Board of Directors

Our Board

Aunty Bess Yarram

Aunty Bess was appointed as an inaugural member of the YWAHS Board of Directors in 2018 and holds the position of Public Officer. She has been instrumental in supporting the establishment of the organisation, through her advocacy, networks and passion to ensure the organisation is set up culturally safe and respectful.

Aunty Bess Yarram has dedicated more than 40 years to working within the Gippsland Aboriginal community in the fields of health, justice, and community development and now in her 80s is still committed to support community to be safe and live free from violence.

Aunty Bessie Yarram is a Noongar Elder who has lived in Victoria for more than 60 years and continues to grow her legacy by contributing to Aboriginal Communities, on a local, state and national level. She was raised on a mission in Western Australia and trained and started her career as a Nurse. She married Noel Yarram who served in the Army for over 28 years raised a family of six children and in the 1970s moved to Sale and quickly became involved in the local Aboriginal community. 

Aunty Bessie Yarram- Public Officer
Brendan Witt - Chairperson

Brendan Witt

Brendan Witt was appointed to the inaugural YWAHS board in 2018 and became a director in 2019, he holds the position of Chairperson. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Social Science, a Diploma of Business Management and a Diploma of Leadership and Management.

Brendan’s role as chairperson has showcased his leadership skills and the respect he’s earned from many in community. This has been an integral part of the organisation becoming the strong independent entity it is today.

Josef Sestokas

Josef Sestokas was appointed to the inaugural YWAHS board in 2018 and became a director in 2019, he holds the position of Treasurer. Josef’s qualifications include Associate Diploma in General Administration, Fellow – Gippsland Community Leadership Program, Diploma of Project Management BSB51407, MATE Train the Trainer and Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men who use violence – SNAICC Program.

Since retiring from the police force in 2019 Josef was keen to give back to the Gippsland community in a positive way, which led him to apply for a position of the YWAHS board. He has taken an active role as treasurer and continues to make important contributions to the strategic governance of YWAHS.

Josef Sestokas - Treasurer
Suzie Squires - Vice Chair

Suzie Squires

Suzie Squires was appointed to the inaugural YWAHS board in 2018 and became a director in 2019, she holds the position of Vice-Chairperson.

Suzie is a Yuin Woman who was born and raised on Gunikurnai country. With a passion for health and wellbeing for her community, Suzie began working for Lake Tyres Children’s Services 10 years ago and was appointed CEO three years ago, a position she currently holds.

Suzie’s qualifications include an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Certificate and a Certificate IV in Human Recourses.

With a strong governance background, Suzie has recently been appointed Chairperson of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Inc (VACCHO), she is a board member of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and is the Chairperson of the Gippsland Aboriginal Alliance.


Joanne Brunt

Joanne Brunt is a proud and strong Gunai woman,

Joanne is a proud Gunai woman and has been employed in local government as the Employment Development Co-ordinator for the past 22 years.

Joanne manages a highly successful and national award winning program that brokers and facilitates pre-employment, mentoring and cross cultural training to Koorie community in the Gippsland region.

The program fosters positive relationships and partnerships throughout the Gippsland region whilst most importantly building capacity of the community.

Joanne has previously been seconded as Acting CEO for Gunai Kurnai Land and Waters Corporation and was a previous board member, and is currently on the Board at TAFE Gippsland.

Joanne brings her extensive community leadership and Indigenous education and employment experience to the Board of Directors.


Delivering Family Violence Services in East Gippsland and Wellington

Lakes Entrance

11 Heatherlea Grove
PO Box 590Lakes Entrance Victoria 3909
Phone: (03) 4110 2100


16b Wade Court
Sale Victoria 3850


107 Hazeldene Crescent
Nicholson Victoria 3882


14 Giles St
Bairnsdale Victoria 3875