Our Board

The Youth Focus board performs essential governance and strategy functions for the organisation. Youth Focus has been deliberate in its recruitment of talented, committed and passionate board members with complementary skill sets. It’s important to us that each board member brings with them not just corporate acumen and commercial experience, but also an understanding and alliance with our organisational values: compassion, commitment, integrity and a ‘client-first’ focus.


David Gray: Chairman

A partner at Herbert Smith Freehills’ Perth practice, David specialises in takeovers, equity capital markets and general corporate acquisitions, as well as reconstructions and disposals. He has worked for HSF in its Melbourne, London and Perth offices and is a member of the national advisory team. David is lead lecturer in the Perth Mergers and Acquisitions Course run by the Financial Services Institute of Australia and is one of the facilitators at the AICD Company Directors course.



Nick Henry 2015Nick Henry: Treasurer

Nick is the Leader of the Assurance Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Western Australia which includes external and internal audit services, risk assurance, controls advisory and accounting advisory services.  He is a member of PwC’s WA Executive Leadership Team and the National Assurance Markets Leadership Team.

Nick has extensive experience in providing audit and accounting advisory services to the resources sector globally having worked predominantly in Australia and USA but also with experience on the ground in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Canada and a number of countries in Africa. His experience mainly covers upstream and downstream oil & gas, gold, iron ore, copper, nickel, zinc, lead, coal, diamonds, mineral sands and in various resources sector services companies including engineering & construction.  In addition to audit services, he routinely provides expert accounting advice and support around working through complex accounting issues, mergers & acquisitions, debt arrangements and solving other issues. He has experience working with all sizes of companies from multinationals to ASX 50, ASX 100 and junior explorers.

Nick is a former State Chairman and Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, a Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Damian Gordon: Director

Damian Gordon is an Executive Director and the Chief Financial Officer of West Australian property group Hawaiian. Damian is responsible for Hawaiian’s financial activities and its investments in real estate and other managed funds. He is a Fellow of the Institute Chartered Accountants, a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia, a Member of the AICD and completed INSEAD’s inaugural LEAP (Leadership Excellence through Awareness and Practice) Program in 2012/13. Damian was appointed to the Board of Youth Focus in June 2012 and joined the Board of Amana Living in August 2013.



Dean Hely

Dean Hely: Director

Dean Hely is the Managing Partner of Lavan.  He is also the lead partner of Lavan Commercial Advice and Litigation Group.

Dean Hely was admitted as a partner of  Lavan’s predecessor firm, Phillips Fox Perth, in November  1999.  He was deputy managing partner of that firm and then of Lavan from 2002 to 31 January 2013. Dean became managing partner of Lavan on 1 February 2013.

Dean has over 25 years’ experience working in corporate reconstructions, insolvency and commercial litigation.  He has worked on numerous major company reconstructions including The Croesus Group, Bulong Operations Ply Ltd, The Mead Group and the merger between StateWest Credit Society Ltd and Home Building Society Ltd.

This experience, together with  Dean’s work  in general litigation; his work for insolvency and reconstruction firms such as McGrathNicol, KordaMentha, Pitcher Partners, Taylor Woodings and Deloitte; and with financial institutions like  Westpac  Banking Corporation, St. George  Bank, National Australia  Bank  Limited, Commonwealth  Bank of Australia, Bank of Queensland  Limited, Suncorp and other large financiers,  has  provided  Dean with  extensive  experience  in litigation  and  general  corporate  matters.


FionaKalaf005smallFiona Kalaf: Director and CEO

Fiona Kalaf is an experienced CEO and Board Chair with professional senior leadership and management experience in commercial, corporate and not-for-profit organisations.  She was the CEO of Lifeline WA for four years before taking up the helm as CEO of Youth Focus in February 2016.  Fiona has previously held senior executive positions at Wesfarmers, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Asgard Wealth Solutions and HBF.

Fiona is currently on the Board of Australian Institute of Management WA and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.  She was on the Board of the Art Gallery of Western Australia from 2003 to 2014, and was Chair from 2010 to 2014.  Fiona was on the Board of the East Perth Redevelopment Authority from 2008 to 2011.  Fiona has recently been appointed to the Board of Healthway, from September 2016.

Fiona was a finalist at the prestigious Telstra WA Business Women’s Awards in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Business Administration, and has completed the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management course at Harvard Business School.


Fiona Lander: Director

Fiona Lander is a Partner with Deloitte Australia, working in the Public Sector Consulting area.

She was previously an Executive General Manager with Perth Airport Pty Ltd for more than six years, where she had responsibility for a range of functions over time including policy, government relations, stakeholder engagement, communications and media management, customer complaints, marketing, business systems and risk management, human resources and information technology.

Prior to joining Perth Airport, Fiona held a range of Senior Executive roles in human service portfolios in the State Government for over a decade.

Fiona has a strong interest in suicide prevention and lead the Office for Youth Affairs for many years.  She worked closely with the then Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention, piloting community and peer support programs in regional Western Australia and conducting research into Aboriginal youth suicide prevention and men’s help seeking behaviours.  More recently, her role in the Department for Child Protection encompassed policy and practice, with a focus on vulnerable children and young people.

Fiona began her career working for a number of State and Commonwealth Ministers providing policy advice.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Social Science), an Executive Master of Public Administration and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Fiona holds a number of non-executive director board positions including Vice President – Meerilinga Young Children’s Foundation and Governing Council Member – South Metropolitan TAFE and was formerly a Director – Fremantle Port Authority, Member – Women’s Advisory Council and Member – Healthway.


Belinda Lonsdale

 Belinda Lonsdale: Director

Belinda Lonsdale is lawyer with over 23 years experience.  She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia. She was admitted to practice in 1993 and in 2003 has been practicing as a barrister at Albert Wolff Chambers. Her principal area of practice is criminal defence.

Belinda is a former President of the WA Criminal Lawyers Association and has been a member of the Law Society Council and WA Bar Association Council. She is presently on the Board of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and is a Commissioner for Legal Aid.

Belinda first participated in the Hawaiian Ride for Youth in 2009 and since that time has completed five rides. She is presently in charge of recruitment for the 2016 and 2017 rides. Belinda’s experience as a criminal lawyer provides her with a unique perspective on issues of social justice in the context of mental health and disadvantage. She was appointed to the Youth Focus Board in 2016 as a representative of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth.


paul-larsen-headshotPaul Larsen: Director

As Chief Executive Officer, Paul Larsen oversees the management of Arc Infrastructure’s (formerly Brookfield Rail) network across the southern half of Western Australia.  Paul is passionate about rail in this State, and is committed to positioning Arc Infrastructure to secure an exciting future for its customers, employees, shareholders and everyone affected by how well the railway performs.  He joined the company in 2003 and held several senior commercial positions prior to taking on the leadership role in April 2008.

Paul has since led the transformation of the business with more than $2 billion invested by Arc Infrastructure to deliver an upgraded and modernised railway that has supported a 113% increase of tonnes transported on the rail network.  This achievement was recognised by the international rail industry with the 2014 award for corporate innovation and excellence.



Ron Edwards: Director

Ron has had a diverse work life including commencing work as a public servant in Canberra and Sydney followed with work as a Lecturer in the TAFE and University sectors. He also worked in the private sector and was a Member of the Federal Parliament and Deputy Speaker in the period from 1983 to 1993.

Along with the Hon Fred Chaney and John Cunningham Ron established the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation in 1996 and also became a member of the Anglican Schools Commission from 1994 to 2015. He also worked in the seafood and resources industries and during this period was a member of the Board of the Perth Mint.

Ron was a founding member of the Social Inclusion Board and a member of the Not For Profit Reform Council which established the Australian Charities and Not For Profits Commission.

The Not For Profit Sector harnesses the energies and philanthropy of thousands of Australians and is able to provide comfort support hope and relief for the thousands of people who need their services.