Melissa Abu-Gazaleh - Founder and Managing Director
Melissa founded the Top Blokes Foundation in 2006 at age 19 and has a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies as well as a Diploma in Community Services. For taking the organisation from its humble beginnings, to now positively impacting over 1600 boys a year, Melissa was recognised as the 2016 NSW Young Australian of the Year. She has also been named as 2017 EY Eastern Region Social Entrepreneur of the Year and is on the current list of Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Women of Influence. She is an Executive Director of the NSW Men’s Health Forum, Member of the Advisory Board of the Men's Health and Information Resource Centre and is an acclaimed speaker having presented at many national and state based men’s health conferences. Melissa’s passion for giving disadvantaged young men the chance to reach their potential guides every decision she makes. To visit her website click here.
Louise - Head of Fundraising and Philanthropy
Louise was appointed Head of Fundraising and Philanthropy at the Top Blokes Foundation in August 2016. She brings an extensive set of skills to the position, having spent over 20 years in corporate sales, marketing and management as well as two years in Not-for-Profit sector as manager of the Partnerships Team at Mission Australia. Having raised two boys and a daughter, Louise is passionate about young men’s health and plans to use her sales and fundraising experience to double the capacity of the Top Blokes Foundation over the next few years. Louise won the medal at UTS for her Business Degree (Honours) and also has a background in Accounting and Systems Implementation. Louise’s main skill is in building long term sustainable relationships and she will be concentrating on growing our Major Donors, Bequests, Advisor and Corporate areas, as well as assisting Top Blokes to implement the internal processes required to support sustainable growth.
Will - Program Coordinator (Illawarra)
Will is our Program Coordinator and Youth Worker at the Top Blokes Foundation. He has a Bachelor of Public Health Sciences, majoring in Indigenous Health Studies from the University of Wollongong. Will has experience mentoring boys within school leadership programs as well as on the sporting field and believes supporting young men during their difficult years is the key to building brighter futures. It was through this that his passion for youth work began and ultimately led him to this career path. Will is a major NRL fanatic and soon after meeting him, you’ll learn just how much of a Sharks fan he is (please don’t hold that against him!).
Billel - Program Coordinator (Western Sydney)
Billel is a Program Coordinator and Youth Worker at the Top Blokes Foundation. He has completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours), a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and is currently a registered Provisional Psychologist. Billel grew up as a cultural minority and uses his experience in educating and motivating other young men dealing with similar issues. He believes in the power of change and has a passion for helping young men in building the framework for a brighter future. Billel loves the NFL and supports the Green Bay Packers.
Julia - Program Manager
Julia has over 20 years’ experience as a manager in the community sector. Julia originated from the UK, where she gained her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences and developed her passion for working with disadvantaged people. Julia’s area of expertise has focused on people with complex needs including mental health, intellectual disability and social justice. Julia has a history of initiating and expanding services and forming collaborative networks across government and community services, whilst building strong staff teams. Julia has seen the tremendous effect that appropriate support and mentoring can achieve, especially for young men trying to find their way in to a very confusing and isolating world. As our Building Blokes Program Manager, Julia is looking forward to developing and establishing program whilst working with a great bunch of passionate people to assist young men to meet their potential. She is determined to help young men find their place as “Top Blokes” in the community.
In her spare time, Julia loves travelling and being outdoors in nature. She is an NRL fan too, who supports the Dragons.
Keaton - Youth Worker
Keaton is a shining example of what happens when you invest in a young man's potential. Having completed the Junior Top Blokes Mentoring Program in 2013, Keaton’s interest in youth work and young men’s health was ignited. He became a Top Blokes Foundation Youth Ambassador and has since represented Top Blokes Foundation at various events. He is working towards a Certificate IV in Community Services as he trains as a Top Blokes mentor and youth worker. He is a positive role model for all young men and when not working with the Top Blokes Foundation, he can be found performing as a pro-wrestler and is known as Captain Keato.
Marissa - Youth Worker
Marissa is a Top Blokes Foundation youth worker and brings with her years of experience working with young people from diverse backgrounds. She holds a Diploma in Community Services Work and is currently studying a degree in Social Work at the University of Wollongong. She has a creative flair and genuine passion to work with, and challenge, young men to overcome their hardships and strive towards a purposeful life. She enjoys being outdoors and if you’ve met her recently, you’ll know about her current Pokemon Go addiction (no really, we’ve seen how addicted she actually is!).
Callum - Youth Worker
Callum joined the Top Blokes Foundation as a youth worker and is an eager mentor. Callum holds a Bachelor of Psychology as well as a Certificate IV in Community Services Work. He has led and attended a number of leadership and behaviour development programs amongst peers and is excited to help young men make positive changes within their lives. Callum is known for his enthusiasm and focus on making a difference. One fact that you should know about him is that he is a Legend Hearthstone Player.
Amanda - Youth Worker
First introduced to the Top Blokes Foundation through Rotary, Amanda has admired our work from afar for quite some time. Amanda has a wealth of experience in case management and group facilitation, and is passionate about giving young people the best chances in life. Amanda attends frequent training sessions and workshops, and uses her knowledge to mentor the boys in our programs effectively.
Amanda is heavily involved in her local community, and spends her free time working in a volunteer capacity with organisations such as Rotary and Red Cross International.
Lana - Youth Worker
Lana joined our team in 2017, and has hit the ground running. She has a passion for working with young people, and has plenty of experience under her belt working with young adults in high school programs. Lana is currently studying a Diploma of Youth Work at TAFE Campbelltown. Although she is busy with balancing work and study, Lana loves to volunteer in the local community. In the past she has volunteered with the Rurall Fire Service, and is a Pyjama Angel with the Pyjama Foundation, improving the literacy and numeracy of children in foster care.
In her free time, Lana loves relaxing with her favourite show, Parks and Recreation. Her dream is to one day see Celine Dion live in concert.
Syed - Youth Worker
Syed has a Bachelor of Social Science (Peace and Development) and has years of experience as a residential youth worker. He's joined the Top Blokes Western Sydney Team and is an asset to the growing demand in the region. He prides himself on being a dedicated, relatable and open-minded youth worker, and his favourite part of the role is when he's interacting with young men and sharing experiences with them. Syed is a sports fan; specifically basketball and volleyball, and a die-hard Hip Hop fan who once dabbled in rapping. We're sad that this didn't become his career, but don't worry, we're working on it.
Toby - Youth Worker
Toby is a Youth Worker on the Central Coast, NSW, and he absolutely loves what he does. With a degree in Special Education Teaching, Toby has years of experience working with people with a disability, and he has his own business providing sports training and coaching for those with a disability. Not one to laze around, Toby also works at Community Activities Lake Macquarie (CALM) who are a licensee partner of the Top Blokes Foundation. As well as delivering the Junior Top Blokes Mentoring Program, CALM work to achieve support and justice for local communities and families in times of need. Oh, and did we mention Toby has released two albums?! What a superstar.