Zoe was first introduced to yLead while attending an In School experience at her high school in 2013. It was here that her passion for people was ignited, leading her to be nominated as a Prefect at St John’s Anglican College. Zoe was given the opportunity to partake in another yLead experience in 2015 where she attended the Australian Student Leadership Conference. Zoe’s passion for yLead continued to grow once completing school. In 2018, she was awarded ‘yTeamer of the Year’ to recognise her outstanding voluntary contribution to the association.
Zoe has an indescribable love of giving to others. She completed her Bachelor of Nursing at Queensland University of Technology and in 2020 joined the full time yLead HQ team.
Since joining yLead, Zoe has held nearly every position in the organisation. In 2021, she stepped up to form part of our IMPACT team, travelling across the country spreading our mission of empowering young people to create great change in their own lives and communities. She loves having the opportunity to form connections with our incredible volunteer community, enthusiastic educators, and strong students.
Zoe exudes energy, thoughtfulness, and service in all that she does. She aspires to ensure students from all walks of life can have the same revelation she had in 2013; that young people really can change the world. Her vision for her tenure as CEO is one where yLead plays a part in creating a world of inclusive communities that thrive when every young person steps up to lead and serve. She believes in young people recognising the power of their voice, their actions, and their ability to be their authentic selves.
When Zoe isn’t out there spreading the yLead vibes, you can find her at the beach, playing board games with her friends and family or snuggled in bed watching one of her favourite TV shows.
Belinda (Bel) Yorston
Bel first encountered yLead in 2002 as a School Captain of Alexandra Hills State High School. Since her high school graduation, life has presented her with interesting opportunities and career pathways. Starting with a pursuit of passion for dance and musical theatre, then taking on her family tradition of operating small business, she became a licensed Real Estate Agent and commenced work with her mum, developing the highly awarded ‘Team Yorston’.
In 2008, Bel said ‘yes’ to an adventure to Tanzania (with yLead); at the time she was not aware of the profound impact that trip would have on her life. Returning from Africa and still working in Real Estate, Bel had a new motivation for her desire to give back to community, investing many hours volunteering for yLead and Rotary.
In 2011, Bel once again said ‘yes’ to a yLead opportunity and joined the team full-time. She has spent the last nine years developing and enhancing yLead’s experiences, delivering them herself to thousands of young people. Bel has a passion for adventure and has been instrumental in crafting yLead’s overseas ‘Schoolies’ alternatives and travel expeditions. Her driver is her belief in young people, there is something very profound about seeing first-hand the impact that yLead experiences have on a young person.
In 2013 she was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow, one of their highest international honours, for her work in developing Rotary’s youth programs and in 2018, she stepped up and stepped out to take on the role of yLead CEO. Since taking on the role of CEO Bel’s leadership skills and confidence have grown exponentially, proving that sometimes all we really need to do is take ‘20 seconds of courage’.
Martin started his career as a tax accountant in a public practice firm but after a few years, started to realise that something was missing. When he was contacted by his old university with an offer to teach evening classes, he discovered his love of teaching and helping others. Inspired by his new life goal, Martin quit the accounting job and became a full-time academic at UQ, teaching accounting and finance.
Working at UQ, Martin learnt that he loved to give back and started to seek out volunteer opportunities to be involved in his community. He joined the Rotaract Club of South-West Brisbane and served on the board as club President and Treasurer over several years. While volunteering with his Rotaract Club, Marty attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) in 2013, which was instrumental in improving his leadership skills and where he was first introduced to yLead.
In addition to the Rotaract Club, Marty has volunteered for several years with the YMCA Siblings Reconnect program, which reunites siblings who have been separated when being placed into foster care. More recently, his volunteering commitments have moved to being a ‘Pyjama Angel’ with the Pyjama Foundation, an organisation which focuses on improving literacy and numeracy in foster children.
After experiencing burnout in his previous work, Marty re-evaluated his life choices and decided to follow his passion; to have a positive impact on the lives of others! He is very excited to open a new chapter with yLead and use his accounting experience to ensure yLead will continue to positively affect so many young people.
In his spare time, Marty enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, camping, baseball, and golf. He is also learning the cello (slowly) and loves board games with friends.
Sarah’s passion for empowering and serving young people was already well-established through her role as School Captain at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School, but it was as a yLead participant in 2019 that it was truly solidified. Her experience at the Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia’s Student Leadership Conference was a huge moment in not just her senior year but her young adult life.
After she graduated school, Sarah travelled to Cambodia on Help Out (yLead’s Schoolies Alternative), and since then has been involved in anything and everything yLead. When the opportunity to join the team in a full-time capacity arose, she jumped at the opportunity to take on a new challenge and do what she loves; helping create spaces for young people to unlock their potential and be at their best. Her yLead experience was one that impacted her life significantly, and she loves affording that opportunity to others.
Sarah has spent the last few years working in a variety of administrative roles and liaising with clients, and she is looking forward to combining those skills and her passion for young people. In 2020, she made the decision to take a gap-year, return to Cambodia and continue her work with Feeding Dreams, a not-for-profit, grass roots school in Siem Reap, leaning into her passion for education and young people.
Outside of work, Sarah is studying a Bachelor of Art/Secondary Education at The University of Queensland with the hopes of one day being in the classroom as an English and History teacher. She lives for adventure and loves being outdoors, spending her spare time running, hiking and exploring this beautiful planet we all share.
A lifelong learner and seeker, Kris was introduced to youth leadership during her modern languages degree program at the University of Southampton in the UK. After a cultural exchange program took her to Thailand and a study abroad opportunity led to a year in a university in France, Kris committed to learning more about bridging cultural differences through a Masters in Translation and Linguistics at the University of Westminster.
Since then, she has spent most of her career in communications. With over a decade of working with words in organisations from blue chips to bestsellers, Kris has a passion for crafting messages that matter and cultivating understanding between audiences and authors.
In 2010, she left the demanding world of corporate communications and set up as a freelance editor. Fuelled by a desire to serve people who want to make a positive difference in their world, Kris has led her own small business editing non-fiction books for first-time authors. Her editorial interests focus on the self-help genre, with a large proportion of her work being in personal development and coaching, holistic health and lifestyle, entrepreneurship and small business.
Kris puts expression and enthusiasm at the heart of all she does. She loves bringing people together and resonates most with yLead’s value of “together has power”. She sees yLead’s work as vital for the future stability and sustainability of our planet, with the belief that words can change the world and good dialogue is essential in that pursuit.
Josh first met yLead as a Middle School Captain back in 2016, but it wasn’t until his second encounter as a participant at the Australian Student Leadership Conference (ASLC) in 2019, that he really began to understand the value they hold. Recognising the profound impact the organisation had on him, Josh commenced volunteering for yLead in 2019 after graduating as School Captain of Luther College. Josh is extremely passionate about sharing stories and connecting with people, and his work with yLead has helped grow and nurture this passion.
Josh is currently completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne (VCA). In his spare time away from study he loves performing and creating theatre, as well as getting out in nature wherever possible. Whether that be 4WDriving with his mates in the Victorian high country or heading down to the peninsula for a surf.
Josh has joined yLead as part of the REACH team and feels very blessed to be able to contribute to supporting an organisation that empowers so many young. From the staff, to the volunteer base and beyond, Josh feels incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to connect with such a diverse and outstanding community.
Through a service focused style of leadership Josh hopes to continue to provide a platform for people to share their story, and is thrilled to be furthering his journey alongside yLead.
George’s first experience with yLead was one to remember as a participant of the Australian Student Leadership Conference (ASLC) in 2018. Representing Padua College as a House Captain, George found ASLC a much-needed experience. The conference helped him to discover his real passion for leadership and empowering others, taking this fresh energy back into his school community. His creative writing ability and passion saw him win a ‘Scholarships for Dreams’ competition where he wrote about his ambitions and career dreams.
After graduating, George’s love for yLead brought him back as a volunteer and as a mentor on the Schoolies alternative experience to Cambodia. George loves working with youth; prior to his role at yLead he coached sport for Padua and spent his afternoons working as an after-school care educator at his primary school, St Anthony’s.
At the beginning of 2021, George continued to follow his passion for youth and leadership and became a yLead Contractor. Later that year, the facilitation role was advertised and he thought it was too good to be true. George threw his hat in the ring which resulted in his first full-time job.
Alongside full-time work, he studies part-time at the Queensland University of Technology doing a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) which he thoroughly enjoys. When George isn’t working or studying, he loves playing basketball and soccer, video games with friends and board games with his family. George loves Brisbane and would recommend his favourite lookout spot at the Shorncliffe Jetty.
Cealè’s compassion for people is an ever-present characteristic that fuels the impact that she has in all she does. In 2017 she began a Bachelor of Social Work which equipped her with tangible skills, knowledge, and understanding around connecting and serving others. She has a wealth of experience working with youth through her church community, outside school hours care work experience, and social work placements; and believes that nurturing and enhancing human relationships is a powerful course of action to see young people thrive in our community. In Cealè’s eyes, leadership begins with heart and humility. Aligning with the first yLead essential pillar of leadership, ‘Leadership begins within’; She believes that building a strong sense of identity and self-confidence, adopting a heart posture of service, and fostering the best out of your team, cultivates the best environment for all to SHINE!
As an Australian-Papua New Guinean woman, she knows all too well that school can sometimes be a hard place to 'fit in'… Navigating high school whilst struggling to harness her cultural identity was a challenging yet fundamental experience; allowing her to develop a strong passion for diversity of culture and a deep sense of belonging in who she is.
Cealè finds purpose in the pursuit of championing on those around her and channels this purpose through her creative outputs of photography, videography, and graphic design. Her dream is to collaborate compassion and creativity in pursuit of sharing the untold stories of this world. If you asked Cealè to describe a moment where she is most happy, she would say it’s when watching others pursue their passions wholeheartedly!
Jon is an incredibly passionate young person that has a focused love and pride for leadership. His connection to leadership was instilled throughout his schooling years and, as Vice-College Captain of St Laurence’s College in 2022.
Leadership has become a great strength and value within Jon’s life, he believes there is a significant power to influence positive change in the lives of many. His leading style is servant based – the act of serving amongst and with people, rather than in front. He believes that this leadership style will advance all at school, within communities and in life. Jon’s passion and advocacy for leadership is ever present; in 2022 he was nominated and elected for the ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award.
Jon may be the newest Junior Facilitator on the yLead team, however, his introduction to the yLead way dates back to 2019, when he attended Brisbane Altitude Day as a Year 9 student. Jon hopes his servant-based leadership approach combined with his creativity and kindness will benefit the Association and all the young people he encounters.
When Jon isn’t facilitating or studying, he loves to spend time at the beach. Continuing the passionate pursuit of service in his world, five years ago Jon turned his love for the beach into voluntary community service through lifesaving. Jon is a creative specialising in media with photography and videography, he has even photographed Mick Fanning.
Jon has decided to further his education and is currently enrolled at the University of Queensland studying a duel Bachelors degree of Business Management and Design with the goal of one day working for himself and becoming an entrepreneur.
Jack’s incredible passion for leadership and inspiring youth was kickstarted at Burnside State High School in 2019 where he held the position of school Vice-Captain. In this role he was introduced to yLead at the Australian Student Leadership Conference (ASLC), which was an experience that shaped the person he is today. He went on to receive the school’s Innovative Leadership Award for outstanding service to the community.
After school, Jack celebrated the end of Year 12 with yLead on the Schoolies Alternative - Thrill Out tour in New Zealand and has continued to be a valued part of the yLead community ever since. After setbacks and disruption due to the pandemic, Jack has recently graduated from University of the Sunshine Coast and was awarded a Bachelor of Business (Tourism, Leisure and Event Management).
Jack’s passion for travel and adventure made him answer a call to action from yLead to relaunch Schoolies Alternatives in 2023. Now Jack has joined the yLead team, he is excited to provide an experience for Year 12 Graduates to unlock their passion for adventure and work closely with yLead’s overseas suppliers to form strong relationships.
Outside of yLead, you can find Jack living his passion for Rugby League, through both playing and coaching, and he considers this a place where he ‘thrives’. He loves adventure and outdoor activities, also finding time to get out and about with his camera and drone. In his relax time, Jack enjoys an old-fashioned binge TV session.