Meli celebrates first birthday

May 15, 2024 BY

Lachlan Headlam, Enam Miazi and Adam Buttigieg. Photos: SUPPLIED

COMMUNITY service organisation Meli last month celebrated one year since it was formed through the merger of Barwon Child, Youth & Family and the Bethany Group.

The organisation and its staff marked the milestone anniversary on April 16 with a gathering at Eastern Gardens, enjoying cupcakes and a rendition of “Happy Birthday”.

Josie Gundry, Molly Baillon and Michele Dimech.


Chief executive Grant Boyd acknowledged the efforts of the not-for-profit organisation’s workforce.

“I would like to thank our staff of nearly 800 who have played such an important part in creating a new organisation that provides even better support to our clients and communities,” he said.

Back row: Sarah Herd, Kylie Oliver, Fi Cutter, Chris De Hoog, Lucy Ryan, Christina Francis and Stephanie Venosta. Front row: Shannon Bryan, Cayley Cowlishaw and Tania Malesza.


“It has been a year with many highlights including the opening of the Poa Banyul Community Hub at Mount Duneed and successful annual fundraisers such as the Giving Tree and Foster a Future appeals.”

Kira Olney, Jonah Pisevski, Tabitha Nelson and Jill Meade.


At the time of the merger, Mr Boyd said the name Meli was inspired by the word ‘meliorism’, which means the belief that the world can be made better through human effort.

Leanne Thom-Leeson and Meli chief executive Grant Boyd.


The organisation provides several vital support services to the local community, including emergency relief, housing and homelessness support, gambler’s help, foster and kinship care, family violence intervention and financial counselling, along with several other supports.

***Main image*** Meli chief executive Grant Boyd and members of the executive team: (L-R) Richard Nearn, Anneliese Knell, Bernadette McCartney and Chris Hayes. Photos: SUPPLIED


In only a year, it has answered thousands of calls and requests for help from the community.

“Importantly, Meli responded to more than 30,000 inquiries from people seeking our help and 2,420 children were welcomed into our network for 30 kindergartens,” Mr Boyd said.

Si Lloyd, Grace Jones and Josephine Swain.


“We also continue to deliver vital community support services while securing funding for several new or improved programs.

Stacey Cadwallander, Emily Messina and Louise Brown.


“We feel proud of what has been achieved already and optimistic about what the future holds as we strive toward our vision of ‘a fair, safe and inclusive community where everyone can thrive’.”

For more information, head to meli.org.au 

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