Ben is one of the co-hosts of the Alpha Youth Series. He and his wife Melissa live in Vancouver, Canada where, before joining Alpha, he was a youth pastor for 10 years. He is a huge fan of Bear Grylls, Bob Goff, and Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven from Stranger Things). One of the themes to his life and his teaching is how God loves to use ordinary, imperfect people to do extraordinary things.
Meet Gary & Natasha
Australian born, Gary and Natasha Pinto bring with them a wealth of musical experience. Gary is known for his work with Guy Sebastian on ‘Receive the Power,’ the official song of World Youth Day 2008 as well as his work as a mentor backstage on X-Factor. Natasha has spent time mentoring young musicians as well as working with prominent artists across the USA.
Meet Fr Rob
Fr Rob Galea is a passionate, internationally known, musician and speaker, with a drive to draw others to the heart of God. As the founder of FRG Ministry and a priest in the diocese of Sandhurst, Victoria, he and his team minister to over 200, 000 people each year. This ministry serves both students and teachers. Fr Rob has been featured in national newspapers and magazines across Australia and has worked with renowned musicians such as Guy Sebastian, Paulini and Gary and Natasha Pinto.
Meet Archbishop Mark
Archbishop Mark Coleridge is the Archbishop of Brisbane and Chair of the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Council. Prior to becoming a Bishop in 2002, he served for five years in the Vatican Secretariat of State. He is a theologian and teacher especially qualified in the fields of Sacred Scripture and the Church’s liturgical worship, and has taught in these fields extensively in Australia and overseas.
Brendan Malone is the head of education and media for Focus on the Family New Zealand. For the past 13 years he has been working full-time in life, marriage and family ministry, with a special emphasis on pro-life issues. He regularly speaks around New Zealand and Australia, and runs an annual pro-life training internship in New Zealand and Australia. He was previously head of young adult ministry for the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch. Brendan has a passion for seeing Catholics flourish in their baptismal call to an active participation in evangelism built on Christian-love-in-action and a faithful and clear communication of the truth with excellence. He is married to Katie and together they have 4 beautiful daughters and one rambunctious son.
Meet Sr Mel
Sr Mel Dwyer is a Canossian Daughter of Charity from Brisbane. Prior to entering religious life, she had a dream of representing Australia as an Olympic javelin thrower which she had pursued for 15 years. A volunteer experience of mission with the homeless in Africa helped her to discover that God’s dream for her was to leave the sporting arena and serve Him radically as a consecrated woman. Sr Mel spent 7 years as Principal of a Canossian Secondary School in Africa, and recently returned to Brisbane to continue following Christ with radical love. She currently works for Vocations Brisbane promoting vocations to religious life.
German Silva (pronounced ‘Herman’) served as a catechist under Archbishop & Martyr (Saint) Oscar Romero during the persecution of the Church in El Salvador. During this time, most of his brothers and sister catechists in his Parish were killed, his Parish Priest was exiled to Nicaragua and his Assistant Priest was assassinated by death squad. Under the most cruel persecution, the community were cared for by these group of catechists. During the 80s and 90s, he ministered with his wife at the beginning of the migration of salvadorian people to Brisbane.
John comes from a diverse work background having spent 20 years as a catholic school principal and supervisor of schools; owned a wine company, a leadership and management consultancy and has spent many years coaching young men in sport. John also spends 4-6 weeks a year in central Africa conducting leadership programs and establishing micro economic projects in poor communities. He has been with MATES in Construction Queensland since 2008 and helped develop the national award winning “Mates in Construction” program in suicide prevention. John holds a masters in Leadership, Bachelor of Education as well as undertaking considerable post graduate study in organisational psychology, theology, biblical anthropology and suicidology.
Mario is head of Youth Ministry at Acts 2 College of Mission & Evangelisation and the Director of 24:7 Youth Ministry which operates School Retreats & 9 youth groups for 13 Catholic Parishes across Perth. Mario is also a coordinator in Disciples of Jesus Catholic Community.
Steve is the National Director for Youth Mission Team (YMT), and has served with YMT for over 30 years – his entire adult career has been dedicated to serving with YMT. He is an International Council member of the Disciples of Jesus (DOJ) Community, resides in the city of Wollongong and is married with four children.
Dr Paul Morrissey is President of Campion College, Australia’s first Higher Education institution devoted to the study of the Liberal Arts. He holds a doctorate in Theology from the Sydney College of Divinity and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Lateran in Rome. He is Adjunct Associate Professor of Theology in the School of Philosophy and Theology, University of Notre Dame, where he taught Theology for eight years. Paul is married and has seven children.
Andrew Gourley is the Founder of Red Frogs Australia Chaplaincy Network. He started the Red Frog Program in 1997, after seeing the need for a chaplaincy service to safeguard young people. This Chaplaincy Network is now the largest support network in Australia for schoolies, festivals and universities students, located in 17 locations around Australia and coordinating 4000 volunteers. Andy has developed the Red Frog program to other countries such as Canada, UK, South Africa, New Zealand, and Poland. Andy has been a pastor at Citipointe Church Brisbane since 1989, and is presently the Chaplain for the Queensland Reds Rugby Union and National Basketball League team the Brisbane Bullets.
From Our Team
Kym Keady is the Director of Ignite Youth, with over 25 years experience in youth ministry. As a counsellor, author, inspirational speaker, wife and mum to 3 teenagers, she continues to draw on her passion to help young people realise their potential and worth. Kym is also a co-founder of 'Real Talk' - a ministry designed to help young people understand the value of sex and relationships.
Pat Keady is the Moderator of Emmanuel Community and previous Director of Ignite Youth. As a leader, speaker, author and songwriter, he is someone passionate about Jesus, young people, current culture, the Catholic Church and ‘getting them all in the same room’ in 2018. Pat’s latest book Spearhead follows on from his earlier books Walk With You and Worship: the Activity of Disciples. He leads alongside his wife and co-missionary Kym and is the proud dad of three emerging young adults.
Ronan McGinniss is part of the Ignite Youth Perth team. He has been involved in youth ministry and leadership development for twelve years. Over this time he has been involved in three organisations, Youth Impact, The Catholic Guy and GRIP Leadership. Ronan has played a key role in helping all of them grow significantly and increase in influence. Ronan is both passionate and experienced in evangelism, leadership development, and making faith and life enjoyable! He speaks to approximately 20,000 teenagers each year and lives with his wife and daughter in Perth, Western Australia. Facebook
Tash is the Ignite Conference Sponsorship Coordinator and serves on the Ignite Youth Leadership team. She is involved in ministry to Young Adults and development of the Ignite Grow resources. She has over 8 years of youth ministry experience, including volunteering and working for NET Ministries Australia. Married to Stephen and mother of two, Tash is passionate about young adults being supported their Catholic faith and resourcing the Church to evangelise.
Roby Curtis is the founder of Blind Eye Ministries where he works on the frontline in ministry to the homeless and indigenous. His work involves sharing his Catholic faith with those in homeless hostels and in remote Indigenous Communities. He is passionate about young Catholics embracing the poor in their locals communities and seeking to provide opportunities of Church and Christian Community for them. He is also a worship leader and songwriter with emmanuelworship. He is a husband and father of 6 children and his family play a fundamental role in his ministry involvements.
Luke Plant is one of the Coordinators of the Ignite Conference, Administrator of Emmanuel Community and a member of Ignite Youth's leadership team. He served as Youth Ministry Coordinator for Emmanuel Community for 10 years (2003-2013). During this time he was instrumental in developing and overseeing Emmanuel's youth ministry, founding Ignite Youth's Summer Camp and other events. Luke has been involved in ministry for 20 years since he was a teenager, is married to Emma and together are raising two fantastic kids. Website Facebook
Brigid Todd is part of the Ignite Youth Leadership Team, with responsibility for ministry to young adults. Full bio to come.
Liam Desic is part of the Ignite Youth Leadership Team and is a drummer for emmanuelworship. He is passionate about creating top quality resources for youth ministries and engaging with young people who are new to faith in creative and relatable ways.
Nick Kelly started his journey in youth ministry in 2012 as a youth group leader, followed by 2 years with NET Australia, time as a Campus Minister before finally starting with Ignite Youth. He is a point leader for Ignite LIVE, Launch and Summer Camp, and serves as part of the Ignite Leadership Team. Nick is excited for the future of the church, and is set on fire to help shape it.
Renee Doyle is a Senior Supervisor for NET Ministries, and has been involved in youth ministry teams for many years, including with NET Ministries in Australia, Canada and Ireland. As a life coach and personal trainer, she has a passion to see people discovering their God given potential.
Karl Brown has been investing in youth formation and development for the last 15 years. Having worked in youth and young adult ministry and university campus ministry, he has also been part of the academic staff in the Theology and Philosophy faculty at the University of Notre Dame Australia, as well as the Catholic Institute of Western Australia at Edith Cowan University. A passionate communicator and storyteller, Karl is currently completing a Master of Theology by Research in the area of discipleship and spiritual formation. He lives with his wife and two cats in Perth, Western Australia.
A Brisbane local, Madelene has been working in youth ministry since she was 17. Since 2013, she has worked for NET Canada, NET Australia and now Ignite Youth as a Pastoral Support worker. Madelene is passionate about making a space where young people can hear and experience the unconditional love of God meeting them exactly as they are.
Katelyn Ross is the Conference Performance Coordinator and Youth Event Administrator for Ignite Youth, with 5 years of experience working in youth ministry and over 10 years experience performing onstage. She is also a national presenter for Real Talk Australia with her husband Matthew, and her heart is in sharing God's true plan for life with young people. She has danced both professionally and at high school, and has been the dance coordinator of Ignite Conference since 2014. She specialises in contemporary, jazz, and loves to throw a little tap and hip hop into the mix to keep things interesting. She has recently graduated with a Bachelor of International Relations & Peace and Conflict Studies, and has undertaken researching internships with non-government organisations. She believes in the dignity of each person and our responsibility through Catholic Social Teaching to promote justice, peace and care for the poor. Website
A full list of workshop presenters will be available in August 2018, along with the full schedule of workshop electives.
Arnie Hurdoyal is a supervisor and marketing coordinator for NET Ministries Australia after serving two years on a NET team and working in parish youth ministry for a few years. He loves living life to the fullest which includes writing captivating films reviews for a local newspaper and experiencing the adventure marriage is with his brand new wife. This spills out to the passion that he has to transform meagre men of the world into bold, strong and authentic men of God!
Lorraine McCarthy is the Alpha in a Catholic Context Coordinator in Australia. As a Pastoral Associate in the Archdiocese of Melbourne she has run Alpha in Parishes since 1999 and has seen how Alpha can both welcome people new to faith and re-energise existing Parishioners. She is passionate about growing Parishes through strong pastoral vision and adult faith formation. She has a degree in Theology and a Post-Graduate Diploma specialising in Adult Faith Formation. She is a Spiritual Director and is part of the Pallotti College Retreat Team. She teaches the Catherine of Siena Institute Called and Gifted Workshop.
Gerard has been involved in youth ministry and leadership for the last 8 years. As a full-time employee of Real Talk International Gerard has the pleasure of speaking to over 10,000 young people every year. Gerard is from New Zealand and is a carpenter by trade. So, if you need someone to knock up your back deck, he is your man. He has a love of the outdoors and surfing. He is passionate about life and living it to the full and desires that all people experience what is good and true.
Kristen is Real Talk Australia’s Bookings Manager and Schools Liaison. She is a wife and mother of 4 children ages 5-13. Kristen completed a Bachelor is Business Management majoring in Travel and Tourism and was then was a travel agent for a number of years before moving into the role of Brisbane South Deanery Youth Coordinator. It was in this role she started several youth initiatives and ministries. She has been the Catholic Kids Club Coordinator at Sunnybank Parish for the last 16 years as well as being involved with the Sacramental Program and Children’s Liturgy of the Word. Life keeps her busy however loves the high and lows of parenting and watching her children grow everyday.
Carrie married Luke McCormack in 2004 and now has 5 children. She is the founder of Mother Effect which creates and runs mothers groups, gives talks offers mentoring, prayer, and testimonies. Carrie seeks to raise up missionary zeal within family life.
Meet Fr Thomas
Father Thomas was born and raised in Western Sydney and studied Civil Engineering and Teaching. During that time he discerned that the Lord was calling him to consecrated religious life. Impressed by the Capuchin Friars and the example of St Francis of Assisi and St Padre Pio, he joined the Order of Capuchin Friars in 2003. After professing Perpetual Vows he was sent to complete a Licentiate in Fundamental Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Upon returning he was ordained a priest in 2013 and since then has been working as the Vocation Director for the Capuchin Friars in Australia and the Director of Formation.
Kerry Drysdale is the Caritas Australia Justice Educator for Queensland and Northern N.S.W. His background in education, counselling and the arts. His role is to promote the Social Justice teachings of the Catholic Church and the work of Caritas Australia who has partnership projects in over 29 countries around the world.
Paul is an APRE at a Catholic high school in Brisbane and has had over 15 years experience in education. He has been involved in many and varied Church ministries including youth, adult faith and ecumenical. Paul is passionate about faith formation and evangelisation.
With a sound and style of his own, Josh Angrisano has always had a vibrant passion to write and inspire through music. In 2016, Josh had the opportunity to put his life on hold for a year and serve with a Mission Organization out of Melbourne, Australia. While he was there, Josh was able to connect with thousands of young people, young adults, and faith communities by sharing his story and his music at many schools, and youth events. Many people have been able to connect with Josh's passionate storytelling that is centered around faith and the impact it has on his life, all the while using the vehicle of Hip Hop to tell his story in a relatable poetic form.
Brendan Wong has been involved in prayer-based pro-life work since founding the 40 Days for Life ministry in Brisbane in 2009 - the first outside of North America.
Christy is the National Liaison Officer for YMT. She has a Masters in Theology, and has previously served as Diocesan Youth Coordinator for Wollongong and a Catholic high school teacher. She lives in Wollongong with her husband and three children.
Kate, alongside with Matt de Dassel, is one of the Student Discipleship Formation Consultants for the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Lismore. She consults to 46 Catholic Parish Schools (K-12) across the 500km length of the Lismore Diocese. The development of a vibrant continuum of intentional student discipleship retreats and activities from Year 5 -12 has been a hallmark of her successful work.
Mark is Associate Director, Campus Ministry at Australian Catholic University. A 21st Century evangelist, Mark is passionate about helping young men and women understand their faith, articulate it and live it in today’s world. He brings experience from the business world coupled with tertiary qualifications in Social science, Counselling and Ministry and over 20 years involvement in Catholic youth and young adult ministry. Mark is married to Nikki and they have three children, Kaiya, Xavier and Bella.
Steph Reed is State Youth Manager for the St Vincent de Paul Society QLD, where she supports the 35 youth programs Vinnies runs across the state and encourages school students to use their talents and passions to get involved in the community. She is driven by serving others and putting faith into action. While studying her last year at university, she became one of the founding volunteers of the Vinnies SENSE Youth mentoring program on the Gold Coast, which has grown into four programs across the Brisbane and Gold Coast regions.
Justine Cumbo is on staff with NET Ministries Australia, where she is involved in training young people for ministry.
Vivien is a full-time campus missionary with Freedom CMC, is creative and coffee aficionado. She worked in IT in Melbourne for 4 years before realising her heart for evangelisation and moving to Brisbane to live the mission life. She is passionate about journeying with and mentoring young people on their pursuit of holiness, and her greatest desire for them is to discover who they were created to be by first discovering Who they were created by.
Bethany is the Student Ministry Assistant for Campus Ministry at ACU. She is in her 2nd year of studying her dual bachelor degree of Teaching/Exercise Science (which she LOVES!). She has past ministry experience through completing a year of NET, travelling around Australia, and since then has served with Ignite Youth. She loves having fun, playing indoor netball, enjoying delicious food and being surrounded by friends. She is getting married at the end of this year to her fiancé, Dan Bottesini.
Matthew has served in youth ministry in various capacities over the last few years, working in parish ministry and presenting for Real Talk since 2015. In 2014, he spent a year doing youth work as part of NET Ministries. He is currently completing his studies in Secondary Teaching at Australian Catholic University with a keen interest in Literature and Theological Studies. Matthew desires that every young person would come to know their true value, worth and dignity. He lives in Brisbane with his wife Katelyn, and they have recently celebrated the birth of their first child, Samuel.
Meet Fr Marty
Fr Marty has come from the Maroochydore Parish, where he was an Associate Pastor for three years. He has been ordained for three and a half years. In his life before priesthood he was a waiter, a chef, a security guard, worked for the SES and was a secondary school teacher. Fr Marty is currently the Associated Director for vocations as well the Associate Pastor for Jubilee Catholic Parish in the Archdiocese of Brisbane.
Nikki is currently a Presenter and the Primary Schools Manager at Real Talk Australia. After studying a Bachelor of Business in Journalism Nikki went on to complete a Bachelor of Education and Masters of Religious Education. She has 18 years experience teaching in Catholic Education and 10 years as an Assistant Principal Religious Education. Nikki has been involved in Catholic Youth & Young Adult Ministry for more than 20 years and loves sharing her life’s wisdom with others. She is passionate and creative and loves making life engaging and interesting. As a wife and mother of 3 children aged 9 – 13 Nikki is experiencing first hand the joys and challenges that come with parenting tweens to teens.
Steph Unger is a Brisbane Christian singer/songwriter, youth worker and teacher who recently began the new role of Project Officer – Student Formation for Brisbane Catholic Education. Steph is passionate about using the power of music to help young people connect with God and to feel good about who they have been created to be. She has channelled this passion into facilitating retreats; leading prayer experiences; providing professional development and concerts for schools nationwide. Over the years she has also written and recorded many school songs and liturgical music suitable for young people including the Brisbane Catholic Education Year of Youth song “Called”, was a vocalist on the English version of the WYD Krakow theme song and has produced two short albums “Free At Last” and “Pray”.
Joseph currently serves with the mission agency Interserve Australia, and is involved with a number of youth-based ventures, including Enterprising World, a social enterprise focusing on educational initiatives for lower-income students, WeThinkItMatters, a social platform for social change, and also as a consultant with PourOut, an anti-trafficking initiative. In his spare time, he loves to read and participate in various sports/hobbies, especially basketball and drumming at his local church.
Jordan has worked in youth ministry since graduating school in Canberra. Since then, he has been involved with many different organisations which have taken him around Australia to spread the message of Jesus in modern and creative ways. He has a passion for music, visual art/graphic design, photography/videography, public speaking, sport (in particular AFL) and is studying to become a secondary teacher.
Loretta has a passion for supporting families. Having worked in roles facilitating parenting programs in preschools and schools, running parenting groups and individual parenting support, she currently works for Churches of Christ Care (Families Together) in Intensive Family Support. She has a Masters in Child and Adolescent Welfare and is continuing training in Couples therapy and Family Trauma Therapy. Loretta as been married to Colin for 19 years and with their four children are a part of the Passionist Fort Community in Brisbane.
Meet Dr John
John's vocation and own experience as a primary school teacher in Catholic schools for 27 years, an administrator for 21 years and as a lecturer at The University of Notre Dame (UNDA), has found in daily dealings that Pre-Service Teachers and Early Career Teachers may find the responsibility of teaching a class solo, intimidating. At times he has also found when mentoring these ECTs they can feel overwhelmed, and it is up to leaders to come up with instant solutions. He hopes the development through his PhD study (published at UNDA in 2017) of the Borromeo Mentoring Framework will assist both leaders, fellow teachers and mentors in assisting ECTs and experienced teachers settling into daily professional life for the betterment of the children in their care.
Richie has spent the last decade looking into all aspects of the human experience. He has done this academically through studies in theology, Counselling and Philosophy and experientially through travel. He has been fortunate enough to explore this work overseas in countries such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Azerbaijan and Iran. By working as a counsellor, he has assisting families, children, refugees, assault victims and those with terminal illnesses. He is currently using his skills in a Perth Hospital. Richie is part of Ignite Youth Perth.
Eddie Murray is the Manager of the Blind Eye Centre, a daytime sanctuary for the most vulnerable in the city. He has worked with disadvantaged communities in various areas.
Chantale has taught in Early Childhood and Primary education and has worked in ministry to youth and children for over 25 years. She is also a member of the Senior Leadership Team for Emmanuel Community. Chantale ‘fell in love’ with Jesus at a very young age and this fuels her passion and desire to see all God’s children grow in Jesus’ love, knowing who they are and ‘Whose’ they are!. She is married to Arthur and they have four beautiful adult children.
Amelia is passionate about Children’s & Youth Ministry, and is heavily involved within Emmanuel Community’s children’s liturgy program and Ignite Youth’s weekly youth group ‘Ignite High’. She is currently working as part of the Ignite Conference Team, along with her part time Café job and full-time study at University (Bachelor of Primary Education). With a love of dance, Amelia is frequently involved in various dance events, and in her spare time utilises her gift of writing to share personal experiences and inspiration to others through her online blog.
Glen Thompson has been a teacher for 15 years across Sydney Catholic Schools as an enthusiastic educator, particularly in RE. For the past 4 years, he has been a Youth Ministry Projects officer, Leader of Learning: Youth Ministry and is currently the Acting Archdiocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator with Sydney Catholic Schools. He has been heavily involved in planning pilgrimages to ACYF, WYDs and immersions for students and staff within the system.
Stephanie is a gung ho karaoke master, coffee enthusiast and your friendly neighborhood youth minister. She has been working in youth ministry for the past 5 years. From sharing her faith in schools, to running and establishing youth groups on the Gold Coast. She is passionate about bringing the Good News to everyone she meets and helping young people live their lives to the full.
Shayne is the Director of Mission and Faith Formation at the Holy Spirit Seminary, where he lectures on the topics of Mission and the New Evangelisation, and FX Mission Manager for NET Ministries’ university ministry. He has a passion for the work of evangelisation and faith formation, and has travelled extensively investing in community development, youth evangelisation and the formation of lay leaders in South East Asia, Europe and Africa.
Treassa Joseph is the Campaigns Officer at Catholic Mission in Brisbane. She has qualifications in Philanthropy and not for profit studies, and has worked around the world in technical, communications and fundraising roles. She is passionate about community building and fundraising through social media and innovative events, and has organised TEDx, Twestival and other similar events at the local level
Pia Hurdoyal has a passion for love, sex and relationships, and with five years ministry experience she now shares her story all over Australia and New Zealand with Real Talk. She is a keen adventurer, with a love of horse riding and surfing, and is recently married to a handsome Melbourne raised Mauritian, Arnie Hurdoyal.
Zac Parnell is a supervisor for NET Ministries Australia, served on the Sydney Archdiocesan NET Team last year and before that worked as a Youth Ministry Officer for CYSMA in Port Macquarie. While in Port Macquarie he developed a love for everything that involves a board, a love for his now fiancée and a love for Jesus. He has one false body part and is very passionate about giving the young men in Australia the best opportunity to become the men God is calling them to be!
Meet Fr Stanley
Fr Stanley is currently the Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Brisbane. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese in 2013, he has served as Associate Pastor in Jubilee Parish and Burleigh Heads. He later served as the Administrator of Burleigh Heads Parish. Working with people and helping others to see the best version of themselves is one of Fr Stanley’s greatest passions.
Judy Bowe MGL wants her whole life to be focused on being in love with Jesus. She has studied Education, Theology, Spirituality, Counselling and Leadership. Her favourite activities are running, swimming, eating, doing creative stuff, laughing with people and listening to their stories about God. She is ambitious to develop, and help others develop, an audacious trust in God’s love.
Robert Haddad has authored ten books, selling over 40,000 copies, his most popular being Defend the Faith! and 1001 Reasons Why It’s Great to be Catholic! He has been presenting public talks on the Catholic Faith since 1996. He is the Head of New Evangelisation for the Sydney Catholic Schools Office, where he has responsibility for staff faith formation, family educators and youth ministry.
Isabella McCafferty is passionate about serving the young Church. More recently she has been able to combine this passion with her favourite past time, traveling, by representing the New Zealand Catholic Bishops in Rome at a Pre-Synodal Meeting on the topic “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment” in March this year. She currently spends most of her time working for the Archdiocese of Wellington in New Zealand and organising an annual Life Teen Summer Camp for two hundred teenagers from across the country. When she’s not out on a new adventure or busy with youth ministry you will probably find her with a cup of tea, trying to come up with witty Instagram captions or creating new things.
Hogan has been a key part of the UPP team since 2015. He has since undertaken and completed a diploma in marketing management. Hogan is currently undertaking his Bachelor of Business (part-time), along with his role as director of marketing and design. Hogan is passionate about working with young people. Since 2013, he has worked with over 300 schools and 20,000 students sharing the message of students becoming their best.
Sarah is a youth minister in the Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese, she works in both a Catholic high school and Parish and is passionate about building quality relationships with young people. Within her role, Sarah has been responsible for directing Sisterhood gatherings for high school girls, where young women can come together in faith and friendship. She is passionate about impacting young peoples lives in a positive way and is always keen for a chat. In her spare time Sarah is an avid collector of antique tea cups, enjoys adventures with her friends and family and eating Nandos.
David McGovern is the Queensland Regional Director of Catholic Mission and an experienced journalist and speaker with a background in a number of non-profit organisations. He is involved in school education programs and practical mission intiatives throughout the state.
Michelle Willmer is a counsellor and volunteer for the Blind Eye Centre. Her background is in mental health, disabilities, child protection and family therapy.
About the Carmelite Sisters
Sister Moira and her fellow sisters are Carmelite Nuns who live the wholly contemplative way of life begun by St. Teresa of Avila in the 16th century. They belong to the Monastery at Ormiston, on Brisbane's bayside.
Meet Fr Chris
Fr Chris is a priest in the Missionaries of God's Love who has been ordained for four years. Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, he now lives in Canberra. Fr Chris works in the MGL formation house, where he helps to train young men in their initial stage of formation as MGL’s priests and brothers. Fr Chris is passionate about bringing the message of God's love to young people in new and creative ways.
Karen Doyle is the co-founder of Choicez Media alongside her husband Jonathan. She is the author of a number of books and speaks nationally and globally on issues relating to relationships, sexuality and the formation of young people. She is a Family Life educator and worked for a number of years as the director of a large student health clinic. She holds an undergraduate degree in nursing and has studies post-graduate studies in Marriage and Family Studies. Karen and Jonathan have been married for 16 years and have three young children.
Michael Angelo Crisafio is a professional DJ, storyteller and leadership consultant. He challenges both young people and adults to deepen their walk with Christ, and has been an energetic and goofy speaker at church events, conferences, camps, and schools nationwide. He has ministered in Kenya, Fiji and the Philippines, and recently completed a Pilgrimage for the Year of Mercy, visiting all the major shrines in Italy.
About Real Talk
Real Talk is all about getting real on the topics of sex, relationships and personal identity. Based on Catholic values and using personal sharing from a team of dynamic presenters, Real Talk provides up-to-date resources, presentations and programs. We want all young people to know their true value, worth and dignity and to experience love for all it was created to be.
Simon Ashley is the founder of Sanctify Education, a new initiative collaborating with schools and parishes to implement The Catechumenal Process. This model empowers parents in their role as the primary educators and forms the secondary educators, teachers in Catholic schools. He has been speaking on nuptial formation to parents, Catholic teachers, students, parishioners, and clergy since graduating with his Master of Arts (Theology) from the The John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in 2016. Simon has been a registered teacher for ten years and lives in Brisbane with his lovely wife and three awesome children.
Mark Doyle is Executive Director of NET Ministries Australia. He has been involved in youth ministry for over a decade on both sides of the world in Canada and Australia. His passion is for helping others reach their full potential. He has recently completed his MBA
Dan has past ministry experience through completing a year of NET, travelling around Australia, and since then has served with Ignite Youth. He is getting married at the end of this year to his fiancé, Bethany Keady.
Odyn McInnes leads Ignite High, Ignite Youth’s high school program, and has been involved in youth ministry through NET Ministries and Red Frogs. He is passionate about seeing high schoolers flourish and become all they were made to be. In his other life, he is a qualified archaeologist and is currently completing a Masters degree in Teaching.
Greg Shakhovskoy has a strong history of building community and ministry to young people, men and families for over more than 40 years. Greg is an empowering pastoral leader who brings years of experience and leadership principles from the business world to his ministry in the Church. His work background includes Human Resource Management, leadership development, and project management. He is also a small business owner and is married to Margherita and has 4 amazing adult children. He and a team recently attended the Divine Renovation Conference in Halifax Canada to learn more about forming a community of missionary disciples.
Luke married Carrie McCormack in 2004 and has 5 children. He is an advocate for the family in public policy through his work with the Australian Family Association. Luke seeks to raise up missionary zeal within family life.
Before coming to the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Melissa worked as a Youth Ministry Coordinator for the Chisholm Pastoral Region in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle before being asked to take up a Family Community Faith Coordinator role for 2 of the 4 Deaneries in the Diocese. Melissa completed her Master of Theology with Distinction during this time and graduated in 2016. Now, Melissa works as one of the Parish Support and Project Officers in the Youth Evangelisation Office in the Archdiocese of Brisbane and loves being a professional and pastoral support to youth coordinators throughout the Archdiocese. Melissa is passionate about striving for excellence in ministry with young people and hopes to make a difference in the lives of youth leaders in order to help them avoid burnout.
Pete McAuliffe was college captain at his school in 2012, and this experience cemented his passion for authentic leadership. He is a faciliator and operations manager for the UPP team. He has spoken and worked with over 55,000 students including school, university and church groups.
Josh grew up in a New Zealand, with a family of 7 kids, before shifting to Australia in 2006. As an 18 year-old, he left the Church, allured by the promises of the world, and it wasn't until he turned 30 that he found his way back to God and his current state of life. After 6 years of studying, he is standing on the edge of a November ordination. Instead of 'the world', his passions now are engaging in God's mission for the Church and sharing his love of health and fitness with others.
Simon Carrington has completed a Bachelor of Theology, minoring in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame Australia, and is currently undertaking a Certification Course at the Theology of the Body Institute in Pennsylvania USA. Simon has been active in youth ministry for several years, with a focus on St John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. He has worked with Parousia Media in many different roles, the main one being a Chastity Speaker. He has served as a volunteer youth minister at numerous parishes, is a regular host/co-host and guest on the Voice of Charity radio network, including Catholic Q&A Live and the Chastity on Air series and is an affiliate employee of covenanteyes.com an internet filtering and accountability software which promotes integrity online. Simon spoke at the 2017 Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Sydney, as is married to his beautiful wife Madeleine.
Rachel Fleurant has been a sister with the Missionaries of God's Love Sisters for the last 15 years. She is currently completing a Masters degree in Spiritual Direction and is the Formator for her community. Her passion for justice is shown through her mission to bring God’s love and healing to the young people she has worked with in custody.
Mary Grace has been involved in the pro-life movement for most of her life and has volunteered as a team member with 40 Days for Life since its inception in Australia in 2009. She is a Primary School teacher and an active member of the Church in Brisbane.
Michael has been a presenter for more than 10-years sharing his passion for mission, education and the development of a healthy personal identity. A qualified and experienced teacher, Michael is currently studying a Graduate Diploma of Counselling and a Master of Education (Guidance Counselling). Interested in helping people of ages to unpack and deal with life's expectations and stressors creatively and openly, Michael is passionate about helping everyone to live their best life and know themselves better.
Matt, alongside with Kate Nestor, is one of the Student Discipleship Formation Consultants for the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Lismore. He consults to 46 Catholic Parish Schools (K-12) across the 500km length of the Lismore Diocese. The development of a vibrant continuum of intentional student discipleship retreats and activities from Year 5 -12 has been a hallmark of his successful work.
Meet Dr Paul
Dr. Paul Morrissey is President of Campion College, Australia’s first Higher Education institution devoted to the study of the Liberal Arts. He holds a doctorate in Theology from the Sydney College of Divinity and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Lateran in Rome. He is Adjunct Associate Professor of Theology in the School of Philosophy and Theology, University of Notre Dame, where he taught Theology for eight years. Paul is married and has seven children.
Young people are screaming out for meaning and purpose and for something to believe in. This is the challenge that the teams from NET Ministries take up as they travel and live in cities and towns in schools and parishes throughout this nation. The teams present a vision for life which challenges, equips and encourages young people in their day to day circumstances.
Robert Schroeders has a passion for leadership, innovation and change. He has spent most of his adult life forming and developing university aged people. He spent many years working with NET Ministries both in Australia & Uganda, started the university movement Freedom CMC at QUT and is now heading up a new initiative called Principled Youth. He's an ideas man who loves helping young people and organisations to network and connect whilst creating new and innovative ways to educate and develop the next generation.
emmanuelworship is the worship ministry of the Emmanuel Community and the house band of the Ignite Conference. Based in Brisbane and serving the Church around Australia, they desire to help renew the Church through music. Their passion is to create music that is excellent and powerful. They also long to bring people to Jesus through genuine and honest worship. Their 7th album 'Mercy' will be released at the Ignite Conference.
Emma Fradd is on staff with NET Ministries Australia, where she is involved in training young people for ministry.
Lachlan has past ministry experience through completing 3 years of NET, travelling around Australia, and since then has served with the UPP leadership program, and Ignite Youth's weekly youth group "Ignite High". He is currently in his first year of study- Bachelor of Primary Education at ACU.