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May 23, 2016

Cate Sydes was appointed to the position of CEO of Marist Youth Care in 2006. In 2015 she was a finalist in the Telstra Business Women's Award and she has been recognised for her commitment to social justice. As the first woman to head the Marist Youth Care she has been innovative and proactive in providing vulnerable people in poverty with the resources and tools to work towards economic independence.

Cate has held senior management roles in the Australian community services sector working with children and families at a national, state and local level for thirty years. Prior to working with MYC, she was National Manager of the LifeForce Suicide Prevention Program and NSW State Manager Accommodation Services (holding both roles concurrently), with Wesley Mission.

For the past 10 years, Cate Sydes has focussed on building Marist Youth Care into a leading not-for-profit agency helping more than 1,800 of the most disadvantaged young people per year.

Through the introduction of an ever-expanding range of innovative and targetted youth welfare programs, Marist Youth Care provides vulnerable young people in poverty with the resources and tools to work towards economic independence.

"I am proud that I have helped build an organisation that is vibrant, diverse and innovative. Social inclusion is a priority for Marist Youth Care, ensuring that we allow access for all young people who need safety, support, education, training or employment.  We work with those at risk of exclusion from education, young offenders, homeless youth, Aboriginal people, migrants, refugees and young people in transition from care," says Cate.

Landmark programs such as the Aboriginal Trainee Support Worker Program introduced by Cate Sydes 5 years ago have established MYC as the laregest employer and trainer of aboriginal people in Western Sydney. ATSWP has enabled local people to gain skills, qualifications and employment in the community services sector.  In partnership with the local Aboriginal community, MYC trains then employs culturally aware and experienced staff to work with and achieve outstanding results for Aboriginal young people in juvenile justice, foster care, education, training, employment and family support programs.

"Programs like ATSWP provide very real solutions to improving the life chances of vulnerable young people and enable them to be responsible for themselves and take control of their destiny," says Cate.