The people who work at Life Education Queensland are dedicated to ensure generations of healthy young Queenslanders can live to their full potential.
Our teams work together to bring our mission to life through empowering children and young people to make safer and healthier choices through education.
Read more about each of our senior leadership team members at Life Education Queensland below.
After starting his career in banking and international business, it was Michael’s experience of being a child sponsor with World Vision that led him to begin working for World Vision in the late 1980s.
Since then, Michael’s career in non-profits has spanned thirty years, which has included managing the 40 Hour Famine for World Vision in NSW, where he developed their global youth leadership conventions which have inspired many thousands of young Australians to make a difference to global poverty. He left NSW to live in the sunshine state in 1997 to take on the role of Queensland State Manager for World Vision and subsequently became National Operations Manager.
In 2006, Michael was nominated as one of four finalists for the 2006 Queensland Australian of the Year Awards in recognition of his contribution to the alleviation of global poverty. Following that, Michael joined Life Education Queensland as CEO, where he has worked for the past 12 years. Over that time, Life Education Queensland has grown from a team of 12 to more than 50 staff, and the organisation now supports more than 200,000 children each year to live a safe and healthy life.
Sharon joined Life Education Queensland in 2018 following five years as National Education Manager for child protection organisation Bravehearts, where she oversaw significant growth in their education services across Australia.
Prior to that, Sharon collaborated with many not-for-profit, community and government organisations over ten years while working in Rugby League, as Community Programs Manager with the Gold Coast Titans and South East Queensland Development Manager with Australian Rugby League Development.
Sharon holds a Bachelor of Education, a Diploma of Community Service Coordination and teacher registration with the Queensland College of Teachers. She has a genuine love of learning and a passion for early intervention and prevention education. She is committed to a strengths-based approach, engaging and working in partnership with students, schools, families and communities.
Sharon believes passionately in championing children as changemakers and is excited to be leading a team of highly skilled educators, dedicated to empowering children to make safer, healthier choices and ultimately to live happy fulfilling lives.
Helen joined the Life Education Queensland team in November 2020 and started her career in education in 1994. She brings a wealth of experience following almost five years as the Education Manager at a Victorian TAFE which involved the management of a team of teachers to deliver programs in community services, justice, disability and early childhood.
Previous to this role she worked for four years as a Strategic Project Manager at Melbourne City Mission (MCM) , a not for profit organisation supporting the Homeless & Justice Sector.
Some key achievements from her previous role at TAFE includes a quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic to allow a quick transition to online learning for teachers and students. In her role at MCM, she led a successful tender submission to build an 18-room facility representing an Australian first, combining crisis accommodation and support services 24 hours a day for people under the age of 25 who had nowhere else to go.
Helen believes that a healthy body, healthy mind contributes to a life full of possibilities. As an active runner, having run five marathons – for Helen there is nothing better than running the streets to clear the mind. Early intervention is the key to setting children up for life and knowledge is power which she believes is what Life Education Queensland imparts to children to enable them to make their own choices.
Deanne Lugton brings over 20 years of generalist human resources experience to Life Education Queensland, with career highlights working for prominent brands such as hotel chain Marriott International; manufacturing groups HPM Industries and Riviera, together with telecommunications industry experience.
With a degree in Human Resources gained from Griffith University, and strong practical skills in recruitment and selection, performance management, employee relations, workers compensation, workplace health and safety, as well as having strong organisational restructure experience, Deanne is well placed to head up with HR and Operations team.
Deanne is part of the Life Education alumni and is proud to be able to work and support the great work the organisation continues to deliver to Queensland children.
Zoe Shearer is a passionate strategic marketer who thrives when utilising her skills in environments where she can make a positive social impact and change within communities. Her previous role with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service saw her develop and implement local, state, and national campaigns and she spearheaded ‘National Blood Donor Week’ from their Melbourne head office.
When she was Group Marketing Manager for HTG Solutions, Zoe was responsible for all marketing and communications for businesses including Telstra Retail Stores, Telstra Business Centre’s and Techwell.
She led a successful marketing team for many years and under her guidance, the team’s knowledge and expertise delivered numerous impactful marketing campaigns, most notably the Pinky Promise Cancer Council Queensland Campaign and the Pawfect Gift with Animal Welfare League Queensland.
Zoe has been recognised throughout her career including, awarded with Telstra Going Beyond for Community Engagement, Director’s Manager of the Quarter, Outstanding Commitment, Directors Choice Diamond Annual Award 2018.
Melbourne-born Emma Wills started her career in business banking with NAB and spent two years in the UK working with British Airports Authority at London’s Gatwick Airport.
She found her true passion when she made the move into not-for-profit fundraising.
After moving to Queensland to work on the Gold Coast University Hospital capital campaign at Gold Coast Hospital Foundation, Emma is now proud to call the Gold Coast home.
During her 14 years in the NFP sector, Emma’s roles have included fundraising manager, bequest manager and development manager and she has worked on national fundraising campaigns with charities such as Guide Dogs Queensland and Cancer Council Queensland.
She has also been a committee member of the Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) Include a Charity campaign and a keynote speaker at the FIA annual conference.
With her dynamic approach to fundraising, community and donor relationships, Emma loves working for the greater good – whether it’s funding cancer research, new hospitals or aeromedical emergency choppers – and now, leading fundraising strategy for Life Education’s vital health and safety education program for Queensland children.
Recently joining Life Education as Business Services Manager, Chris has over 30 years’ experience as a manager of finance and business services within a broad spectrum of private and public companies.
South African born, Chris is a qualified chartered accountant and has gained his financial experience whilst working for Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, Sentrachem International and other multinationals in South Africa, UK and Australia. Chris oversees the finance, information technology and funder reporting functions of Life Education Queensland.
Sarah had a long career in telecommunications starting at Vodafone and working her way up through the company to a National Relationship Management role looking after major accounts for over a decade before a move from NSW to the sunny Gold Coast led her to transition to a new career in the not for profit sector.
Sarah spent a couple of years as a State Manager for another telecommunications company on arrival in Queensland and was part of the team that launched Woolworths mobile in Australia before transitioning to the not for profit sector.
Working with the Bible Society, Sarah oversaw all of the strategic partnerships for Queensland, including large partnerships with both community groups and Christian schools. It was these partnerships that enabled her to start a Youth Advocacy and Empowerment Forum across the state with representatives from a wide array of different schools.
It was during this time that Sarah’s passion for empowering youth was reignited. Having spent many years as a Junior Rugby League coach and President in NSW, Sarah has seen the importance of teaching and empowering children at an early age to make informed choices around their health, and the way that those choices shape a young person’s future.
Sarah was delighted at the opportunity to be part of the Life Education Queensland team, having been an alumni herself and not forgetting the impact Life Education and Healthy Harold had on her as a young person. She is committed to be part of a team that champions the delivery of programs that help to empower and positively impact Queensland children.
Tracey is a journalist, presenter and media adviser with 30 years’ experience. After starting out as a newspaper journalist, she joined the Seven Network and spent 15 years with the network as a senior reporter and newsreader.
As a journalist, Tracey travelled Australia covering breaking news, and stories on health, education, politics, tourism and rural issues. As a presenter, she covered some of the biggest stories of the day and hosted election specials and other network programs.
Throughout her career, Tracey has enjoyed being an ambassador for Lifeline and various children’s charities.
Since leaving television, Tracey has worked with a variety of corporates and not-for-profits to manage successful media campaigns, helping organisations raise brand awareness and achieve prominent impactful media coverage both nationally and throughout Queensland.
As Life Education Queensland’s media manager and the host of Life Education’s parent podcast series, Tracey is delighted to be part of a passionate team whose mission is to educate and empower children to make safer and healthier choices and live to their full potential.