Our Staff

Executive Officer

The Executive Officer is primarily responsible for the strategic development and operational management of the Auburn Youth Centre (AYC). This role is the main operational representative of the organisation and reports directly to the elected Board of Directors. The Executive officer is here to support all staff and to oversee programs and services delivered by the centre.

Our Executive Officer is DEAN DE HAAS. Dean has 25 years of Senior Management experience including roles at the Wayside Chapel, Canterbury Earlwood Community Centre, Northern Area Tenants Service and St George Migrant Resource Centre. Dean has sat on advisory and consultative committees for the Federal and State Governments,  TAFE NSW, Local Area Police Commands and Local Government and steered organsations through accreditation under Aged Care, Home and Community Care and Disability Service Standards. Dean has over 15 years experience in working with children and young people and has been supervising students from the community sector for over 20 years.

Dean comes from a migrant back ground, this has  informed his  passion for social justice, equity and fairness. He enjoys sport, the beach and enjoying restaurants and great food with friends.

Please feel free to email Dean at dean@ayc.org.au or call us on 02 9646 2122 with any other queries relating to the programs, the Centre or the services provided. If you have ideas or complaints you can also contact Dean

Youth (& Family) Worker

The role of the Youth (& Family) Worker is to provide individual and group-based support to young people and their families. AYC’s  support, programs and activities are open to anyone 12-24 years of age (and their families) but target ‘vulnerable’ groups of young people including those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Refugee/Migrant and in Out-of-Home-Care (OoHC) backgrounds.

The Youth (& Family)  Worker assists young people to engage with and access services at Auburn Youth Centre. They provide support, mentoring, goals setting,  personal planning, information and referral. They facilitate group work to help young people develop skills, knowledge and self awareness. They work with the young person’s family to address issues as required and consented to by the young person.  They link young people and families with other services across the Cumberland LGA and Western Sydney as required.  Youth and family workers can assist young people with issues including mental health, education, homelessness, trouble with the law, homelessness, AOD, family conflict, financial wellbeing, citizenship and health.

Programs presently facilitated by Youth (& Family) Workers  include Girls Only Social Group, Work & Development Orders (fines),  Healthy Relationships, Life Skills, Decision Making and Critical Thinking, Empowerment,  Job Club,  After School and School Holiday Programs

This is a free service and anyone can make a referral to the Youth (& Family) Worker. You can make a referral by completing a referral form (click here for referral form) and email it to admin@ayc.org.au or call us on 02 9646 2122 with any other queries relating to the referral process or the services provided. You can always walk into the Centre and ask for help.

Our Youth (& Family)  Workers are

Robin Benz

Robin Benz is a Youth (& Family)  Worker at Auburn Youth Centre. He is experienced in and passionate about training, supporting  and working with young people from various cultural backgrounds in both the social/community work and hospitality sectors. Robin completed a Bachelor of Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Sydney and a Master of Social Work at Western Sydney University. Having arrived in Australia as a migrant ,and being multilingual himself informs his social work practice and cross cultural communication skills which allows him to make a difference for a range of diverse young people. He is also very aware of the challenges of gaining Australian citizenship.

Areas of special interest include crime prevention, sport and migration.

Jasmin Forrest

Jasmin has been working in community services since 2012 and has experience working with children, families and young people. Jasmin has worked with people in the disability sector and OOHC and has supported people with employment, NDIS, mental health, life skills and advocacy . Jasmin has worked in primary schools and high schools facilitating group work and working with students to achieve their goals.   Jasmin is presently completing her Master of Social Work and is a partner in a Business providing sensory products and programs for young children and parents. Among many other roles at AYC Jasmin is a leader of the Cumberland Linker Networks Young parents group.

Lana Aupauu

Lana is a Youth  (& family) worker with 5 years of experience in the community sector and 3 years working with AYC mainly with young people and families of diverse backgrounds.  Lana is currently studying her bachelor’s degree in Social Work at Western Sydney University after completing her Diploma in Youth Work .  Lana has co-ordinated many successful events for AYC that create and build community connections, including Career Expo’s and Youth Week Events.  Her work creating and supporting the Pacific Island Youth Committee and activities that arise from the Committee are important in the community.

Lana has a passion for equity and social justice and strives to work towards this at AYC.  Lana also has special interests in music, art, games, books and movies.

Gokhan Singec

Introducing the unofficial Mayor of AUBURN, Gokhan Singec –Youth Worker @ AYC who has been working in the community sector now for 10 years. Gokhan has completed his Diploma of Community Services, and Diploma of Youth Work at TAFE NSW. When something happens in the Auburn Community rest assured that someone will ask Gokhan for help.

Gokhan Singec has a great passion for sport and recreation and is a big advocate of sport to connect with all young people. Gokhan has certificates and qualifications in the following, Cert III- Fitness, Cert Level 1 Boxing, Soccer Youth Coaching License C as well as first Aid.

When working alongside young people, Gokhan believes a strength based approach is best practice.  For Gokhan this means all young people deserve a chance, a voice and the ability to be the creators of their own dreams. Auburn has always been a community that is ready and willing to learn and change, be helpful and compassionate, these qualities can be found in Gokhan Singec. He is  a local, born and bread in Auburn,  speaking fluent Turkish.

Adolescent And Family Counsellor

AYC  has a full time counsellor who is available by appointment. This is a free service and anyone can make a referral to the AYC Counsellor. Our Counsellor presently works online or over the phone,

The counsellor works face to face with clients, using a client centred and culturally appropriate approach with a wide range of interventions and therapies that is suitable to each individual and their background. Counselling is provided to young people aged 12-24 and/ or their parents and significant others who are living in the Cumberland LGA  and surrounding suburbs.

AYC’S Counsellor overseas  psycho-educational group work and  workshops for young people and parents that can help with personal awareness, personal growth, mental health and the development of skills and resilience. Groups include Decision Making, Empowerment, Connect Within , Healthy Relationship, Anti Bullying, Anger Management.

You can download our referral form here and email it to jean@ayc.org.au.   Please feel free to email jean@ayc.org.au or call us on 02 9749 2321 with any other queries relating to the referral process or the services provided.

Our Senior Counsellor Is Jean Daher

Jean is a family, relationship and individual (including young people) counsellor, supervisor and group facilitator. Facilitating educational/therapeutic groups is one of specialities as well as producing evidence based program content for these groups. Jean has worked in the community and mental health sectors as well as private practice. She has many years of experience in counselling refugees and asylum seekers from diverse cultural backgrounds. She also has extensive experience in working with people who have suffered multiple and complex traumas as well as people with various mental health issues. Jean can offer counselling in the Arabic language.  Some of the therapeutic approaches she uses are Person Centred, Family Systems, Solution Focused, Narrative, CBT, Mindfulness and Strengths based. The therapy is chosen to suit the individual. Jean’s passion is to support others to feel more empowered and help them to enhance their emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.

AYCafe Coordinator

AYCafe Coordinator is a role filled by a skilled and experienced business person and chef.

The role oversees AYCafe and AYCatering and is responsible for producing tasty, healthy, culturally appropriate food and  beverages whilst meeting all the regulations relating to a functioning cafe and catering business.

AYCafe coordinator is also responsible for training and supporting young people to get jobs in the hospitality industry. Under the guidance of the AYCafe Coordinator young people are able to get qualifications and work experience in,

  • Food Handling
  • Food Safety
  • RSA & RCG
  • Barista
  • Business
  • Customer Service
  • Commercial Cooking

If you would like to contact the AYCafe Coordinator regarding employment training email sue@ayc.org.au . If you would like to inquire about catering email catering@ayc.org.au .

AYCafe Supervisor

The ACafe supervisor is a mentor to young people working in AYCafe and AYCatering. In this role we employ an experienced worker with the skills and experience to teach and mentor young people looking for work. 

AYCafe supervisor is also responsible for producing healthy, culturally appropriate food and beverages. AYCafe supervisor also takes responsibility for training in the areas of barista, food preparation and customer service.

Please feel free to email Erny at  erny@ayc.org.au or call us on 02 9646 2122 with any other inquiries  about our cafe.