OUR CREW

FARMER DAVE GRAHAM - CO-FOUNDER & MANAGER

Farmer Dave is youngest of 11 kids and grew up on a beef cattle, cropping and sheep station that has grown to  almost 100,000 acres. Like many restless bushies who deal with the intensity of droughts and floods he's tried to pack as much into his 40 years as possible. 

He walked the catwalks and graced the billboards of Europe at 19, travelled to over 80 countries on a quest to understand the people and places of the planet, used reality TV to change people's views about gay Australians and raise awareness of the plight of drought stricken farmers, built a lamb business that changed the consumer producer relationships, built the worlds premier dog Disneyland and education facility, became an internationally recognised dog training expert and MC, introduced a plethora of dog sports to doglovers around the world and runs a host of education and entertainment platforms to build relationships between the city and country. 

 

Let's just say he has done a lot, seen a lot, shared a lot and is able to articulate complex issues to people who are often unaware of what is going on outside their lives.After working with the incredible team at BackTrack he has taken on their amazing philosophy of empowerment to young people in the city.

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COPPER BELINDA - YOUTH LIASON OFFICER

Police Constable Belinda Flynn is a ten year veteran of the NSW Police Force across Eastwood, Mt Druitt and Hawkesbury Area Commands. As the Youth Liaison from Hawkesbury saw a massive need in the local community for the innovative and changing work of Bernie Shakeshaft and the BackTrack program and moved hell and high water to implement this unique approach in the Hawkesbury to ensure the gap in services was filled.

 

As a passionate advocate for building trust between youth and the police she believes that the BackTrack approach delivers on breaking down barriers and reduces anti-social behaviour within the community while empowering young people to re-engage in a safe environment with authority figures and reduces their involvement in the criminal justice system. 

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TARA PALFFY - OFFICE ADMINISTRATION

Tara has recently joined Rufftrack as our Office Administrator, a Mum of two children and has lived and worked in the local Western Sydney area of Penrith all her life. She is currently volunteering with St John Ambulance as a First Responder whilst studying Paramedicine. Tara brings an extensive knowledge of 17 years in Retail Management, working alongside youths with disabilities, mentoring and guiding them to develop their core and life skills to be the best version of themselves in a retail environment, her passion was to continue to be able to help in doing this as a fulltime job. 
RuffTRACK stood out to me as I loved the way that Dave and the Team are giving the Young People of the Hawkesbury and Western Sydney area another chance to get back on the right track to better themselves for the future. RuffTRACK is truly my happy place and I quickly felt at ease working with the RuffTRACK family.

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PHILL PICKFORD- YOUTH WORKER

Phil was part of the foundation crew for RuffTRACK back in 2019, bringing a wealth of knowledge as a graduate from BackTrack Youth Works where he attended from 13-18 years of age, ensuring we were able to capture the transformational product created by Bernie Shakeshaft.

 

After a year away obtaining valuable skills in Arbory, Fencing, metal fabrication, Agriculture and Stockmanship  he has rejoined the Team as Assistant Programmes Manger and Youth Worker.

 

With an insight into the lived experience of our young people Phil is a bridge between our Teachers, Tradesman, Leaders and community members to our young people.

 

His dedication to the cause of 'transforming lives one paw at a time' is a testament to his character and the success of Bernie's Dream

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Janine Yeates - VOLUNTEER CHAIRMAN

Helping to fundraise and volunteer with different charity organisations over the years, Janine wanted to sink her teeth into a charity that was making a difference in her community, her love of animals led her to RuffTRACK. Having known Farmer Dave Graham throughout the animal industry for many years she was humbled to answer a call on Facebook and be able to donate some goods for the dogs on the farm. It was when she arrived at RuffTRACK Farm that she instantly knew this was more than just animals. This was a program making a real difference to the lives of young people in her community and she knew she wanted to be part of making the difference.

 

Janine joined the board as volunteer chairman and assists to guide, strategise, raise funds, and engage sponsorships to lay the foundations of the organisation for coming years. Ensuring that the young people in the program have the opportunities in life that they deserve but may not always feel worthy of or be able to achieve on their own.

 

“It’s a position that is very challenging, being reliant on donations, self-funding and self-generated income, but also very rewarding, you know you are making a difference to many lives each day.”

 

As a mum to two girls aged 15 and 4, Janine wants to help make a difference in the lives of youth who have fallen through the cracks of society, she does this daily in her business and personal life talking to many people about the work that RuffTRACK undertakes and how they too can help to make a difference in our Village.

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MICHAEL CAUCHI - VOLUNTEER BOARD & SUPPORT ADULT

Micheal is a successful property development specialist with close to decade of

diverse land development across Australia. Born into a large migrant family, with a

typical early start to work, he found employment outside the family owned kennels at age 14 and invested into his first property at 15.

 

Apart from property, Michael has very strong business acumen and had ventures into various other profitable hospitality small businesses over the past 25 years. A strong believer in the power of collaboration and winning as a team, Michael constantly helps his relatives and friends in achieving property development and wealth attainment goals together.

Michael enjoys a healthy active lifestyle, but also finds time to help the vulnerable

and disadvantaged, who through no fault of their own have not had the same

opportunities and start to life as he has.

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MISHIE - VOLUNTEER BOARD & SUPPORT ADULT

Support adult Mishie grew up on the central coast doing swimming with the entrance swimming club and nippers as well as surf life saving at Toowoon bay. Mishie has been involved in helping out disadvantaged youth for approximately 5 years and is eager to use her knowledge and help out at RuffTRACK. ​

Mishie has a passion for dogs after learning lots about them through her dog Moonshadow. Mishie has her cert 3 in community service and cert 2 in Animal Studies, as well as currently studying Vet Nursing and Dog Psychology at TAFE.

Mishie has lots of animal experience has she 2 dogs of her own, 1 puppy that she is raising for Guidedogs, 4 cats and a sulfur crested Cockatoo. 

With all her youth work and animal experience, Mishie is a perfect fit for our RuffTRACK family and we are eager to utilise the knowledge she provides. 

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ELAINA BOHMAN - VOLUNTEER SUPPORT ADULT

Elaina is studying animal science at Western Sydney University and has a strong background in volunteering with young people around the globe and shares our  ideals of the 'village raising the child'. 

Elaina brings so much to our program including animal preparation for showing which will allow her to lead our livestock teams at shows, an ability to assist the self study days in animal science for our young people's qualifications this year, an absolute love of dogs and a whole lot of belief in education being the keys to unlocking your future and our shared journey. 

Elaina is really excited us about what she can bring to our young people's lives. We can't thank her enough for helping with everything we do, not just all the stuff at RuffTRACK Farm... but our school incursions, our excisions to agriculture shows, circle work conversations and just being a non judgemental ear to hear what needs to be said.

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NICHOLAS YANG - VOLUNTEER BOARD & SUPPORT ADULT

Nicholas was an Engineer by profession, currently a qualified Registered migration agent and LREA. With years of experience in technology and project management, work with students and sales training. Nicholas has good skilled in problem solving, creative thinking and providing valued added / cost reduction for product design and processes. He is also proficient in few languages including Mandarin, Malay and Japanese.

 

Born in Malaysia, worked in Singapore and Japan provides Nicholas many experience dealing with multicultural, multi-religions communities. Currently live in Sydney, Nicholas will take on opportunity to understand and experience more country cultures of Australia.

 

Inspired by the BackTrack Philosophy and values, and touched by Bernie and Dave's passion for helping the lost youth. Nicholas is willing to bring in his experience and skills to help RuffTrack programs that transform youth lives.

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LINDSAY ROUND - CARPENTRY LEADER

Lindsay comes to us with an incredible 40 year career behind him that has been divided between the mental health industry and construction as he is working a contractor. Lindsay's skills provide the RuffTRACK family with an abundance of knowledge and opportunities and we are excited to see what the future holds. 

Lindsay has joined our RuffTRACK family after seeing first hand, at the Secret Garden in Richmond, the hard work and determination that our young people put into the program and how they give back to the community.

 

Lindsay works with our young people every Friday as he runs a carpentry and construction course in which the young people can develop skills within the construction industry and use these skills and knowledge to get a kick start on a potential career pathway. 

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TERRY GAINEY - VOLUNTEER MATHEMATICS TEACHER

Terry Gainey.

Born in Tamworth. School in Yass. Uni in Canberra.

Teacher for 38 years. Gunning, Fairfield West, Dunheved and Castle Hill. Retired in 2017. Married to Susan for 32 years. No kids of our own.

Two cats (photo with Fred). Love swimming, photography and collecting seventies music.

Terry works with our young people every Monday, mainly teaching mathematics in outdoor settings. He relates mathematics in every aspect that the young people is working on, making it fun and easy to understand and remember.

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JENNY BELLAMY - VOLUNTEER SUPPORT ADULT

My name is Jenny Bellamy, I am the Granny of the group and most commonly know as Auntie Jenny!

I’m the person that cleans up, mops up, picks up, cooks up a storm and is here for a hug whenever needed. My perfect morning is a cup of tea next to my fire pit whilst listening to the birds waking up. You will often find me sewing pyjamas for my ten grandchildren or embroidering new shirts for Farmer Dave. I love helping out where I can and having a glass of wine with friends. 

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