Executive Committee and Officers

The Executive Committee of the HYMC is comprised of the following members:

Kay Sharp AM – Chair

Kay Sharp has many years experience in education and training of young people. She is executive director of the Hunter
Valley Training Company. She is also on the Board of WorldSkills and is a former member of the NSW Board of Vocational
Education and Training. In 1990 Mrs Sharp was awarded Hunter Business Woman of the Year. In 1996 she was appointed
a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of her services to education.


Coral Baldwin – Vice-Chair

Prior to her retirement Coral was company rep for a coffee company. Since then she has spent 15 years volunteering as a mentor in local schools, was a member of the Dept. of Education Mentoring Strategy Committee for 5 years and has run a public speaking program with school team leaders. Coral lives in West Wallsend and is HYMC Membership Officer and Events Officer.  


John Dickeson – Treasurer

John Dickeson retired from Hunter New England Health in 2002 after 32 years in the Pathology Service, finishing his career as Executive Director of Pathology, being responsible for the provision of pathology services throughout the area. Since retirement he has been involved in a wide range of volunteer activities. These range from working with United Care Ageing on a project to help improve the transition from working life to retirement, to mentoring with Plan It Youth in high schools in the Hunter Public Education Area. He is the coordinator of Adamstown Old Blokes, a group that provides a meeting place for older men. He also participates in theatrical and singing groups in the area. He is an active volunteer with the Leukaemia Foundation. He also undertakes reading support for children at Garden Suburb School. He has been Treasurer of the Hunter Youth Mentor Collaborative for the past 11 years.

Katherine Heinrich – Secretary

Katherine Heinrich is a retired academic with significant policy and project management experience.
  She attended Newcastle Girls’ High and studied mathematics at The University of Newcastle. On completion of her studies she taught and did research at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver before being appointed Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Regina. 
 Katherine returned to Newcastle in 2007 and ahs voluneered with HYMC for six years.

Damien Ward – Chair, Scholarships Sub-Committee

Damien is a retired corporate executive. He has many years’ experience in management, human resource management and marketing, and has been largely instrumental in developing the HYMC Education Scholarship program over the past few years. He also mans the HYMC's 1300 number.



Nick Killin - Committee Member

Nick recently retired from the position of Business Development Manager with GHD. He has also held senior business development and marketing positions involving regional research (Hunter Valley Research Foundation), advanced manufacturing and export oriented companies. Nick maintains a keen interest in regional development and has served as Chairman of both HunterNet and the HunterNet Group Training Company.



Pat O'Flahery - Committee Member

After a career as a chemist, Pat completed doctoral studies in education and until retirement was Learning and Development Manager for Telus Australia. He then mentored for two years with the Smith Family. He currently provides advice to start-up companies. Pat lives in Marks Point and is an HYMC Grants Officer.  Pat has now rejoined the HYMC executive and will stay active in fundraising.



Wendy Ratcliffe – Committee Member

Wendy works within the WEA Hunter Foundation as a project manager and educational consultant (curriculum, governance & compliance).  One of her main foci  is the Alesco Senior College which she co-founded in 2001 and managed for over 10 years as the original Head teacher.  Alesco Senior College is a registered and accredited independent, non-government school specifically designed for the inclusion of young people who cannot or will not complete their education within a traditional setting.  Wendy’s other focus is supporting more communities to establish their own Alesco model.  The model itself has now been successfully replicated in 9 other communities throughout NSW and Victoria with another 3 proposed schools seeking accreditation for 2017.  Wendy lives in Islington and is HYMC Education Officer.


 Our Officers are:

  Maryka Gibson - Mentor Training Officer