YMCA Canberra's Leadership Team is headed by our Chief Executive, Torrien Lau, and comprises Executive Officers from each business unit. Our leadership structure is designed to enable innovation and continuous improvement.
YMCA Canberra is governed by a voluntary board of directors who have carriage for the governance of our subsidiary entities that operate our social enterprises.
Our board members have an extensive range of professional and life experience that contributes significantly in their honorary capacities to ensure the YMCA delivers on our mission, vision and corporate stewardship.
Our Constitution allows us to have up to 9 Directors with a provision of at least two young people under the age of 31 years who are independent members of the association. The Board's role is documented in the Board Charter.
The Board has a number of Sub Committees that assist directors to discharge their duties including:
Governance and Nominations
Finance and Risk
There are a number of working groups that support the strategic priorities of YMCA to help deliver our mission and achieve our vision.
Aaron has Bachelor degrees in Economics and Commerce from ANU as well as a Graduate Diploma in Chartered Accounting. Aaron's passion for the Y comes from a hope to see the families and communities of Canberra thrive. Aaron has been a director of YMCA Canberra since 2014 including a period as President.
Caterina is the Founder and Managing Director of For Purpose, a social business working with for purpose professionals to create innovative solutions to complex problems.
Caterina has worked in the for purpose sector in a range of policy, advocacy and sector development roles, including as Director or Policy and Research at the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.
Caterina was a finalist of the 2015 ACT Young Woman of the Year Awards, a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School program Leadership, Organising and Change and a published author.
Charine Bennett – Board Deputy Chair
Charine has extensive experience in the Commonwealth public service and currently works as a government lawyer. Prior to obtaining her legal qualifications, Charine completed postgraduate commerce qualifications.
Having lived in Canberra for almost 20 years, Charine credits the YMCA Canberra running club as having giving her a love of our many beautiful trails.
As a mother of two daughters, Charine is drawn to the YMCA's contribution to empowering young people and building a healthy, engaged Canberra community.
Charine joined the YMCA Canberra Board in 2015, taking on the role of Deputy Chair in 2017. She also Chairs the Board's Finance and Risk Committee.
David has tertiary qualifications in surveying, economics and public administration and past experience on two other boards in the public sector.
After working in surveying in Queensland, NSW and the ACT for several years he followed his passion for the development of people into staff development and then broader corporate services including ministerial liaison, continuous improvement, finance, industrial relations, and IT.
David has over 50 years' involvement in athletics as a competitor and administrator and has served on the YMCA Canberra Board for over 15 years with several years as deputy chair.
Elisabeth has extensive experience working in the public and private sectors across several disciplines related to planning, urban policy, affordable housing, the development industry, and in law. She currently works as a director of a private practice that specialises in architecture and urban strategy.
A mother of three children, Elisabeth values the significant contribution the YMCA can make to the development and well-being of young people in Canberra and to the promotion of social health and well-being in the community.
Elisabeth has been a member of the YMCA Canberra Board since 2017.
Garry Watson AM – Board Chair
Garry has worked in the tourism sector for over 30 years. He is currently the Project Leader of the National Capital Educational Tourism Project, a partnership he created that sees 170000 school students visit Canberra on a school excursion each year.
He was awarded the 2014 ACT Skilled Volunteer of the Year and the 2001 Canberra Region Tourism Awards “Outstanding Contribution by an Individual”. In 2017, he became a Member of the Order of Australia.
Garry has been on the Board of YMCA Canberra for over 20 years.
Tristan holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing, Accounting, Management) and specialises in marketing strategy, finance and accounting, leadership, management skills, and creative communications.
During Tristan's 15-year career, he has launched The Mark Agency, whilst also launching a series of media platforms through networks such as iPrime and Yahoo7. He provides strategic support on all of these projects.