About us

SYC has a relentless belief in people and their potential, and this belief goes back more than 65 years to our beginnings as an organisation.

A not-for-profit organisation, we invest back into the Australian community, helping tens of thousands of people every year with housing, education and employment.

Founded in 1958 to support young people experiencing disadvantage, we have extended this expertise to people of all ages for more than three decades.

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Wellbeing, opportunity and independence for everyone.
Portrait of middle aged woman smiling close up


We exist so everyone can succeed.

SYC invests back into the Australian community, helping tens of thousands of people every year to create a life without disadvantage, to build sustainable independence and to experience wellbeing in all areas of their lives.

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Relentless Belief

We have relentless belief in people and their potential


We strive for the highest standards of safe, effective, ethical and compliant service delivery


We deliver better outcomes by working together, in an environment that brings out the best in people


We recognise and value strength and resilience


We embrace innovative thinking and open-mindedness in how we conduct our work

2023-2026 Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan sets out the organisation’s priorities and commitments for the next four years.

SYC Strategic Plan
David Hallett

Board Chairperson
B.Bus.(Marketing), FAICD, FAMI, CPM, CMgr, FIML

David Hallett, Board Chairperson

David is an experienced Company Director with over 40 years of commercial experience gained in Australia and internationally from a diverse range of activities, having worked for private, public and international companies.

David applies his considerable expertise in management, governance, marketing and property development to his role as Chair of SYC. Joining the SYC Board as a Member in 2006, David has been Chair of SYC since 2010 during the period of its substantial and sustainable growth of revenue and scope across Australia. With wide ranging commercial experience, David is a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, Governance Committee and the Infrastructure Committee.

As a professional Company Director, he divides his time between management of various business interests, managing real estate investments, business coaching, mentoring and consulting to SMEs. David is Executive Director of Hallett & Co Pty Ltd, Hallett Consulting, Halland Investments Pty Ltd and is Non-Executive Director and Consultant of Halation Agency Pty Ltd, one of Australia’s biggest Fashion Sales Agencies.

In 2021, David was recognised for his outstanding service to SYC with a Lifetime Supporter Award, which is testimony to his strong leadership, a lifetime of experience and his wise counsel.

His community leadership activities currently include roles as Chairperson of the Advisory Committee of Prince Alfred College, Trustee of the Prince Alfred College Foundation and Guardian of the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation. He previously served as Chairperson of the Seymour College Foundation and Vice President of Triathlon SA.

David resides in Adelaide, South Australia.

Arabella Branson

Board Member

Arabella Branson, Board Member

Arabella has practised as a lawyer in the area of commercial transactional and advisory law since 2000. For nine years she practised in a specialist South Australian corporate and commercial law firm, including more than two years as partner. She established her own city based commercial advisory practice 12 years ago.

A member of the Law Society of South Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Arabella has been a Board Member since 2007. She is Chair of the Governance Committee and a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee and holds several other Board positions in various sectors.

Arabella resides in Adelaide, South Australia.

Catherine Schultz

Board Member
BA Accounting, MBA, FCA, FAICD

Catherine Schultz, Board Member

Catherine joined our board in March 2012 as an accomplished Chief Executive Officer with 30 years’ experience in the services industry and over 15 years’ working at the Executive, CEO and Board level.

She currently runs her own Management Consultancy business, Catherine Schultz Consulting and is a member of Aquinas College Council. She was previously Chairperson of the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority (ACA) Board and a Director of the State Procurement Board (SPB).

In her time as GM/CEO of Wallmans Lawyers (2001-2011), she doubled revenue and increased Net Profit Margin. Catherine brings significant financial, human resources and general management know-how to our board. She has been involved in significant change and project management and is an experienced auditor and advisor on risk, governance and compliance.

Catherine is Chairperson of the Finance, Audit and Risk and Infrastructure Committees and a member of the Information and Communications Technology Committee.

Catherine resides in Adelaide, South Australia.

Lisa Apthorpe

Board Member
Masters in Business Coaching, Grad. Cert. Management, Adv.Dip. Business Management

Lisa Apthorpe, Board Member

Lisa Apthorpe is currently the Senior Director of Learning and Development International Markets for McDonald’s Global. She has extensive experience in Operations, Franchising, Talent, Learning and Development and HR gained in over 26 years of working at McDonald’s and has held numerous management and leadership roles in these areas, both globally and for McDonald’s Australia.

She is currently responsible for Learning and Development for McDonald’s International Markets which includes over 100 countries globally. Her role involves leading the design and deployment of learning solutions and technology systems in these markets with a scope from global restaurant training to executive leadership development.

Lisa is a member of the Governance Committee.

She is temporarily based in London with her permanent residence in New South Wales.

Patrick Tapper

Board Member

Patrick Tapper, Board Member

Patrick Tapper has been a Board Member since January 2011, and is a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, the Infrastructure Committee and is Chairperson of the Information and Communications Technology Committee.

Patrick has had over 30 years’ experience in the telecommunications, technology, media, and entertainment industries, most notably as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of national broadband company, Internode.

Patrick is currently Chairman of BenchOn, an Australian based innovative start-up that offers a digital platform that has revolutionised and streamlined the way organisations collaborate with their contingent resource and supply chain partners.

He is a former non-executive Director of ASX-listed finance company, Silver Chef Limited, former non-Executive Director of Redflow Limited (ASX:RFX), former Chairman of Acurus Pty Ltd., former Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) in South Australia, and a former Chairman at Executive Boards Australia.

Patrick is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and resides on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

Paul Di Iulio

Board Member
B.E. Civil (Hons), Grad. Dip. Municipal Eng, Dip. Mgmt, MAICD

Paul DiLulio, Board Member

Paul Di Iulio has extensive experience in executive management and leadership roles, gained through a career in Local Government. With a background in civil engineering, he has worked with the Campbelltown City Council for 31 years, Chief Executive Officer for the past 15 years. He is also the President of the Norwood Football Club, Director of the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority, Deputy Chair of Eastwaste and a Member of the Child Development Council.

Paul has been a Board Member since March 2011 and is a member of the Infrastructure Committee, Information and Communications Technology Committee and Governance Committee.

Paul resides in Adelaide, South Australia.

Mark Hoffman-Davis

Chief Executive Officer

Mark Hoffman Davis, Chief Executive Officer

Over 25 years, Mark Hoffman-Davis has been an accomplished, personable and dynamic leader, executive and company director across multiple industries. He previously led a commercial facility services firm, where he grew the organisation into a national industry leader with over 2,000 personnel.

Now leading SYC as Chief Executive Officer since January 2021. Mark first joined SYC’s Executive team in 2018, overseeing the employment services, education and training programs, as well as other corporate service functions including human resources, information technology and payroll.

As CEO, he is dedicated to growing the organisation’s capacity to affect positive change for the thousands of Australians SYC works with every year. Having strengthened and expanded SYC’s Executive Team, Mark is well-positioned to lead the organisation to expand its reach and impact across its diverse range of services and programs.

His experience is demonstrated through his motivational people management practises, advanced human resources knowledge and strong financial performance management skills. He is innovative and has a unique ability to design, develop and implement fit-for-purpose business systems and integrated technological solutions.

Mark’s change management skills are a clear standout, as is his successes and experience in sales, marketing and tendering processes Mark is a Graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course and currently resides in Adelaide, South Australia.

Daniel Culleton

Chief Risk and Information Officer

Daniel Culleton, Chief Risk and Information Officer

Dan has oversight of our Risk Management Framework and Integrated Management System, leading the organisations focus on security, quality and compliance.

Dan is a strategic thinker, experienced leader and efficient project manager. He has led SYC’s extensive digital transformation agenda, cyber security reforms and our organisational wide technology response to the impacts of COVID-19.

Dan has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. Prior to SYC, Dan has held positions including Service Delivery Manager, Delivery Lead and Service Desk Manager. He holds an Advanced Diploma in Information Technology, is ITIL Foundations Certified and is a Microsoft Certified Desktop Technician.

Dan is truly passionate about technology in all its forms, is a motoring enthusiast and enjoys playing guitar.

Stacey Dutschke

Chief Operating Officer Employment and Education

Stacey Dutschke, Chief Operating Officer Employment and Education

As Chief Operating Officer, Stacey oversees SYC’s employment, education, and learning programs, bringing extensive leadership experience and a proven track record of exceptional contractual and financial performance.

Stacey joined SYC in 2009 as a Site Manager during the organisation’s expansion into the employment services market in Victoria. Now based in Adelaide, Stacey focuses on SYC’s strategic growth and is poised to enhance our national reach and support more Australians in developing their skills and securing employment.

Stacey’s approach to her work is characterised by a commitment to innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement. She actively fosters a culture of open communication and teamwork, ensuring that all voices are heard and valued. Her strategic vision and operational expertise have led to significant improvements in program delivery, resulting in higher participant engagement and successful outcomes.

Stacey is passionate about empowering individuals to achieve their highest potential and deliver superior service. Renowned for her positive outlook, she measures her success by the success and development of others

Kiara Kerr

Chief Operating Officer Community Services

Kiara first joined SYC in 2011, bringing her passion and dedication to our youth homelessness team. Over the years, she has played a pivotal role in many of our key initiatives within our housing and homelessness portfolio.

Kiara's leadership journey continued as she took on the role of Program Manager within our Specialised Residential Care team. Under her guidance, with her focus on therapeutic care principles, she has enhanced the program’s structure, ensuring positive outcomes for both our staff and the children and young people we support.

Kiara’s dedication to prioritising the experiences of our clients is truly inspiring. She is passionate about our mission and is eager to foster collaboration within our organisation.

In her role as Chief Operating Officer of Community Services, Kiara is focused on enhancing opportunities for collaboration and ensuring we continue to expand our impact and fulfil our strategic commitments.

Simon Matthews

Chief Financial Officer

Simon Matthews, Chief Financial Officer

Simon Matthews is responsible for all facets of our financial management, property portfolio and facilities management. He has a particular focus on transparent reporting and building on our success to create funding for future growth and opportunities. He first joined SYC in 2006 as Financial Manager, quickly progressing to Chief Financial Officer in 2008, a position he held for four years before leaving SYC in 2012. He then re-joined SYC in July 2015.

Simon brings diverse experience and is well credentialed at delivering strategic financial advice and management, having started his career in accounting firms before changing to commercial finance roles in various industries. Since his commencement with us in 2006 he has filled senior financial management roles in the not for profit sector, adding further dimension to his financial experience and expertise.

Simon holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of SA and is a Fellow Certified Practising Accountant.

Melissa Tong-Fulgueras

Chief People Officer

Melissa Tong-Fulgueras, Chief People Officer

Melissa leads the People Operations team providing a strategic focus in the areas of Human Resources, Payroll, Employee Training, Volunteers and Placement Students. Melissa and her team are committed to our people and their ongoing development.

Melissa’s journey with SYC started in 2011 when she joined as an Employment Broker at Job Prospects. Upon completion of her Bachelor of Management, Human Resource Management in 2012 she began working in the Human Resources team. As a talented and dedicated professional, Melissa held several Human Resource roles, before becoming General Manager of People Operations in 2019 and progressing into her role of Chief People Officer in 2021

As Chief People Officer, Melissa is passionate about bringing out the best in people and providing opportunities for people to grow within their roles and teams. Melissa is dedicated to ensuring SYC remains an employer of choice because of the positive and supportive culture and our commitment to our Mission.

Reconciliation Action Plan

Our vision for reconciliation is to promote a culture of equity, dignity and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within our community and our organisation.

We know from our work with people and communities in need, that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience a disproportionate level of social and economic disadvantage.

We want to move beyond acknowledgement of the traumatic histories and suffering of First Nations peoples to a united Australia that values and respects the cultural connection and generations of connectivity and understanding of our lands. Taking every opportunity to build the capacity and sustainability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Reconciliation Action Plan Reflect

Reports and Publications

2023-2026 Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan sets out the organisation’s priorities and commitments for the next four years.

Facing the Demand for Tenant Support and Advocacy in South Australia

Explore the latest insights into South Australia's rental market with our newest Data Snapshot, this third edition provides valuable insights into the current rental market and the specific challenges faced by tenants.

Year in Review 2022-2023

In our 2022-23 Year in Review, we celebrate and share a snapshot of some of our achievements within our priority areas of Impact, People, Practice and Partnerships to illustrate how these priorities guide the intentions behind our work and service to the community.

Lived Experience Framework

Commissioned by the SA Housing Authority (SAHA), the Lived Experience Framework is a resource for the broader housing and homelessness sector that offers a comprehensive blueprint for integrating and advancing lived experience at the individual, organisational, and systemic levels.

RentRight SA Data Snapshot, January - June 2023

The current rental market poses unprecedented pressures for tenants, which we see playing out in the information presented in this report, our second bi-annual Data Snapshot about the scope, scale and type of issues facing South Australian tenants.

RentRight SA Data Snapshot, July - December 2022

The information presented in this Data Snapshot provides insight into the South Australian rental market, offering a clearer understanding of the scope and scale of issues facing tenants to better inform responses.

Ageing, Wellbeing and Housing Support

A report on the lived experience of older people accessing housing and homelessness support services in South Australia.

Private Rental Crisis Report

The RentRight SA Lived Experience Engagement Service conducted some engagement activities to understand and illustrate the experiences of private renters in housing stress.