Bridge It’s Crew

“Bridge It is doing things differently: the team is passionate and tenacious, and we believe in them and their cause.”

Igniting Change.

We’re a diverse crew blending expertise, qualifications, lived experience and neurodiversity. Because of this, we have pioneering programming and ways of working.

The young people we support are part of the team, too; we co-design programs based on regular feedback. They are the experts and they know what they need.

Picture this:

Twin sisters in their 20s:

It’s morning; Carla and Jenna are chatting in the kitchen, cups of tea in hand:

Carla asks, ‘what would you do with limitless money?’

Jenna answers, ‘build a safe place for women to heal from trauma. It’d be called The Cocoon.’

FAST FORWARD a couple of decades:

Carla sets up Bridge It, with Jenna by her side.

BOOM! The Cocoon dream comes true.

Introducing…

Carla Raynes

Carla’s our founder and CEO (AKA Head of Caring & Eternal Optimism). She’s worked in the homelessness field for nearly 2 decades. Her experience spans crisis accommodation, drug and alcohol teams, tertiary hospitals and youth residential units.

She’s a trailblazer in trialling creative approaches to homelessness to make the solution lasting.

She’s a mother to Billie and Ted and a furbaby mama to Layla. She’s a fierce change warrior, lover of gingerbread and getting sand between her toes.

Jenna Wilson

Jenna’s our Engagement Officer. She’s worked in the disability and homelessness field for 15+ years and has a strong passion for mental health and recovery-focused practices.

Before Bridge It, she worked in mental health rehabilitation and inpatient mental health wards.

When not Bridging it, Jenna enjoys being in nature with her husband, Jake, and their dog, Luna. Or she’s immersed in alternative therapies. Wherever she is, there’s a mug of tea in her hand.

Kate Mackenzie

Kate’s our Team Leader. Since 2017, she’s worked in the homelessness sector as a social worker. She’s developed a deep understanding of the challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness.

Kate’s a ‘northsider’, living in Melbourne’s inner north with her partner. She studied and loves art history, and in her spare time enjoys making music, spending time with friends, reading, and drawing. She’s a zen master!

Sage Leslie

Sage is our Housing and Wellbeing Coordinator. Before this, she worked as a specialist family violence advocate. She approaches her work with an intersectional feminist lens, collaborating with the people she supports to make them the centre of decision-making.

Outside work, Sage enjoys exploring parts of Victoria (whether camping or a lovely little AirBnB), hanging out with her beloved Cat (Theodora – ‘Dora’), reading, listening to spooky podcasts or watching D-Grade horror films.

Sam Jones

Sam’s our Peer Mentor. She has a lived experience of mental ill-health, which is vital in her role. Before becoming unwell, she worked in business development. Her passion is supporting others through similar challenges.

She likes hanging out with friends and loves art and music. Before the pandemic, Sam loved travelling and new adventures. Now, you’ll see her out and about Bayside, enjoying the freedom to explore.

Kathryn Goldsmith

Kathryn’s our bookkeeper. She’s 30+ years of experience in accounting and bookkeeping, including 15 years running her own business. She loves working with Bridge It and being part of an organisation that’s changing people’s lives for the better.

Kathryn loves crocheting, scrapbooking, gardening, and beekeeping. Divine!

Dorian Hodgess

Dorian’s our Projects and Operations Coordinator. He’s a Youth Worker and Community Development practitioner with extensive experience in leadership roles and working face-to-face with young people.

Dorian’s driven by a steadfast commitment to social justice, believing that everyone has a fundamental human right to safe and adequate housing. He enjoys spending time with his family, travelling, scuba diving and making collages.

Heather

Heather’s our Fundraising Volunteer. She’s worked as a social worker, community development worker and community services manager. She started in Disability Services and moved into Local Government for the remainder of her career. She co-founded and remained on the Board of a community housing organisation for over 30 years.