Youth and Family Services team at City of Greater Dandenong

About Us

Youth and Family Services works with young people and their families aged 12-25 who live, work, study or have a significant connection to the City of Greater Dandenong.

Youth and Family Services provides an important universal service base for young people and families. We seek to support the healthy physical, social and emotional development of all young people in our community, through building and enhancing protective factors and working with young people to develop their strengths and skills. 

Youth and Family Services is a generalist youth service, comprising of three teams, Family Support, Youth Engagement and Participation and Youth and Community Development.

The team is based at 39a Clow Street, Dandenong.

Katharina Verscharen

Katharina, Coordinator Youth and Family Services
0419 312 549

Katharina is the Coordinator of Youth and Family Services and is responsible for leading the entire service, comprising the sub teams of Family Support, Youth and Community Development, and Engagement and Participation. In her spare time Katharina enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, travelling, listening to reggae and socialising with friends.

Sylvia Marov

Sylvia, Senior Team Leader Youth and Family Support Services
0403 390 591

Sylvia oversees the Youth and Family Support Team which supports the wellbeing and safety of children. Sylvia is also a psychologist and provides counselling and mental health support to young people aged between 12-25 years. She loves all things food - especially sharing food with friends, and will go exploring on a day trip any day of the week.

Aishling Fagan

Aishling, Team Leader Youth and Community Development
0401 366 443

Aishling leads the Youth and Community Development team which supports and encourages young people’s active participation in their own communities. This includes promoting youth voice, building leadership and capability; facilitating learning, skill development and volunteering opportunities. In her spare time Aishling enjoys hanging out with family and friends, exploring the great outdoors and holidaying.

Madeleine Power

Madeleine, Team Leader Engagement and Participation
0401 200 488

Madeleine (Maddy) became a youth worker because she loves supporting young people to be themselves and feel confident in who they are. She currently leads the Youth Participation and Engagement team, which means she works with a group of awesome youth workers to deliver exciting programs and events for young people across the City of Greater Dandenong. In her spare time, you’ll find Maddy swimming (at the beach if possible!) and hosting dinners for friends and family.

Bethany Roche

Bethany, Youth Development and Community Engagement Officer

Bethany is passionate about working with young people to create positive change and is always interested in finding new research or evidence that can help advocate for the needs of young people. In her free time, Bethany enjoys being with friends and family, being creative (aka: making a mess), buying earrings and planning her next holiday.

Venushi Dewundege

Venushi, Youth Development Officer

Venushi facilitates our Young Leaders program, supporting young people to plan and deliver projects that positively impact the community. She has a background in health promotion, and delivers a range of educational programs to support young people's health and wellbeing, including smoking and vaping cessation. Venushi loves spending time outdoors, checking out new brunch spots and making desserts.

Elvis Tran

Elvis, Youth Development Officer

Elvis is a spirited young person who uses his skills and lived experience to increase opportunities and improve services for young people in the City of Greater Dandenong. He is currently leading the IMPACT volunteering project to inform youth about volunteering and its benefits, and connect them volunteer-involving organisations. In his spare time, Elvis likes to pursue his passions in screen acting, and spend time with his family and friends. 

Emma Levit

Emma, Youth Development Officer

Emma, a youth worker with a background in event management, is driven by her passion for social justice and co-design principles. She works with the FReeZA Committee, assisting young people to plan and deliver youth-led events for the community.  In her spare time, Emma is usually gardening, getting creative, and being out in nature.

Gazielle Pinili

Gazielle, Youth Development Officer 

Gazielle is a Youth Worker with a background in teaching who loves working with young people to empower them and help them find their place in the world. She is a facilitator in the FReeZA Committee, and she assists the FReeZA members to plan and deliver events in the wider community. Beyond work, Gazielle enjoys reformer Pilates, travelling and writing blog pieces. 

Adheesha De Silva

Adheesha, Youth Development Officer 

Adheesha works as a Youth Development officer, running many amazing Youth and Family Services programs and projects. As a previous teacher and swimming instructor, Adheesha loves working with young people to give them as many opportunities as possible to shine. In his spare time, Adheesha loves hiking around Victoria, travelling around the world and playing with his black Labrador, Koda. 

Stephen Hart

Stephen, Youth Development Officer 

Stephen is passionate about working with young people and the community to support positive impact within people's lives. He has a background in health promotion and utilises this to facilitate and deliver programs such as the Holiday Activities Committee and the podcast program. Stephen likes to spend his spare time with his partner and cat relaxing, watching anything combat sports related and seeing his family. 

Catherine, Youth Development and Community Engagement Officer

Catherine (Cat) is passionate about platforming the voices of young people and empowering youth to take an active lead in addressing the issues that impact their lives. She creates opportunities for young people to express their views and ideas, and participate in Council decision-making, including our COVID-19 Research Project and Youth Summit for schools. Cat is a massive book worm, loves gardening, and is obsessed with finding more plants to add her collection.

Commitment to Child Safety

Greater Dandenong Council Commits to:

  • Hold a zero tolerance to child abuse, both within the community and within its organisation
  • Ensuring the child’s best interest and safety remain a focus of all services and programs provided by Council
  • Actively work towards empowering children in their own right, and that their voices and opinions are taken into consideration and influence governance and decision making to improve the lives of children
  • Be responsive, caring and culturally sensitive in the services/programs provided to ensure child safety remains a priority for all children and young people
  • Implement prevention and management strategies for child abuse risks, including both physical and online risks
  • Uphold the safety of all children, including culturally and linguistically diverse, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and children with additional needs and disabilities
  • Ensure stringent screening and implementation of appropriate training in the prevention and management of child abuse, including duty of care of executive management, volunteers and all employees.

Feedback and Complaints

We welcome your feedback about the service, both positive and negative. We want to hear about what we are doing well and what you like about the service, so that we can continue doing it, and also to know how you think we can improve our service. Please let us know if you need support such as an interpreter or advocate to provide feedback.

Your feedback can be provided by:

  • Talking directly with a staff member or asking to speak with a member of the Youth and Family Services Leadership Team
  • Completing a feedback form
  • Contacting us via phone, email, letter, website or social media

We will take your feedback or complaint seriously and will provide you with a response within five working days.

Opening Hours
Weekday Time slot Comment
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Youth Services

39a Clow Street, Dandenong