About AYC

Our Vision

A harmonious community where all young people belong and have the opportunity to fulfil their dreams.

Our Values

  • Respect
  • Empowerment
  • Integrity
  • Equality
  • Passion
  • Accountability

Our Purpose

Based in the Cumberland LGA, AYC aims to:

  • Bring young people of all cultures, faiths, genders and abilities together in a community of understanding and acceptance.
  • Empower young people through education, training, counselling, recreation and individualised support.
  • Support and challenge young people to make informed and healthy decisions.
  • Respond to the needs of the individual and community as identified by young people.

How We Work

AYC actively responds to the identified needs of young people through creating relevant and dynamic programs and by working with young people in an open and empowering manner.

Our programs and activities are:

  1. Developed in consultation with youth and other community members.
  2. Run to be culturally appropriate for all youth.
  3. Bound by confidentiality and privacy laws.
  4. Flexible and adaptive to the needs of individuals and communities.
  5. Overseen by qualified and culturally aware staff.

Our History

Auburn Youth Centre Inc. is an independent charitable organisation governed by a Board of Directors elected by AYC members. AYC relocated to Church Street Wyatt Park Lidcombe in 2014 from its previous home in Mary Street, Auburn. AYC receives subsided rent from Auburn Council for the use of the premises at Wyatt Park.

Established in 1986, AYC is a service that continues to bring young people of all cultural and linguistic backgrounds, religious backgrounds and ethnicities together to access the Centre’s facilities and programs. We provide individualised support, activities and programs for young people aged 12-24.

Through these programs, AYC aims to remove the barriers confronting young people. Particularly barriers associated with culture, language, education, economic disadvantage, established stereotypes and racism. We hope to create a harmonious community and pathways towards a positive and healthy future for young people.

AYC’s work is made possible with support from government, corporate Australia and local community partners. AYC also thanks all the people who volunteer their time and expertise to the Centre and to the youth of Auburn.

AYC’s major projects are funded by the Department of Family and Community Services. We also receive funding from the Attorney General’s Department. To maintain our projects we also rely on grants from Auburn Council and philanthropic organisations and fundraising activities.

For more information and photographs click here

AYC Board


Ann Knowles

Ann Knowles has been working in the refugee and asylum seeker sector for 8 years. She has a Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Social Development and a Diploma of Management. Ann holds extensive experience in program and staff management and is committed to working collaboratively with culturally and linguistically diverse communities. She brings to AYC her dedication to young people and passion for the Auburn community.


Amira Hashemi

Amira currently works in Rhodes as an innovation and sustainability coordinator for a national property developer. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Biology from UTS and a Masters of Sustainability from the University of Sydney. During her time at UTS, Amira attended the Humanitarian Affairs University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Manila, The Philippines, and participated in a month-long teaching program for primary school students in Thailand.  Amira’s capstone project during her Master’s was on shared value, trying together her interests of addressing social problems through a business lens. Amira has lived in Auburn since 2010 and loves Auburn for its diversity of people, food and culture.


Mannee Chew

Mannee Chew is an experienced and qualified Chartered Accountant with over 15 years working experience in multinational corporations in Australia and overseas. Mannee has worked in many different industries with responsibility for teams and large budgets. She brings her expertise, knowledge and skill in accounting and management to AYC as a treasurer.

Mannee lived and grew up in multicultural society. She fully understands the diversity of culture and she is passionate about the well being of the children of the future. Mannee joined the AYC board in 2016.

Board Member

Chris Naughton

Chris is a lawyer with over 30 years of commercial experience including having served as Chairman of Trustees of the NSW Responsible Gambling Fund, CEO of two listed anti-cancer research Companies, and Chairman of a US Biomedical company.
He has a Bachelor of Laws from UNSW, a Bachelor of Economics from ANU, and completed the PMD at the Harvard Business School.

Board Member

Andrew Stone

Andrew Stone has a background in HIV and sexual health, holding a Bachelor of Liberal studies(Psychology) and Master of Health Science (Sexual Health) from the University of Sydney. Andrew became involved with AYC when working in youth sexual health in western Sydney. Andrew was inspired by  the work AYC did  with disadvantaged young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and after he moved on from his job joined AYC’s board to stay involved with its work.

Board Member

Cyrus Pestonji

Cyrus has been working in the corporate IT sector for over 25 years in various business management and sales roles. A year ago he started his own consultancy company, focusing on helping organisations to improve their sales and customer experience outcomes. He holds an MBA from Macquarie University and a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering. Cyrus brings to AYC a passion for helping the youth community to integrate and grow in every way possible to achieve their dreams. His experience in Australia has been enhanced through his own migration here, 35 years ago and then through guiding and supporting his two sons and their kids.

Board Member

Lasya Rao

Board Member

Marc Hassan

Marc Hassan has over 20 years commercial experience in industries including Finance, Hospitality, ICT, Manufacturing and logistics in both Australia and the UK. He has served as a Company Secretary and Finance Director in a multinational Company and also has experience in start-ups and running his own company.
Marc is experienced in providing CFO advisory services and consultation, guiding new business development and leading audit, forecast and risk management functions.
In addition to being a CPA, he holds an honours degree in English Literature and has industry qualifications in programming and database administration.
Marc is passionate about mental health and youth issues.

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