Meet The Team
Helen Connolly is South Australia’s inaugural Commissioner for Children and Young People (CCYP) appointed to the role in April 2017. The CCYP was established under the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016. The CCYP is the state’s most senior advocate for children’s rights, interests and wellbeing.
“I am required to look closely at the systems and services being planned and delivered to children and young people across South Australia and assess whether or not they’re working. I do this with a special focus on meeting the needs of vulnerable and at-risk children and young people across our communities who often struggle to have their voices heard.
I explain to children and young people that my job is to see how well adults keep their promises to do the right thing by them, and to make sure they have all they need to develop and thrive. I am mandated to engage with and listen to children and young people across the state and represent their point of view. In fact, children and young people tell me this is the most important part of my role. They want to know someone is listening to them and working on the things that matter to them most.”
MEET THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSIONER’S TEAM:
Hi, I'm Helen.
Before being appointed South Australia's inaugural Commissioner for Children and Young People
I was an Executive Director with the Australian Red Cross. With more than 30 years of experience as
a leader in human services, I am committed to promoting and advocating for the rights and interests
of all children and young people in South Australia. This includes building respectful partnerships
with South Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Hi, I'm Monique.
I am the Principal Advocacy, Research and Policy Officer at CCYP.
I believe children and young people are the experts in their own lives and so I advocate for their rights and interests by listening to their voices.
This helps me inform government policy and practices based on what children want - not on what I or others think they want.
I have a passion for human rights and have been applying my legal background to this field for over 15 years.
Working with the CCYP to bring about change that impacts positively on children's lives is both challenging and rewarding.
Hi, I'm Sharon.
I take care of External Relations and Communications here at CCYP.
My role is to ensure you hear about the work we do and feel inspired to tell others all about it!
I feel very privileged to be working with the Commissioner and her passionate team on projects
that aim to make a real difference to the lives of South Australia’s children and young people.
Hi, I’m Cat.
I’m the Policy and Research Officer at CCYP.
In this role, I prepare submissions and reports, conduct research and design surveys
to progress the Commissioner's advocacy work on a range of systemic issues
that affect children and young people's rights and wellbeing.
Hi, I'm Emma.
I’m the Senior Advisor to the Commissioner for Children and Young People.
I have a strategic role to advise on, influence, and monitor long-term change to systems
that support and respond to the needs of children and young people.
I have a broad background in education and youth justice
as a public servant and management consultant.
Hi, I’m Kerina.
I’m a graphic designer at CCYP. Designing connection is my cup of tea.
With experience gathered working in design studios and as a freelancer,
I combine my design skills and love of problem-solving to help
deliver CCYP’s communications in print and online.
Hi, I’m Monique.
I help Helen with her busy schedule and manage the general running of the office at CCYP.
There is a diverse range of staff and tasks needed and my role is to support the
Commissioner's team to get the best outcomes for children and young people in South Australia.
I like the work the Commissioner and her passionate team do, and I feel lucky to
be part of a group who is working to make a positive difference to children's lives.
Hi, I'm Nathan.
As CCYP’s Communications Administrator, I assist the Commissioner and the rest of the team
find the right words and imagery to communicate child rights' advocacy to the public.
I help maintain our websites and work to keep all of our information up to date and relevant.
As a young person with a background in advocacy and media,
I’m particularly passionate about youth-oriented digital spaces and welfare.
Hi, I’m Ryneisha.
As the Digital Communications Coordinator, I’m responsible for managing CCYP’s
social media accounts and maximising their effectiveness through strategic communications.
I’m passionate about social justice and human rights advocacy, which is why I’m thrilled to be part of the CCYP team.
As a communications specialist with more than 10 years’ experience, creativity and adaptability
have been recurring themes throughout my professional journey. With a background in journalism I’m excited to
be using my skills and experience to help raise awareness of the important work the Commissioner
is doing to advocate for the rights of children and young people in SA. It’s definitely a career highlight.
Hi, I'm Niav
I’m the Engagement and Participation Officer at CCYP.
I support the Commissioner to engage with South Australian children and young people in meaningful and representative ways.
I co-ordinate and facilitate programs, events, and conversations with children and young people
so that they have pathways to participation and as many opportunities as possible
to have their voices elevated on issues that matter to them.
Hi, I’m Jasmine.
I’m the Youth Participation and Campaigns Officer at CCYP.
I work with the Commissioner to ensure the voices of children and young people around South Australia are heard.
This involves designing and organising consultations (mostly in schools) where young people share what’s important to them.
I also work alongside many incredible young people across SA to organise events and lead conversations for change
on a range of important issues impacting their lives.
Hi, I'm Clare.
I’m the Senior Research Officer at CCYP.
My role is to lead research and analysis on a diversity of topics related to
children and young people’s rights, interests, and wellbeing.
I have over a decade of experience in academic research and am excited to be
contributing to the Commissioner's child rights advocacy work.