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meet the team

Jennifer Cockburn-Hillis (Acting Coordinator and Case Manager)

I'm proud to say I was born and bred in bonny Scotland. I moved to Australia in late 2011 and now call Sydney home. Australia has blown me away for many reasons including its cultural diversity, sunshine and beautiful landscapes. It was my background in Drama that initially got me involved and interested in working with young people. Constraints placed on young people to have their voices heard were and still are exasperating. Drama proved to be a great medium to be heard! Since then it has been a rollercoaster ride for eight years working with young people with problematic substance use and youth homelessness. I had the pleasure of joining The Shack team in April 2012, and have the privilege of working with many remarkable young people who are striving towards building their futures. When I ’m not working I fill my days with good food, friends and family!


Wade Mathias (Youth Programs Worker)

I grew up in the Eastern Suburbs and as a teen was fortunate enough to have connected with The Shack and attend a bunch of their programs. The benefits I received and relationships I built inspired me to become a youth worker. So, after studying and then travelling around the UK and Europe for a few years I came home and applied for a position here. I am proud to say I have now been part of The Shack’s team for the past four years learning and developing my skills in youth work. Along the way I also became a qualified personal fitness trainer and have injected my own approach through our sport and wellbeing programs. I strive to help support young people from in and around our local community, helping them with any issues and dilemmas they encounter in their transition from adolescence to adulthood. 

Simon Edwards (Tutoring Coordinator)

I have been a resident of the Eastern Suburbs since 1996 when I moved from my hometown of Taree to attend UNSW. My involvement with The Shack began in July 2013 as I took on the role of Tutoring Coordinator. The importance of education in fostering self esteem and confidence in young people is one reason I find this role so rewarding.


Nina Chehade (Bookkeeper)

I am the Bookkeeper at The Shack and have been working with the organisation since 2006. It is always a pleasure to see happy faces on the kids when they are heading out on programs, ready to have a good time. It is one of the many good reason why I like working at the Shack.