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Sarah Albon

Chair

Sarah is passionate about community, collective impact and intentionally creating opportunities for all to thrive.

With over a decade of experience, she’s an accomplished executive leader known for developing evidence-based, outcome-driven, and award-winning community programs. She prides herself by leading with integrity, curiosity and respect.

Passionate about the positive impact of sports on mental health, Sarah spent 18 years with the Geelong Cats and has worked internationally with prominent organizations like Hall and Partners, the International Cricket Council, and the England & Wales Cricket Board. More recently with the City of Greater Geelong and currently with Barwon Health in the People and Culture team. She is an alumni of Deakin University and the Harvard Business School.

Beyond her professional commitments, Sarah enjoys quality time with her husband and three boys, indulging in reading, mountain biking, basketball (playing and coaching) running, and crafting meticulous to-do lists.

Matt Cowdell

Vice Chair

Matt is a highly experienced and respected digital marketer. Kicking off his professional career with News Corporation, Matt performed a range of media and marketing roles, specifically with the Herald Sun, The Weekly Times, and Fox Sports where he was responsible for developing digital content strategies.

After a 10 year stint at News Corp, Matt joined Open Universities Australia as head of Partnerships and Lead Generation, working with internal and external stakeholders to find future students via a range of digital marketing endeavours. It was in this role that Matt developed his skills and passion for lead generation which led him to establish the boutique marketing agency, Arthur St.

Arthur St is an open, transparent, results driven digital marketing agency that works with an impressive range of Australian businesses and brands. Arthur St specialises in developing strategy, implementing lead generation campaigns, finding insights from data and training marketing teams.

Matt brings experience as a CEO as well as marketing and communications knowledge to the board.

Nikketa Anderson

Secretary

Nikketa is a lawyer at the legal practice Mast Lawyers, located in North Geelong.

Nikketa practices predominantly in corporate and commercial law, working closely with Geelong business owners in a broad range of transactions. 

Before moving to Geelong Nikketa practised commercial law in her hometown, Ballarat. During this time, she was also the Law Institute of Victoria Young Lawyers representative for the region. Nikketa has also mentored for Victorian Women Lawyers.

Kris Rendevski

Treasurer

Kris is the CFO of the Kempe Group. Kris joined the organisation in June 2017 as the Treasurer and has responsibilities which include the financial management, compliance and governance of the organisation. Kris brings a strong experience and knowledge of financial management to the organisation.

Keith Fagg

Board Member

Keith Fagg OAM holds an B.Ec (Hons) and had a long career in his family timber & hardware business and was Geelong’s first directly elected Mayor 2012-13.

Keith has held a number of Board positions over the years and continues to volunteer on many community boards such as Samaritan House, Salvation Army, Hope Bereavement Care, Geelong Advertiser Music Trust and is an independent member of the Victoria Police Regional Leadership Team.

Keith is an accredited mediator with the Department of Justice & Community Safety. Keith’s involvement in Read the Play is driven by his interest in pro-actively improving the well-being of young people by making them aware of mental health issues and where to seek help.

Chris Niven

Board Member

Chris is a Senior Manager at Bendigo Bank and has extensive experience and success in senior roles in the banking and finance industry in Regional Victoria.

He specialises in community and stakeholder engagement activities, business development, leadership and coaching. He has a Diploma and Advance Diploma of Management and a post Graduate Certificate of Management from Federation University.

Andy Mathers

Board Member

General Manager of 10 years with Geelong Broadcasters; radio stations K rock and bay 93.9
17 Years in senior management: Specialising in people leadership, stakeholder engagement, commercial partnerships and strategic concept generation.

Twice winner Australian Commercial Radio Award – General Manager of the Year. Finalist 2019 Geelong Business Excellence Awards – Business Leader of the Year. Advanced Diploma of Business Management University of Ballarat. Commission member Basketball Geelong.

Father of three beautiful kids, one at Uni, one at Kardinia International and one at Barwon Valley Special School…an amazingly tolerant and loving wife (Ali) and after 20+ years in Geelong, almost a local?

Nicola Wojcik

Board Member

Nicola Wojcik is the Director, Research at WorkSafe Victoria. Nicola is a multidisciplinary communications, stakeholder engagement, project management and research professional with over 20 years’ experience at the top levels of these areas.

Nicola started with WorkSafe Victoria in 2016 and has had a number of different roles in that time. She commenced managing the communications for the relocation of WorkSafe’s head office from Melbourne to Geelong and spear headed the Geelong Integration Program. She has had roles in managing marketing, WorkWell program and stakeholder engagement & communications for the Legislation and Policy division before heading up the strategic priority project responding to the emerging disease, silicosis prevalent in stonemasons.

She has spent much of her career in private industry working in the energy, water and mining sectors and in trade & investment with those roles seeing her work in Perth, London, Port Hedland, Melbourne and Geelong. She loves to be active and takes her love of sport to the Boardroom where she has been a commissioner for AFLBarwon for 7 years and joined the Read the Play board in 2022. She has been involved in the judging for the Give Where You Live grants, Pako Festa multicultural festival and the Geelong Business Excellence Awards for a number of years.

Outside of working life, Nicola enjoys spending time with her family, keeping active, reading and travelling

Teagan Mitchell

Board Member

Teagan moved to Geelong in 2021 after completing her high school education in country Victoria. Teagan is passionate about ensuring that sport can and has a positive impact on a person’s mental health, as her home town was driven by the local football, netball and various other sporting clubs to ensure and foster positive connections. After all, sport is a key to help keep communities alive in a small rural town.

With her academic endeavours leading to currently undertaking a Bachelor of Criminology / Bachelor of Psychological Science at Deakin University. She uses this degree as an immersive opportunity to explore the human mind, and the intricacies and challenges that lay behind it. Teagan is passionate for development and challenging societal norms around mental health concerns, managing mental health concerns as a primary health concern and ensuring that the right treatment is being provided within the local community.

Teagan is driven to make differences and change the outcomes that are associated with poor mental health in our Geelong community. Outside of University and her career, Teagan enjoys Kayaking, travelling and enjoying a good book.

Tayla John

Board Member

Tayla joins the Read the Play board after working and volunteering for the organisation over the past five years. Tayla is a registered nurse, mental health clinician and researcher, working locally for Barwon Health and Deakin University. Tayla is a passionate mental health advocate and is committed to ensuring young people have access to mental health support, from prevention and health promotion initiatives to early access to treatment and support for mental ill-health. 

Tayla’s commitment to improving mental health outcomes has been acknowledged at local and state level. She was the recipient of a Barwon Health Best Care Award in 2021 and a Victorian Public Health Care Award for ‘Excellence in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of Victorians’ in 2022. 

Tayla draws on her clinical and academic expertise to meaningfully contribute to the governance and strategic growth of Read the Play.

Our Founder

Dave Langley

Founder

As the founding member of Read the Play, David has brought his passion, drive and commitment to the organisation for over 14 years. Although the Program has developed successfully David is keen to ensure that Read the Play continues, as an important educative program for youth, long beyond his own involvement.

 

READ THE PLAY

Raising awareness of young people’s health issues and guiding them to the relevant support services.

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