The Youth Coalition appoints Ms Hannah Watts as CEO

‘The Board of the Youth Coalition of the ACT would like to announce that Ms Hannah Watts has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer.’

The Youth Coalition is pleased to announce Ms Hannah Watts will fill the role of CEO of the Youth Coalition of the ACT. Hannah replaces Joel Artup, who has been in the role since Justin Barker announced his departure from the Youth Coalition in late January 2024.

Hannah’s youth work career began in the Northern Territory where she spent eleven years in frontline youth work and program management, building her experience in a variety of roles and program types. Hannah began working at the Youth Coalition in 2013, and for over nine years she played a valuable role in the Youth Coalition’s growth and success. 

Hannah managed a number of projects and coordinated the organisation’s sector development work in this time. She founded the Youth Worker Practice Network in 2016, the first community of practice of its kind in the ACT. In recent years Hannah led a number of signature projects, including the development of the new ACT Youth Work Code of Ethical Practice launched in March 2023, providing consultancy services to over 30 youth and family programs through the Service Improvement Project, and delivering training to the youth sector through workshop delivery and the development of formal training packages.

Hannah left the organisation in 2023, spending 18 months as the Youth Work Lead in the ACT Education Directorate, informing the strategic direction of youth work in schools. Returning to the Youth Coalition in August 2024 as CEO, Hannah’s deep understanding of the organisation’s culture and youth sector dynamics have uniquely positioned her to lead the organisation in its next chapter. 

Hannah is passionate about strategic work that improves outcomes for young people and their families. She draws on evidenced based youth work, theoretical knowledge and practice experience, and her personal values of integrity, accountability, and collaboration to drive service reform. She is equally passionate about good youth work practice, and ensuring youth workers are supported in their professional growth. With over two decades experience in the youth sector, Hannah has developed a reputation as a strategic, pragmatic leader who is dedicated to investing her skills and experience to bring about positive change for young Canberrans, their families, and the youth sector.

“I am excited to return to the Youth Coalition as CEO, and continue to contribute to an organisation whose values align closely with my own. I’m passionate about applying the skills and experiences I have gained in over two decades in the youth sector to bring about positive outcomes for young Canberrans, their families, and the broader community. I look forward to working alongside the dedicated and talented staff team and board, as I lead the organisation in this next chapter – one where I know we will effect real and meaningful change for young people and the youth sector.”

Hannah will commence in the role on Monday 5th August 2024.

On behalf of the Board of the Youth Coalition of the ACT, we congratulate Ms Hannah Watts on her appointment and we look forward to the organisations’ continued success under her leadership.


Cindylee Young
Board Chair
Youth Coalition of the ACT

The Youth Coalition of the ACT
The Youth Coalition of the ACT

T | (02) 6247 3540
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The Youth Coalition of the ACT
46 Clianthus St O’Connor ACT 2602