Our Team

Standing Tall in Hamilton Inc. is led by a Committee of Management that includes 8 dedicated members of our local community, plus 3 passionate and committed part-time staff members. Read about our team below.

Rob Vecchiet

Chairperson

Rob Vecchiet is our Chairperson. He is the former Principal of Baimbridge College and has been involved with Standing Tall in Hamilton Inc. since its inception 19 years ago. He is dedicated to the Program, and is a passionate supporter and advocate for the youth in our region.

Brian Jenkins

Vice President

Brian has recently joined Standing Tall in Hamilton Inc. as a Committee member. Brian is a civil engineer specialising in water engineering management with over 40 years working in Local Government and Water Corporations. He has lived in Hamilton for 44 years and has volunteered for many years in the local community. He has been a member of the Hamilton Rotary Club since 2003 where he has served as President, Secretary and the annual Art Show Director since 2015.  He has also been a member of the Hamilton Public Cemetery Trust since 2009 and Chair since 2012.

Frances O'Brien

Secretary

Frances has worked in the Early Childhood sector in Hamilton for sixteen years. She has been a Early Childhood Teacher for the last ten years and has recently stepped back from that role, seeking a change in direction. Frances joined Standing Tall as a mentor in 2021 because she wanted to do something positive for the community. In November 2022 she was elected to the STiH Committee of Management. Frances is passionate about the Program and is keen to support Standing Tall to continue to achieve great results for children and families in our local community.

Darrell Agnew

Treasurer

Darrell was elected to the STiH Committee of Management for the first time in 2017, and after a couple of years break, he was re-elected in November 2022. He was born in Hamilton and has lived here throughout his whole life. Darrell previously worked at Grange Dairy’s for over 34 years and today he is employed at Taylor Motors.

In the past, Darrell has been a commissaire for Cycling Australia and been involved in looking after the junior cyclists for over 25 years.

In 2014 Darrell joined Standing Tall as a mentor because he was interested in helping the youth in our community. Since then, Darrell has mentored 4 students until they graduated, and he is currently mentoring his 5th student.

Darrell is motivated to instill resilience and dedication in our mentees and he is passionate and committed to encourage students to stay at school.

Belinda McFarlane

Committee of Management

More to come

James Dunn

Committee of Management

James' working career commenced with the Postmaster General’s Department followed by a move to Telecom Services. Since retirement, James has enjoyed the challenge of lawn bowls, become a member of the Rotary Club of Hamilton (since 2016) and U3A.

James joined Standing Tall in July 2022 and was lucky enough to have had the opportunity of attending Youth Mental Health First Aid 2 day workshop which has given him a greater understanding of the challenges facing young people today. James believes that during the high school years, mental health is among the leading causes of falling grades. Problems with friends, relationships and substance misuse, can have a lifelong impact.

James hopes that his contribution to Standing Tall in some way helps the younger generation.

Tam Hardy

Committee of Management

Tam resides in Macarthur with her husband Ash and their three girls. Tam has been living and working in the area for over 20 years, is passionate about her community, and began mentoring with Standing Tall in 2023. 

Tam loves volunteering and has been involved with Hamilton & District Gymnastics, Macarthur Swimming Pool, Disabled Surfers South West, and various fundraising events to raise funds for causes such as Let’s Talk Foundation. Tam has an Advanced Diploma Farm Management and has worked in the Agriculture field for over 30 years.

Tam joined Standing Tall as she is very passionate about assisting youth in the community, and believes that being there to listen and advocate for young people in our community can assist in changing lives for the better. She feels it is critical to provide services such as Standing Tall to communities, to assist with keeping our youth engaged, and to offer support to mentees and their families.

She is employed by RIST, a local RTO, where she works closely with students to achieve personal and academic success through the study of Agriculture.

Daryl O'Flaherty

Committee of Management

Daryl was born in Hamilton and raised on his parents farm at Strathkellar. He attended Hamilton (Gray Street) Primary School and completed his secondary education at Hamilton Technical School. Upon leaving school, Daryl started and completed a Panel Beating apprenticeship. Due to having a rural background, Daryl chose to undertake and complete a Certificate in Wool-Classing and also gained accreditation as a livestock inspector and vaccinator for the Australian Government, which allowed him to travel through Australia .

After a period of time in the UK and Ireland, Daryl became a Oversized Load Escort Driver specialising in wind farm components both here in Victoria and South Australia. 

In recent years Daryl also managed his family's farm and successfully completed tertiary studies. 

In addition to his role on the Committee of Standing Tall in Hamilton Inc., Daryl is a committee member at the Hamilton Pastoral Museum. 

Daryl has been a volunteer mentor with Standing Tall since 2023 and chose to become a mentor so he can offer knowledge and skills to a student mentee and be a positive person in his group. 

Dee Barrera

Program Manager

Dee is originally from Sydney, has lived and worked in Hamilton for over 10 years and is passionate about this community. She previously worked as Council, the SES and most recently at WDHS. Dee loves volunteering and has supported Hamilton parkrun, parkrun Australia, Hamilton SES, the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Hamilton Running Club, and the Silent Book Club Hamilton. She has an Arts Degree in Tourism, an Undergraduate certificate in Human Biology, and is currently completing a Diploma in Arts, with a focus on Psychological Science and Sociology. She is a breast cancer and PTSD survivor, passionate about health and wellbeing (especially mental health and preventative healthcare) and is open about her health in the hope that speaking up will help others. Dee is passionate about Standing Tall as she has a lived personal experience, having been supported by a mentor when she was a teen. Dee strongly believes that early intervention via mentoring can change lives, not only for our young people, but for their mentor, and for our wider community. Ultimately, keeping young people engaged is the greatest social and economic investment a community can make.

Tash Donaldson

Program Officer

Tash has been a mentor with Standing Tall since 2021, supporting three students during that time. She's a local business owner, a beauty therapist, a mum, and above all, a passionate advocate for young people in our community. 

Natasha completed her Diploma of Beauty Therapy in 1999. She began working as a therapist in Geelong which she then advanced to manage the salon. In 2008 Natasha moved to Hamilton to manage another salon and then opened Pure Envy in 2014. She won therapist of Victoria in 2012 and has furthered her studies becoming qualified in IPL, Skin Needling, Hydrodermabrasion and LED treatments. Natasha loves spending time with her family – Ty and Charlotte and her partner Chuck.

We couldn't be happier that Tash accepted the role to join our team as Program Officer. We're excited to have Tash on board and can't wait to see the incredible things we know you'll accomplish. Welcome to the team Tash! 

Jeanette Pritchard OAM

Founder

Jeanette Pritchard OAM is the Founder of Standing Tall in Hamilton Inc. She was instrumental in leading the establishment of the award-winning, school-based mentoring program in 2003 at Baimbridge College, and has since gone on to be a long-term friend and partner of the program. Jeanette continues to work in the mentoring space, and has a vision to have a strong cohesive society where young people are valued and supported to fulfil their potential. She wants to continue to make a contribution to building of cohesive communities by facilitating connections between young people in schools and supportive members of the community through the establishment of mentoring relationships.

The Late Dr Geoff Handbury AO

Patron

We honor the legacy of our esteemed Patron Dr Geoff Handbury AO. Dr Handbury was a strong supporter of the work of Standing Tall from its inception in 2003 until his passing in late 2019. His generosity and dedication to this program will always be remembered fondly. He has touched the lives of so many young people through his time as Standing Tall patron.

Standing Tall in Hamilton acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and in each of the communities in which we live and work, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
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