Chief Executive Officer since January 2019
For Arthur Papakotsias, approachable and authentic leadership is the cornerstone of his management ethos.
As the chief executive officer of Western Australia’s leading youth mental health agency, Youth Focus, Mr Papakotsias is committed to improving health and wellbeing outcomes for young people.
Since joining Youth Focus in January 2019, he has embarked on significant reform to diversify the organisation’s programs, expand its reach and provide comprehensive wrap-around services for young people across the state.
Originally trained as a psychiatric nurse, Mr Papakotsias has significant experience in leadership roles, particularly across the mental health sector, and has actively advocated for improved mental health policies and programs for much of his career.
In his previous role as chief executive officer at Neami National, Mr Papakotsias steered the organisation through significant growth, increasing the business from two staff – himself and a part-time administration role – to a workforce of more than 1000 supporting 9000 people across five states.
He worked at Neami for 27 years providing community-based mental health services, helping people to improve wellbeing and live independently. Neami is now one of Australia’s largest and most successful specialist mental health non-government organisations.
From 2011 to 2019, Mr Papakotsias served as a director and chair of Housing Choices Australia, a national provider of affordable housing.
In addition, he was a director of Mental Health Australia from 2011 to 2018 and the chair of its Finance, Audit and Risk Committee between 2014 and 2018.
Mr Papakotsias holds a Graduate Diploma of Business (Health Services Management) from RMIT University, has attended three residential leadership programs at Harvard Business School and was awarded The Mental Health Services Learning Network (TheMHS) Award for Exceptional Contribution to Mental Health Service in 2018.
He has also served on numerous other Boards including On the Line, VICSERV (now called Mental Health Victoria) and Mental Health Coordinating Council.
Chief Financial Officer since May 2016
Raj’s experience exceeds 20 years of specialising in finance and business management. A CPI qualified accountant, he is an individual with global experience.
Raj has lived and worked in three countries – Australia, Kenya and the United Kingdom as well as studying in the United States. Raj holds a Bachelor of Administration (option in Finance) from California State University, Hayward.
Raj’s career spans the education, private and not-for-profit sector sectors and his roles have included leading corporate and finance teams, and covering taxation, treasury, company mergers and takeovers, negotiating significant contracts with commercial ventures, universities and governments.
In his current role at Youth Focus, Raj manages all administrative functions including human resources, finance, IT&T, facilities management and risk management.
Raj is also a Board member of the Centre for Stories, an independent, inclusive arts and cultural organisation that uses storytelling to inspire social cohesion and understanding.
Chief Operating Officer since October 2017
Emma is the Chief Operating Officer at Youth Focus. She has a demonstrated history within healthcare services and is professionally skilled in operations management, change management, coaching, strategic planning, organisational development and quality management.
Prior to her role at Youth Focus, Emma held senior leadership roles across a range of healthcare sectors including aged care and hospital care.
Emma has a wealth of clinical governance knowledge and a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from The University of Notre Dame.
Emma is a highly respected, influential and committed leader who leads by example. She is passionate about building efficiency through effective change management with the focus always remaining on providing high-quality care to clients.
Senior Manager of Services, Development and Innovation since July 2012
Chris is the Senior Manager of Services, Development and Innovation at Youth Focus. Chris is a Psychologist who has previously held youth mental health clinical leadership roles in the government and not-for-profit sector over a 20 year period (including as a founder member of the Perth Children’s Hospital Eating Disorder Team).
In 2016, Chris was the inaugural Mental Health Advisor to HRH The Prince of Wales, Prince’s Trust in the United Kingdom. Chris has co-authored peer review publications and presented work nationally and internationally. Chris is committed to achieving a ‘parity of esteem’ where mental health is afforded the same importance as physical health.
General Manager Brand, Events & Partnerships since August 2017
Lydia is an accomplished events and marketing professional with more than 20 years’ experience and a wealth of events management knowledge.
Lydia is currently the General Manager of Brand, Events and Partnerships at Youth Focus. In her role, she oversees a team of marketing and business development professionals and holds responsibility for the organisation’s significant portfolio of fundraising events and campaigns, corporate partnerships and strategic communications.
She has held senior leadership roles at Crown Perth, where she oversaw the development of a robust partnerships strategy to drive revenue growth, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, managing the implementation of an extensive annual corporate events and sponsorship program.
A dynamic and innovative leader with a proven track record in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, Lydia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications, with a double major in Marketing and Journalism, from Curtin University.
If you are in an emotional crisis and require urgent support, please contact:
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
If you are looking for more information and online support, please refer to the following online resources: