Candela AlvarezWellbeing Education ConsultantCandela has a Bachelor of Education Secondary: Human Movement and over 7 years of experience working in primary and secondary schools throughout NSW, having also worked in the tertiary education of pre service teachers in Victoria. She has developed programs for children and young people in life skills, personal development, and mindfulness and has worked across the not for profit, health and education sectors.
Recently, Candela has attained a brain based coaching certificate and is interested in incorporating neuroscience and coaching principles into her work with teachers and young people.
She is passionate about social justice, in particular improving educational outcomes and mental health for disadvantaged and Indigenous students, and supporting the capacity and self-efficacy of all teachers and students to create positive relationships.
Betty BalassisResearch & Evaluation OfficerBetty is our Research & Evaluation Officer (but she prefers the acronym REO) with more than 25 experience in insight generation.
Betty graduated from the UNSW with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics & Statistics. Although trained as a Statistician, she realised early on that her real interests lay in identifying why people make the decisions that they make.
Her professional career has taken her on an interesting journey. From designing research studies, building econometric models, conducting group discussions, leading major segmentation studies, through to unpacking experiences and motivations and representing the voice of the everyday Australian’s on executive teams.
Betty has worked for some of Australia’s largest organisations ranging from media, FMCG through to banking. She is passionate about promoting Australian voices in boardrooms and has a personal interest in supporting today’s youth, become tomorrow’s leaders.
Greg CantwellChief Executive OfficerWith a BA in Social Science and a Masters in Public Health, our CEO Greg Cantwell has wide ranging experience in education and health. He has built strong strategic partnerships with corporate and community partners and for the past 15+ years he has worked with schools to provide services and programs within the public and private education sectors.
Stacey ChristesenOffice ManagerStacey Christesen is our Office Manager.
With over 25 years of experience in administration, human resources and accounts, Stacey has also worked in schools as an Administrative Officer and Library Assistant.
Stacey is responsible for the smooth running of the office including the general office operations, HR and IT administration and assisting the CEO and Financial Accountant.
Stacey has a Bachelor of Arts (Art History) and a Diploma of Human Resources Management.
Sara De VriesEducation Services ManagerBachelor of Education - Early Childhood
Sara has taught in Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary settings. From 2010 she worked for Peer Support Australia as an Education Consultant, responsible for delivering teacher training workshops, providing consultancy support to schools and contributing to program development. Sara returned to the classroom as a teacher and student in 2014. In February 2015 she returned to Peer Support Australia as the Education Program Manager and is excited to be back working with an experienced and motivated team.
Matthew GarrettMarketing & Communications ManagerMatthew has an extensive history in both marketing and education. He operated as a Primary teacher and co-ordinator for over seven years in Queensland and New South Wales after graduating Griffith University with a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary- Specialisation Middle Years). Whilst teaching he also continued to advise in the media industry. Before teaching, Matthew worked in radio and events marketing, managing events and branding. Matthew is ardent about education, especially the mental health and wellbeing of both students and teachers. As our Marketing & Communications Manager he brings an enthusiasm to share our vision.
He also wants you to follow us on all the social media and subscribe to our newsletter. Please and thank you.
Peter MillerMembership & Development CoordinatorWith a Bachelor of Education – Physical Education, Peter has over 9 years’ experience working in and with school’s throughout Australia in both the public and private sectors.
He brings with him extensive knowledge in delivering, implementing and maintaining school based programs having previously been responsible for the Jump Rope for Heart program on a National level.
Throughout his career Peter has prided himself on building strong working relationships as well as his delivery of a wide range of presentations, workshops and training.
As an Education Consultant, Peter will use these skills as well as a passion for enhancing student wellbeing, learning and leadership to ensure all school’s benefit from the Peer Support Australia program.
Karin O’BrienFinancial Accountant, Company SecretaryKarin O’Brien is Peer Support Australia’s Company Accountant. Karin brings with her over 25 years of experience in both Corporate (17 years with Nestle Australia Ltd), and small/medium sized business across the Northern Suburbs of Sydney. Karin has a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Mathematics) from Victoria University of Wellington.
Jill PearmanWellbeing Education ConsultantJill is an experienced educator with over 30 years' experience in a variety of health and education settings in Australia and overseas. Prior to joining Peer Support Australia, Jill was Director of MindMatters working with school communities across the country assisting in building whole school approaches to mental health and wellbeing. Previously, Jill founded the Life Education program in the United Kingdom and has worked nationally and internationally establishing prevention policy and practice. In her role of Wellbeing Education Consultant, Jill supports school communities to implement The Peer Support Program. Jill is passionate about establishing safe and supportive communities for children and young people.