Senior Leadership Team
Terry Symonds, Chief Executive Officer
Terry Symonds joined Yooralla as Chief Executive Officer on 1 March 2021. With this appointment, Terry returns to the disability services sector, almost 30 years after beginning his professional career as a Disability Support Worker.
He brings extensive leadership and healthcare sector experience to his role.
In his most recent position as Deputy Secretary of the Health and Wellbeing Division of the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria, Terry had oversight of delivery of health care through hospitals and community agencies, as well as mental health and aged care.
He has also played a key role in the negotiation of national agreements between the Commonwealth and State, and in the health and aged care response to COVID-19.
Previously, Terry was the Deputy Secretary for Strategy, working closely with the community sector for the reform of out of home care and he has also held senior roles at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and in Queensland Health.
Terry is currently a member of the Roadmap Implementation Ministerial Advisory Group (RIMAG) which guides and advances the implementation of the Victorian Government’s overarching strategy for long-term transformation of the child and family system, is a State Committee member for NDS in Victoria and Board Director for Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network.
Leanne Turner, Chief Operating Officer
Leanne was appointed Chief Operating Officer in October 2021 is responsible for leading the delivery of services. Previously Leanne was responsible for Residential and Respite Support Services.
Before joining Yooralla in March 2017, Leanne was the Executive Director of the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne at Dental Health Services Victoria for three years where she developed new models of care and implemented a new clinical governance framework.
Prior to joining Dental Health Services Victoria, Leanne was the Director of Specialty Services at Austin Health for eight years. In this role, she was responsible for the strategic leadership and operational management of Cardiac Services, Vascular Surgery, Neurosciences, Neuropsychology and Respiratory Services, including the Victorian Respiratory Support Service.
Leanne's qualifications include a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing), a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Administration (La Trobe University) and a Master of Business Administration (RMIT). She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Leanne is also a Director of Benalla Health.
Rod Carracher, Chief Practitioner
Rod commenced as Chief Practitioner at Yooralla in March 2016.
He has more than 30 years’ experience in the human services sector and has extensive experience in quality and practice leadership and management of large disability support programs within the government sector. This experience means Rod is well placed to support Yooralla’s transition into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Rod has frontline experience of the disability sector, having started his career in disability nursing. He transitioned to an executive officer role after completing an Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA). Rod is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)
Rod is committed to safeguarding the rights of people with disabilities and ensuring supports and services provided to customers are of the highest quality.
His previous experience includes multiple roles within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), including Director of Brimbank Melton Area and Barwon Area, Regional Manager, Disability Accommodation Services in the former North and West Region, and Acting Senior Practitioner and Manager, Practice Leadership and Quality of Life in the Office of the Senior Practitioner.
Rod has also been a sitting member on the Youth Parole Board.
Matt Warren, Chief Experience Officer (CXO)
Matt started his professional life as a chemical engineer before moving into consulting for Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP) and global deployments and travel to over 50 countries including some of the most obscure locations in the world.
Matt joined Yooralla in 2013 as a volunteer with a dream of bringing his corporate experience to a sector that was faced with a huge transformational challenge with the move to the NDIA.
As a person living with Muscular Dystrophy Matt loves his recumbent trike, as it’s meant he can ride independently for the first time in over 25 years and his goal is to complete the Great Victorian Bike Ride. He sports a leading edge NDIA funded Assistive Technology that has enabled me to walk & ride anytime of the day or night. Matt’s very active in the field of social & community inclusion, in his spare time having written the five year Disability Action Plan and Accessible Camping for a major international music festival, is Chair of the Victorian branch of Break the Boundary – which provides adaptive MTB experiences and is working with Lake Mountain Alpine Resort and Marysville to become a destination of choice for inclusive, adaptive sports & recreation opportunities.
Matt became the inaugural CXO in October 2021 and sees listening as his number one priority. He’s driven by the motto: By Us, For Us – we design our future services and delivery together and is already seeing how he can finance a helicopter so he can get to all our locations more frequently.
Janice Brown, Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary
BEc, CA, AGIA ACIS (CS)
Janice joined Yooralla in March 2020 and is responsible for Finance and Contracts & Infrastructure and is the Company Secretary.
Janice spent the first 15 years of her career in Chartered Accounting firms (Arthur Andersen and PricewaterhouseCoopers) and specialised in providing assurance services to entities within the financial services sector. Janice’s final role was Director, Assurance Services at PwC.
Since leaving PwC, Janice has worked in chief financial officer roles for not for profit entities. Immediately before joining Yooralla, Janice was the Chief Financial Officer/Company Secretary at Navy Health for seven years where she oversaw finance, IT and governance, and led significant regulatory reform change. Prior to this, Janice was General Manager – Corporate Services at HealthSuper.
Janice's qualifications include a Bachelor of Economics (La Trobe University), a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance (Governance Institute of Australia) and a Diploma in Superannuation Management (ASFA). She is also a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Secretary.
David Thorsen, Executive Director, People & Culture
BBus (double major), GradDip (Labour Law), GAICD
David joined Yooralla as Executive Director, People & Culture in February 2020. David brings with him over 20 years of senior Human Resources and People & Culture experience within both the Education and Community Services sectors. Prior to joining Yooralla David was employed as the Director, Human Resource Services at the University of New England for seven years.
David’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Business (Office and Human Resource Management) from Deakin University and a Graduate Diploma of Labour Relations Law from Melbourne University. He is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
David is passionate about working for organisations that are providing valuable services to enhance community and individual wellbeing.
Craig Tucker, Chief Information Officer
MBA, MTh, FAICD
Craig joined Yooralla as the Chief Information Officer in August 2021. Craig brings with him over 20 years of Information Technology, Cybersecurity and Digital Transformation experience within both the private and Not for Profit Sector. Prior to joining Yooralla Craig was the Chief Information Officer at The Salvation Army. Craig is a graduate of the Royal Australian Naval College (RANC) having served at both sea and ashore.
Craig’s qualifications include a Master of Business Administration and Master of Theology as well as a Fellow at the Australian Institute of Company Director. Craig also serves as a Non-Executive Director on the board of The Lost Dogs’ Home. Motivated by working for a purpose driven organisation, Craig continually seeks ways to enhance positive outcomes through the use of technology.
Brooke Treacher, Director – Strategy and Risk
Brooke joined Yooralla in September 2021, and brings over 20 years’ experience and leadership in the health sector, specialising in strategy and planning, external relations, complex project management and risk management.
Prior to joining Yooralla, Brooke worked in the Victorian Department of Health, initially to oversee hospital incident management under the auspices of the Victorian Agency for Health Information, before assuming the role of manager of Research and Innovation in Digital Health. For over a decade, she was based at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, within which substantive roles included managing service and capital planning for the $1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, and being the Risk and Patient Safety Manager.
Brooke has established relationships across the health sector, academia, industry, community and government, and has a track record in identifying and exploiting strategic opportunities, as well as in delivering complex, multi-sectoral, innovative and politically-sensitive projects.
Melissa Cofre, Director – Home & Living
Bach Applied Science (Psychology), Cert IV Frontline Management, Diploma of Management
Melissa joined Yooralla in August 2015. Melissa has worked in the Disability Sector for over 23 years, holding senior management roles for the last 11 and has worked in all areas of Disability Services including Residential Services, Community Services, Positive Behaviour Support and Supported Employment.
Melissa also worked as a Quality Manager and Auditor prior to joining Yooralla. Melissa is passionate about service innovation: looking at ways to provide new and exciting service offerings which enable individuals to live the life they choose and achieve their goals.
Megan Slattery, Director – Community Services
Bach OT, MPH, Grad cert (Public Sector Management), CHE/FCHSM
Megan commenced with Yooralla in November 2021, joining from the NDIS Quality Safeguards Commission where she was the Director Reportable Incidents in Victoria.
Megan has previous experience managing Community services at Western Health and other community health services, in addition to other senior roles as the Quality Manager (Rehab, Community Health and Palliative Care) at Barwon Health and the Director Technical Advisory Team at NDIA.
Megan is a registered Occupational Therapist with clinical experience in hospital and community settings. Megan has further qualifications including a Master of Public Health (MPH) and a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management. She is also a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management and Certified Health Executive.
Cassie Kenyon, Director Allied Services and Wellbeing
BApSC (Speech Pathology).
Cassie Kenyon joined Yooralla in January 2003 as a Speech Pathologist at Belmore School returning to Yooralla after previously working for Yooralla at Glenroy School for 2 years. In 2012 she commenced managing the Children’s Community Therapy team, which, at the time was Yooralla’s only Fee For Service therapy team. In 2013 she commenced managing the therapy team at Belmore School before moving to the role of Manager Outer East Children’s Services in 2015.
In 2016, Cassie moved into the role as Group Manager, Children’s Services and in 2017 was appointed to her current role of Director Allied Services and Wellbeing when therapy services were restructured to form one team supporting people across the life span.
Cassie continued to work as a Speech Pathologist until her appointment to a full time management position in 2015.
Cassie is committed to working collaboratively with individuals to provide person-centered, evidence-based, high quality services to support individuals to achieve their goals.
Elouise Holmes, Director – Philanthropy
BA, MBA, MFIA
Elouise joined Yooralla as Director of Philanthropy in October 2019.
Elouise has worked across areas of fundraising and philanthropy, with a focus on developing and nurturing partnerships with supporters to raise major gifts to support the work of for-purpose organisations and to advance philanthropic causes.
Elouise’s recent experience includes leading major gifts and philanthropy at Arts Centre Melbourne and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. With a background in public relations, marketing and communications, Elouise has also managed membership programs within peak bodies, Diabetes Victoria and Volunteering Victoria.
She is currently an enthusiastic volunteer at Lort Smith Animal Hospital as a Non-executive Director in the hospital's Board.
Stefan Grun, Chief Engagement & Communications Officer
BCom (Marketing and Management)
Stefan joined Yooralla as Director of Marketing and Communication in April 2020.
Stefan has over 20 years’ experience in developing effective communications programs and marketing campaigns, engaging diverse stakeholders and building collaborative partnerships which create positive community outcomes. Stefan is also experienced at leading brand, media and reputation for a range of Non-profit, Government and commercial organisations.
Stefan has an active commitment to a range of voluntary organisations with a focus on equality and inclusion including being Board Chair of No to Violence, Board Advisor to Pride Cup and Chair of the Australian Sports Innovation Centre of Excellence (ASICE) – Industry Advisory Council.
Download: Yooralla's Senior Leadership Team Organisational Chart (PDF, 120KB) 175kb SLT-org-chart_March-2022.pdf