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Board and staff

As an incorporated organisation, Cahoots (formerly Kids’ Camps) is governed by a dedicated Board of Directors.

Members of the Board include both parents of children who attend camp as well as professional associate members who can provide skills and experience in their roles.

In 2016 the Board reviewed and updated the strategic plan, fundraising to ensure a sustainable future as well as reviewing policy, structure and capital turnover and development.

After much consultation and thought, Kids’ Camps began a rebranding project in February 2016, officially launching their new brand, Cahoots, in February 2017.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Board, joining the Board, or having a say and helping out with our various sub committees, events or fundraising, please contact the CEO, Jess Karlsson, at exec@cahoots.org.au.

Cahoots Board

 Christine Truscott – Chair

Christine is a chemical engineer who worked in the mining industry for twenty years in a variety of positions. Her experience includes managing operating plants, running technical teams across an organisation and working with government, environmental, community and indigenous groups to allow the start-up of new mines. Christine has sat on various sporting and community committees and is currently a member of the Hockey WA Board and chairperson of their Risk Management and Governance Committee. Christine has been a member of the Cahoots Board since 2009 and Chairperson since 2010.

 Mathew Frederickson – Vice Chair

Mat is an experienced business leader focused on people development, business strategy, innovation, transformation, and sustainable business growth. As the WA Director of Forum Group, Mat’s career has been devoted to delivering high levels of customer satisfaction through a focus on sustainable business outcomes that provide business insights relevant to the ever changing disruptive world we find ourselves in. Mat joined the Cahoots Board in 2016

 Sinéad Glennon – Treasurer

Sinéad helps NFPs and Charities to operate more efficiently and with greater transparency, which helps them to be more successful in getting in funding. She is an experienced Business Consultant, Accountant and Project Manager. Sinéad also has extensive board experience combined with considerable expertise in Business Governance, Risk Management and Compliance and gets to use her accounting and business skills to help charities to become more financially sustainable so that they can expand on the vital work that they do and reach more people in need. Sinéad joined the Cahoots Board in December 2017.

 Janette Gee – Secretary 

Janette is a secondary school principal with extensive experience in the public school sector both in mainstream and special needs schooling.She has a particular interest in equitable, inclusive education focused on the individual needs and strengths of each student. As the parent of a disabled person she has an understanding of many of the issues facing families of children with varying support needs and she is able to see the issues from both the perspectives of a parent and an educator. Currently Janette is employed as the full time president of the Western Australian Secondary School Executives Association and is on the board of the Australian Secondary Principals Association. She works on behalf of secondary school administrators in an advocacy and support role and acts as a conduit between the association and the state and federal education bodies.

Janette’s son was an enthusiastic Cahoots participant for many years and she is grateful for the opportunity it gave her son to enjoy some independence in a fun, supportive and safe environment. She joined the board to say thank you to Cahoots and help spread the word about the wonderful opportunities it offers for families.

  Andrea Dearden – Board Director

Andrea Dearden is a Solutions Engagement Manager & has previously worked in the disability sector. Andrea has held a number of progressive leadership roles & has over 20 years experience in IT & information Governance. She has a passion for fairness & equity and mentors a number of people with disabilities in their career pursuits. She has a BA Honours in Business and brings with her a broad range of experiences from public, private & not for profit sectors.

 Kausalia Apparao – Board Director

Kausalia is a Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Business Studies (Accounting), New Zealand. Having held a number of challenging roles in Finance and IT Management for large organisations in New Zealand, Kausalia made the move to Western Australia in 2014. Since her move to WA, Kausalia has worked with Colliers International as a Business Analyst Manager & Commercial Manager. Currently she is working as a Group Financial Manager with Hall & Prior – Health & Aged Care Group, a sector which has undergone significant changes in funding model and consumer choice. Kausalia is responsible for coordinating operations & change management with a key focus on financial management, reporting, strategy and governance, together with continual improvement of systems and processes. A mother of two young girls, Kausalia is committed to adding value at Cahoots through strategic planning and business analysis skills. She joined the Cahoots Board in April 2015.

 Rebecca Conder – Lawyer

Rebecca is an expert at Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution – at all levels from advice, settlement negotiations and documentation, representation in proceedings and enforcement of judgments. She regularly appears in the Magistrates, District, Supreme, Federal Magistrates and Federal Courts of Western Australia. Rebecca is interested in Wills & Estate Planning, including advice, drafting of Wills and documents, complex grant applications, contested probate matters and claims under the Family Provision Act. Rebecca joined the Cahoots Board in 2017.

Cahoots Staff

  Jess Karlsson – Chief Executive Officer

Jess K was appointed to the role of CEO of Cahoots in September 2015, bringing with her extensive executive management experience in the NFP sector, including individualised services in recreation, youth, children, indigenous and disability services for almost a decade. Her community engagement and volunteering activities add to her skills and strengths, including; Rotary Club Board member, Community event coordinator, twice nominated Territory Young Achiever, Community Coach, and volunteer for a range of activities including delivery of disability recreation services. Jess is passionate about providing inclusive opportunities for all people to grow and connect, as well as safeguarding our most vulnerable people, and have actively advocated for charity’s by advocating and leading physical challenges in fundraising activities such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and cycling 500km to Uluru in one day. Jess has a Bachelor of Exercise Sciences, Diploma of Sport Development, Diploma of Business and Management, and has just been awarded the 2016 Leadership WA Scholarship ‘enabling the rapid advancement of rising leaders’.

 Toni Tejada – Camp Coordinator

Toni joined Cahoots in early 2017. Having worked as a Childcare Centre Manager for more than 10 years, Toni wanted to extend her skills to working with disadvantaged young people to provide quality services and promote inclusion. In 2010, Toni perused her passion of Community Development by completing a Diploma in Youth and Community Services. Toni has worked for the past 5 years organising camps for schools and community groups in a rural WA and is looking forward to attending camps as a facilitator and meeting the Cahoots members. Toni is also a volunteer Safeguarding Officer for her local parish ensuring the safety and well-being of children, young adults and vulnerable people within our community.

      Ben Cox – Community Engagement Officer

Ben’s passion for event planning led him to establish an event called Ability Idol – a singing competition for people living with disability. In 2016, with support of City of Melville and a volunteer committee, Ben pulled off an extraordinary event. It was through the volunteer committee that Ben met the CEO of Cahoots, and was offered a part-time position as Community Engagement Officer.  Ben works on a number of Cahoots’ community inclusions projects and represents Cahoots on access and inclusion working groups such as City of Perth’s. Now coordinated by Cahoots, Ability Idol is Ben’s major yearly project. In 2017 it evolved to become an all-inclusive singing competition for children aged 5-17 years living in WA. Ben and Cahoots managed to establish a partnership with Town of Victoria Park, and scheduled Ability Idol 2017 to be held alongside the Town’s major Music By Moonlight event. Planning for Ability Idol 2018 is already underway and Ben is looking for new partnerships and opportunities to extend the reach of the event.

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