Our Key Staff

Steve Kilroy

CEO

As the co-founder and CEO of Wandiyali, my passion lies with family, community and culture.

Born and raised in Newcastle I have had a lot of involvement with different organisations in an effort to better Aboriginal representation in our community. I have served as a Chairperson of Awabakal Cooperative, Deputy Chairperson of Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council, Chairperson of Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council, Guraki Aboriginal Advisory Committee, as an advisor to Department of Community Services and held a 10-year position with the Aboriginal Housing Office, Many-Rivers Committee.

I am proud of the growth and the contribution that Wandiyali has made to our community, and look forward to being a part of its continued growth.

Jai Kilroy

Chief Operations Officer

I am an Awabakal man born, raised, and lived most of my life in Newcastle. I am also a founding member of Wandiyali.

My vocational background is diverse, from working as a chef, to Port Hunter Commodities, to Wandiyali as Mentor Coordinator and Housing Officer, to owning various successful small businesses, to most recently working in the offshore oil and gas industry both on seismic survey vessels and semi-submersible rigs in the role of accommodation administration.

I completed my Degree in Behavioural Studies (2016), with minors in Human Resource Management and Indigenous Studies.

I live in Newcastle with my wife and two children and enjoy working with the extraordinary team at Wandiyali in continuing to build on its success, ensuring that we continue to provide the greatest possible service to support our community.

Kerrie Gallucci

Preservations Operations Manager

My educational background is in social work, which has led to working in a diverse range of positions across Government, non-Government and the private sector. I have had opportunities working with vulnerable families across a continuum, which includes early intervention programs to prevent families entering the child protection system, working with families where the children are at risk of entering care, working with individuals and families with disabilities and/or behavioural issues, as well as working with young offenders and their families.

In my role, I oversee all the programs under the preservation banner, which include AOD services, Birriwal, Brighter Futures, Caring Mothers, Family Preservation Program, Going Home Staying Home, MST-CAN and Nyugumba. I come to this role due to my experience working in Evidence Based Programs (EBP). I believe that EBP’s are integral to ensuring sustainable positive change in our work with vulnerable families and communities. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of an Aboriginal organisation that works tirelessly to improve outcomes for Aboriginal children and their families. I am also excited to work with a suite of programs that will contribute to research and build an evidence base for culturally appropriate programs.

Kirsty Stretton

MST-CAN Supervisor

I am a registered psychologist with a background working in mental health for both the government and non-government sectors, supporting individuals of all ages to improve their mental health. I have experience working in rural communities and understand the complexities of culture, isolation and activating formal and informal supports in this setting. Since working in the MST-CAN program, I have found my passion is working from a strong evidence base, that promotes working collaboratively and systemically with families. As the Clinical Supervisor, I provide clinical direction to the team, ensuring program fidelity, as well as building and maintaining relationships with our agency partners. I am proud to work for a program that aligns with the organisational goal of improving outcomes for Aboriginal children and their families.

Jenna Ward

Brighter Futures Manager

I am a Worimi woman, born and raised in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie regions. I have been an employee of Wandiyali since 2005 and have been a member of the Brighter Futures team since 2007. In 2015 I became the Brighter Futures Manager, a role which has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. I am passionate about supporting parents to keep their children safe and with their families, as well as developing connections within the local community. My professional career has seen me working within the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Aboriginal Community, starting at Yarnteen, followed by Youloe-ta IDA Inc in administration roles, before coming to work at Wandiyali in 2005. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Business through an online university and enjoy the process of learning and growth. In my spare time, I enjoy paper crafting and being with my family and pets.

Felicity Collis

Family Support Manager

I am a Gamilaroi woman, born and raised in North West NSW. I have lived and worked in Newcastle for approximately 10 years, and interstate in the Northern Territory for 3 years where I worked in remote Aboriginal communities. I have very strong connections with Gamilaroi country where most of my family still live. I started working with Wandiyali in January 2020 as the Family Preservation Manager. My role is to help keep Aboriginal children safe at home with their families.

As an Aboriginal Social Worker, I believe all Aboriginal children have a right to grow up strong within their culture, family and community. I am passionate about using my knowledge as an Aboriginal woman, and my learnings as a social worker to teach others about how to work alongside Aboriginal families to be safe and healthy.

Linda Andrews

Support Services Coordinator

I am a proud Yanyala woman: our family is from Northern Territory and Groote Island.

I have been working for Wandiyali for over 9 years and have been a part of 3 programs over this time Hunter Koori Youth Service (now Going Home Staying Home) working with youth who are homeless.

Wraparound Service, which was a mentoring service, working with young girls between the age of 8 and 18 who were in Out of Home Care.

Brighter Futures, working with families providing support and parenting skills.

I am passionate about providing support and services that well strengthen our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Wade Mahoney

PSP OOHC Operations Manager

I am a Barkindji man born in Broken Hill with direct paternal lineage back to Barkindji mob living along the banks and flood plains of the ‘Barka’ (Darling River) around what is now known as the town of Wilcannia in Western NSW.

When I was around 22 years old I had completed an apprenticeship as a Fitter and Turner but was extremely unsatisfied with the job so began studying Community Services at the same time I was asked to work in and eventually manage an Aboriginal Family Group Home in Mildura, Victoria.

The following 4 years saw myself and my partner (now my wife) and our 2 children live in the Group Home and provide a family style care environment for around 130 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children and young people who were not able to live with their families safely. This was the beginning of a passion that has seen me work within the Child Protection and Out of Home Care sector ever since.

I move to the Hunter Valley in 2003 with my wife and our two children and began a 9 year period of case work with DoCS which included managing an Adolescent child Protection and Intensive Support Services Team’s and then establishing and managing an Intensive Family Based Service before leaving DoCS to go on to work with and for numerous non-government organisations in every mainland state and territory in Australia.

Throughout my time, I don’t think I have seen an OOHC team structure that holds so much promise as the team and the broader organisation does here at Wandiyali. Having Joined the OOHC-PSP Program team towards the end of June 2020 I am extremely excited by the potential of Wandiyali and I feel extremely honoured to be able to play a leadership role within such an organisation.

Stephanie Smith

Carer Unit Coordinator

I am a Gamilaroi woman from Walhollow area. I have lived most of my life on Awabakal and Wonnarua land. I began working in Out of Home Care and started at Wandiyali as a caseworker in 2013 and then moved to the Carer Unit in 2014. I am currently in the PSP OOHC Coordinator position. I had previously worked with Hunter New England Health with New Directions which is an Aboriginal Child and Family Health Service.

I feel strongly about building and strengthening connections between the children in care, the carers, our families, the community and I am passionate about Aboriginal children being placed with family when possible. We as an organisation need to be encouraging and supporting the Community to know about and be proud of their culture. I am looking forward to working with the OOHC team to continue to build relationships and strengthening ties with the community through our work with foster carers, the parents and families, other Wandiyali services and also other stakeholders and services within all communities to ensure the children in care maintain their identity and strong connections to culture, returning to family when possible and being the new leaders in their communities.

Fiona Jones

Caseworker Coordinator

My passion for working with children and young people began when I was working in Residential Care. An opportunity to further my experience in Out of Home Care arose with Wandiyali. I was so excited to begin my work as a caseworker, two years passed and the chance to become a Casework Coordinator presented itself and I haven’t looked back.

My passion is developing and empowering our Caseworkers to support our children ,their families and carers to achieve the best possible outcomes. I value the importance of keeping children and young people connected to family, culture and community.

Wayne Griffiths

Caseworker Coordinator

I am a proud Gamilraay man, relocating with my family to the Newcastle area just a few years ago.

I came to Wandiyali with more than 10 years’ experience in children services, ranging from Out of Home Care, youth justice, early intervention and educational intervention.

I am passionate about the rights of Aboriginal children; I acknowledge the shortcomings and injustice of past and present removal policies and I work in this industry to be a part of the solution. I remember the national apology and where I was that day, when the Prime Minister Rudd addressed the nation, he said of the next steps moving forward “A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.” I believe Aboriginal agencies within the sector have a major responsibility to ensure we are a part of this next step working towards the repair and betterment of Aboriginal children and families across the Awabakal, Wonaruah, Darkijung and Worimi nations. This is why I’m here and why I continue to be motivated and driven to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal children who are in out of home care.

Angela Taylor-Ilievski

Wandiyali Child Care Centre Director

As the director at Wandiyali Child Care Centre my role is to inspire a great team of qualified Educators brimming with experience, expertise, passion and, together, provide a quality program and experience for the children and families who access our service and engaging with our community using the National Quality Framework.

I have a strong belief in early language and its importance in our community. I have a passion for working with children in the early years and supporting them to develop, gain skills, and as they get ready to transition to primary school.