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Young Workers Centre YWC
The Team
Supporting young workers
Felicity Sowerbutts

Felicity (she/her) started work in the Australian trade union movement after studying Politics in the UK and working and volunteering for MPs and campaign organisations.

Before joining the Young Workers Centre, Felicity led the Campaigns Team at Victorian Trades Hall through more elections than she can count.

In her spare time you can find her walking her dog on the beach, going for long runs (yes, she’s run a marathon) and watching Geelong win.

Kelly Thomas

Kelly uses her legal skills to work in service of working people and their unions. Dignity at work and dignity of work are important guides for Kelly’s approach to helping employees and ensuring that employers do the right thing. Prior to coming to YWC, Kelly worked for a national union and a national plaintiff law firm, as well as the Fair Work Commission.

She is proud of her advocacy for workers and highlights winning a huge compensation payment by the Supreme Court for a young victim of sexual assault. Working on the $100million class action for workers with an intellectual disability who were underpaid will always be an honour for her.

Outside of work, Kelly enjoys walking her dog, Harvey, having a laugh and is otherwise busy raising a future feminist.



Leon Harper

Leon (he/him) knew nothing about unions or workers’ rights before doing a legal placement at Young Workers Centre in 2016. He enjoyed it so much that he abandoned his property law dreams and joined YWC as a placement coordinator and eventually a solicitor. He is passionate about making Victoria a better place for the next generation of young workers. Leon is proudly trans and cares deeply about ensuring YWC is a welcoming place for all young workers and volunteers.

Leon spends his free time writing, drinking coffee, and making spreadsheets for everything.

Lauren Gerondakis

Lauren (she/her) came to be involved in the union movement during her years as a hospitality worker where she commonly encountered and saw her friends encounter dodgy workplace practices! She was an advocate at the Young Workers Centre in Semester 2, 2019. She has recently finished her law degree.

She also enjoys spending time with her menagerie of animals, being outdoors and over-investing in TV shows.

Wallace Huang

Wallace (he/him) has always been a political nerd and passionate about workers' rights. It's no surprise that most of his working life has been dedicated to unionism and community organising. Prior to joining the Young Workers Centre, Wallace was an industrial organiser at the Migrant Workers Centre.

When Wallace is not spending quality time with his two cats, he can also be found around Melbourne chasing the best cheap eats and latest food trends.

Raegnon Braganza

Rae (she/her) was introduced to unions and workplace rights at a time where she and her co-workers were being substantially underpaid. Her experience with wage theft sparked a passion to ensure that other young workers weren’t being taken advantage of in the same way.

Rae was an advocate at the Young Workers Centre in the summer of 2020 and again in Semester 2, 2020. She is currently completing her law degree and spends her free time picking up an array of hobbies including knitting, rollerblading, finishing jigsaw puzzles and trying to find the best coffee spot in Melbourne.

Bree Booth

Bree (she/her) has been a union member all her working life, but really came to be involved in activism during her time at university through community organising and student politics.  She was an advocate at the Young Workers Centre in Semester 2 2021 and participated in Union Winter in 2022. She has since completed her law degree and is now pursuing a law masters in employment and labour relations law.

Outside of YWC, Bree works as a research assistant and spends her spare time hanging out in her local coffee shop, catching up on reading.

James Lea

James (he/him) began his union journey after reaching out to the Young Workers Centre for help while working in hospitality and is passionate about the role young people have in ending wage theft.

Since then he has participated in Union Summer 2018, volunteered with Hospo Voice and campaigned during the state and federal elections. James loves a good dinner party, plays Dungeons & Dragons every week and starts hobby projects faster than he can finish them.

Josie Foster

Josie (she/her) has studied climate change through the social science discipline and is obsessed with the idea that we can fix so many of our societal problems by winning back worker power from the billionaires. She came to be involved in the union movement when she attended the YWC conference on climate justice and has been a passionate unionist ever since. 

She only wishes she had found unionism back when she was being exploited by dodgy bosses so she could have helped her and her co-workers wrangle back thousands of dollars of stolen wages! Oops!

Outside of YWC she organises for a climate jobs guarantee with Tomorrow Movement, spends time appreciating nature, and writes. 

Neo Williams

Neo (he/they) is a secondary student-teacher. Having worked in a variety of industries he has dealt first hand with the exploitation and mistreatment young workers face everyday, but has always found the unions to be the greatest support.

Neo lives by the mantra “Solidarity Forever”, finding that it’s always best to stand by fellow workers against oppression. He’s passionate about growing the union movement, and being a student-teacher, knows that knowledge is strength.

Outside of the YWC Neo loves the Essendon F.C, plays cricket, studies Irish language and writes.

Madi Roof

Madi (she/her) has dedicated herself to the union movement since 2018 when she was 19, serving as a union delegate in the Market and Social Research Call Centre industry. Her primary focus is on inspiring young workers to join unions and actively participate as rank-and-file members within their workplaces. Madi possesses a passion for social justice and firmly believes in the power of working people to drive meaningful societal transformations.

Outside of her union work, Madi is pursuing a degree in Sociology and loves to spend her leisure time with her Greyhound, Polly.

Monique Vitiritti 

Monique (she/her) has worked with Youth for many years, primarily helping young people who have experienced disadvantage, marginalisation, and a range of barriers to employment. She came to be involved with the Union whilst being surrounded & inspired by people in her life who showed her the power of the Union movement.

She is passionate about helping young people have a positive, not only first experience, but career in employment and hopes to educate young workers on their rights & safety whilst in employment, as well as support workers to create positive experiences while in the workforce.

Outside of YWC she enjoys spending time with her puppy Toby, weekends at the snow and slow rainy days at home.’

Siane Grant-Hayes

Siane (she/her) has a background in education and is passionate about young people’s wellbeing. Far from just a morning journal and a walk (though she is partial to both those things), Siane sees wellbeing as a structural issue and is passionate about young people leading the changes that effect them.

Siane’s also had her fair share of dodgy bosses and is proud to be helping young people have positive experiences at work. Outside of the YWC Siane loves sitting in the sun, eating and swimming.

Martina Moshy

Martina (she/her) joined the YWC because she is committed to promoting the rights of young people and ensuring that their voices are not only heard, but that they are taken seriously. After working in hospitality and retail jobs, Martina understands firsthand how young people are often mistreated at work. With a Youth Work background, Martina is committed to ensuring that young people understand what their rights are and are equipped to stand up to workplace injustices. 

Outside of the YWC, Martina loves movies, music, sport, and spending time watching football with her dad.