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Staff Team

Helen Milner - Chief Executive

Helen’s job is to keep all of the plates spinning! She’s both hands-off - planning for an ambitious future - and hands-on - motivating the team and our partners in Australia to do the best they possibly can. She’s passionate about helping people to get the most out of the web and all of the opportunities it brings. She loves talking to the people in local communities who make it all come together, and to the wonderful people who have taken the plunge to do something different and digital with their lives.

Jess Wilson - National Director

Jess leads the work that Good Things Foundation does in Australia. She supports the team, connects with local, state, national and international stakeholders and most importantly ensures that we are building a strong, collaborative and supported network of great community organisations across the country. Jess is a community worker at heart and has lived in three states of Australia, so she loves travelling to all the different parts of this wide-brown land to meet people doing great work in their communities. She ensures that the Good Things Foundation team is providing high-quality support to our Network Partners and knows that to do that, we need to be constantly listening, learning and improving.

Bridget Rowe-Sykes - Head of Network

Life has come full circle for Bridget, having started her working life not far from the Good Things Foundation office in Yorkshire, UK! She too is now working in Australia and wanting to improve the quality of peoples lives. Bridget has worked in the not for profit sector for over 12 years in the areas of conflict resolution, intercultural understanding and now digital and social inclusion. "I benefit so much from the digital world in my everyday life and I really want other people too as well. I hate the thought of the digital revolution leaving people behind and without the skills needed to catch up."

Cass Strakosch - National Partnerships Manager

Having worked in the Australian not-for-profit sector for ten years, Cass is looking forward to connecting with organisations and communities to build the Be Connected Network. Cass will be empowering and enabling community organisations across Australia to assist their members to improve their digital skills, helping older Australians to stay connected and not get left behind.

Maraika Ropte - Grants Manager

Maraika manages the Good Things Foundation's Grants Program. She believes that it is crucial to ensure that older Australians stay socially connected. "Teaching them digital literacy skills is an important vehicle to foster social inclusion."

Verna Leigh - IT Manager

Verna is the Australian point of presence for the Good Things Digital team. Her role is to ensure local operations run smoothly and reduce the turnaround on any critical issues. Her larger goal is to ensure that technology never takes centre stage and that everything just works. Both for her team but equally for the end learners of the BeConnected program.

Allison Markkula - Marketing & Communications Officer

Allison helps get the word out about all the wonderful things happening at Good Things Foundation. Allison is originally from Canada and knows how important it is for the people aged 50+ in her life to keep in touch and feel included in her life. Plus, she says, "This same demographic accounts for half the likes on my social media accounts, so I need to make sure they know their way around Instagram!"

Dur-e-Shahwar Bilal - Network Coordinator

Dur-e-Shahwar (we call her DS) is the eyes and ears of the network. She regularly liaises with network partners, potential partners and learners. DS enjoys being able to connect and talk to the beneficiaries of the program because she gets to see how the vision of the program is translating into reality and how it's affecting the target audience. "Technology has taken over every part of our lives. Everyone should be able to enjoy and access facilities, services and benefits equally."

Elise Fixsen - Network Coordinator

Elise works with Network Partners, focusing on recruitment. She enjoys helping organisations get excited about digital inclusion, and supporting people on their journeys to get online. Elise studied psychology and completed clinical research surrounding the impact on connectedness on mental health. "Being able to connect with others is extremely important, and in this modern world that means getting online. It is especially important for those who are already at risk of social isolation, and I enjoy being a part of a program aiming to decrease these disadvantages."

Robert Sollars - Network Coordinator

Robert’s role is to engage with small and large organisations that would like to become part of the Be Connected Network. Robert thrives on developing these relationships with Network Partners and enjoys helping people that need it the most.

Tom Grant - Network Coordinator

Tom recruits organisations into the Be Connected Network. He takes pride in the fact that the Be Connected Network will help Australian seniors take their first steps into the digital world. "Seniors are going to soon be at a significant disadvantage by not having the basic digitals required to navigate the online world. Knowing that I'm helping to change this give me great satisfaction."

Ari Ellis - PA to National Director/Office Administrator

Ari works as Jess' PA but also supports the whole office. She's a natural list maker, and feels this is the perfect role as something always needs to be done! Ari believes that the Be Connected Network is important because it has the power to improve people's lives. "Anything that helps people become more empowered is so important."