The Y Northern Territory is led by CEO Susannah Le Bron, supported by Executive Leadership, and governed by an experienced and diverse Board of Directors.

A skilled and strategic back office supports frontline service delivery to amplify our impact, and our Board of Directors provide strong leadership and governance.

The Board is supported by three sub-committees: Finance, Audit and Risk, Governance and Personnel, and Safeguarding Children and Young People.

Our social enterprise model is based on our belief in “profit for purpose”. We reinvest all surpluses into community-building activities.

We’re part of a global Y network – the world’s largest youth movement, reaching almost 65 million people in 120 countries.

The Y Northern Territory is a member association – part of the federation of Y member associations across Australia, under the umbrella of Y Australia.

Y Australia is a member of the World Alliance of YMCAs.

The Y is led by a talented and experienced Board and Executive

Click on the names below to read more about each person

Our Board of Directors

Gaurav Sareen - President
Gaurav is the Lead Partner for Deloitte’s Global Investment and Innovation Incentives (Gi3) team in Northern Australia and Government Advisory services in the Northern Territory. Gaurav is a qualified lawyer and has over 15 years’ experience working with Deloitte. Gaurav has an extensive public and private sector background, assisting a range of organisations with project business cases and feasibility analysis, accessing Government funding and financing support, and facilitating regional investment attraction. Gaurav’s areas of industry sector expertise includes transportation and infrastructure, energy and resources, utilities (power and renewables), tourism and hospitality, and agribusiness. Gaurav is deeply passionate about helping shape a better Northern Australia and making a meaningful difference to the local community. Gaurav regularly presents at conferences such as Developing Northern Australia Conference and NT Major Projects Conference – and is on the Steering Committee of the Developing Northern Australia Conference.
Deborah Butler GAICD - Vice President

Deb is a Jawoyn woman, born and raised in Katherine Northern Territory. Deb has a Bachelor of Business, Master of Public Health, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and a fellow with the Australian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM). Deb is currently acting Executive Director of Social Inclusion at the Northern Territory Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities. She has over 20 years’ experience working with government policy and projects in various roles in both South Australia and the Northern Territory, primarily in the areas of Aboriginal housing and health policy.

Ashley Perez - Vice President

Ashley is the Chief Operating Officer at Somerville Community Services and has over 20 years leadership experience working in the education and community services sectors in Western Australia and Victoria before moving to the Northern Territory in early 2015. He has extensive experience working in national program implementation, partnerships, communications, community engagement and government relations. Ashley is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders.

Richard Giles - Director

Richard is a Partner in HWL Ebsworth’s Commercial group. He was admitted to the Supreme Court of South Australia in 1977 and the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in 1980. Richard has lived in the Northern Territory for more than 43 years and holds other positions including President of the Interim Northern Territory Division Council of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Chair of Anglicare NT and Chair of its Governance Committee, Member of the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee and Member of the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. He has also held previous roles as President of the Law Society of the Northern Territory and Chair of the Royal Darwin Hospital Management Board.

Jocelyn Dhu - Director

Jocelyn Dhu is presently the Deputy CEO for the Drug and Alcohol Services Association (DASA) in Alice Springs and has worked at DASA since 2012. Jocelyn has a strong passion and commitment in striving to reduce the harm caused by Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) misuse in our community. This is reflected through having worked in the AOD Sector for over 25 years in various community roles. Supporting Jocelyn’s experience, are multiple qualifications that include the Dual Diploma of Community Services, in Alcohol and Other Drugs and Mental Health from RMIT University, Diploma in Child Youth and Family Intervention together with the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE 40110).

Jocelyn was born and raised in Alice Springs, with the family background of an Eastern Arrente woman from Alice Springs on her mother’s side and a Banyijima woman from Western Australia on her father’s side. Jocelyn has worked within the NT Community Corrections as a Probation and Parole Officer and also with the Department of Children and Families as a Team Leader for the Remote Aboriginal Family Community Program. In addition, Jocelyn holds an Executive Director position on the Suicide Story Advisory Group Committee with AMSANT and also on the Central Australian Youth Link-up Service Reference Group. Jocelyn continues to progress her passion within the AOD sector through continuous learning and development activities, together with presenting multiple courses for the community.

Shari Pol - Director

Shari is a Director at the global advisory firm Deloitte where she works with governments, businesses, and not-for-profits to solve complex social and economic challenges, by coaching and supporting clients in the use of design thinking, co-design and business modelling methods. Shari brings deep knowledge in the area of policy design for social innovation, which is the focus of her PhD research at Curtin University. Shari holds a Masters in Community Development, and a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Health Promotion. She joined the Y NT in 2021 as a member of the Governance and Personnel committee, before becoming a Director in 2023. Shari is currently the Chair of the Y NT’s Special Purpose Committee which is exploring options relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander governance structures for the YNT to enhance outcomes relating to representation, decision making and service provision.

Nova Peris OAM - Director

Nova Peris OAM is a descendant of the Gija people of East Kimberley, the Yawuru people of West Kimberley & the Gagudju people of West Arnhem Land. While Nova’s achievements as an international athlete brought attention to the potential of Aboriginal women, undoubtedly it was her explosive time in Federal Parliament which showcased her desire to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She has been, and continues to be, a trailblazer for Aboriginal people, as well as an inspiration to mothers and women of all backgrounds. Nova competed at two Olympics, four World Championships, three Champions Trophy’s and the Commonwealth Games. In Atlanta in 1996, Nova became the first Aboriginal person to win an Olympic Gold Medal as part of the world-dominant Hockeyroos; she also became the first mother since Shirley Strickland, in 1956, to claim Olympic Gold for Australia.

Transitioning her hockey career to sprinting, she became a Commonwealth Games Champion in 1998 in the individual 200m and 4x100m relay, making her the only person to win Olympic and Commonwealth Gold in two sports. She remains the only person on the planet to make back to back Olympic Games Finals in different sports at consecutive Olympics! Following a successful athletic career, in 2013, Nova became the first Aboriginal woman elected to the Australian Federal Parliament. During Nova’s senate term of three years, she travelled the length of Australia in her tireless endeavours to champion the causes and struggles facing Aboriginal people throughout the country. Pride in her Aboriginal identity is a vital ingredient in her fight for the rights of all people, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike. She has served in roles that include being an International Indigenous Human Rights Ambassador and also a National Ambassador for Reconciliation Australia. She has actively participated in promotional and advocacy campaigns for domestic violence, youth depression and youth suicide. She was an inaugural Board Member and acted as National Patron for Beyond Blue. Nova has also served as the International Ambassador for the World Health Organisation & Griffith University Youth Suicide Prevention, and as an International Ambassador for Hepatitis Australia. She is the current Ambassador of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) and the current Patron of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA). Nova has written two autobiographies: Nova — My Story and Nova: Finding My Voice. Nova more recently has had her portrait hung in the Australian Parliament in Canberra, started her own charity, The Nova Peris Foundation, and had her 2.4 metre bronze statue unveiled in Melbourne.

Michelle Mason - Director

Michelle Mason is a dynamic and versatile leader with a notable career trajectory encompassing aviation, health, and journalism. Her strategic acumen, innovative vision, and compelling leadership have made a significant impact in these diverse domains, positioning her as a trusted industry influencer. She is passionate about sustainability and applies this deep-rooted passion to all areas of her life. This has driven her to steer an organisation that provides positive societal impact. Michelle’s leadership lays the foundation for great governance in the organisations she is involved with. Her strategic decisions, ethical stance, and dedication to transparency and accountability set the tone for responsible and effective governance practices, ensuring long-term success and trust. Michelle’s footprint stands as a testament to the power of purpose-driven leadership and the profound impact it can have on shaping industries and creating a more sustainable future for all.

Our Executive Team

Susannah Le Bron - Chief Executive Officer

With over 25 years leadership experience, including five years as the CEO of the Y NSW, Susannah Le Bron now holds the role of interim CEO at the Y NT.Passionate about empowering young people to live active and healthy lives, she proactively supports community health initiatives in aquatics, having also volunteered as a Pool Lifeguard for the Remote Pools project in Areyonga, Central Australia.

Formerly the Executive Director of Customer Service at Sydney Trains, Susannah oversaw 2431 frontline representatives and the daily experiences of over 1 million travellers. With nearly 15 years leadership experience at QANTAS and Etihad, she introduced innovations in customer service, leadership, relationship management and product transformation. Her leadership expertise has also garnered awards, including recognition as one of the top 50 Influencing Women in the NSW public sector.

Emma Bunting - Incoming Chief Executive Officer

Emma is a talented and experienced leader who brings significant experience to the role of CEO, both within the Y – as Y NSW Chief Operating Officer – and in senior executive roles in the public and private sectors. Emma is well versed in delivering positive and sustainable outcomes for communities, customers and staff.

During her time at the Y NSW, Emma has focussed on investing in people and building and enhancing capability across the operating portfolios to establish a strong foundation for growth and diversification. Emma spearheaded the introduction of workforce planning, critical for the Y to ensure sustainability now and into the future. Prior to her time at the Y NSW, Emma worked in a variety of senior executive roles across both private and public sectors. Emma has a strong reputation for designing and delivering strategic objectives for organisations, through the development of high performing teams, strong business and commercial acumen, customer, service delivery and stakeholder engagement focus.

Chenoa Patterson - Chief Operating Officer

Chenoa Patterson is a highly experienced, certified practising account with over 20 years experience specialising in local non-for-profit, financial consultancy and auditing. She has 9 years professional experience working at Deloitte in the Northern Territory, where she provided a wide range of services to local Indigenous and not-for-profit sectors. She has a passion for working in the non-for-profit sector; with organisations that make a meaningful social impact on local communities, particularly young Indigenous communities.

Jason Chin - Executive Leader, People & Culture

Jason brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the Human Resources sector. Jason is currently the Director of People and Culture at Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation and has been at Miwatj for just under two years, prior to this Jason worked as the General Manager People Services at the Northen Land Council.

Jason has held other human resources positions at the Northern Territory Government, Menzies School of Health Research, Kormilda College and Paspaley Pearling Company. Jason has worked in the not-for-profit sector for more than 10 years and has qualifications in both Human Resources and Business.

Leesa Bryen - Executive Leader, Youth & Community Services

Leesa Bryen passionately empowers young people and local communities in the Northern Territory, fostering their potential and guiding them towards promising futures.

Drawing from a diverse background, spanning Local Government, Professional Advisory, and Finance sectors, she excels at using grassroots approaches to navigate complex societal challenges. Leesa’s visionary impact extends far beyond the organization, leaving an enduring impression on young people’s lives in the community.

Alana James - Executive Leader, Strategy & Communications

Alana is a strategic and compassionate not-for-profit leader, with more than 10 years’ experience in the community sector, including securing over $7m in government and philanthropic funding, facilitating conferences and overseas study tours, and sitting on the Boards of the Youth Affairs Council of South Australia and Top End Pride. 

Alana holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and International Relations, and is a graduate of the South Australian Governor’s Leadership Foundation Program.

Our Patrons

His Honour Professor the Honourable Hugh Heggie PSM - Patron

His Honour Professor Heggie is the current Chief Administrator of the Northern Territory, appointed in 2023. His Honour accepted a patronage request for the Y Northern Territory in May 2023 and is supportive of our work with children and young people across remote, regional and metropolitan communities in the Northern Territory.

Sally Thomas AC - Patron

Sally is a former Chief Administrator of the Northern Territory, and before that was the first woman appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, serving from 1992 to 2009. Sally became our patron when she was Chief Administrator and has remained invested in our work since.