the streetwork TEAM
StreetWork is built around a tight knit team of dedicated, specialist youth workers, led by Helen Banu a seasoned non profit professional.
Most back office support is provided by volunteers, allowing us to dedicate over 80% of funds raised to our front line activity.
Helen banu, Chief executive officer
Helen is responsible for driving StreetWork to the next level, building on the solid foundation established under prior leaders. Over the past 35 years she has held senior management and leadership roles across the not-for-profit sector with a focus on youth development and volunteer management. Helen was instrumental in professionalising StreetWork's operations and is now leading our expansion to new communities in Sydney's north. Helen is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).
YOUTH SERVICES TEAM
Thomas dent, youth SERVICES MANAGER
Tom has been a youth worker since 2002 and has worked in a broad range of roles, from youth accommodation services, to employment services and the arts and music sector. In recent years Tom moved to youth work management and brings his expertise to leading StreetWork's youth team.
Alistair Webster, youth CASE worker
Alistair has had broad experience in Youth Work across Sydney's North for a number of years. In 2013, he was recognised for his contributions, being named Young Citizen of the Year in the annual Australia Day honours. Alistair has a Bachelors degree in social studies and a Certificate IV in youth work. In addition to StreetWork, he also works at youth centres in Chatswood and Gordon.
DAWN MICHEL, OUTREACH youth worker
Dawn, having raised 2 children both of whom faced some challenges along the way, developed a passion for supporting young people navigate their journey through adolescence. She has completed a Certificate IV in Community Services and volunteered in a number of different charities. In her free time, Dawn loves swimming, surfing and playing the guitar (badly).
JESSE KO, YOUTH CASE WORKER
Jesse joined the Streetwork team in late 2018, having worked in employment services and the youth and homelessness sector for a number of years. Whilst currently completing his Diploma in Community Services, he also holds a couple of Bachelor Degrees in Commerce and Sports Business, having dabbled in both these fields before fulfilling his life passion by entering the field of community services. He is a massive football (i.e. soccer) fan, loves all things sport, but above all, he loves building relationships with young people and seeing them grow beyond their own expectations.
sacha Merzian, youth case worker
Sacha has been a youth worker and support specialist for youth at risk for many years. Growing up on the Lower North Shore influenced by the booming 80s hip hop culture he decided to leave school in Year 10 but years later in 2002, got on track and graduated from UTS with a degree in Primary Education. Over the following years he turned his focus to working with and advocating for marginalised young people and those disengaged from school here in Sydney and in East London.
He is a strong believer that “if young people can they will” and that all young people can be their best when their strengths are encouraged and their support framework is sound. When he isn’t enjoying time with his wife and three rescue pets he loves producing electronic music and supporting the dreaded but mighty Arsenal.
chrissy gabor, youth case worker
Whilst working for a law firm that represented and supported victims of child sexual abuse, Chrissy’s connection and empathy towards the company’s clients drew her to a career in social work. Since then Chrissy has completed a Diploma of Youth work and is in the final years of her Social Work Degree. She has volunteered at a youth centre in Brookvale and has been employed as a youth worker at two separate crisis refuges’ in Penshurst and Bondi Junction. In her spare time she enjoys all board sports (surfing, snowboarding, skating) and having a laugh with her loved ones. Chrissy aims to use her positive attitude and outlook on life, to inspire the young people she encounters to empower them to create their brightest futures.
Kelly anderson, youth case worker
Kelly has a Diploma in Community Services and Certificate IV in Youth Work. She was drawn to Youth Work by her own life experiences which has gained her resilience and insight to the challenges young people face. Kelly’s true passion is to work alongside young people as a positive role model, working with empathy and deep understanding to assist Young People to find their own resilience, realise their goals and assist each individual young person towards those goals and a positive pathway.