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Meet the people who make it happen

Mike Zervos | CEO

Chief Executive Officer since 2018, Mike brings a wealth of not-for-profit experience to Courage to Care. From leadership roles at Make a Wish Foundation, Alannah and Madeline Foundation and Guide Dogs Victoria, he has also had an extensive corporate career. Mike is passionate about the real difference Courage to Care is making. He leads a small, enthusiastic team who can only achieve all that they do with the outstanding support of a larger group of dedicated volunteers.

Mike and his wife Ros are keen long-distance runners and Mike has recently completed his 15th Melbourne Marathon.

Zoi Juvris | Education and Training Manager

Starting in 2011 as Program Manager and jack-of-all-trades, Zoi continues to contribute to a range of activities across the organisation, drawing on skills from her design, writing and communications experience. As Education and Training Manager, she is now responsible for the development of our Upstander programs and associated educational resources, and volunteer training.

Zoi is a keen hiker, particularly in wilderness areas, and an avid reader. She combines her hobbies by reading while walking. When she can find the time, Zoi creates textile and craft pieces.

Lisa Lewis | Volunteer Relationships Manager

Lisa’s role is integral in cultivating relationships with our volunteers. She handles volunteer communications, arranges events and consistently supports our volunteers.

Lisa can often be found behind the camera, and together with her husband and two daughters, she loves to explore different foods and cultures through local and overseas travel.

Deb van der Zee | Operations Manager

Deb is our inaugural Operations Manager, and her extensive operational management expertise will be pivotal in ensuring the smooth delivery of our program with all the logistical requirements involved.

Deb has had a diverse career across the private and public sector, having worked as an educator, run her own business, and through to larger area management roles. Deb is drawn to the Courage to Care cause and how she can use her organisational and operational expertise to support our educational program. Deb loves to travel and experience other cultures and food, and spend time with her two rescue dogs.

Karen Lutchner | Schools Program Coordinator

Karen, together with Leah, is responsible for  direct communications with schools – overseeing bookings, logistical details and program resources. Karen’s attention to detail is vital to ensuring the programs are delivered smoothly.

Karen loves to bake and decorate cakes and all kinds of sweet treats. She derives much joy from creating beautiful, delicious desserts and special occasion cakes and sharing them with family and friends.

Leah Niven | Schools Program Coordinator

Leah, together with Karen, is responsible for direct communications with schools – overseeing bookings, logistical details and program resources. Leah’s experience in NFP program delivery in the UK is of huge benefit in ensuring the programs are delivered smoothly.

Leah moved from the North of England to fulfil her passion to travel and explore different countries and cultures. You can often find Leah cooking up a storm in the kitchen or finding new and exciting places to eat. As a keen sports player, Leah is on the hunt for an AFL team to support.

Alexis Pollard | Roster and Operations Support

Alexis joined us in February 2024 and, as a member of the Operations Team, she is specifically responsible for the coordination of the logistics of rostering volunteers and drivers for program delivery and helps to coordinate school bookings.

Alexis has a long & varied background in volunteer coordination, social support, community health & case management and is passionate about equality and social justice. She loves working with volunteers and like-minded people. She is also passionate about cooking and sharing meals with friends and enjoys curling up on the couch with her cats and a good book.

It doesn’t stop here!

Our extended team includes more than 150 volunteers all under the oversight of our Committee of Management (COM).

It is only with the unwavering commitment of our multi-talented and dedicated team that we can transform bystanders into Upstanders across Victoria and work towards a truly cohesive society.

Our Patrons and Ambassador

We are proud to have the following Patrons and Ambassador representing us. Each of them in their unique way support the work and key messages of Courage to Care.


Sir Gustav Nossal AC CBE was born in Austria with Jewish ancestry and immigrated to Australia with his family in 1939. After studying medicine at the University of Sydney, his influential research helped lay the foundations of modern immunology. A tireless campaigner for scientific research, Sir Gustav was President of the Australian Academy of Science and a long-term adviser to the World Health Organisation and Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Council for the Bill and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program. He was Deputy Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation from 1997 to 2000.

Uncle Alf Turner or Uncle Boydie to most – is a true gentleman and believed to be the oldest living Yorta Yorta Elder in Victoria. In addition to making his own substantial contribution to his community, he is custodian of the legacy of his grandfather, the Aboriginal leader William Cooper, an activist whose compassion extended beyond the suffering of his own people. In 1938, William Cooper lodged a personal protest against the treatment of European Jews in Nazi Germany, walking from his home in Footscray to the German consulate. It was one of the first protests in the world against the actions of the Nazis.


Alpha Cheng is a true humanitarian. After suffering the profound loss of his father at the hands of an extremist, Alpha Cheng has turned his tragedy into a call for Australians to unite rather than be divided by hate.

We have delivered Upstander Programs to more than 175,000 students across Victoria.

It is only with the support of our wonderful community that we can truly make racism and discrimination a thing of the past.

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