As Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Andy drives Western Sydney University’s strategic collaborations with government, industry and the community. He is co-founder of the ‘LaunchPad’ startup incubator, founder of the CatalystWest forum, Chair of Western Sydney Community Forum, and Chair of the Committee for Sydney’s Western City Taskforce.
Andy writes regular columns for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Telegraph, the Financial Review, and the Saturday Paper on politics and social issues. He features on ABC radio’s political forum, and is an occasional panelist on The Drum.
Prior to his current role, Andy was a researcher in the social services sector and professional musician with ARIA nominated band Crow.
Ben spent a decade working in the corporate sector and after project managing direct sales of charity products, he entered the not for profit sector. Since that time, he has held senior management positions in health, disability and community services. Ben is an active voice in the community sector and is the CEO of Hills Community Aid. He holds a number of leadership representative positions including for the NSW Local Community Services Association. Ben joined the Board in 2014 and holds a Bachelor of Commerce and post graduate qualifications in Public Relations.
Heather is a passionate advocate for social justice with 20 years experience in the community and Local Government sectors, particularly within Western Sydney. With a keen focus on place-based disadvantage, innovation and social leadership, Heather is driven to walk along side communities and challenge systemic disadvantage.
Heather is currently leading the Sustainable Communities Division of Wentworth Community Housing. The team works to create meaningful opportunities for client participation, to improve the financial literacy and access to education and employment opportunities available to clients. Heather is also working to address environmental issues affecting clients including rising heat in western Sydney and energy poverty.
Within her first year at Wentworth, Heather cofounded Neighbourhood Jobs, a social enterprise aiming to smash inter generational dependence on social housing by employing vulnerable young people. Neighbourhood Jobs is wholly owned by Wentworth Community Housing and is proudly funded by the NSW Department of Industry.
Heather is a skilled manager and leader, overseeing multiple complex programs with diverse funding models and contractual arrangements.
A gifted story teller and passionate voice for social justice, Heather frequently presents at conferences and events.
Heather joined the Board in 2019 and holds a Bachelor of Social Science, a Post Graduate Certificate in Local Government, and a MBAx (Social Impact) Business Administration and Management from the UNSW Australian Graduate School of Management.
Keith has a passion for social justice, and a drive to include people whom society often excludes. He has been a minster of the Uniting Church in Australia for 27 years, and involved in the church and community of Western Sydney for the past 17. Keith holds a Bachelor of Theology and three Masters’ degrees in Theology, Communications and Cultural Studies, and Community Management. Keith is the Senior Minister / Group CEO of Parramatta Mission, deputy chair of the Uniting Church in Western Sydney, a Board member of the Community Migrant Resource Centre, and joined the Board in 2015.
Melissa Monteiro is the Executive Director of the Community Migrant Resource Centre. Melissa joined the CMRC in early 2000 and has over twenty five years’ experience in the community sector. Melissa has been employed in a number of not for profits include the Blacktown City Community Services Network, Missionaries of Charity and the College of Social Work winning the University of Western Sydney Community Services Award (2013). During this time, she worked closely with community leaders in Western Sydney with an interest in creating greater social impact through a stronger social sector and cross-sectorial collaboration.