Encounter Youth Staff Team
Nigel Knowles – Chief Executive Officer
Nigel is our Chief Executive Officer, a role he’s served in since 2009. He passionately leads Encounter Youth as it continues to grow as a cutting-edge organisation that impacts the lives of young people. Nigel is motivated to see more young people educated and empowered to make positive choices while navigating the increasing social pressures in the community. Nigel loves to spend his free time gardening with his wife Kate, road cycling and watching the latest movies.
Jess Morris – Chief Operating Officer
Jess is our Chief Operating Officer. Her strategic planning and communication skills, coupled with her experience within Encounter Youth, make her a great fit for this role. She feels honoured to continually be a part of the team working together to support the young people of South Australia. Jess loves to spend her weekends eating brunch with her husband Ben, playing with their two children and is a self-confessed coffee snob.
Deana Brine – Chief Business Officer
Deana is our Chief Business Officer. Her role is to lead the business management, finance, and communications areas for Encounter Youth. Deana feels honoured to be a part of a team working together to positively impact the young people of South Australia. She loves spending her free time planning and hosting dinner parties, hunting out good coffee and cheering on the Power at the footy.
Corinne Hamdorf – Initiatives Director
BIntSt, BA(Ling), Dip Lang(Spanish)
Corinne is our Initiatives Director. Her role is to explore new initiatives and program opportunities, mobilising our volunteer body to support young people to make a difference in the world. She is passionate about new service opportunities within South Australia, Australia at large and beyond. In her free time, Corinne likes to catch up with friends over a good coffee, practise her Spanish and dream of the next overseas location to visit.
Daniel Grear – Programs Director
Daniel is our Programs Director. His role is to manage and develop our Volunteer Programs Team so they successfully deliver all our volunteer programs. He also works on developing stakeholder relationships to ensure the Schoolies Operation and Hindley Street Program are managed safely. In his spare time, Daniel loves camping with friends, playing and watching sport, and taking care of his lawn.
Craig Kirkby – Education Director
Craig is our Education Director. A former high school teacher, he has worked as the senior leader in multiple community development projects in several countries over the last three decades (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Japan, New Zealand and Australia) while also starting three successful businesses in three different industries. Craig brings his years of experience to our team in a strategic capacity, oversees our Empower Education program and serves as our marketing and website manager. Along with his passion for education and training, Craig loves the beach, all things sport, most things tech and putting words into sentences.
Dr Andrew Scholefield – Education & Analytics Manager
Andrew is our Education and Analytics Manager. He provides management and development support to our Alcohol & Other Drug education program and works across our whole team in developing measures to evaluate our programs. Andrew has a background in research and loves applying his experience to measure the impact our programs are having and creating new ways to grow that impact. In his free time, Andrew likes visiting the beach, diving, fishing and spending time with his wife, Mel and their children.
Sondra Walker – Educator
Sondra is one of our Educators. She presents Encounter Youth’s education program to students across a variety of schools and year levels. As a registered teacher, Sondra is passionate about the care, development and empowerment of young people and is dedicated to supporting them in making positive choices that are right for them. She is also a devoted creative, juggling multiple hobbies such as music and floristry. In her spare time, she enjoys being with family and friends, gardening and chilling in the sunshine with her bearded dragon.
Zoe Mills – Educator
Zoe is one of our Educators. She presents Encounter Youth’s education program to students across a variety of schools and year levels. Prior to joining our team, Zoe facilitated wellbeing workshops to promote mental health in the workplace. With a Bachelor of Human Movement and Bachelor of Psychological Science, she brings a fresh perspective to our Alcohol & Other Drug education program. Zoe is passionate about young people and equipping them for the challenges they may face. In her spare time, Zoe loves playing netball, going for nature walks with friends and getting creative with any DIY tasks at home.
Louis Burden – Educator
Louis is one of our Educators. He presents Encounter Youth’s education program to students across a variety of schools and year levels. Prior to joining our team, Louis spent nine years working with South Australia Police in a variety of different roles across metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia. Louis brings a passion for empowering young people to make informed decisions to our Alcohol & Other Drug education program. In his spare time, Louis loves playing soccer, he’s a huge Liverpool fan, and he loves spending quality time with his wife Georgia and their young son.
Courtney Turner – Educator
Courtney is one of our Educators. She presents Encounter Youth’s education program to students across a variety of schools and year levels. Courtney comes from a music teaching background and loves being able to use her teaching and performance experience to be an effective and engaging presenter. She is passionate about making an impact in the lives of young people and is dedicated to supporting them in making positive choices that are right for them. Courtney can often be found playing board games, attempting to be a MasterChef at home or curled up with a good TV series.
Natalie Smith – Finance & IT Manager
Natalie is our Finance & IT Manager. She is responsible for ensuring all our finance & IT systems make people’s jobs easier, instead of slowing them down. She loves a good spreadsheet and enjoys finding ways to streamline processes. Outside of the office, Natalie is usually found spending time with her daughter and husband, or training for her recently discovered hobby of competitive jigsaw puzzling.
Daniel Ralph – Content Coordinator
B.A. (Multimedia Studies)
Daniel is our Content Coordinator. His role is to develop digital content and external communications in support of all of our programs. At home behind a camera, Daniel is passionate about telling stories, and his love for video production and design started from a young age. Daniel has a degree in multimedia studies and worked in many freelance and temporary roles before joining our team. He is excited to be a part of Encounter Youth’s work. At home, Daniel enjoys spending time with his wife, Claire, and their three boys. He also enjoys watching, listening and learning about films and music.
Alecia Curran – Impact Partners Manager
Alecia is our Impact Partners Manager. She is responsible for managing our giving program, called Impact Partners, and the diverse individual and corporate partnerships that stem from this. Her drive to deliver on key objectives and formulate successful strategies, along with her dedication to collaboration, make her a real asset to our partners. She enjoys forming meaningful relationships that enable our partners to be part of our positive impact on young people. Alecia enjoys spending quality time with loved ones, exploring nature, gardening and dining out on Thai food.
Sarah Lim – Project & Volunteer Coordinator
Sarah is our Project & Volunteer Coordinator. She provides direct support to the Encounter Youth Green Team volunteers on Hindley Street. Sarah is passionate about equipping and training our volunteers and loves supporting the impact they are having with young people and the wider community. Sarah loves hanging with friends, arranging flowers and all things outdoorsy: camping, hiking, climbing and orienteering.
Jo Lohmeyer – Bookings Coordinator
Jo is our Bookings Coordinator. Her role is to coordinate and develop the Schoolies Festival™ booking service and help young people through the process. Jo provides direct support to the team as she responds to enquires. She loves being a friendly support to school leavers.
Kylie Richards – Schoolies Operation Intern
Kylie is our Schoolies Operation Intern. Her role is to coordinate and support the Schoolies Operation, recruiting, training and empowering our amazing volunteers. She is passionate about investing in young people and seeing them make a positive impact in the world around them. In her free time, Kylie loves hanging out with friends, going to the beach and being creative in the form of painting, drawing or film photography.