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Meet the Team

CEO, Community Smiles Ltd

Sarah Cuzner

Sarah Cuzner is the Founding Manager / CEO of Community Smiles Ltd (Originally incepting the NFP industry as Christmas Smiles)(CS) in 2016.

Sarah is a Human Resources and Executive Search professional who utilises her lived experience with severe trauma and PTSD, together with her business acumen and want for a kinder world to run CS. She has always had a deep empathy for those who are doing it tough and is focused on improving their well-being in a very practical way.

Sarah’s core focus areas within CS and community is invaluable networking, goods & services and provision of tools to assist people in their pathway to well-being and out of poverty.

This is complimented by provision of a “go to” for advice on where, who and why for donations and local assistance; so that kindness AND assistance is to be both valued and strategic together with assurance that operations are of a nature not currently available.

BA Dip Ed, Chair

Kerry Thomas

Having been the CEO of Gateway Family Services for 24 years, Kerry is now in semi-retirement while undertaking contract work in the community services field.
Kerry has extensive knowledge of the community services sector and the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
Kerry has not only worked on a broad range of projects across the region but has been involved in high level planning for the design and delivery of community services to children, young people, families and communities.

Kerry has represented family services in the region on many panels and committees and has been a long standing member of NSW Family Services Assoc.

Kerry is passionate about Strengths Based approaches to working with families and has developed and fostered a strengths approach in all aspects of service delivery at Gateway. Kerry also has extensive experience in the delivery of learning and development opportunities and regularly supervised social work and welfare students from TAFE and University.

Kerry is currently also President of the board of Lead professional Development Association and a member of the Rotary Club of Lower Blue Mountains and the Management Committee of the Rotary Recycles Op-shop.

Board Member

Candace Burke

Candace comes with strong not-for-profit acumen and extensive experience in dealing with domestic violence, disabilities, child services and government with ten years additional experience in Human Resources, bringing to her learnt experience in people of all kinds in all situations.

Candace is passionate about improving the lives of people effected by homelessness, domestic and family violence and children's services and disability.

She believes that empowerment will lead to people growing and will assist those in need to find happiness, success and fulfil their dreams.

Candace believes everyone at some point in their life will need help but may not ask for it.

She has two children and believes parenting is the hardest but most fulfilling job in this generation and that education on the trending needs of others will change the world.

Board Member

Theresa McKay

Theresa has been an active member of the Blue Mountains community groups and social sports arena for nearly 20 years.

With plentiful experience in the NFP Sector and in Senior Executive board level treasurer roles Theresa brings a huge network, impressive commercial acumen and fundraising experience to our Board.

Having a young family Theresa knows only too well the struggles of bullying and disadvantages with children. This is one of her many drivers and drove her to spearhead our inaugural and hugely successful Back2School Program in 2018.

A Falconbridge resident with incredible passion, Theresa facilitates many aspects of the CS Board and volunteers.

Board Member

Jessica Hansen

Jessica is passionate about providing easy to access services that benefit people in need through the simple combined efforts of our generous team of locals who enjoy giving back.

Coming from a business development role and having worked for companies in the construction industry, this is an enjoyable new challenge where she gets to show her big heart and use her skills of organisation and attention to detail for a good cause.

Jessica has been involved in Community Smiles initiatives like the Christmas drive, kids Santa day and the free kids market. She is enthusiastic about sustainability and the environment and loves seeing items get a second life.

Via Community Smiles she has assisted families starting from scratch with the sourcing and coordination of delivery and drop offs of furniture and household items assuring the families have EVERYTHING they need.

Board Member

Josephine Skrzypnik

Jo has been a resident of the Blue Mountains for most of her life and her family has been here for three generations. 

She inherited her community spirit from her beautiful mother who was an advocate for the community when Jo was a small child. Living for a time in rural NSW she helped many migrant families assimilate into the community in Regional areas.  She helped bring families together as many of the men came to the country first.  She understood what community meant and the importance of helping others in need. 

Jo has been with Community Smiles for six months as a hands-on volunteer and donor for much longer. Jo's core values are a great fit to  Community Smiles.  She has come to see that there are some wonderful people out there willing to do selfless acts in helping people in need and wants to be part of that. As board member and with plentiful large scale and red tape heavy management experience, Jo will also be our Volunteer Coordinator/Manager.

Jo has worked for Australia Post for almost forty years in management (currently at Penrith) and has had the opportunity to learn many roles within the organization. Australia Post understand the importance of community service and the obligations we all have for the community,

Jo is excited to use her vast experience to take Community Smiles, and the great thing we can achieve, into the future.