Governance

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

Susanne Legena - Chairperson

Susanne LegenaSusanne was elected to the commUnity+ board in 2016. She is the CEO of Plan International Australia and an advocate for foreign aid and community development, gender equality and youth participation.

Susanne has held various executive roles at Plan International Australia including Executive Manager overseeing and leading operations, Deputy CEO and Director of Public Engagement leading policy, advocacy and communications efforts. She has previously served as Chief of Staff to the Victorian Minister for Energy, Resources and Community Development where she contributed to key policies on energy and climate change as well as leading the implementation of A Fairer Victoria a whole of government social policy action plan to address disadvantage and promote inclusion and participation.

Susanne has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from Flinders University and a Master of Arts (Professional Communication) from Deakin University. She has had a career dedicated to working on social justice issues and commenced working life as a community development worker for an international youth-led student organisation and for several non-government organisations tackling family violence, poverty, youth unemployment, and homelessness.  

Greg Bowers - Treasurer

2019 07 22 GregGreg Bowers joined the commUnity+ board in early 2017. Greg is currently the Chief Financial Officer at Trust for Nature in Victoria. Trust for Nature is a statutory authority protecting native plants and wildlife on private land in Victoria. A Certified Practising Account with a Business degree from Ballarat University, Greg has extensive experience in financial management.  Greg has overseen large scale financial and process management at the Australian Crime Commission and PMSC. A certified TEFL teacher, Greg has worked as an English teacher overseas and is passionate about opportunities that come through adult education.  Greg offers commUnity+ his extensive financial and operational management experience to oversee the next phase of the organisation’s growth into the North Western and Inner Melbourne regions. 

Greg was appointed to the Board as Treasurer in 2018. 

Nella Buccheri

Nella Buccheri

Nella was elected to the commUnity+ Board in 2016. She is currently the Associate Director of Legal Practice at Victoria Legal Aid. She has significant experience in criminal law and has over 10 years’ experience working in the delivery of legal services through her role in the Legal Practiced Directorate. Nella is responsible for the general oversight of the operations of the Assignments Unit to ensure that strategic objectives and priorities are being met. Nella provides advice to the VLA Board and the Senior Executive on issues relating to eligibility for grants of legal assistance and expenditure. 

Nella is a local resident of the Melton area and has a strong interest in social justice. She is very supportive of the work we do in the west and would like to be part of that. Nella is conscious of the issues faced by people in the west, in particular, those of new and emerging communities and family violence in the Melton area. 

Brendan Walsh

Brendan Walsh

Brendan joined the Board of commUnity+ in late 2019.  For more than three decades, Brendan has been a passionate and inspired contributor to nonprofits in Australia. His substantial experience includes roles as Senior Executive, CEO, Director and Board Chair of a range of highly successful and strategically focussed organisations. He has worked in community and social enterprises, as well as State and Local Governments.

Brendan has a passion for transforming organisations to better support the people and communities they serve. He also has interest and experience in helping organisations to identify and seize opportunities for alliances, partnerships and when appropriate, mergers.

Brenden has an MBA from the Melbourne Business School of the University of Melbourne.  He is a Fellow and Graduate Member of the AICD and holds an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Governance from the Harvard Business School (Boston, USA). 

Louise Walters

2020 08 17 Louise WaltersLouise was elected to the commUnity+ Board in 2020 and has recently joined as a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee. Louise is dedicated to supporting commUnity+ towards the vision of building safe and vibrant communities in the West, where people are engaged, respected and in charge of their future. She brings ten years of experience delivering business improvement programs across private and government sectors, as well as experience in the financial service and technology industries.

Louise holds her MBA from Melbourne Business School, part of the University of Melbourne and certification from the Australian Institue of Company Directors. She is currently the Assistant Director of Pricing at the National Disability Insurance Agency, where her role includes administering the Australia-wide pricing policy for the NDIA.

Louise is a local resident of the Inner-West of Melbourne and has contributed to a number of other volunteer positions including as a Board Director at the Brain Injury Foundation Victoria.

Olivia Joel

2021 01 22 Olivia JoelOlivia was elected to the commUnity+ board in 2020. She is a Senior Consultant 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.

Emma Hunt

Emma HuntEmma currently works as Executive Manager, Victoria Legal Aid (VLA).  She is working on VLA’s Disability and Gender Equality Action Plans.  Emma is an experienced executive with broad expertise across the legal, NGO 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 three years at VLA as a Managing Lawyer.

Emma has a commitment to NGOs that seek to improve the lives of disadvantaged Victorians. Her career has been based on her belief that a strong legal assistance sector is a way of ensuring disadvantaged Victorians get the advice and help they need when engaging with the law and the justice system, in turn strengthening communities and diverting people from the court system. As a practising lawyer early in her career, she managed a high-volume client file load, including migration, child protection and criminal law matters for clients at legal aid, and for the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service in Gippsland, Inner Melbourne Community Legal and the Legal Aid Society in New York. Recently she worked on various reforms in the criminal justice system such as bail, summary crime and family violence systems in the Department of Justice and Community Safety and in the legal department at the Red Cross in Switzerland.

Emma has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Adelaide (1985-1989). In 1999, she obtained a first-class Masters degree in Criminology from The University of Melbourne. She is admitted to practice law in Victoria and holds a current practising certificate.

 Our Senior Managment Team

Steven Johnson - Chief Executive Officer

Steven JohnsonSteven Johnson has an extensive career focused on delivering services to vulnerable members of our community. After working for the Victorian Department of Human Services for 22 years, which included assignments as the Manager of the Secure Welfare Service and CEO of the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct, Steven moved to the community sector. Steven worked in senior roles at Whitelion, Hanover Welfare Services, and Berry Street.   Steven’s most recent role has been the COO of Swisstec Health Analytics, a company that aims to deliver cost-effective and advanced digital health solutions to developing markets.

Innovation and a focus on providing quality outcomes have been a critical driving force in his career.

Steven has a reputation for significantly improving quality and results through building high performing teams that are focused on achieving the best possible outcomes for clients and ensuring respectful relationships are at the forefront of the organisation’s work. 

Based in Melbourne for most of his career, recently, Steven had the opportunity to live and work in Cambodia. He enjoyed getting to know a different culture and seized the opportunity to travel extensively across Asia and beyond.

Steven enjoys sport, especially AFL. He is a politics-tragic both local and overseas and loves impressive architecture with a particular interest in the work of Antoni Gaudi.

Beth Stewart-Wright - General Manager of Family & Community Services

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Beth comes to Comm Unity Plus with a deep understanding of the complex factors leading to socio-economic disadvantage and marginalisation, and the invaluable role not-for-profits play in addressing these issues. She has comprehensive experience in the not-for-profit sector, including community development, advocacy and executive leadership. Beth brings to the team at Comm Unity Plus a focus on collaborative partnerships, strengths-based leadership, integrated service design and delivery, advocacy, and strategic program planning, to ensure meaningful, effective and responsive services to meet the ever-evolving needs of our local community.

Originally from the scenic Central Coast of NSW, Beth has called Melbourne home for over 10 years. She has a Bachelor of International Development and a Master of Public Policy and Management, and enjoys travel, reading, scuba diving, listening to science and political podcasts, and is currently training as a recreational pilot.

Craig Liddell - General Manager of Education

Craig LiddellCraig has been engaged in the education sector for over twenty (20) years, including adult and community education, higher education, and vocational education and training. His varied roles have included business development, policy, and program management.

Craig has a passion for the transformative nature of education, enabling diverse community members to access education and training, regardless of background and experience, based on personal needs and aspirations.

Melbourne based for ten (10) years, Craig has a Bachelor of Arts, Communications and Media, Diploma of Vocational Education and Training Practice, and Executive Master of Business Administration. 

Bryan Smith - General Manager of Shared Services

Bryan SmithBryan joined Comm Unity Plus in 2019 after 10 years with an employer association and over 20 years’ experience managing business and finance operations in a range of not for profit and commercial businesses.  Bryan is a Certified Practicing Accountant and has a Business degree from Monash University and a Graduate Diploma in Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia.  Away from work, Bryan is a volunteer Director for a Community Health Service and a volunteer with the CFA.