General Manager, Open Doors Youth Service
Q. Your link to Townsville?
Born and raised in Townsville and moved to Brisbane for work when I was 23.
Q. Where are you now?
I’m in Brisbane at the moment. I love Brisbane because it’s a decent-sized city without being too big and still has the relaxed Queensland vibe. Though, I miss Townsville a lot and being so close to the ocean.
Q. What does your work involve?
I’m General Manager of Open Doors Youth Service, which supports young LGBTI+ people between the ages of 12–24. We support young people with counselling, family mediation, advocacy, education and training. There’s still significant stigma surrounding young LGBTI+, so it’s nice to be able to provide a safe space where they can be themselves free from bullying, discrimination and violence.
Q. What project is your current focus?
Our youth service is rolling out two ground-breaking programs: an Alcohol and Other Drug support program and we’re also part of the National Suicide Prevention Trial. Additionally, we support young people around housing and homelessness and are desperately trying to secure funding to see our first-ofits-kind Art Therapy program continue.
Q. How did your time in Townsville set you up?
Growing up in Townsville made me appreciate the value and importance of connections and relationships with others. People actually stop and take the time to say hello and talk to you and are genuinely interested in what you have to say.
Q. Do you still come ‘home’ to Townsville to visit?
Yes, but not nearly enough. My parents and some of my best friends are there. I’d love to spend more time up there – I instantly relax stepping off the plane when I land. It feels like a massive weight is lifted off my shoulders every time I return.