Our purpose is to empower people through life changing services, wraparound support, and pathways

TaskForce Community Agency plays an important role across communities in south east Melbourne, whether helping individuals and families due to challenges with alcohol and other drugs or family violence, or enabling people through education, training, and employment. Operating for 50 years, we aim to help realise the potential of every client, through achieving outcomes and working towards healthier lives, relationships, and communities.

Our areas of focus

Alcohol and other drug treatment and mental health
Youth and family services, including family violence
Education, engagement, and employment support
our vision
our mission
our values

Our Vision

Realise the potential in everyone: Healthy lives, relationships, and communities.

Our Purpose

To empower people through life changing services, wraparound support, and pathways. We are committed to creating positive outcomes for people disengaged, experiencing disadvantage, or living on the margins of communities across Melbourne’s south east. We believe in the potential of every individual.

The principles that guide us

We are client-centred I The voice and lived experience of clients guide our work, practice and approach.
We are inclusive I We welcome everyone into our service, continually striving for equity in access.
We are a wraparound service I We look beyond the one area of need, supporting participants throughout their journeys.
We always work together I We recognise that we can’t act alone and know collaboration internally and externally is critical to success.

The values that shape us

We start with care I We are here to meet participants where they are at, to support, empower and respect them and each other in the work we do. We commit to behaviours that demonstrate our care and compassion, bringing out the best in everyone in every interaction.
We always listen I We are here to listen, to think of the whole of a person in every connection. We commit to listening, learning, responding, and adapting to the needs of our clients, our staff, and our partners.
We are non-judgmental I We are here to help everyone belong; to realise their potential. We commit to supporting every person who walks through our doors or engages our services without judgment.
We are continuously learning I We are here to learn, innovate and bring the highest quality of service to our participants. We commit to seeking out and sharing knowledge within and beyond our sector and from our communities, not standing still in our models of care and program offers.

TaskForce has current QIP accreditation. QIP conducts reviews every 3 years aiming to benefit the Australian community by enabling continuous quality improvement in community and health organisations.

Download TaskForce Rules here.

Our People

TaskForce Board of Directors

Chester Allan - President

(Board Member: 2012 – current)

Chester has extensive experience in general management and marketing primarily through an international career with the Gillette Company in South Africa, South East Asia and Australia. Chester has filled various roles with Lions Clubs, including President and Chair of District Strategic Planning.

Carrick McLellan – Vice President

(Board Member: 2013 – current)

Carrick has much senior management experience in the food and grocery industry in Australia and New Zealand, managing some of Australia’s largest food manufacturers. Carrick is also involved in not-for-profit youth services, volunteering as an education mentor for disadvantaged people through Ardoch Youth Foundation.

Bill Reynolds – Treasurer

(Board Member: 2016 - current)

Bill qualified as a chartered accountant with Arthur Anderson in the 1970s and has spent his career in the accounting profession and with a large Australian public company. He specialised in corporate taxation and has considerable senior finance experience.

Deborah Dobbie - Board Member

(Board Member: 2008 - current)

Deborah is a qualified psychologist with considerable business consulting experience. Her areas of expertise include leadership/management coaching, training and development, change management and psychometric testing. Deborah also lectures in management in MBA and undergraduate programs.

Hyacinth Hancock – Board Member

(Board Member: 2013 – current)

Hyacinth has significant experience in human resources management in a variety of companies. In her corporate career, Hyacinth has often been the principal contact with not-for-profit organizations that the company has supported. Hyacinth is also an active volunteer with AMES, assisting new migrants with their English skills.

Minh Nguyen – Board Member

(Board Member: 2022 – current)

Minh has experience in governance, risk and strategic leadership through board membership of community and membership-based organisations. Minh has worked in diverse sectors with roles in senior management, research and evaluation and systemic advocacy. Minh is passionate about social justice, representation and respecting people as experts in their own lives.

Larissa Seymour – Board Member

(Board Member: 2022 – current)

Larissa brings experience as a senior leader in Government, public and community health sector and as company director. Larissa’s experience has involved leading multidisciplinary teams to develop, procure and implement both clinical and non-clinical health services. This has included targeted evidence-informed interventions as part of sector development and transformation in Mental Health, AOD, housing and Covid-19 Vaccination.

TaskForce Executive

Ray Blessing


Natalie Siegel


Catherine Raine


Kate Forer

Executive Manager People and Culture

Lisa Abbott

Executive Manager Social Impact and Growth

Mel Thomson

Director Clinical Services

Erin Crockett

Executive Manager Education & Employment Services

Steven Helfenbaum

Executive Manager Strategy and Communications

Acknowledgement of Country

TaskForce is based on Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Land. TaskForce acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to land, water and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and to Elders both past and present.

Recognition of diversity and inclusion

TaskForce is committed to providing culturally safe, inclusive and accessible services and work environments where all individuals feel supported and affirmed. TaskForce values diversity, inclusion and social justice and is dedicated to actively addressing discrimination and ensuring every individual is treated with dignity and respect. We honour and celebrate our differences and uniqueness in cultural and linguistic background, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, intersex status, sexual orientation, age, disability status, health status and religious or spiritual beliefs.

Our statement of commitment to child safety

TaskForce is a child safe organisation. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people, and ensuring they feel safe and empowered in our programs and services. We respect and listen to children and young people. We take their concerns seriously and support them to meet their potential and thrive. This is a responsibility shared by all the people who work or volunteer at TaskForce or who are part of the wider TaskForce community.

We value diversity, inclusion and equity. We support the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children and young people, children and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, LGBTIQ children and young people, and children and young people with disability.

We do not tolerate neglect or mistreatment and have zero tolerance for abuse of any kind. Safety concerns will be treated very seriously. Where appropriate, and safe to do so, we will always discuss concerns with families, carers and the community to encourage planned and joint action. We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, and we will follow those procedures rigorously.