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Inspiring Individuals, Encouraging Education and Overall Well Being

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Our Progress
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JTA JTA

Welcome to The Johnathan Thurston Academy.

In February 2018, Managing Director Johnathan Thurston launched The Johnathan Thurston Academy, a powerful and influential institution that focuses on employment, community, and education engagement. Led by Johnathan Thurston himself, our Academy stands as a national ambassador of positive messaging and a force to be reckoned with.

At The Johnathan Thurston Academy, we bring together the strength of our powerful brand and our extensive networks to foster a sustainable collaborative approach. Our programs aim to create behavioural change, cultivate positive attitudes, and support students in their journey to complete their education and secure meaningful employment.

We pride ourselves on being a community of learning, where personal growth and experiences are shared through storytelling across generations. Participants at The Johnathan Thurston Academy not only experience personal growth and life success through inspired belief, but they also learn the invaluable skill of inspiring others to achieve the same.

Our Programs
Our JTValues

Inspiring positive change to the young people of Australia

Self-Belief

Self-belief is the heartbeat of success! We embark on a journey of Self-belief at Johnathan Thurston Academy. Join JT and the community as we nurture the belief in ourselves, celebrate our unique abilities, and pave the way for extraordinary achievements.

Confidence

Confidence is more than just a word—it's a powerful belief that fuels success. Join us as we dive deep into the core value of Confidence. Let's embrace our individuality, amplify our strengths, and empower ourselves and others in our circles to achieve greatness.

Courage

Being courageous, by definition, means going out of your comfort zone to achieve things that are important to you. It does not mean you have to act recklessly; it is more about standing up for yourself and what you believe in. Be clear about what you want and be open to change.

Our Team

Our Team Members

A common concern a visitor experiences is how well will the product or service be supported. Introducing the team eases fears while showing confidence.

Johnathan Thurston

Johnathan Thurston

Managing Director
Johnathan Thurston

Johnathan Thurston is a strong positive influence and role model, as demonstrated by his long list of accolades, including 2018 Australian Humanitarian of the Year.

It is critical to note that Johnathan’s well-published messages are spoken directly from his sincere passion of our nation’s youth and his Indigenous culture. In doing so, this organically creates an experience that fosters group cohesion, community, shared responsibility, and a greater sense of self-belief and identity.

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April
QLD
Gold Coast
Managing Director
Carley Maher

Carley Maher

General Manager
Carley Maher

As an attentive and adaptable educator skilled in management of both school based and business operations, I can effectively create dynamic learning programs and individual sessions that address individual strengths and weaknesses. I am dedicated and motivated towards encouraging growth through carefully monitored progress and as an energetic academic professional who is driven to promote outcomes through engaging curriculum and innovative teaching techniques I can successfully coordinate instruction, activities and assessment to reinforce core concepts and gauge understanding.

I am a focused educator who is passionate about promoting inclusion, critical thinking skills and student development. Managing various environments with positive and proactive strategies is a strong skill set I demonstrate in all educational settings. I have excellent communication, relationship-building and problem-solving abilities and am adept at modifying programs to suit different learning styles.

With a history of results-focused operations, with strength in staff management, I am a proactive leader who collaborates effectively and consistently. Proficiency in leveraging education and operations knowledge to promote best practice and using data to inform my program development is at the forefront of my skills.

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December
Griffith NSW
Gold Coast
General Manager

Tim Pritchard

Financial Controller
Tim Pritchard

Tim is passionate about supporting the JT Academy by providing financial and operational knowledge and expertise.

He is seen as a “safe pair of hands” when managing the complications of complex financial transactions and has spent the last 8 years working in the Social Impact sector. He loves supporting the team as we help to change lives.

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May
Adelaide
Gold Coast
Financial Controller
Ty Williams

Ty Williams

Regional Manager Cairns and Mt Isa
Ty Williams

Ty Williams is the regional manager for Cairns and Mount Isa, with a background in Coaching and Mentoring young athletes over the last 12 years. He is excited about the opportunity that the Academy can provide for the Young People on the back of Values, foundational skills, and behavioural change.

Ty believes these are some of the key ingredients for anyone to achieve their potential and is something he is very passionate about. Outside of work Ty enjoys spending time with his family and playing a round of golf.

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November
Innisfail
Cairns and Mount Isa
Regional Manager Cairns and Mt Isa
Australian South Sea Islander but grew up on Mamu Country
Antonio Winterstein

Antonio Winterstein

Regional Manager Townsville and Mt Isa
Antonio Winterstein

Since completing a proud and accomplished career in the NRL spanning 10 years, Antonio has now been applying his passion for the well-being, career, and personal development of young people in various roles within the youth sector, specifically within a youth justice context.

Antonio brings to the Academy his strong background in the delivery of services and programs that aim to reduce the rates of youth offending.

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May
Auckland, New Zealand
Townsville and Mt Isa
Regional Manager Townsville and Mt Isa

Uleta Miller

Lead Program Facilitator
Uleta Miller

My name is Uleta Miller; I am from the Yarrabah Community located 40kms South East of Cairns. I’ve been with the JT Academy since the end of 2022, I have recently rejoined the Cairns team.

When I’m not working I love to play rugby league, hanging with family and friends and fishing.

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June
Yarrabah
Cairns
Lead Program Facilitator
Lower Coastal Yidinji & Gunggandji
Gabrielle Little

Gabrielle Little

Lead Program Facilitator
Gabrielle Little

My Name is Gabriel I am very passionate in empowering our youth & mob to build their identity to become leaders in their own communities. I really enjoy working in the community in building relationships with services within our community to achieve young people’s goals and also families.

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December
New Zealand
Townsville
Lead Program Facilitator
Wakka/Gurang

Natalia Unsworth

Lead Program Facilitator
Natalia Unsworth

Hi! I’m Tali, I’ve been working in the community services sector for just over two years. I have a passion for programs and working with at-risk young people, helping them to achieve goals for a better future.

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November
Lewisham, England
Mount Isa
Lead Program Facilitator
Chloe Lhotka

Chloe Lhotka

Program Development & Facilitation
Chloe Lhotka

I’m Chloe Lhotka, Program Development and Facilitator at the Johnathan Thurston Academy. Based in Gubbi Gubbi country, with a background in Criminology and Justice studies, and a Master’s in Social Work.

Specialized in youth case management, but found my passion in developing programs in Butchulla country. Experienced in residential youth work, youth justice, social innovation, and community development. I believe in empowering young people to shape their own narratives, particularly focusing on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

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January
Coolum QLD
Hervey Bay
Program Development & Facilitation
Alana Taylor

Alana Taylor

Operations Coordinator
Alana Taylor

Alana Taylor, based on the Gold Coast, Yugambeh Country has worked in Events, Marketing and Sponsorship. Alana is an all-rounder and brings her organisational skills to the team and has supported many of our programs on the ground.

Alana is passionate about our culture and learning more about the land we live on and prides herself on the JT Academy values: Confidence, Courage and Self-Belief!

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May
Gold Coast
Gold Coast
Operations Coordinator
Samual May

Samual May

JT Program Support Officer
Samual May

Sam is committed to supporting young people by helping them identify themselves, their passions and goals and providing them with the tools to reach them.

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September
Darwin NT
Cairns
JT Program Support Officer
Waanyi

Saquoia Hartman

JT Program Support Officer
Saquoia Hartman

Saquoia is a proud Kuku Djugan woman who grew up in Mount Isa, she is a support officer for the JT You got this program. She is passionate about supporting young people in achieving their goals and empowering them to see themselves in a better light.

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July
Mareeba
Cairns
JT Program Support Officer
Kuku Djugan
Carissa Miller

Carissa Miller

JT Program Support Officer
Carissa Miller

I’m a proud indigenous south sea islander woman who’s all about family. Helping children reach their goals is my passion!

When I’m not cooking up a storm, you’ll find me fishing, crabbing, swimming and cheering for my favorite rugby league team.

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January
New Zealand
Townsville
JT Program Support Officer
Indigenous South Sea Islander

Trudi Nant

JT Program Support Officer
Trudi Nant

I’m Trudi, I was born and raised in New Zealand. I made the decision to move to Australia and have been here now for 28 years. Im also a proud mother of 4 boys.

My passion as always been to be able to help and support others reach their goals, live there best life, and to be the best they could possibly be, and achieve the most out of life. Away from work, I love cooking, catering, being  outdoors, from fitness  to  camping, fishing bush and beach walks. Also Supporting my boys in their sports and school activities and being a mum.

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New Zealand Maupoko Tribe.
Townsville
JT Program Support Officer

Madelene Rogers-Vanden Bos

JT Program Support Officer
Madelene Rogers-Vanden Bos

Born and bred in Gordonvale a small country town 20km south of Cairns. Spent most of my childhood fishing, riding my bike through cane fields, playing with kids in the neighbourhood and watching my brothers football team on Saturdays.

I am a proud Papua New Guinea woman with Dutch and Australian roots, I come from a huge family and put my family above all.

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April
Gordonvale
Mount Isa
JT Program Support Officer
Summer Knight

Summer Knight

JT Program Support Officer
Summer Knight

Introducing Summer Knight the new Support Officer for Hervey Bay.

Summer is local to the region, works in residential care and has a passion to support our nation’s youth.

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Hervey Bay
JT Program Support Officer

Melissa Roberts

Administration & Programs Support
Melissa Roberts

My family are representatives of the Nyangbal and Widjabul Wirabul people of the Bundjalung Nation. With family connections to Kamiliaroi country. I have experience working in all levels of Government and extensive experience working in the Legal sector supporting mob within the justice system and corrections. I love to share my superpower of supporting and comforting others. I love connecting to all living things around me to feel and heal together.

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May
Lismore NSW
Gold Coast
Administration & Programs Support
Bundjalung, Widjabul Wirabul Clan
Seranna Shutt

Seranna Shutt

Administration Assistant
Seranna Shutt

Seranna is our Community Liaison Officer, based in the Cairns office and enjoys facilitating online JTLeadLikeAGirl programs.

I have previously worked in Community Corrections and Leadership positions in Local Government. I enjoy engaging with young people, to raise their self-belief, through taking vulnerable actions outside of their comfort zone and improving their confidence and courage.

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April
Brisbane, QLD
Cairns
Administration Assistant
Turrbal (Brisbane)

We’re Hiring Great People

We are always looking for great people. Contact with our team to know more about the job opportunity.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

Johnathan Thurston Academy pays the deepest respect to the Traditional Custodians of Country across Australia. We acknowledge and thank our Elders who demonstrated over 60,000 years of sustainable Indigenous business and ask them to guide us back on track to a more prosperous and purposeful future.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website may contain images or names of people who have passed away.