Standing Tall in Hamilton Inc. is led by a Committee of Management that includes 7 dedicated members of our local community, plus 2 passionate and committed part-time staff members. Read about our team below.
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.
Joan is our Treasurer. She is a longtime Hamilton local keen to give back to this community, especially our younger generations. She has a background in financial management and tax accounting; and was previously employed with Iluka Resources, then as a local government Director. She is committed to Standing Tall in Hamilton, our youth, and is pleased to offer her skills in financial management to support our organisation.
Natalie is our Secretary. She was a Kindergarten Teacher for 10 years before becoming the Pedagogical Leader at Combined Preschools of Southern Grampians. Natalie joined the Standing Tall in Hamilton committee to give back to the community. She is keen to assist as she believes in the wonderful Program we offer in our local schools.
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.
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.
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.
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 Bachelor of Psychological Science and Sociology degree. 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.
Mel resides in Tarrington with her husband Mike and has three children. Mel has a Bachelor of Business Management and has many years of experience in administrative, finance and communication roles, grant writing and event planning. One of Mel’s favourite aspects of her previous positions was working with young people, liaising with local schools, and collaborating with local youth organisations.
Mel is passionate about Standing Tall in Hamilton as it provides young people in our community supportive encouragement and guidance to build resilience and self-belief ensuring they are fully equipped to forge their own path in life.
Rebecca, or "Bec" as we lovingly call her, radiates warmth, compassion, and kindness. She's not just an extraordinary professional, but a genuinely good soul that we are beyond blessed to have join our team.
Many of you might already know Bec as an incredible local community star. Bec is a super mum of 3 gorgeous children, wife to Chris, and also works in their family business We Met in June Photography, and South West Real Estate Photography . Bec previously worked as the Marketing Manager at Gen Health Hamilton, and she plays basketball with the Barber Boys & Babes club in Div 3.
Bec has been a volunteer mentor with Standing Tall for just over 18 months, and now, we're over the moon to announce that she's stepping into the brand-new role of Program Officer! She brings with her a wealth of knowledge, experience and a big heart – we are so lucky to have Bec.
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.
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.