Who We Are


We’re Australia’s first secular for purpose organisation to focus entirely on the prevention of child abuse and neglect before it starts.

Our History

The National Association for Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) was co-founded by Rosemary Sinclair AO and Christine Stewart OAM in 1987, because they saw that the abuse and neglect of children was a taboo topic in Australian society in the 1980s. They were determined to change this and create safer communities for children. They set about to achieve this vision with the assistance of a passionate team of volunteers and a range of influential and committed partners.

Since those days we have remained dedicated to bringing the eradication of child abuse and neglect to the forefront of Australian society. We are a national organisation with a small multidisciplinary team delivering services across Australia, working with thousands of volunteers trained to deliver our programs. Our passionate and capable staff work under the guidance of a highly experienced Board of Directors and we work with all levels of government, businesses, community services and organisations, families and individuals for the betterment of children and young people in our shared community.

NAPCAN has both deductible gift recipient (DGR) and public benevolent institution (PBI) status with the Australian Tax Office.

stop child abuse and neglect before it starts

Our Strategy

Promoting quality child abuse prevention research

Promoting quality research so the causes and impact of child abuse and neglect can be better understood and effective ways to prevent it can be developed and measured.

Coordinating National Child Protection Week and promoting the Play Your Part strategy

Coordinating National Child Protection Week and promoting the Play Your Part strategy to invite all Australians to play their part to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. “Protecting children is everyone’s business.”

Supporting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people

Providing resources and training to support the safety and wellbeing of children and young people ranging from role based factsheets and brochures to child centred training, programs and initiatives such as the Aboriginal Girls Circle.

Advocating for child safe policies and strategies

Advocating for changes in policies and strategies that place the wellbeing and safety of children and young people first.

Demonstrating good practice

Developing and promoting community led prevention programs and initiatives, that are evidenced based and effective in reducing the risks of abuse and neglect for children and young people, through our own programs such as Love Bites, All Children Being Safe, #Friends and promoting others through the Play Your Part Awards.

Professional expertise in research, legal, finance and marketing & communications.

Meet The Board

In addition NAPCAN has the support of an extensive network of professionals, practitioners and concerned individuals who all donate their time and expertise to support our prevention strategies.

Lesley Taylor


Lesley is a Community Worker with an extensive career in child safety, abuse prevention and national advocacy. As a volunteer with NAPCAN for 8 years, NT Manager for 10 years and National Manager for a further 5 years, Lesley has a long history with NAPCAN and in promoting the wellbeing of children. 

Based in the Northern Territory, Lesley designed a range of innovative child abuse prevention resources and programs and delivered these to thousands of people in hundreds of urban, rural and very remote communities across Australia. This work has enabled Lesley to be actively engaged in national social policy campaigns and strategy planning initiatives to reduce the risk of child maltreatment.

Appointed 6 October 2022

Teresa Scott

Vice - President

Ms Teresa Scott is a social worker with more than 30 years’ practice experience. She has worked in the fields of mental health, homelessness, community development and child protection.

Her commitment to seeing a reduction in the numbers of children entering the child protection system inspired her to join NAPCAN in 2002.

Teresa has worked directly with children, families and communities as well as in training, program and   policy   development.  Since   2005, Teresa has been a lecturer in social work at Griffith University in Queensland, specialising in online teaching. As well as sharing her knowledge in the prevention of violence, her current research focus is on enhancing critical thinking skills of social work students in the e- learning environment.

In 2005, Teresa was honoured in the Queensland Department of Child Safety Australia Day awards for her contribution to leadership in child abuse prevention.

Appointed 20 August 2008

Kylie Captain


Kylie Captain is a proud Gamilaroi woman with a passion for inspiring positive change and empowerment. Her bestselling books, Dream Big and Imagine the What If and co-authored book, Be That Teacher who Makes a Difference & Lead Aboriginal Education for All Students, are touching the lives of countless individuals across Australia and beyond.

As the Founding Director of Dream Big Education Wellbeing & Education and President of the Aboriginal Studies Association, Kylie brings over two decades of expertise in Aboriginal education, child protection and community services.

Kylie’s passion for making a difference is evident in her impactful Aboriginal cultural capability training, student workshops, speaking engagements and professional learning for teachers and leaders. With her incredible journey and achievements, Kylie’s vision stands as a beacon of hope, motivation, and transformation for countless individuals, one student, one school, and one organisation at a time.

Appointed 19 July 2023

Leesa Waters

Chief Executive Officer/Director

Leesa has over 30 years of experience in the social services sector, working in youth refuges, child protection services, women’s refuges, correctional facilities, courtrooms, NGOs and government departments across Australia. 

This has provided her with an in-depth understanding of the issues that impact families. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Welfare), Bachelor of Law (Honours), Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and a current Australian practising certificate from the NSW Law Society. 

Leesa currently lives in regional NSW and has worked nationally across regional, remote and metropolitan communities. She is passionate about the power of prevention and is a strong advocate for respectful relationships education for children and young people. 

Leesa believes we should all continually ask ourselves ‘what is it like for the child?

Appointed 27 February 2023

George Patrikios


George has over 25 years of experience in the corporate world, where his time has been spent in services roles within travel, professional services and the transportation sector.  He has had a wide range of positions including Sales, Internal Audit, Financial Control and Head of Operations.  In these roles, he brings a measured response and practical execution.  George holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland is a CPA member.  George is a people leader and is passionate about delivery of services both internally and to clients. Throughout his career, he has found time to engage in charitable events as sponsored by his places of employment as well as volunteering his time to assist children in school run programs. 

He has held Executive and committee positions on various School P&Fs, where community and fundraising for the benefit of children have been paramount.  George passionately advocates within the school system for opportunities for children of all abilities and diverse backgrounds.  He has crystallised his focus and is fervent in his desire to provide the next generation with better and more fulfilling choices. George calls Brisbane home, but has a multi-cultural background, having grown up in South Africa where his grandparents settled from Greece.

Appointed 19 July 2023

Richard Weston


Richard Weston is currently the CEO of Maari Ma Health. Previously Richard was the first Deputy Children’s Guardian for Aboriginal Children and Young People in NSW at the NSW Government Office of the Children’s Guardian, and prior to that he was the Chief Executive Officer for SNAICC, the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and the co-chair for Family Matters. Richard was CEO of the Aboriginal and Torress Strait Islander Healing Foundation form 2009-2019. He has served on numerous policy and advisory committees at the Commonwealth and State levels. He is currently a member of the National Memorial Advisory Group for survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

Richard is a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait, and has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs for more than 20 years.

Appointed 24 April 2023

Kaylene Gaffney


Kaylene Gaffney  FCA, GAICD, MBA (International Business), Grad Dip (Professional Accounting), BBUS (Accountancy) from QUT.

Kaylene has had a career in senior financial roles for over 25 years in the retail, health, aviation, telecommunications and information technology sectors.

She holds an executive role in the health sector and is a Non‑Executive Director and as Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee for Universal Store Holdings Limited.

Kaylene has previously served as a Non‑Executive Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of formerly ASX listed National Veterinary Care Ltd, MSL Solutions Ltd and Wotif.com (all delisted). In 2016, she served as Queensland State Chair of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Appointed 24 August 2023

Rob Ryan


Rob Ryan has been a leader in the community services and charity sector in Queensland and across Australia for over 30 years. Rob is the Chief Executive Officer of the Parenting Research Centre and he previously worked at Life Without Barriers as the National Executive Lead in the Emerging Business Team. He has also had roles as the former CEO of Key Assets where he had responsibility for operations in the Asia Pacific Region. Prior to this, Rob had senior roles with the Departments responsible for Child Safety and Youth Justice in the Queensland State Government for a period of nineteen years.

In 2009 Rob was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study child protection across the United Kingdom, USA and Canada.

Rob is currently a Director on the Raising Children Network Board and was the former Chair of the Forde Foundation Board of Advice in Queensland. He was also previously the Deputy Convenor on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Advisory Council. Rob has also held prior roles as a Director on the Create Foundation Board and the Chair of the Children in Care Collective.

Rob holds a Bachelor of Social Work, Post Graduate Certificates (Family Therapy, HR and IR) and a Master of Professional Education and Training. Rob is also a Justice of the Peace (Qualified).

Appointed 19 July 2023

Stuart Aggs


Stuart Aggs is currently the Chief Operations Officer for the Virgin Australia Group and is accountable for all airline operations including, Flight Operations, Customer Service Delivery, Engineering, Ramp Operations, Technical Operations, Safety, Security, Workforce Planning and the Integrated Operations Centre. 

Stuart joined the airline in May 2004 and has held several senior management positions within the Group including General Manager Safety Systems and Director Group Flight Operations. Stuart has significant experience in the application of risk management strategies in multiple contexts and sits on the advisory panel to the CEO and Director of Aviation Safety of CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority). Stuart was appointed to his current role in June 2019. 

Stuart is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a qualified commercial pilot and flight instructor and holds a Master of Science & Technology (UNSW) and a Bachelor of Arts (UNE).

Appointed 9 March 2023

NAPCAN acknowledges the devastating impact of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities.

To all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

NAPCAN pledges a commitment to walk alongside you to create stronger communities that can protect and nurture your families and children. We acknowledge your past and present suffering, we value your cultural wisdom, and we will listen to and learn from your voices.

Download NAPCAN’s Statement of Commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Communities.