ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation


The ACTCOSS team is keen to meet you. Check out our profiles below and contact us if you'd like to chat about our areas of work.

Management Team

Susan Helyar

Susan Helyar, CEO of ACTCOSS

Susan joined ACTCOSS in February 2013. Susan is committed to working with leaders across Canberra to build a more just and inclusive community, where everyone lives with dignity.

Susan's career has focused on making a difference - as a social worker, in policy roles in ACT and Commonwealth governments and as the leader of services development advocacy work for UnitingCare Australia. Susan's direct practice included working in community health, mental health and disability employment. Her social policy work included service development and policy reform across the lifespan. She supports development of the social work profession with the Australian Catholic University.

Office: 02 6202 7200
Mobile: 0448 791 987
Contact about:
ACTCOSS priorities and strategic direction; public statements and commentary; membership; sponsor relationships and collaboration

Policy Manager:
Craig Wallace

Craig joined ACTCOSS in 2015 as the Housing Campaign Manager and became Advocacy Manager in October 2016. Craig has led work on a joint campaign with ACT Shelter to put housing and homelessness issues at the centre of the ACT election.

With a background in the Australian Public Service including in housing policy, leading a community housing association and as the President of a national peak disability rights body, Craig is passionate about social justice, human rights and the importance of affordable and accessible housing for all Canberrans.

02 6202 7208
Contact about:
Campaigns; advocacy; housing; transport; infrastructure; planning

Capability Manager:
Samantha Quimby

Samantha joined the ACTCOSS team as the Learning and Development Officer in 2015 and became Capability Manager in 2017. Sam develops workshops and seminars that support capacity building in the sector. She also facilitates a number of our peer networks, and is involved with developing tools and resources to support our sector development work.

Sam brings experience in government, private and not-for-profit sectors as well as tertiary degrees in Social Science and Theology to her role.

02 6202 7234
Contact about:
Learning and development; peer networks.

Operations Manager:
Stephanie Crosby

Stephanie joined ACTCOSS in March 2018 as Operations Manager. She is a Chartered Accountant with a background in finance, strategy and process improvement. Stephanie began her career working in taxation and audit at KPMG, before moving into accounting and transformation roles with QANTAS for 13 years. More recently, her work has focused on project management, governance and organisational change. Stephanie has a Commerce (Accounting) Degree and has been a member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand since 2003.

Stephanie is keen to use her corporate experience to support the work of ACTCOSS and the community sector in the ACT.

02 6202 7224
Contact about:
Administration; finance; governance

Policy & Development Team

Senior Policy Officer (Research and Data):
Geoff Buchanan

Geoff joined ACTCOSS in 2015 as a Policy and Research Officer, became the Policy Analyst and Research Manager in October 2016, then on to Senior Policy Officer (Research and Data) in 2018. This position was initially created to support sector engagement in the development of an industry plan for the community services sector in the ACT. His responsibilities are sector policy and homelessness. 

Geoff has over a decade of policy research experience, having worked at the Australian National University and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies before joining ACTCOSS. He has a multidisciplinary social science background with a focus on social policy and economics and has completed a Master of Geographical Science at the ANU. He has a longstanding research interest in the relationships between the community, government and market sectors.

02 6202 7222
Contact about:
Community sector policy; homelessness

Policy Officer:
Eliza Moloney

Eliza joined ACTCOSS in January 2017 as a Policy Officer within the policy team. She is working on homelessness, justice, education, young people, out of home care, and issues affecting women and girls.

Eliza has a research background, particularly on issues related to gender, women’s rights, and human rights. She has an Honours degree in International Relations, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations. She previously worked in Thailand at the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and the Karen Human Rights Group.

02 6202 7227
Contact about:
Homelessness; justice; education; young people; out of home care; issues affecting women and girls

Policy and Development Officer:
Tara Prince

Tara joined ACTCOSS in 2014. She is involved in ACTCOSS' policy development and advocacy, particularly in service system reform for people with disability and older people, as well as community connectedness in the ACT. Tara also convenes the ACT HACC and Disability Services Network.

Tara has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Sydney. She has extensive experience working in community care services, mainly in systemic advocacy and community development roles.

02 6202 7223
Contact about:
Disability; older people; community care system reform; community connectedness, ACT HACC and Disability Services Network

Capability Officer:
Ryan Joseph

Ryan joined ACTCOSS in May 2017 and undertakes a range of work to ensure that ACTCOSS training, forums, and peer networks are facilitated smoothly and remain relevant - while working closely with the Capability Manager to identify emerging capability and community sector development needs for the ACT.  

Before joining ACTCOSS, Ryan was a Research Assistant at the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University (ANU), prior to which he worked in the social enterprise tech start-up space and as an Ambulance Medic in Singapore. Ryan has a Master of International Relations (Advanced) from the ANU and a Bachelor of Social Science from the Singapore Management University.  

02 6202 7230
Contact about:
Learning and development administration; peer network administration; training, tools and resource needs.

Gulanga Program Team

Gulanga Program Officer:
Julie Butler

Julie joined ACTCOSS in 2007 as a part-time Sector Development Officer in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program, now known as the Gulanga Program. Julie contributes to program activities such as cultural awareness training, the development of resources, various work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and community, and with agencies and their staff in the ACT community sector.

Julie's family are from North Queensland (Bandjin) and North Western Queensland (Kalkadoon). She has worked in various government and non-government agencies in areas such as education, youth, domestic violence, housing, health and aged care.

02 6202 7262
Contact about:
Gulanga Program

Gulanga Program Officer:
Kim Peters

Kim joined the Gulanga team in 2018 as a Gulanga Program Officer. Kim works three days a week and focuses on building cultural awareness and competence in services funded through the Community Services Directorate's Child, Youth and Family Services Program (CYFSP).

Kim is a proud Wiradjuri woman from Wellington, NSW. Kim and her family have lived in Canberra for the past 18 years where she began working with Lowana Youth Services. Kim has also worked at the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre. Kim shares with us the knowledge and experience she acquired from working in the community youth sector and she has extensive networks within the local community.

02 6202 7230
Contact about:
Gulanga Program; cultural awareness for CYFSP funded organisations; ACT Nannies Group

Organisational Services Team

Publications & ICT Officer:
Suzanne Richardson

Suzanne joined ACTCOSS in 2008 as the Communications and Membership Officer, and in 2019 became the Publications and ICT Officer. Suzanne is the first point for office ICT support and manages the website. She collates the quarterly journal, and performs desktop publishing and graphic design for our publications and communications. Suzanne also assists in developing ICT policies, procedures and strategies. She also acts as ACTCOSS' Privacy Officer.

With a Bachelor degree in graphic design and new media, and a certificate II in IT, Suzanne enjoys using her skills to assist organisations who support our community's most vulnerable, and to advocate for positive social change.

02 6202 7235
Contact about:
Communications; website; publications; ICT

Administrative Support Officer:
Kathy Ehmann

Kathy joined ACTCOSS in August 2018 as Administrative Support Officer. Her background is in retail and administration, and she has spent several years volunteering with community climate action groups. Since moving to Canberra in 2017, she has worked with several community organisations, in both paid and voluntary positions. She is committed to equality and inclusion and is enjoying working in an environment where those things are advocated for. Kathy is studying for a Cert IV in Accounting.

02 6202 7200
Contact about:
Administration; general enquiries

Information and Events Support Officer:
Holly Zhang

Holly joined the ACTCOSS team in 2018 as the Information and Events Support Officer. She collates the Weekly Community Sector eNotices, manages events planning and administration, and provides information support to the staff team.

Holly has been studying moral philosophy at the Australian National University, and previously advocated for women-identifying and women-aligned undergraduate students at the ANU Student’s Association as head of the ANU Women’s Department in 2017.

02 6202 7277
Contact about:
Weekly eNotices; events; communications; social media