some time working in a volunteer capacity, Karen joined the Backbone Team in 2016 where she leads the charge on coordinating our community empowerment efforts.

Using her practical skills and knowledge of child development coupled with her love of the Harwood Institute Community Listening Framework, Karen is able to softly and distinctively work with energy in the community to determine their aspirations and help bring them to life.

When I was little, my dad’s nickname for me was “Pel” – short for pelican – because I had a big mouth and never stopped talking! I always wanted to spend time with the adults chatting.

I also loved making my two brothers play school with me – and I was ALWAYS the teacher! 

Email Karen: k.dawsonsinclair@griffith.edu.au

SHARON WORBOYS – Marketing and COMMUNICATIONS Specialist

With more than 15 years of experience in media, communications and marketing, Sharon Worboys is passionate about story-telling, change-making, and the wonderful world of marketing.
Cutting her professional teeth as a cadet journalist at the Gold Coast Bulletin from the age of 17 honed her curiosity about people, sparked her love of the written word, and gave her a thirst for knowledge about the diversity in every community.
Since then, she has worked in the independent and tertiary education sectors, local government, and not-for-profit organisations in the diverse areas of marketing, communications, issues management and media liaison.
She also has experience in photo and video shoots, small and large publications, driving social media campaigns and stakeholder engagement.
Sharon has had a varied career where the common core factor has been simple: sharing great stories. And Logan Together has lots of stories to tell!

When I was little, I had three imaginary friends called my Little Womens who lived in my pocket and who unfairly got the blame for a range of transgressions. As the youngest of five siblings, I needed to feel like the boss of someone, so the Little Womens were pretty long-suffering.

My career ambitions were shaped by seeing an ad on TV which deeply affected me: where grateful children bought box after box of chocolates as gifts for their increasingly cheerful lollipop lady. I planned to be the best lollipop lady there ever was, with the most impressive chocolate haul. 

Email Sharon: sharon.worboys@griffith.edu.au

 Nat Millar – Community Empowerment Agent

Part time

Nat Millar is the owner and operator of Mums n’ Bubs Logan, a playgroup and online support forum with more than 18,000 members where local mothers offer advice, support, laughs and friendship to each other as they navigate the joys and challenges of parenthood.

The group began almost by accident, as Nat was seeking some fellow mums for a playdate in the park –  years later, the group is the biggest of its kind in the area and Nat tirelessly monitors the group, offering a safe online space for mothers in Logan, as well as organising weekly meet-ups at venues all over the Logan area. 

Through her role as a Community Empowerment Agent with the Logan Together Backbone Team, Nat offers help, support  and insight on all things child and parent related in the Logan Community.

Nat is inspired by Logan Together’s total dedication to making a change for the good of the children in Logan.

When I was 4 years old I really wanted to be a school teacher when I grew up.

As I was an only child, I fondly remember setting up all my toys as “school kids” and I would be the teacher!

Email Nat: n.millar@griffith.edu.au

 

Angela TuiSamoa – Community Empowerment Agent

Part time

Mother of four and grandmother of one Angela has lived in Logan since 2014, and has always had a passion for community connections and letting the voices of families be heard.

Having spent years dedicating her time to her family, she is now also turning her attention to the young families of Logan, driven by the desire to be part of a change for the better in the community.

Angela recognises that many parents are dealing with situations sometimes beyond their control, without knowing where to turn to make things better. This disempowerment is something she hopes will change in the coming years.

The value and commitment that Logan Together has placed on collecting community voice and doing something with it is what motivated Angela to become a Community Empowerment Agent. Her hope is the community will value the Logan Together mission and its authenticity as much as the community voice is valued by Logan Together.

Email Angela: a.tuisamoa@griffith.edu.au

Andrea World – Community Empowerment Agent

Part time

Andrea has lived in Logan since 2001, and, from 2004, was the proud owner of the job title “stay home mum that never stayed home”. 

In her early 20’s Andrea volunteered on the Drug Arm Street Van and also at Kids Help Line as a Counsellor’s assistant. 

She has always been passionate about pregnancy and birth and joined Maternity Choices Australia (MCA)  after the birth of her third son – a blissful water birth – and became a Volunteer Maternity Care Consumer Representative. In 2012, she became Queensland President of MCA, a title she still holds.

Before joining the Backbone Team, Andrea was a volunteer with Logan Together and was part of the Cross Sector Leadership Team and the Maternity Project Group, now the Maternity Hubs Oversight Committee. 

Andrea believes that parenting is the most challenging, but rewarding role in life, and that birth is the foundation for family life.  Her passion is for pregnant and birthing women to feel safe, loved, supported and respected as she believes this provides the best possible start for families and the entire community. 

She loves listening to local families and is amazed by the endless ideas and insights people provide when sharing experiences of the complexities of their lives. 

I grew up in Bundaberg and, since as far back as I can remember, I always looked forward to being a Mummy and caring for my own family.  I even earned the name  “Henny Penny” as a teenager because I was always the mother hen looking after all my little chicks!

Belinda Brown – Project Officer

Part time

Belinda has over 20 years experience working in program management and quality improvement roles, predominantly within the health and community services sectors. She has a strong interest in governance and systemic reform, and collective capacity building to improve outcomes for disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.

Belinda works across a number of areas at Logan Together including grant writing, research and policy development, practice reviews and reporting. 

When she’s not at Logan Together, Belinda is a Wellbeing Educator and Facilitator for children and young people, and owner of The Little Engine Craft & Wellbeing Studio. She is passionate about children’s sense of belonging and connectedness with their communities, and using empowerment and strengths based approaches to enhance social and emotional wellbeing, build resilience and promote healthy relationships.   

Belinda’s favourite childhood pastime was fishing for crayfish and making Billy Tea and damper with her Dad. She could spend all day climbing trees – the bigger the better (although her poor mum wouldn’t agree), and loved looking for Penny Turtles in the creek with her sisters.    

At primary school Belinda thought the Recorder was possibly the most boring instrument in the world. She took matters into her own hands and taught herself to play the recorder with her nose. It didn’t go down well with her teachers, but her friends and family thought it was the best! To this day Belinda can still play the Sailor’s Hornpipe with her nose. 

Teresa de Vries – Administration Officer

Part time

Teresa joined the Logan Together Backbone team in September 2017.  She comes with stacks of administration and finance experience behind her, particularly in the not-for-profit sector.

Teresa has worked throughout Corporate Services, supervising small administration teams for community service providers and spending some time working within the emergency services sector during times of crises. Teresa spent more than 10 years working for Australian Red Cross in a number of departments.

Most recently, she worked for a  Medical Research Company as Administrator / Accounts Payable.

In an unusual honour, Teresa is also proud to be one of the subjects of the Dunedin Study since 1972.  An award-winning multidisciplinary health and development study monitoring a large group of people from birth through adultuhood, the study is still going strong today. Teresa has also participated in the sub-studies looking at family health and parenting.

Teresa, her husband and three children have recently returned to Queensland, where she has lived for 17 years, after spending a year in Perth.

When I was a child I loved science – especially biology.  Loved to dissect things.  I would always walk to the local bay, catch fish and pull their eyes out.  

Email Teresa: t.devries@griffith.edu.au

 

Professor David Hogan – Associate Backbone Team Member

Professor David Hogan completed his undergraduate education at the University of Sydney before teaching high school for three years in Sydney and completing his postgraduate work at the University of Illinois. He subsequently taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1979 – 1994 and the University of Tasmania (1994 – 2004), before taking up a series of senior research appointments at the National Institute of Education in Singapore (2004  – 2013).

As Principal Research Scientist, he designed and implemented a large multi-focus, high impact, policy aligned, mixed methods research project focused on measuring the quality of teaching and learning across the Singapore system in both primary and secondary schools. Here he was responsible for modelling the relationship between teaching and learning, reporting the results of the research and making recommendations to the senior executive group and the Minister of Education in Singapore.

He is currently an Honorary Professor in the School of Education and Fellow in the Life Course Centre in the Institute of Social Science Research at the University of Queensland.

Email David: D.Hogan@griffith.edu.au

 

 

The Roadmap