Melissa Perry


Melissa has 25 years’ extensive experience in driving positive change across community and employment services.

Currently as the CEO of Communicare, Melissa is an active advocate for economic and social inclusion for vulnerable individuals, families and communities. Due to her passion, Melissa is an influential figure in the WA community services sector, lobbying for reform and increasing awareness with the intent to drive social change and achieve positive long-term sustainable outcomes.

Prior to this Melissa was the WA State Director of Mission Australia and Executive Director Centrecare Inc.  
Melissa brings a deep understanding of the complexities and possibilities of delivering Parents Next, Transition to Work  and the necessary management and governance expertise to support the work of the Jobs Australia Board.

Additionally, Melissa serves as the Interim Leader of White Ribbon Australia,  has a ministerial appointment to the Board of Landgate, is a member of the Supporting Communities Forum nominated by the Premier of WA and a co opted Board member of the Community Employers WA.

Ben Carblis


Ben has been in the role of Executive, Community Services for Mission Australia since 2018. In this role he leads and directs nationwide teams of over 2500 staff in the delivery of Employment, Community, Aged Care, Family and Children’s services.  

He most recently served as Mission Australia’s State Director NSW/ACT and leader for MA Social Enterprises. Ben has over 20 years’ experience in leadership roles within community and employment services and started out his career as a youth worker on the Central Coast, NSW.

Ben is a member of the NSW Premier’s Council on Homelessness, holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Education from the University of Newcastle, a Master’s Degree in Adult Education (MA Ed) from the University of Technology, Sydney and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Lesley Kennedy

Deputy Chair & Director: South Australia

Lesley has worked at Employment Options for more than 25 years in several roles. She is the current CEO, and has been a Board member since 1990.

She has established and managed services for young people, employment services, accredited and non-accredited training programs, and career services, and has a broad range of skills and experience in management and governance.

She has particular interests in developing innovative services to support disengaged young people, and in governance systems for small not-for-profit and community-based organisations. She has also previously worked as a philosophy tutor, an employment advisor, and in private enterprise as a manager and business owner.

Maria Harvey

Director: Northern Territory

Maria has been working in the employment, recruitment industries for over 20 years and is currently the CEO of the Tiwi Islands Training and Employment Board. During the 90's Maria worked in the NT Government, in NT Libraries, Recruitment, Salaries and Human Resource Development for 10 years.  Maria started working for the Tangentyere Council in the newly privatised public unemployment sector in 2000. Maria became a site manager in 2003 and has been working in various management roles ever since. 

Maria is passionate about supporting people, organisations and or communities to reach their potential, through innovative procurements, capacity building, employment, capability strategies, education and sustainable projects that enhance communities by integration.

Shaun Fowler

Director: Western Australia

Shaun Fowler has worked in remote and regional Australia for over 15 years, specialising in remote services delivery and operational and contractual management of employment programs.

He has substantial experience working both on the ground delivering programs and with the Commonwealth Government, shaping policy and programs.

Shaun is a strong advocate of sharing and tailoring best practice models and has been instrumental in facilitating collaboration among employment service providers. Shaun has successfully facilitated industry forums and national conferences.

In late 2012, Shaun launched Right Hand Remote Solutions to support regional and remote organisations delivering federally funded employment programs

Through his consultancy and his role as CEO of East Kimberley Job Pathways, Shaun continues to tirelessly advocate for policy reform to support those most marginalised in our community.

Shaun has extensive NFP Board experience and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Trish Heffernan

Director: Victoria

Trish has worked for 20 years in the not for profit sector, most of those spent at Djerriwarrh Community & Education Services and prior to this worked in school education. Trish has qualifications in business, education and science and became CEO of Djerriwarrh in 2009.

Djerriwarrh a Registered Training organisation and Learn Local provider, has a turnover of $5 million and has current contracts which include SEE, VTG ACFE, School Focus Youth Services, WfD and Springboard. Trish supports working in partnerships, consortiums and networks to expand what Djerriwarrh can deliver locally for its communities.

Pat Kluver

Director: Tasmania

Pat has a retail business background and 10 years in training & assessment and the Employment Services sector for the past 15 years.

As a training and development professional, Pat's consultations with a diverse range of industries and organisations proved excellent exposure to meet the needs of Employers in Hobart and Southern Tasmania.

Pat was promoted to the position of CEO taking responsibility for the jobActive contract. Pat's management, training and experience has provided him the ability to understand and manage the complex Employment Services contracts. Collaboration with key stakeholders, especially the Department of Employment and sector peak bodies, is a strong focus.

An advocate of lifelong learning, he holds an Advanced Diploma of Management, Diploma of Training and Assessment, Graduate Certificate of Management (UTAS) and recently completed an Advanced Diploma of WH&S.