About AYC

Our Vision

A connected community where all young people can pursue their dreams and fulfil their potential.

Our Mission

To empower young people to become the architects of their community and their future.

Our Values

  • Respect
  • Empowerment
  • Integrity
  • Inclusion
  • Equity
  • Accountability

Our Purpose

Based in the Cumberland LGA, AYC aims to:

  • Bring young people of all cultures, faiths, genders, and abilities together in a community of understanding and acceptance.
  • Empower young people through education, training, counselling, recreation, and individualized support.
  • Support and challenge young people to make informed and healthy decisions.
  • Respond to the needs of the individual and community as identified by young people.

How We Work

AYC actively responds to the identified needs of young people through creating relevant and dynamic programs and by working with young people in an open and empowering manner.

Our programs and activities are:

  1. Developed in consultation with youth and other community members.
  2. Run to be culturally appropriate for all youth.
  3. Bound by confidentiality and privacy laws.
  4. Flexible and adaptive to the needs of individuals and communities.
  5. Overseen by qualified and culturally aware staff.

To learn about AYCareers click here

To hear from some of our staff and young people click here

Our Story – Creating Opportunity, Building Community

Auburn Youth Centre Inc. is an independent charitable organisation governed by a Board of Directors elected by AYC members.

AYC relocated to Church Street Wyatt Park Lidcombe in 2014 from its previous home in Mary Street, Auburn. AYC receives subsided rent from Cumberland Council for the use of the premises at Wyatt Park. Our core funding comes from the NSW Government .

Established in 1986, AYC is a service that continues to bring young people of all cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic backgrounds together to access the Centre’s facilities and programs. We provide individualised support, activities and programs for young people aged 12-24 and their families. 

Our difference is that we are not aligned to any cultural, religious, social or ethnic group,  being open and welcoming to all young people. We cross all socio-economic groups as all our activities are free. We hope to build a harmonious community and assist in creating pathways towards a positive and healthy future for young people. We strive to break down the barriers associated with culture, language, education, economic disadvantage, established stereotypes and racism that can affect young people. Whilst open to all young people we have a soft spot for the most disadvantaged, actively seeking to support those 1 in 9 young people aged 15-24 who are neither working or in education,  those who are newly arrived in Australia and those struggling with mental health issues.

With the support of Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club and Cumberland Council the Wyatt Park Centre has been upgraded to contain a music recording studio, music room, computer lab, study room, wifi, basketball hoop and small small indoor soccer and sporting court. It is with particular pride that we now have a a commercial training kitchen and cafe for young people. We are looking to create educational and employment opportunities for young people, not just in catering and hospitality but in business, music, events and sport. It is an exciting future for AYC and for the community. To see and hear about AYC Please click here 

Our journey also involves bringing more services and supports for young people into the Centre.  We are proud to have the Woodville Alliance – Strong Minds, mental health early intervention,  in office space inside the Centre. Also in the Centre are Creating Chances who facilitate great leisure and sports mentoring programs  We have recently provided office space to the Somali Australian Community Association.

AYC  supports  many other community groups thrugh the provision of free of  highly subsidised use of the Centre. Included are groups supporting  people of the Pacific Islands, Afghani, South Sundanese, Somali, Indian and Philippine communities.  AYC has an ongoing partnership with the Gallipoli Mosque and supports a number of  Islamic Groups who access the Centre for special Occasions. AYC is proud of it’s ongoing partnership with Auburn Small Community Organisation Network providing  Humanitarian support from the Centre and the Australian African Football Association. Over the coming years we look forward to new partners entering the Centre.

In 2022 AYC supported 1501 young people, an increase of 31% on 2021.  Those young people identified as being born in more than 55 different countries. We found people work, we supported people into education, we helped them find homes, we helped with legal and health matters and sadly but proudly helped many young people confronted by bullying and violence. We created safe outlets for fun, learning and new friendships and along the way hope that we have made a difference. During the pandemic we have supplied material aid to over 300 families. This included over 1900 free meals and grocery packs. 

AYC’s work is made possible with support from government, corporate Australia and local community partners. AYC also thanks all the people who volunteer their time and expertise to the Centre and to the youth of Auburn.

AYC’s major projects are funded by the Department of Community and Justice . To maintain our projects we also rely on the support of Cumberland Council, philanthropic organisations and fundraising activities. Click here to donate and to help young people in the community

To watch another video on AYC click here

For more of our history and some nostalgic photographs click here

AYC Board

 

Chairperson

Elise Buisson

Elise Buisson’s interests lie in women’s and children’s health, health equity, and healthy public policy. She is currently completing her training as a medical doctor in Western Sydney and undertaking a postgraduate qualification in child and adolescent health.

Elise’s belief in the importance of the social determinants of health has brought her to AYC in the hope of contributing to a fairer, safer, and healthier future for the young people of Western Sydney. Elise has held prior appointments on the editorial advisory committee of the Medical Journal of Australia, as a summer research scholar at the Queensland Brain Institute, as the President of the Australian Medical Students’ Association, and on a number of health-related advocacy and policy development committees.

Elise is a young mother who resides in the Cumberland LGA.

 

Secretary

Dr Trish Richards

 

Trish Richards has a passion for making a difference and supporting youth. She has a long history of working with youth; over 25 years ago, she was the Youth for Understanding Regional Manager for NSW. She has served on five different boards, from member to advisor, and on various board committees, both locally and globally.

Trish holds graduate degrees in law, social science, and education, being a doctor of adult education. Trish is also a Justice of the Peace.  Her career has been in senior human resources roles across the media, travel, and consumer goods industries.

She is the mother of a young adult, a passionate cook, and an avid reader.

 

Treasurer

Anubha Hurley

 

Anubha is currently the Head of Commercial Finance for an AXS-listed company. Anubha has a robust mix of business and professional services experience gained over the past 16 years and wanted to bring these experiences to the Board of Auburn Youth Centre.  Anubha has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Macquarie Business School, a Bachelors of Commerce, and is a full member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Anubha has a young family. She is passionate about the development and well-being of young people. Being of Indian descent, Anubha is aware of the challenges faced by migrants coming to Australia.

 

Director

Garth Williamson

Garth is a seasoned executive and sales & marketing expert with over 2 decades of business experience. He started out in the health and Fitness industry, where he set up a consortium of corporate gyms before pivoting to the technology sector. Garth spent 10 years at Microsoft in various sales and management roles before leaving to set up a successful online start-up. Most recently involved in consulting for start-ups and serving as a Managing Director at Australia’s largest multicultural news media organisation, his expertise aligns with AYC’s strategic vision. He sits on several advisory boards, but his passion belongs to AYC. With a family connection to adult literacy and numeracy programs, Garth has always made the time to give back, being involved in several corporate programs targeting disadvantaged youth and their communities. His philanthropic passion and commercial acumen are key to the development of AYCafe and our move to become an RTO. Grateful for the opportunities he’s had, Garth is humbled by the work AYC carries out and the success stories they continue to create. An amateur travel photographer, he enjoys exploring new places and cultures. He also finds grounding in growing chillies and building vertical gardens. Recently married, he and his wife recently welcomed their baby daughter into the world, who continues to school them on sleep deprivation

 
 

Director

Kashinee Veeren

Kashinee commenced on the AYC Board in 2022. Kashinee brings over ten years of diversified experience in banking and finance, including risk, governance, operations, and strategy. Kashinee holds an MBA with distinction from UWA and a BSc in Actuarial Science from Curtin University. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), a graduate of the Emerging Leaders in Governance Program, a graduate of Leadership WA, and a graduate of the Directors Pipeline Program at AICD.

Kashinee brings experience, commitment, and a desire to make positive change for young people and communities.  Kashinee is passionate about giving back to the community and has held many voluntary roles. As an immigrant to Australia, she brings awareness and a passion for helping CALD communities.

Elke Pitkethley
Director
Commenced 2024

Director

Elke Pitkethley

Elke currently holds a leadership position at a Non-Government Organisation, where she oversees quality, advocacy, and service excellence in Family Law Services. She is dedicated to improving services and enhancing accessibility for vulnerable families.

Elke is an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP), a Nationally Accredited Mediator (NMAS), and a Family Group Conference Facilitator, as well as a legal practitioner. With over 20 years of experience in both government and non-profit sectors, she has consistently demonstrated a passion for innovative and inclusive practices, while upholding a strong commitment to social justice and accessibility for vulnerable individuals and communities. A career highlight for Elke included the successful transition to effective online service delivery and participating in a research project aimed at empowering young people’s voices in family dispute resolution services.

She is deeply passionate about the mission of AYC, aligning her experience and work with empowering young people to shape their futures and communities. Throughout her career, she has consistently prioritised including the voice of children and young people in decision-making processes, recognising them as vital contributors to our society’s future.

Anubha G
Commenced 2024

Board Director

Anubha G

Uma is an Executive Leader with strong capabilities across all aspects of Marketing and communication, Advertising, People + Culture, Commercial Strategy, Digital Transformation + Change Management. She is currently the Head of Marketing and Media at SBS where she leads a multidisciplinary team of 40 people to deliver strategy and campaigns for all key content and products aimed at driving more people to watch, listen and read SBS hence driving social cohesion.

Uma is a long standing advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace marching with SBS in Mardi Gras and being the Co-Chair of SBS Multi which is an employee advisory group charged with creating a more inclusive workplace for multicultural staff. 

She is Indian born, grew up in remote NT and  WA and has lived and worked in Zimbabwe and UK so brings a diverse perspective. Passionate about community, she is a member of Hummingsong women’s community choir  in Dulwich Hill and looks forward to contributing to the success of Auburn Youth Centre as a Board Director.

AGM Reports