Change Agents - The Sharpe Centre For Social Impact
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Change Agents

The Sharpe Centre is developing social impact strategy and we are building our advisory team from diverse backgrounds of sports, cultural, business and volunteer groups across the Central Coast.

Alan Wort

Convenor – Sharpe Centre Advisory Council

Alan grew up in the Western Suburbs of Sydney and studied teaching at what now is The University of Wollongong. He started his teaching career in Granville  South and moved to Emerton in Mt Druitt and then on to Cambridge Park near Penrith. His first promotion was to a small country town near Griffith called Coleambally and from there he moved on to Tucabia near Grafton as his first Principal role. He later was promoted to Lisarow Public School and after eight years there was promoted to Gosford Public School.


He spent 25 years altogether as a Principal and brings leadership skills to the Sharpe Centre as well as a lifelong interest in influencing social aspects of lives particularly the lives of children. He was a member of the State Primary Principals association for 25 years and held a variety of positions as delegate for his peers at the State Council as well as a variety executive positions locally. On his retirement he was awarded the Professional Award by his colleagues in recognition of his career in school leadership.


He was also Chairman of The Glenfield Leadership Conference for 4 years. This conference was open to all Primary Executive and was seen as a major influencer of policy within the department of Education.


Alan has been an active community member for most of his life being a member of Apex and Rotary for more than 30 years. He has been President of both at various times and been involved in the board of each club he has been a member of. Currently he is President of Gosford North Rotary Club.


Alan brings leadership skills and a long held desire to improve our area and the lives of its residents to the Centre.

Iain French

Software Entrepreneur

Iain French is an experienced Company Director, business partner and entrepreneur in a variety of fields, including information technology, real estate software and patented technology used in the hospitality and leisure industries.


Iain is a proven leader with business planning and strategy, profitably growing new brands and services in Australia and around the World. Iain has managed start-up companies and new product development from initial concept and financing to national and international roll-out. A respected business development advisor at all stages of business growth, Iain specialises in technology, marketing, branding and identity.

Gaye Crispin

Social Innovater

GAYE CRISPIN is a social innovator, business strategist, advocate, activist, changemaker, blogger, and an early adopter of social media who writes about social good and social well-being, entrepreneurship, the green economy, gender equity, women in business, good business design, bully-free strategies, bully-free boards, and Say ‘NO’ to FGM. In addition to blogging, Gaye runs business development and business networking groups, retail trader support groups, business meetups, website marketing business, and facilitates a range of market and social research projects to uncover opportunities for positive change.


Gaye’s recent projects include design and development of a website to benefit the community and the community support services sector. And also the design, development and management of an innovative nippers program to benefit Surf Clubs. In another of her recent projects, The Über Hub at Wamberal, Gaye has partnered with Michael Sharpe and The Sharpe Centre for Social Impact to create an innovative and energising co-working space for Social Entrepreneurs on The Central Coast to mix, mingle and make the magic happen.


Besides her life-long love affair with Snoopy, she loves helping grow the social enterprise sector, raising awareness of the benefits of social enterprise, and helping social enterprises find markets for their products and services.

Ray Southeren OAM


After leaving school Ray started his career in retailing with Woolworths. Leaving after 20 years he then started his own confectionary wholesale business on the Central Coast. After owning and running several successful retail stores and furniture manufacturing enterprises he retired 10 years ago.


Ray has been involved in service clubs all his adult life, starting with Apex when he was 19 years old. He has always had a strong social conscience and passion for his community. Ray has also been involved in many social improvement projects overseas. Spending over 20 years helping to organise teams to build aid posts on the Kokoda track. Other projects have been in Africa, Nepal and Mongolia. Ray has been a member of the Rotary Club of Gosford North for 28 years and is also involved in many other community organizations around the Central Coast. In 2013 Ray was recognised for his commitment to our region with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to the City of Gosford.

Cindy-Lu Fitzpatrick OAM

Deafness Forum Ambassador

Profoundly deaf since birth, Cindy-Lu Fitzpatrick became one of Australia most remarkable swimmers to represent her country at two Commonwealth games, two Pan Pacific games and competed at 6 Deaflympics games spanning 20 years. Unable to hear the starter’s gun Cindy had to rely on vibrations or watch the reflexes of the swimmer next to her to prompt her to start. Often having the slowest reaction time off the blocks due to her deafness meant that Cindy had to work her way from the back of the field to the front. Despite this she was ranked in the top 16 on the 1982 Speedo World Rankings list.


In 2002 she was the only women to be inducted in the NSW Hall of Champions alongside the likes of Mark Taylor (cricket), Mark Edmondson (tennis) and Paul Harragon (rugby league). Held with such esteem by the deaf sporting world she was bestowed the honour of lighting the cauldron at the 2005 Deaflympic games in Melbourne becoming the only woman to be given such an opportunity in Deaflympic history.


Now working at the University of Newcastle as an Auslan teacher, Cindy-Lu also works as a Technical Director of swimming for the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) which is the governing body of the Deaflympics.

Peter Hurley

Civil Celebrant / Apex

Peter has always had a strong social conscience and passion for community in which he lives. He has been volunteering in his local area for over 30 years and has worked with many charities raising much need funds for people in need across the coast.


He is a past District Governor of Apex who has been presented with Life Membership of The Apex Club of Wyong. He was also presented with Life Membership of The Apex Foundation for his work with The Magic Castle, a chalet for underprivileged children at Smiggin Holes.

Yvonne Crestani

Yvonne has had many unique opportunities and a long and varied career.  As a Matron Manager of a progressive aged care facility in Sydney, she was awarded the Australasian National Nursing Scholarship and travelled to the USA, Scandinavia, UK and Europe reporting on global trends for the Royal Australian Nursing Federation. She has served as member of the Board of NSW Council for the Aging. From 1975 – 1993, she worked as a medical representative for Ciba Geigy and upon retirement, relocated to the Central Coast with her husband Chris.  Once on the Central Coast, Yvonne launched a new business, Party World, balloon decorating for birthday parties, weddings, product launches, and all types of corporate events. She successfully owned and operated Party World until its sale in 2004.  Yvonne has served as President of the Friendship Force of the Central Coast, an international travel club inaugurated by Jimmy Carter during his presidency “to make friends across barriers that separate people” by hosting international visitors from various cultures.  It was during her Presidency that the club was awarded International club of the year for innovations and club progress.


In 2006, Yvonne’s husband Chris who had been chief  radiotherapist at St Vincent’s Hospital, sadly developed cancer himself and passed away after 41 years of treating patients with the same disease.  Yvonne wishing to take a positive step towards her future, returned to work as a Registered Nurse at Baptist Care, Orana, at Point Clare, where she continued working two days a week until retiring this year.


In 2007 in Chris’ name, Yvonne founded the Crestani Foundation for Research Education in Radiotherapy which supports the development of new graduates, first at Royal North Shore Hospital and in 2013, in conjunction with the opening of the Central Coast Cancer Centre, transferring to Gosford Hospital.  In 2013 Yvonne also established her second organisation, Scholarships in Radiotherapy, which bestows funds as a scholarship to senior Radiotherapists for highly specialised training thus producing greater success rates for Cancer Patients on the Central coast


Over the past nine years, Yvonne and her volunteers have raised more $100,000 through various events including the largest and most successful, the Annual Garden Party, which averages 200 local guests. Yvonne continues her fund raising work and also speaks to numerous community organisations to raise awareness about the need for continual and improved medical education.

Helen Mortimer

Helen has lived on the coast for most of her life. After completing High School she obtained a Diploma of Art and later a Batchelor of Arts Visual Arts. Helen and her Husband, Peter, own and operate the Bay Café at Toowoon Bay which has a reputation for great seafood as well as Outback food including kangaroo fillet, barramundi emu fillet, crocodile and char grilled scampi.


In February last year Helen joined The Art Studios Cooperative North Gosford as a foundation member. It is a not for profit organisation that includes artist studios, a workshop area and a gallery. Helen believes that it is important to be a part of the local community. “We have raised money to support homeless youth and held exhibitions to celebrate cultural diversity within the community. Our aim is to create a cultural centre in Gosford that the community can engage with and be a part of.”

Tony Jones

Tony Jones is a Newcastle born retail consultant who, over the past 30 years, has helped many top brands such as Priceline, Coles Myer, and Spotlight, grow their profits. Tony is a passionate promoter of the Newcastle and Central Coast region; Swansea in particular. In 1986 he left Swansea High to pursue a retail career with Franklins at Belmont.


Now, almost 30 years later, Tony is a highly sought after retail trainer, as well as advisor to The Central Coast Retail Traders Group. And because Tony’s goal is for Swansea to achieve the recognition it deserves as a prime tourist destination and the Gateway to Lake Macquarie, he devotes an enormous amount of time and effort supporting community projects that further this aim.


Passionate about local politics as well, Tony worked as campaign officer for Michael Sharpe, Liberal Candidate for The Entrance, in the 2015 NSW State Election.


Tony’s loves are Swansea, Newcastle Knights, local politics, rugby league and great retail experiences for shoppers and tourists alike.


Tony is a long term director of the Swansea RSL Club and is a director on the board of the Swansea Chamber of Commerce. He has been a dedicated member of Apex and is involved with the Lake Macquarie youth council.