January 10, 2019

BYS welcomes new President and Board Members

BYS are delighted to welcome Dr Nikola Stepanov to the BYS Board as President, and Jake Arden, Ben Paris and Michelle Wade as new Board Members, voted in at the BYS 2018 Annual General Meeting.

BYS is governed by a Board of community members who volunteer their time, and provide strategic direction and guidance to ensure BYS delivers a quality service for vulnerable young people.  We are grateful for the diverse talents that the new Board members bring to the table to guide BYS for the future.

Dr Nikola Stepanov – President

Nikola is a committed child advocate, with a particular interest in promoting the rights and wellbeing of the most vulnerable populations of children such as those experiencing terminal illness, gender dysphoria, homelessness, and other issues where the consequences are grave.

Dr Nikola Stepanov has dedicated much of her career in service to the public sector and community and has a background in professional ethics and governance, research, mediation, dispute resolution and board governance. She has particular expertise in resolving complex and contentious ethical issues and conflicts. Nikola holds five degrees including a Juris Doctor (JD), and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Melbourne) which explored the boundaries to parental consent to non-therapeutic interventions involving children. She is also a Fellow member of the Governance Institute of Australia, an accredited mediator under the National Mediator Accreditation System, and an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner under the Federal Attorney General’s Department.

In her ‘day job’ she is the Queensland Integrity Commissioner.

Jake Arden – Board Member

As a young person himself, Jake is passionate in providing all youth, no matter their background, the opportunity to succeed in whatever endeavours they are interested in pursuing.

Jake has a background in retail and private banking and is currently an Associate Private Banker for Westpac. Jake’s specialisations include financial services, strategy and leadership.

Ben Paris – Board Member

Ben strongly believes in the valuable work that BYS does to assist young people to escape violence and homelessness and work towards a positive future. Ben saw the impact BYS has when BYS assisted a close friend out of an abusive family situation and to avoid homelessness.

Ben is a Registered Debt Agreement Administrator at DCS Group Aust and has over 12 years of experience in personal insolvency. He has tertiary degrees in Accounting, Business and Health Science and currently serves on the board of the Personal Insolvency Professionals Association. His areas of interest are financial literacy, family business, entrepreneurship and marketing.

Michelle Wade – Board Member

Michelle feels strongly about providing support and services to improve the lives of young people affected by health and mental health concerns, social isolation and homelessness.

Michelle is a strategic marketing and communications specialist, with 20 years’ experience working in the health, government, education and employment sectors. Michelle is the founder of Wade Marketing and has held senior executive positions with government health and not-for-profit organisations. She brings specialist knowledge in marketing, brand and communications strategy, multichannel marketing campaigns, multichannel service delivery and customer engagement strategy. Michelle holds tertiary qualifications in commerce and marketing and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.