Meet the Team

GORDON BARRATT OAM

CEO & CHAIRMAN

Gordon has been involved with various Sunshine Coast community groups for many years. Through his involvement with the local disability charity The Board Meeting, Gordon was directly exposed to the damaging effects that disadvantage brings to communities.
It was this experience that drove him to develop this program over the past two years to specifically tackle disadvantage across the entire community. Gordon has himself been an active mentor of a number of children for years and knows first-hand the impact that mentoring has as a lasting solution to the issues that disadvantage causes.

ANDREW SQUIRES

BOARD MEMBER

Andrew has been a dedicated volunteer with several years’ experience working with at risk children directly with a national non-profit children’s charity and volunteering, most recently as a Mentor in the Village Buddies program.

He is passionate about helping communities thrive and breaking the cycle of disadvantage in Australia. Andrew has held numerous managerial and leadership positions with a national banking firm and brings a strong level of financial integrity to the Board.

HARLEY STIEBEL

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Harley is a penultimate year medical student at Griffith University, currently on placement at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. His interest in tutoring and mentoring began in 2017 when he went to Michigan on exchange and was a weekly tutor to two grade 9 students at a community centre in Ann Arbor. Since then, he has worked as a tutor and mentor with several charities, including In2Science, Friendship Circle, Embrace Education and Stand Up. He hopes to bring what he has learnt in these environments to the tutoring program here at Connect Kids.

Harley also loves playing club soccer for Kawana FC, reading, listening to podcasts, and struggling to hit a tennis ball.

NICOLE RAWSON

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Nicole is a passionate and committed advocate for disadvantaged children. Throughout her career she has managed large programs supporting at risk and disadvantaged children in North Carolina, USA and here locally on the Sunshine Coast.

In these roles, she has advocated for children’s needs on paediatric oncology and general surgical wards, supported children with a disability to connect with therapy and community supports and had the privilege of managing over 14 research projects to influence medical systems to support the psychosocial needs of very vulnerable hospitalised children.

She is the co-author of 2 parenting books and has published over 14 internationally peer reviewed research articles. Nicole studied Child Development and Family Relations and graduated with honours from Western Carolina University in the USA.

Nicole is a local and is enjoying raising her two teenage children on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

BRAD HITCHMAN

BOARD MEMBER

A family man, born and raised on the Sunshine Coast. Brad has amassed a varied skill set through several careers, starting with gaining a trade qualification and then stepping over to the Australian Defence Force and transitioning to the Australian Federal Police where he was being deployed internationally in both these careers. Brad is currently working within the NDIS, specialising in high functioning autism. Brad is also a Lifeguard and can be found working on Sunshine Coast beaches one to two days per week. He has 2 boys aged 13 and 11, one of which has ADHD and ASD so he is fully conversant with the struggles families go through on a day to day basis. A keen surfer and mountain biker Brad brings a wide range of skills and real-life experiences to ConnectKids to help level the playing field for our disadvantaged.

KRISTA FLICK

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Krista is a born and bred Sunshine Coast girl, who still lives locally with her family and their two fur babies. In her spare time she can be found reading, baking, or exploring our beautiful region.
Krista has worked in the local youth and community services sector for over 15 years now. She is passionate about working with and for young people on the Sunshine Coast, and believes that mentoring can be a powerful way to change the lives of young people in our community.

TRISH BROWN

ADMINISTRATION MANAGER

Trish is new to the Sunshine Coast having moved from Sydney’s northern Beaches four years ago where she had many years of experience in Chartered Accounting, financial and business management. Most recently managing small and large garden centres. Since moving to the coast she has found a passion for social justice and addressing social inequality and is currently studying a Bachelor of Human Services at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Starting work as a volunteer for Connect Kids, she is excited to join as Administration Manager to help build the business systems and relationships to take the program forward to help more local families. She is a keen gardener and has four grown up children spread along the eastern seaboard.

ELAINE MOONEY

Supporter

Elaine helped set up and establish Connect Kids on the Sunshine Coast and retired in 2020. We forever owe her a great debt.

Before retiring to the Sunshine Coast in 2011 Elaine was a business partner & project manager in a promotional products and events company for over 25 years in Sydney.

Elaine joined Lifeline on her arrival to the coast and rose to Shift Adviser, a role that has seen her deployed 5 times to many regional areas to support victims of severe natural disasters.

In 2016 Elaine was invited to volunteer at SunnyKids to coordinate the pilot program, Village Buddies. Upon commencement just 3 mentors were engaged, due to her ambition and commitment 12 months later there were 87 mentors registered.

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