Encounter Youth Staff Team
Nigel Knowles – Chief Executive Officer
Nigel has been in this role 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 has been working with Encounter Youth since 2010. 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.
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.
Kimberly Price – Education Manager
Kimberly is our Education Manager. She is passionate about taking a holistic approach to alcohol & other drug education and values the importance of equipping parents and teachers to have meaningful conversations with their young people. She enjoys utilising her skills as a teacher to develop our content to be effective for young people and to support the implementation of the Australian Curriculum. Kim loves playing netball and watching footy, as well kayaking and fishing.
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.
Ed Ruediger – Educator
Ed is one of our Educators. He presents Encounter Youth’s education program to students across a variety of schools and year levels. Ed comes with an out-of-classroom background in outdoor education and school-based camping ministry. He is passionate about how young people interact with their peers and the world around them. In his spare time, you can find Ed spending time with friends and family, going camping and fishing, and watching sports or movies. He’s on a mission to find the best burger in town.
Courtney Turner – Educator
Courtney is one of our Educators. She presents the Encounter Youth 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.
Deana Brine – Business & Development Manager
Deana is our Business & Development Manager. Her role is to lead the business management, finance, and communications areas for Encounter Youth, as well as explore new and developing existing missional opportunities. 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.
Front Of House Coordinator
Do you have what it takes to be our Front of House Coordinator?
The role has a primary focus on coordinating our building management, facilitating tenant relationships, welcoming guests, providing effective administration and finance support, and assisting our team—all in a fast-paced environment.
For more info, see the Join Our Team page today!
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.
Craig Kirkby – Marketing & Website Manager
Craig has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and runs his own marketing and web design agency. He is an ordained pastor and over the past two decades, he has overseen missional projects in several countries—including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Japan and New Zealand. Now based in Melbourne with his wife and two daughters, he serves the team in the ongoing development of Encounter Youth’s website and online marketing initiatives. Craig loves the beach and all things sport. He enjoys putting words into sentences and has written several books.
Alecia Curran – Impact Partners Manager
Alecia 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.
Corinne Hamdorf – Programs Manager
Corinne is our Programs Manager. Her role is to develop our team of Project & Volunteer Managers to successfully manage and deliver all of our volunteer programs. She is passionate about the opportunities we have to support young people to make a difference. In her free time, Corinne likes to catch up with friends over a good coffee, practice her Spanish and dream of the next overseas location to visit.
Daniel Grear – Project & Volunteer Manager
Daniel is one of our Project & Volunteer Managers within the Schoolies Operation. In his role, he works closely with his fellow Project & Volunteer Managers, focusing primarily on the Welcome and Festival Zones within the Schoolies Festival. He also works on co-developing stakeholder relationships to ensure the school leavers celebrations are managed safely. In addition, Daniel is responsible for the recruitment, training and empowerment of the Encounter Youth Green Team volunteers to provide support within both the Festival and Welcome Zones. In his spare time, Daniel loves camping with friends, playing and watching sport or just tinkering with something on his car.
Matt Scholefield – Project & Volunteer Manager
Matt is one of our Project & Volunteer Managers within the Schoolies Operation. His role focuses on partnerships with accommodation providers in the Fleurieu, managing the Schoolies Festival™ Bus Service, and co-developing stakeholder relationships to ensure the school leavers’ celebration is managed safely. Matt is also responsible for the recruitment, training, and empowerment of the Encounter Youth Green Team volunteers into the Schoolies Operation. Matt is passionate about coming alongside young people and seeing them thrive. When Matt’s not at work, you’ll probably find him playing basketball, deep in the middle of a woodwork project, or fishing with his wife, Maddy.
Sarah Lim – Project & Volunteer Coordinator
Sarah joined our team after interning with us in 2021. She is now a Project & Volunteer Coordinator and 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.