Samantha King

Executive Officer
0417 678 499

I am so passionate about young people having choices and a stronger more resilient community that supports itself through good times and bad! In this I have worked at BEN for over 10 years and continue to be awe inspired by the work of my amazing team.

I find the great thing about BEN is the diversity of what we can do to support young people in our community – to be able to see and experience firsthand the impact our work has on the whole community.

My passion for youth development and the amazing difference our work makes fits me like a glove. The journey has always felt like it has been a growing movement – always forward and never back!

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Michele Collins

Field Officer, Work Placement Support Programme
 0422 423 074

Now in the Work Placement team,  to work with youth is a dream come true for me as they are the most inspiring and refreshing souls you will ever meet.   There is a common thread within all of us here at the BEN we have found an enthusiastic passionate drive in wanting to guide and lend a helping hand in assisting our young adults to navigate through today’s challenges.

I feel blessed to work with young people and as a grandmother I have observed over time the pressures of society, and now of today’s society. The young adults of today are very engaging and are seeking respect, trust and guidance of which we have plenty to share.

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Peter Merryfull

Links to Learning Support Officer

 9986 3339 
 0437 159 981

With over 20 years of local and international engineering experience including a long stint with Qantas and having also been a local business owner, I have found my passion with helping disconnected young people find their way back to education and grown their lives. There are so many influences affecting young people these days it is great to be part of something positive.


Etienne Gilbert

Programme Manager

 9986 3339 
0401 718 197

 My name is Etienne Gilbert and my actual  name’s pronunciation probably sound different from what you would say… I’m originally from Quebec city, Canada and French was my birth language. I’m a sport and nature lover, husband and father of daughters who enjoy adventure. My professional background is a blend of professional snowboarding and coaching, tradesman ship, life coaching, mentoring, Training and Assessing, team leading and youth working… I’m really passionate about working with young people and enjoy sharing with them the life learning journey we all experience on this planet. I believe small things eventually make a big difference and as corny as it may sound, I do believe we are making this world a better place by the work we do here at Links.

Silvana Damen

Youth Case Worker

 9986 3339

I am a passionate Youth Case Worker at Links to Learning programme in Ingleside.

I have a background in Holistic Counselling and Life care, with many years experience working with Life Line NB. I enjoy engaging with our young students who are making important decisions about their future and offering positive motivation along their way.


Aimee Wilson-O’Connor

Administration Trainee

 9986 3339


Lena Garland

Youth Case Worker

 9986 3339

Hi my name is Lena and my journey began working within the Childcare industry nearly 10 years ago. I started within a long day care setting and then moved into a preschool environment. I was then offered a management position working alongside primary aged students within schools. Over the years of working within this role, I was also working as a casual youth worker for the local council, supporting 12-25 year olds and those with special needs. I knew, at a very early stage, that this was where my passion lies and this prompted me to gain my Community Services qualification and ultimately led me to where I am now! Working with young people is the most intriguing, challenging and unique experience and I find nothing more satisfying than exploring, encouraging and supporting them throughout this part of their journey …because, sometimes someone can cross your path and change your whole direction!


Kate Hickson

Youth Case Worker

 9986 3339

please note I work part time

Our Team

Bella Griffin

Events Intern

 9986 3339

Steven Tavita

Youth Case Worker
 9986 3339

My passion lies within working with the youth, personal health and wellbeing. I have experiences working with young people in the out of home care sector dealing with extreme trauma. Overall mentoring a better way of regulating emotions and positive life decisions.


I believe that all young people experience different situations in life that mould who they become, knowing this I strive to make sure all my dealings with young people leave a positive imprint for future growth.


“Find your reason to succeed, because once you find it failure just won’t be an option”


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