About the Hive

Our Team

Meet The Hive Team

The Hive’s work is led by a small team of people committed to creating lasting change in 2770 through collaboration and innovation with community voice at the centre.

Rubie Ireson
Director
Jean Villacorta
Early Years Strategy Lead
Laura Faraj
Child Health Project Lead
Faith Alanson
Linker Project Lead
Mb Sheen
Community Engagement Officer
Sheryn Turvey
Early Childhood Educator
Andrea Reyes
Early Learning Linker
Gomathi Rukmangathan
Administrative Support Officer
Marika Kahle
Community Mobilization Manager
Rubie Ireson, Director

Rubie joined the Hive as Director in 2020 and provides strategy and direction to all of The Hive’s work in Mt Druitt. Rubie has experience in Collective Impact work, and has held various leadership roles. Rubie works alongside The Hive’s key partners to build relationships, advocate for system-level change and identify new opportunities to respond to community aspirations and priorities.

Rubie has a great love for Mt Druitt, she completed her high schooling locally in Bidwill and continued to work in Bidwill, and in the Western Sydney area for many years. Rubie has two large German Shepherds and also has her own podcast.

Jean Villacorta, Early Years Strategy Lead

Jean joined the Hive team in 2020. With her Master of Education in Early Childhood Leadership, she is responsible for advising and guiding The Hive’s Early Years Strategy across the 2770 postcode. This includes advising on the Hive’s early years activities such as Linker and CUBS, as well as coordinating the Early Childhood Educators Network. Jean has worked locally as the Educational Leader at a local Preschool for many years ensuring high quality education and care.

With her own child having some challenges in speech, she is incredibly passionate about early intervention and support for children with additional needs.

Laura Faraj, Child Health Project Lead

Laura is a Social Worker who joined the team in 2017 and is the project lead for The Hive’s Child Health initiatives. This includes coordinating the Check Ups Before School (CUBS) Program as well as conducting wider research, advocacy and the consideration of further projects relating to child health in Mt Druitt. Laura also works as the Child Health Linker which provides short-term case management around a child’s health needs following the CUBS assessment and helping to overcome barriers.

Laura is passionate about child development and is currently studying her Masters in Public Health to increase her knowledge of the public health system and how to advocate for families. Laura also loves to hike and will most likely be outdoors on the weekend or curled up with a book.

Faith Alanson, Linker Project Lead

Faith Alanson, Linker Project Lead: Faith is a Social Worker who joined the team in 2018. Faith is the project lead for the Hive’s Early Learning Linker Program. The Linker program aims to increase early education attendance across the 2770 postcode by providing families with 1:1 support to enrol and sustain enrolment in childcare and preschool. Faith also reports on the experience and learnings from the on-the-ground work through high-level advocacy, in order to instigate systems change.

Faith grew up in the nearby Blue Mountains and now enjoys spending more time at the beach now that she lives closer to the coast in the inner west.

Mb Sheen, Community Engagement Officer

Mb joined the Hive in 2017 after being involved as a resident in a range of community engagement activities. Mb works alongside partners and community through co-designed engagement activities/events, working group meetings and Community Conversations. Mb manages local level communications through social media and digital design in order to maintain relationships with community and build the Hive’s local networks.

Mb is a proud Barija Gomeroi person and manages the Willmot NAIDOC event each year which is always a huge success, they were born & raised in Mt Druitt.

Sheryn Turvey, Early Childhood Educator

Sheryn is a qualified Early Childhood Educator with 10 years’ experience working in a local preschool in Mount Druitt. She joined the Hive team in 2021 and is leading all of the community mobilisation team’s early childhood programs and initiatives, including Kids Days and Mini-tots sports clinics. These programs aim to engage with families within the community children aged 0-5, in order to create social connection and to act as a soft-entry into formal Early Education and Care, as well as linking families to other forms of support.

Sheryn is a Worimi and Kuku Yalanji woman and has lived in the Mount Druitt area since she was a teenager.

Andrea Reyes, Early Learning Linker

Andrea joined the Hive in 2021 as one of our part-time Early Learning Linkers. Her role involves providing families with 1:1 support to enrol and sustain enrolment in childcare and preschool. Andrea grew up in Western Sydney and has experience as a local Disability Support worker and Youth Leader.

She is passionate about advocating for a community that is inclusive of people with all kinds of abilities, backgrounds and cultures. In her spare time, Andrea enjoys listening to music and spending time in nature in the Blue Mountains.

Gomathi Rukmangathan, Administrative Support Officer

Gomathi supports the entire Hive team through the administrative support of our collaborative working groups and our broader engagement work. Gomathi manages the collection of qualitative data, including Community Conversations and supports the broader Together in 2770 team by writing meeting minutes and following up on the various actions and tasks that arise through the working group meetings.

Gomathi has two children and is a local Mount Druitt resident who became engaged with the Hive’s programs through the Bidwill Mini-Tots sports clinic and her work with our partner organisaton, HIPPY.

Marika Kahle, Community Mobilization Manager

Marika is a community development specialist who joined our team in September 2021 in the newly created role of Community Mobilisation Manager. Marika leads our community engagement team, including leading the design and delivery of community engagement strategies and initiatives across all 4 of the suburbs the Hive is engaged in.

Marika supports the broader collective team to prioritize the capacity building of community leaders and mobilising community members to partner in and lead the community development work of Together in 2770. Marika has travelled the world and has a passion for working with CALD communities.

Our Vision & Mission

Enabling an environment where every child starts well, thrives and enjoys diverse life opportunities.

Our Partners

The Hive works collaboratively with our Partners to achieve lasting change in 2770.