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Our fantastic Board is made up of expert professionals from varying backgrounds who graciously give their knowledge.

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ALEX MESSINA- Pronouns He/Him


Alex is an accomplished public affair professional with direct experience working in human services, particularly at the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria.

In particular, he undertook communications, media, and issues management responsibilities across juvenile justice, child protection, family services, disability services, public housing, and health.


He brings to the IYC three decades of coal-face experience in journalism, government affairs, community, and stakeholder engagement, and consulting to an array of industries.


He has extensive experience in dealing at Board and C-levels and directly with Government. Alex is a past long-standing member and current Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and has served on the National Board of the Institute and as the Victorian President.


As a strategist, thinker, manager, and mentor, he will focus on supporting IYC to deliver demonstrable outcomes in the lives and prospects of young Victorians, especially in the northern regions of Melbourne.


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ANA KERES - Pronouns She/Her



Ana concluded her Bachelor of Law and Criminology at Latrobe in 2021. She is currently working as a paralegal at a personal injury law firm. She has an interest in justice. She sees IYC's work as achieving this outcome by providing those with less opportunity with an outlet and a space to grow in numerous ways. She is a believer in positive measurable social change and wants to be part of this change through her role at IYC.


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PAULA GETHING - Pronouns She/Her


Paula Gething is a senior leader in the fundraising, philanthropy and communications not for profit sector, with a special passion for raising funds for vulnerable Victorians. Her experience at large Victorian based welfare and community charities has seen her raise funds which prevent harm, protect victims and empower people to succeed in life.  Additionally, Paula is a northern suburbs local, having lived her whole life in the City of Whittlesea, and is particularly focused on supporting young people through her advocacy, fundraising and philanthropic work.


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Lisa Payne - Pronouns She/Her


Lisa is a social worker who has been working within the Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) sector for the past 7 years. She is currently employed as an AOD clinician part-time at DFFH Child Protection, and part-time at a women’s only day rehab for women in recovery from substance use. Lisa also has work experience with adolescents from an asylum seeker background, and youth experiencing homelessness. She is passionate about feminism, human rights, and working with marginalised communities; in her spare time, she enjoys martial arts, video games and traveling.



MARIA PAPADATOS - Pronouns She/Her


Maria is committed to supporting young people and the community and is passionate to be part of IYC. She has qualifications and experience in retail management and personal training. Maria has managed many retail stores and supported clients in gaining their best personal fitness goals, through being a personal trainer. In her previous roles, Maria has done front desk administration roles to support the workplace she served. Maria is very kind and sociable and she is committed to making people feel a part of the IYC family. 


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PAUL PAPADATOS - Pronouns He/Him 



Paul Papadatos Innovation Youth Centre Director is a Highly skilled youth and community services professional with over 20 years of experience. Worked in roles from direct client services and team leadership to senior management. In every role, He has always sought to measurably improve the circumstances of the individuals and communities he serves. More Info...

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