Rubie Ireson, Director
Rubie joined the Hive as The 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 leaderships 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 completed her high schooling locally in Bidwill before continuing to work in Bidwill and in the Western Sydney area for many years and has a great love for Mt Druitt. Rubie has two large German Shepherd’s 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 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 she lives closer to the coast in the inner west.
Ben Rose, Community Engagement Coordinator:
Ben was the first member of The Hive when it began in 2015. Ben coordinates the Hive’s community engagement initiatives across its key suburbs of Willmot, Lethbridge Park and Bidwill. This includes facilitating working group meetings with services and residents and conducting Community Conversations. Ben supports community events and builds relationships with local community members and services to work collaboratively with our partners to determine workplans in response to conversations with community. Ben has a film making background and has worked in both television and as a film teacher and has previously lived in the Mt Druitt area.
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 Ben, and the broader Hive team and partners through local community engagement activities, and also at working group meetings and Community Conversations. Mb co-designs and supports community events and manages local level communications through social media and digital design in order to maintain communication with community and build the Hive’s local networks. Mb is from the Baridja clan from the Gamilaroi nation and co-manages the Willmot NAIDOC event each year which is always a huge success. Mb is an artist and incredibly creative and hopes to launch their own clothing line in the future.