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 Operating 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.

Currently I am in the final units of completing a Degree in Behavioural Studies, with minors in Human Resource Management and Indigenous Studies. After with I will take a short study break before continuing my tertiary education via a second degree.

I have recently move back to Newcastle with my wife and two children after living on the far north coast of NSW for the past 8 years. I am looking forward to 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 our community.

Jenna Ward

Brighter Futures Manager

I am a Worimi woman, born and raised in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie regions.

Since finishing high school I have been working within the local Aboriginal Community, starting at Yarnteen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation, followed by Youloe-ta Indigenous Development Association Incorporated, before coming to work at Wandiyali Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Incorporation in 2005.

I am passionate about developing connections to, and within, the local community, encouraging and enabling Aboriginal people to access Aboriginal services and helping Aboriginal kids stay with their families.

Michell Kilroy

Going Home Staying Home Coordinator

I am from the Torres Strait Islands, our Clan is called THUPMUL, chief clan of Badu Island. We are the stingray people. Thumpul is a stingray which is found up here in the Torres Strait. When a porcupine stingray is seen in the shallow, we know a big storm is coming. This is the same for the Thupmul people, when you see the Thumpul people you know a big storm is coming, we bring fear and anxiety to our enemies. We are the Head clan; our great ancestors were head hunter warriors. On our island, the skulls of our enemies still lay in our caves on Badu Island.

I have lived in Lake Macquarie most of my life. My work experience includes 10 years working in childcare. I have worked at Awabakal Preschool and also as Director at Wandiyali Child Care Centre. This is where I get my passion from, working with Indigenous youth, and why I enjoy my current role with Wandiyali as the Going Home Staying Home Coordinator.

Kerrie Gallucci

MST-CAN Supervisor

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 families with disabilities, as well as working with young offenders and their families.

I come to the role as MST-CAN supervisor, 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 in a program that will contribute to research and build an evidence base for culturally appropriate programs.

Stephanie Smith

Carer Support Unit Coordinator

I am a Gamilaroi woman from Walhollow area. I have lived most of my life on Awabakal and Wonnarua land. I have worked at Wandiyali for the past 5 years in Out of Home Care. My first role was as a caseworker and now I work in the Carer Unit. 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 strengthening connections between the children in care, the carers and our families to 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 not only with Wandiyali foster carers but also with the parents and families to ensure the children in care maintain their identity and returning to family when possible.

Rebecca Douglas

Case Worker Coordinator

I am a proud Aboriginal woman from three countries of Orange. I have lived in Newcastle for most of my life, but love to go home to country in Orange. I am a mother of four beautiful children.

I have been with Wandiyali for eight years, I started at Wandiyali as an Out of Home Care Wrap Around Support Worker, mentoring children and youth in foster care. I have always had a passion for working in our community with children and youth. My years as a mentor gave me the passion and strength to strive to help support and guide our children in gaining better outcomes. From being a mentor I became Wandiyali’s first OOHC Case Worker when the Children’s Services department was established. Within years I was appointed OOHC Case Worker Manager and was able to implement many programs, special events and see a number of children return home to family.

My passion is with culture, community, children and youth and I have enjoyed making a career out of this, and being a part of children going home to family.

Jess Gale

Support Unit Coordinator

I have been working in Social Services for over 10 years. I previously worked with homeless teenagers and women in the refuge system. I started with Wandiyali 4 years ago and saw it as an opportunity to help the community in a different way.  I have a passion for Child Protection and ensure that I remain up to date with new research and new ways of doing things to get the best outcome for children that have suffered trauma in their early lives. I enjoy working with and meeting likeminded people that have the same desire to care for and support children in need.

Angela Taylor-Ilievski

Wandiyali Child Care Centre Director

Angela has a four year Bachelor of Teaching/ Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Education, birth to 12 Years, and has been working in the Education industry since 2008 enjoying various roles, which has provided her with a great understanding, knowledge and experience.

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.