Comm Unity Plus Services Ltd has a constitution that covers all areas of governance.

Comm Unity Plus Services Ltd is governed by an elected, voluntary Board of Management, which meets bi-monthly.

Our Board

Jackie Mead - Chair

Jackie was appointed to the commUnity+ Board in 2020 Jackie Mead
and the
 role of Chair in 2022. Jackie is a member of the
Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Jackie is the co-CEO of Red Nose.

Jackie is a long-time resident of Melbourne’s Inner West and has a passion for creating and supporting vibrant communities that are inclusive and compassionate at their core. She brings 15 years of not-for-profit experience, along with a background in consulting and HR.

Jackie has a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Melbourne (ANZSOG). Jackie has certification from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Emma Hunt - Deputy Chair

Emma was appointed to the commUnity+ Board in 2020 and Emma Hunt
role of Deputy Chair in 2022. Emma is a member of the Governance Committee.

Emma is an Executive Manager at Victoria Legal Aid (VLA). Emma is an experienced executive with broad expertise across the legal, not-for-profit, and government sectors in Australia and overseas. Her experience in leadership and management includes six years as a Co-Executive Director, Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) Vic Inc. (now known as Justice Connect), seven years as a senior manager in the Department of Justice and Regulation, and four years at VLA in a variety of roles.

Emma is an advocate for not-for-profit organisations that seek to improve the lives of Victorians experiencing disadvantage. Her career has been based on her belief that a strong legal assistance sector is a way of ensuring Victorians experiencing disadvantage receive the advice and help they need when engaging with the law and the justice system, in turn strengthening communities and individual agency.

Emma has a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Adelaide, and a first-class Master’s degree in Criminology from The University of Melbourne. She is admitted to practice law in Victoria and holds a current practising certificate.


Kristie Lawson

Kristie was appointed to the commUnity+ Board in 2022. 4

Kristie is working as Director Corporate Services at Central Highland Rural Health. Kristie has well developed skills in stakeholder management, project management and leadership with several years’ experience leading teams in the public sector working across both State and Local Government. 

Kristie’s experience in leadership includes six years at Melton City Council, two years at Wyndham City Council and twelve years at the Department of Justice and Community Safety (formally Department of Justice).  Kristie has strong social justice values and having worked extensively with communities in the west, has developed an understanding of current and emerging trends that are unique to communities in the west, particularly more vulnerable cohorts such as women, children, and young people. Kristie is passionate about affecting real change and supporting place based, trauma informed and person-centred care to ensure that communities thrive and break the cycle of disadvantage. 

Kristie holds a Master of Business Administration, Graduate Certificate of Management and Advanced Diploma of Business (Legal Practice).  


Nella Buccheri

Nella was appointed to the commUnity+ Board in 2016. Nella Buccheri
Nella is a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Nella is the Associate Director of Legal Practice at Victoria Legal Aid. Nella has significant experience in criminal law and more than 10 years’ experience working in the delivery of legal services through her role in the Legal Practice Directorate.

Nella is a local resident with a strong interest in social justice. She is an advocate for the work of commUnity+ in local communities and is committed to improving service provision in the Western Suburbs. Nella is particularly interested in providing better services in the Melton area for new and emerging communities and people experiencing family violence.

Nella has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from La Trobe University and is an Australian legal practitioner.

Olivia Joel

Olivia was appointed to the commUnity+ Board in 2020. Olivia Joel
Olivia is a member of the Governance Committee.

Olivia is a Manager at Nous Group, an international management consultancy, and is passionate about instrumenting meaningful change through social policy and community development.

Olivia has worked with not-for-profit, government and member-based clients across a range of sectors, including education, human services, health and justice. She has worked extensively in business development, public policy, regulation, organisational performance and strategy. Olivia currently volunteers as a mentor through YWCA’s Asista program, which links girls aged 12–18 in the child protection system with a positive female role model to build self-esteem, resilience and confidence.

Olivia has a double degree in Law (Honours) and Commerce (International Commerce) from Monash University and undertook postgraduate studies in globalisation and international economic law.

Poonam Fernandes - Treasurer

Poonam was appointed to the commUnity+ Board in 2022. 2

Poonam currently works as a Business Manager for the Department of Health and has industry experience in: Government, Non-profit Organisations, Mining & Resources and Financial Services.  Poonam has held several senior finance positions including Chief Finance Officer, Project Director and Finance Manager.  

Poonam provides expert advice on finance and operations to support business planning, governance and risk management.  

Poonam is passionate with her work with different communities. She is part of the Sikh Community and volunteers for her local Trillium community to build a vibrant neighbourhood, where the people who live there can form strong and lasting relationships. 

Poonam has a Bachelor of Commerce from Murdoch University and is a Certified Practising Accountant. 


Susanne Legena

Susanne was appointed to the commUnity+ Board in 2016.Susanne Legena
Susanne is a member of the Governance Committee.

Susanne is the CEO of Plan International Australia and
an advocate for community development, gender by quality and youth participation. Susanne has previously served as Chief of Staff to the Victorian
Minister for Energy, Resources and Community Development and the Arts, where she contributed to key policies on energy and climate change and led the implementation of A Fairer Victoria – a whole of government social policy action plan to address disadvantage and promote inclusion and participation.
Susanne has dedicated her career to working on social justice issues, tackling family violence, poverty, youth unemployment, and homelessness.

Susanne has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from Flinders University and a Master of Arts (Professional
Communication) from Deakin University.

Valerie Sace

Valerie was appointed to the commUnity+ Board in 2022. 3

Valerie is currently Head of Strategy & PMO at David Jones.  She is a highly commercial Strategy, Transformation and Project Management leader with experience across diverse industries 

including retail, digital media, FMCG, waste management and community services. Highly agile and consumer-centric, Valerie brings outstanding skills in developing and implementing strategy aligned to organisational objectives.  With a passion for solving complex problems and continuous improvement, Valerie has deep experience leading multi-disciplinary teams and applying exceptional communication, collaboration, stakeholder management and influencing skills. 
Valerie is passionate about the work of community organisations that seek to empower people affected by disadvantage and inequality in the community.  She previously served as President of the Committee of Management of Banyule Support and Information Centre (BANSIC), a not-for-profit incorporated association based in West Heidelberg.  She was a 2022 recipient of a scholarship for the Women’s Board Leadership Program (WBLP) through the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing’s Office for Women in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).  Valerie is a strong believer and advocate of the power of diversity, particularly in board and executive representation.  
Valerie has a Bachelor of Science (Major in Business Administration & Accountancy) from the University of the Philippines and is a non-practicing CPA.  She is a Project Management Professional (PMP), an MAICD and a member of the ICDA. 


Damien Smith

Damien Smith was appointed to the board in 2024. Damien Smith Board

A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Damien is well versed in governance, risk management and strategy.  

Damien brings over 25 years’ executive experience in cybersecurity, technology and risk with large and medium-sized organisations and has provided cybersecurity consulting to a number of organisations.

A long-term resident of the West, Damien is passionate about equality, diversity and opportunity for all community members.

Martina Otten

Martina was appointed to the board in 2024.Martina Otten Board

Martina brings extensive experience in education, health, governance, and engagement.

Martina's international career has provided her with a rich perspective on multiculturalism and diversity. She held roles at RMIT University in International Relations and with the United Nations Global Compact – Cities Program, focusing on international and cross-cultural collaboration.

Martina has a robust skill set in strategic planning, risk management, and stakeholder engagement. In addition to her governance expertise, Martina has a keen interest in fostering diversity and inclusion at all levels of an organisation.

Martina is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a MSc in Organisational Psychology from the University of London.

Senior Leadership Team

Tracey Gaudry - Chief Executive Officer

Tracey is an accomplished leader with over 20 years of experience in executive and governance roles.20221006 0111 She has previously held CEO roles at Respect Victoria and the Amy Gillett Foundation. Tracey’s governance roles have included Vice President of Union Cycliste Internationale, where she chaired the global Women’s and Advocacy Commissions, and Director of the Sports Environment Alliance. Her leadership has focussed on prevention and early intervention research, and policy and program/delivery initiatives supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in local, regional, national, and international settings and communities.

Tracey is dedicated to supporting and enhancing the diverse communities that commUnity+ serves and brings significant knowledge, experience, insights, and energy. 

Tracey holds bachelor degrees in commerce and science from Deakin University and a Master in Management from the National Graduate School of Management at the Australian National University. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Cameron Bloye - General Manager Family & Community Services

Cameron has extensive experience as a Lead Lawyer, Principal Lawyer and Manager Legal Services in Community Legal Centres across Victoria, including the Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre. He has worked across a broad range of areas of law and specialises in working with young people, victim-survivors of family violence, and people with significant mental health conditions20221006 0117 and acquired brain injuries.

Cameron is a Board Member and Public Officer for United Housing Co-Operative, a social housing organisation based in Melbourne’s inner-west that provides affordable housing to people experiencing disadvantage and who are at risk of homelessness. Cameron has also volunteered at a number of community organisations.

Cameron holds Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor (post-graduate law) degrees from the University of Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Public Policy and Management focusing on social policy development and community sector governance.


Mabel Msopero - General Manager Community Education

Mabel has been engaged in the education sector for over thirty (30) years, including private and publicMabel_Msopero.jpeg high school education, adult and community education, higher education, and vocational education and training in TAFE and Private RTOs. Mabel’s roles in education have included classroom teacher, program manager, head of department.

Mabel sums up her passion for education in the following:

“Education provides knowledge of the world around us, broadens our perspective, and helps us understand that the world is bigger than our backyard.With a proper education, one holds opinions substantiated by fact and reality, rather than assumptions.”

Mabel’s passion for community education comes from her belief that no-one is an empty vessel, and everyone brings something to the table and together we can build a beautiful and well-informed community. Mabel is and has always been an active member of her community wherever she lived. She has held voluntary roles as Board Member Auckland Asylum Seekers Support Trust, Member Auckland Council Ethnic People Advisory, Founder Member of the New Zealand Based Trust – Sharing Used Resources for Education (SURE).

Mabel is an active member of the Wyndham Council Building Blocks Community Leadership Program 2023 - Allies in the Community Project, and the Wyndham Council People’s Advisory Panel.

Melbourne based for seven (7) years, Mabel holds a Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Certificate in Education, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Certificate IV in Workplace and Business Coaching, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Management. Mabel is a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders Australia and New Zealand (IMLANZ).



Nimeshika (Nim) Peiris - Head of People and Culture

Nim Peiris joined Comm Unity Plus Services as Head of People and Culture in October 2019.Nim Bio

Nim brings more than 20 years of broad generalist experience in development of Human Resources

and Organisational Development strategy, learning and development, change management, talent acquisition,engagement and management, HRIS implementation and administration, and employee relations.  

Previous roles in Human Resources management include with Good Shepherd Microfinance, Bulla Dairy Foods, Spotless Group and NDB Bank. 

Nim holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (Sri Lanka), a Certificate IV in Human Resources from Charles Darwin University, and a Commonwealth Masters in Business Administration from the Open University of Sri Lanka.

Remberto Rivera - Chief Operating Officer

Remberto Rivera joined Comm Unity Plus Services as Chief Operating Officer in January 2024, bringing more than 25 years’ experience working in the for-purpose sector. Remberto Bio

Remberto previously worked at ACSO for 12 years as CFO while carrying responsibilities for Facilities and Administration, IT and McCormack Housing (ACSO’s Housing Provider subsidiary). Prior to ACSO he was Corporate Services and Business Development Director at Bairnsdale Regional Health. He also spent ten years with UnitingCare Connections as Corporate Services Director where he led the organisation to consolidate a merger of three smaller agencies into Connections. A migrant from El Salvador, Remberto commenced his professional career in Australia with The Salvation Army. 

Remberto has a special interest in Not-for-Profit Governance and is currently a Board Director and Chair of Foundation House (the Victorian Association for the Survivors of Torture Inc), a specialist refugee trauma agency supporting survivors of torture and other traumatic events. 

Remberto’s qualifications include a Bachelor in Economics (Honours), Post Graduate Diploma in Business (Accounting) from Deakin University, Post Graduate Diploma in Aged Care Management from Victoria University, and a Master of Business Administration from Deakin University. Remberto is a fully qualified CPA

Key Policies

Code of Conduct Policy

Board Communication Policy

Whistle-blower Policy

Workplace Health and Safety Policy

Grievance Policy

Privacy Policy

Child Safety Policy 

Anti-Slavery Policy


Terms of Reference

Community Advisory Committee

Finance Audit and Risk Management Committee

Governance Committee