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’.
Andrew is a qualified Accountant. He runs his own small business, loves playing any sport and takes pride in being a positive role model and loving father to his daughter Ashleigh and son Matthew. Andrew has worked for large companies such as Citibank, GE, John Deere and wotif.com, which have taught him that financial discipline and an emphasis on sustainable profits are the fundamentals of all successful organisations. Andrew joined yLead because he wanted to be involved in an organisation whose primary focus is to make a positive contribution to society, not shareholder value. He also believes he can help embed a culture within yLead that understands that without financial discipline and a sustainable business model it cannot reach the extraordinary heights it strives for.
Amy first encountered yLead as a participant on the 2012 Australian Student Leadership Conference as School Captain of Mansfield Secondary College. For Amy the conference opened her eyes to a world of potential she hadn’t felt before. With a desire to make a difference in the world, Amy volunteered in Fiji and with a variety of social change organisations. Amy’s love of yLead grew the more she was involved, with opportunities to travel around Australia and New Zealand as part of the team. Amy became a contract facilitator and then made the move to Brisbane to start full-time after completing an International Studies degree in Melbourne. Amy exudes warmth, positivity and creativity and loves that she can create the same experience she had for others.
Matt’s passion for leadership was first inspired through his role as house captain in primary school. From this point, he continued to develop his leadership skills taking on the role of house captain in year 10 and prefect in year 12 at Fraser Coast Anglican College. Whilst completing a degree in Science and Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching, Matt spent his university days as the Cultural Convenor of Cromwell College, University of Queensland. When the opportunity to join the yLead team arose, he jumped at the chance. Matt is driven, energetic and has a passion for creative arts and drama, serving Underground Productions as a past President and now in an support role, Underground is a student run theatre society with a history dating back to 1912. Matt loves sharing his experiences with students and feels privileged to work with an association that empowers young people to be the best version of themselves.
When Lucy first discovered yLead in 2015, she knew she had found her dream job. As an active member of her school community and honouring the role of School Captain at Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School, Lucy discovered her passion for leadership. Leadership allows her to form connections with other people – something she personally experienced when she attended The Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia’s Student Leadership Conference facilitated by yLead. Since that first moment of being immersed in yLead’s positive and empowering environment, she has loved everything about the organisation ever since. Prior to joining the full-time team, Lucy volunteered at schools across Victoria (her home state), relishing any opportunity to meet and converse with young people. Aside from yLead, Lucy is continuing to study a Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) at RMIT, loves to write posts for her personal blog, is taking on a new challenge to play AFL and is always adding photos of sunrises and sunsets to her already massive collection.
Nathan first experienced yLead when he attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) in 2014. After experiencing yLead at RYLA, Nathan decided to join yLead on a trip to Tanzania. This trip solidified his passion for what the yLead team stood for. Nathan’s newfound passion for yLead’s travel trips saw him mentor on both alternate schoolies experiences to Cambodia and NZ, and after which he began volunteering more at yLead In School experiences. He soon realised that making an impact to young people in schools and around the world with travel experiences, was something he was extremely passionate about. Coupled alongside his study for his education degree, Nathan has been working with the team to deliver programs all around Australia. When he isn’t at work or studying, Nathan likes to take photos of the world around him, push himself with a pursuit of strength in powerlifting and adventure around South East Queensland on his motorbike.
Izzy’s passion for giving back was already well established when she was appointed as the Community Service Captain at St Peters Lutheran College. This led her to discover yLead at the Australian Student Leadership Conference as a participant in 2017. She proceeded to travel to Cambodia on Help Out to celebrate her schoolies week and it was from there that her passion for the organisation blossomed. Izzy lives for travel and adventure, thriving most when helping others along the way. She exudes confidence and is dedicated to encouraging those around her to be their best, whether it be students, her friends, or fellow yLeaders. She is currently studying Communications at the University of Queensland; working at yLead allows her to bring to life this knowledge and eagerness for real life experience. Izzy is a vibrant soul, whose love for life is contagious to all around her.
Zoe has an indescribable love for giving to others. She was first introduced to yLead while attending an In School program 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 is currently studying a Bachelor of Nursing at Queensland University of Technology, and in her spare time she loves going to the beach, spending time with her friends and sharing her love for yLead. In 2020 we welcome Zoe to yLead HQ in a full-time capacity as she continues to build strong relationships with all our clients and their associated schools and organisations.
After graduating from West Moreton Anglican College in 2010, Mitch has lived a fruitful and exciting life and working career. He is a certified Landscaper, worked in heavy earthmoving, worked on/ managed farms and spent 2 years as a residential sales agent for Ray White. Mitch’s most memorable life experience was working in the beautiful outback of Queensland on large cattle stations and spending 10 months camping underneath the stars while droving cattle in remote Queensland. Throughout all his experiences he has developed passions for travel, agriculture and giving back. So, in 2018 when an opportunity to join the yLead Team was presented, Mitch jumped at the chance to combine all his skills and experiences into the sales and marketing role that yLead offered him. When Mitch isn’t at work he is studying a Diploma of Business at University of New England, enjoys eating out at cafés, likes keeping fit and healthy and tries to challenge his mind with games and puzzles.