about taldumande

Taldumande Youth Services is a not-for-profit organisation that supports vulnerable children and young people aged 11-25 and their families.

Patrons & Ambassadors

Our patrons and ambassadors generously give their time to attend events and raise awareness of family breakdown and youth homelessness in Sydney.

Professor The Hon Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO


Professor Bashir was appointed as the first female Governor in NSW and worked tirelessly for the state and charity organisations until her retirement in 2014, when she was made a Dame of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her extraordinary service to the people of NSW.

Professor Bashir graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in 1956 at the University of Sydney and completed postgraduate studies in psychiatry. She established the Rivendell Child, Adolescent and Family Service to help young people with emotional and psychiatric problems and created the state’s first Aboriginal Mental Health Unit, which provided regular clinics and counselling for young Aboriginal people.

Professor Bashir has been Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Sydney, Chancellor of the University of Sydney and Clinical Director of Mental Health Services for the Central Sydney Area Health Service. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and has a keen interest in child and adolescent depression, mental health issues affecting refugee and immigrant children, juvenile justice and Aboriginal health.

Professor Bashir was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for her services to child and adolescent health and invested by Her Majesty The Queen with the insignia of a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.

The Hon Jillian Skinner MP

Vice Patron

Jillian Skinner is the NSW Minister for Health. She was first elected as the Member for North Shore in 1994 and has been re-elected five times. Minister Skinner was first appointed Shadow Minister for Health in 1995 and has more experience in healthcare than any other politician in Australia. She has also held the Shadow portfolios of Education and Training, Youth Affairs and Arts.

She began her career as a journalist in Melbourne and was the first female in the Victorian Parliamentary Press Gallery. Minister Skinner also worked in Adelaide, Sydney, South East Asia and spent a number of years living in the United States. She operated her own marketing consultancy and has been actively involved in community organisations for many years.

Prior to her election, Minister Skinner was the Director of the NSW Office of Youth Affairs and has served on a number of bodies, including the NSW Women’s Advisory Council and NSW Youth Advisory Council.

Jean Kittson


Jean is one of Australia’s most loved comedians, entertaining and amusing audiences in theatre, radio, television and print. She is the author of two books and has film credits in Hating Alison Ashley and The Nugget. Jean is well known for her comedy debates on the ABC, Channel 9 and Channel 10, appears as a regular guest on the ABC 702 radio drive program ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ and is a regular columnist for a number of Australian newspapers and magazines.

Jean became Taldumande’s first Ambassador in 2011 and is a passionate advocate for organisations that support young people and their families. She was a founding Director of the National Cord Blood Bank, the inaugural Chair of the Australian Gynaecological Cancer Foundation and a Founding Ambassador for Ovarian Cancer Australia. In addition to her role at Taldumande, she is also an ambassador for The Macular Disease Foundation, Northcott Disability Services, The Raise Foundation and the Australian Gynaecological Cancer Foundation. She is the Patron of Junction Works and Palliative Care Nurses Australia.

Peter FitzSimons AM


Peter is a well-respected Sydney journalist who speaks four languages and has played rugby for Australia, co-hosted radio shows and written 25 best-selling books. His varied career has seen him interview a number of international celebrities including George Bush, Sir Edmund Hillary, Jodie Foster, Carl Lewis, Gough Whitlam, Julia Gillard, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and a range of major Australian sporting figures.

Born on a farm in Peat’s Ridge, Peter completed a Bachelor of Arts at Sydney University majoring in government and political science. He joined the Wallabies in 1984 and played internationally until joining the Sydney Morning Herald as a columnist in 1989. Peter was an ongoing supporter of Taldumande for many years before joining Jean Kittson as an Ambassador in 2015.


Many of our programs fall outside government funding, which means we rely on money raised from individuals and organisations to continue our vital work.

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