Executive Committee

President – John de Ridder

is a telecommunications economist who has been consulting/retired (“almost the same thing”) since 2002 when he moved to Corlette from Melbourne. He has been President of the Port Stephens Bridge Club and of the Victorian Economic Society and is a Rotarian.

Secretary - Meryl Miller

arrived in Port Stephens in 2015. She was a versatile, high achieving human resource system expert who held a senior global role with one of the world’s largest consumer goods organisations. Meryl is also the Publicity Director for the Port Stephens Community Arts Centre and on the Port Stephens Council’s Strategic Arts Committee. She held the roles of Treasurer, Secretary, and Correspondence Secretary at the Probus Club of Port Stephens for four years December 2014 – March 2019.

Treasurer -Brian Hodges

moved to Port Stephens in 2006 after many years with a major International Insurance Group in several locations in England and Scotland. At one time he was responsible for general insurance throughout Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England. He was actively involved in Rotary for 20 years in Scotland and was Club President and also Secretary for a number of years. Since moving to Port Stephens Brian has been Treasurer of one or other of the two local Bridge Clubs for over 9 years

Clinical Psychologist - Melissa Cox

Melissa has been working in the field of child and family psychology for approximately 15 years. She has held positions in child protection, non-government agencies and more recently as the Director and Principal Psychologist in her own private practice. Melissa has a special interest in developmental psychology, and is passionate about providing quality comprehensive care to young people in need.

Vice President - Geoff Basser

In his later business years, Geoff was a Management Consultant. He was an Apexian for 23 years and has been a Rotarian for the last 38 years. When a Rotarian at Lindfield was involved in the establishment of the Kurring-gai Youth Mental Wellbeing and Development Service (KYDS) which now sees more than 2000 youth through its doors every week.

Jewell Drury

has lived in Port Stephens for more than 22 years. As a mother of seven and a foster parent of one, Jewell understands the needs and concerns of our youth. Her activities as a writer for various newspapers, magazines and websites makes her valuable to COPSY as its Public Relations Officer. 

Jamie Culver

 is a social worker with over a decade of experience with children and young people. He works in Hunter New England Health’s Youth Health Team and is on both a clinical council at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital as well as its Close the Gap Strategic Planning Committee which concerns aboriginal youth. He does not, however, speak for the HNE Health.

Mike Mobbs

Retired as Principal Packaging Engineer after 20 years service with The Coca-Cola Company in 1998 and set up his own consultancy business which was run successfully until full retirement in 2009. Mike’s interest in community service saw him as a leader in the Scouting Movement for 8 years, RFS Catering for 15 years and most recently with 14 years as a Rotarian.

David Gray

moved to Nelson Bay in 1984 to develop the Salamander Project, comprising the shopping centre, tennis ranch, golf course and the surrounding 500 lot subdivision for the Port Stephens Council.  He has been a property developer for 50 years and has run his own property development company since 1988. He was the founding president of Nelson Bay Toastmasters; a director and chairman of the Tourist Organisation of Port Stephens and a member of the Nelson Bay Chamber of Commerce.  He has been a councillor on the Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW (UDIA) and has recently been elected a Life Member of the UDIA.

Robyn Leach

is a retired teacher who has lived in Port Stephens since 2012. She taught English at St. Philips Christian College, Salamander Bay from 2013 to 2018, and has extensive experience with the youth in Port Stephens. During her 42 years in Secondary Education, she held a number of positions from Senior Year Advisor to Head of English working with both teenage boys and girls in a teaching and pastoral capacity.

As well as this, COPSY established a Steering Committee of clinical and community professionals, along with representative stakeholder groups.

COPSY is:

  • Supported by the community, individuals and government agencies at all levels including local MP’s.
  • The community owns it; all the committee of COPSY are volunteers who have been working on this project for four years.
  • Most of the current committee are current Rotarians.

We Care for Our Port Stephens Youth – there are few services, and certainly none that are free.