Tim Baker

Rotary Club of Richmond

Project Director

Rotary Next Step Program

I was approached by the Rotary Club of Richmond to become a member in 1992.

I joined a team running a youth program helping disadvantaged young people learn how to work and gain employment.  I participated in, and then led, that team for ten years until it became too difficult to fund.  We then established the Rotary Youth Arts Project in conjunction with the City of Yarra,  Jesuit Social Services and Visionary Images  This arts project focused on young people experiencing the effects of substance abuse.  After five years funding for this purpose became difficult again and the project was reconfigured. With the help of the City of Yarra we established a partnership with Dancehouse and the Centre for Contemporary Photography with a focus on disadvantaged young people who mainly attend alternative schools.  This is a cross-cultural program developing skills, self-esteem and confidence.  I have been working for the past four years with the support of a team of Rotarians, business people and youth support workers developing and implementing the Rotary Next Step Program.  This is a stepping stone for the graduates of the Rotary Youth Arts project.  Its purpose is to support their transition from school into employment.

So my time in Rotary has primarily been focused on helping young people adjust to their environment, recognise their capabilities, develop their confidence, skills and talents leading to a stable life with a first career job.  I am lucky for it has allowed me to combine my experiences as a child, in the Merchant Navy and in  business with my desire  to support the development of young people.

more about Tim's background

I was born in England prior to WW2 .  I lived in London and my early years and education were disrupted through bombing, separation from my parents and evacuation.  At 13 years I attended a pre sea training school  which prepared me for a career as a deck officer in the British Merchant Navy.  After 10 years I came to Australia and left the sea. I am a Master Mariner.

I married an Australian girl and started a new career becoming qualified as a Human Resources Specialist .  I also gained a Commerce Degree from Melbourne University.  After fifteen years I was head of Human Resources for the world wide operations of International Computers Limited  (ICL) based in London..  I changed careers again returning to Australia to run the New South Wales Operations of ICL. This opened up a new career leading to fifteen years as Chief Executive of computer oriented businesses.  During this time I returned to University to gain my Master of Management degree at Monash University.  I then established my own consulting business which I operated until 2010.

Katrina Dwyer

Youth Worker

Rotary Next Step Program

Katrina has been a youth worker in the not-for-profit sector since 2008. Like many people, she arrived at her ideal job via a circuitous route. A constant willingness to adapt and try new things, and an appreciation of the value of study, have been hallmarks of her evolving career.

After completing her VCE she worked at Club Med villages in Australia, South East Asia, France and Japan. Starting out as a childcare worker, she moved into tour guiding before going on a one-year exchange program to Japan. There, she took a Certificate in Hospitality while learning about Japanese language and culture. She then returned to Melbourne and gained a Diploma in Travel & Tourism.

more about Katrina's background

Katrina moved to Sydney and with her Japanese language skills gained a position working for Radisson Worldwide Hotels as a Japanese Sales Agent. From there she was offered a position as an inbound tour operator, organising tours for Japan Creative Travel.

The recruitment industry beckoned next; Katrina spent eight years working at firms like Morgan & Banks and Executive Space, working her way up to senior recruitment consultant.

Deciding that what she really wanted to do was work with and help young people, Katrina left the corporate world and joined the ‘Finding Solutions’ program at the Melbourne City Mission. Initially case-managing young people at risk of homelessness in Western and Northern Melbourne, she subsequently became a project manager, working on various programs for young disadvantaged and homeless youth in the City of Melbourne.

Katrina started with Rotary Next Step in June 2012. Here, she is able to combine her skills as a youth worker and a recruitment/career counselor. She is passionate about giving young people direction and a sense of renewed purpose.

Continually improving her knowledge remains a key theme; to further her career guidance skills she is currently studying a Certificate IV in Career Development at Swinburne University.