We are not the experts in this field. However, in our local community, there are some well-established organisations and individuals who ARE experts, and who are already making a significant difference in our community. So to help us ensure our money is spent where it is needed most, we have engaged a panel of experts to guide us. These experts cover a broad cross-section of our community.

Maggie Dent – We are very grateful for the support and endorsement of renowned author and public speaker, Maggie Dent (https://www.maggiedent.com), one of Australia’s leading authorities on Youth Wellbeing and Education. 

Commonly known as the “queen of common sense”, Maggie Dent has become one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators, with a particular interest in the early years, adolescence and resilience.

Maggie’s experience includes teaching, counselling, and working in palliative care/funeral services and suicide prevention. Maggie is an advocate for the healthy, common-sense raising of children in order to strengthen families and communities. She is a passionate, positive voice for children of all ages.

Now an in-demand writer and speaker, Maggie is a regular contributor to Fairfax’s Essential Kids website and she can often be heard on commercial and ABC radio around the country including Nova 937. She also appears on national TV programs. Maggie is the host of the ABC’s Parental As Anything podcast.

She is the author of six major books, including her bestselling 2018 release Mothering Our Boys. Maggie has also authored several smaller books and e-books, and is a prolific creator of resources for parents, adolescents, teachers, educators and others who are interested in quietly improving their lives.

Maggie is the proud mother of four wonderful sons, and an enthusiastic and grateful grandmother. She lives in the South Coast region of NSW with her good bloke Steve Mountain and their dear little dog, Mr Hugo Walter Dent.

Sally Gallagher – a local parent with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the Public Education domain. 

Nace Ward – a member of the Gerringong Community with an extensive background working in the Youth Sector, piloting many successful youth programs and having strong connection with our local young people, understanding their needs and wants.  

Wendi Hobbs – Wendi has worked for the past 30 years in Social Science (Community services), and in the last 25 years working with vulnerable young people. She has passion for building community resilience and assisting people to empower themselves to have more control over their lives and community. 

She firmly believes young people are our greatest and most valuable resource and the foundation for our future. To that end, Wendi works as a part of the community in promoting the importance of healthy and resilient young people through community education programs, special events and activities, and promotions. 

Having a strong commitment to and understanding of the issues impacting young people, Wendi has over twenty five years’ experience working with the community on projects targeting issues surrounding the health of young homeless people, drug-and alcohol and suicide prevention.

Wendi has extensive experience in creating community awareness by developing working relationships between community services, government and the community sector. She has also been involved with major community campaigns including ride for mental illness awareness, healthy minds in school program, pop up youth health events, Shoalhaven Women’s wellness festivals and others. 

Wendi has been involved in Suicide prevention since the 90’s and is a founding member and on the executive of Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention and Awareness Network (SSPAN) since 2007. She has been involved with a number of successful strategies to assist in reducing the rate of suicides. More information on this can be found on SSPAN’s website www.sspan.org.au

Wendi has a Graduate Diploma, Social Science (Community Services) and a Bachelors Degree (Youth Work).

. Lara Farrell – a Year 10 student at Kiama High School. Lara put her hand up to join our Advisory Board after she met us during a KHS SRC Meeting with the Council and Kiama Youth Services last year. Lara represents the voice of her generation and is a wonderful role model to others. She gives the rest of the oldies in the Makuta team an opportunity to listen to the kids in our community who need to be heard.