Our People

Find A Bed Australia is entirely volunteer run. We came together during the height of the bushfire crisis to be a safe and accessible point of contact for those in need of emergency accommodation.

We are a community of more than 50 people working around the clock on Find A Bed around our usual commitments. Learn more about some of our people here: 

Erin Riley


Erin has worked in Communications and Community Engagement for over 15 years with organisations including Horticulture Innovation Australia, the Sydney Swans Football Club, and Seymour Whyte Construction Writing extensively about issues including sport and gender to parenting and baking, her work has appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, ABC Online, SBS, Popsugar and The Guardian. She also was the media lead for the 2017 Women’s March Sydney. 

Erin recently began a PhD in Communication at UTS, looking at developing a best practice for engaging with stakeholders who are hurt by public policy decisions. She lives in Razorback, NSW, with her partner and their 3yo daughter.

Paige Burton


Paige is a campaign messaging and communications specialist who has worked for local and international NGOs, academics, and government departments.

In 2017, as the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations, she ran the largest ever face-to-face consultation of young Australians, gathering the opinions of over 50,000 people under 25.

In 2015, and 2016, she was named by Pro Bono Australia as a member of the 25 Most Influential People in the Social Sector list. Paige is currently the Engagement Advisor at Equality Australia. She serves on the Boards of People With Disability Australia, Pain Australia, and the Melbourne University Social Equity Institute.

Karen Chau looks at the camera

Karen Chau

Chief operations officer

Karen has been volunteering in the not-for-profit and youth sector for over a decade, with experience primarily in operations and governance.

She was a National Operations Director of United Nations Youth Australia, and also served as an elected student Board Director of the University of Sydney Union (USU). She is a recent law graduate, with undergraduate qualifications majoring in economics and government & international relations.

She is currently a proud local resident of Maroubra and loves going for walks on the beach to see all the local doggos out and about.


Mena Basaly

Chief Technical Officer

Mena is a recent graduate of UTS that is currently working as a Systems Engineer in the rail industry. As part of his degree, he developed NavMind, a simplistic integration framework that enables individuals to navigate robots in complex environments using only their minds.

He has extensive experience in volunteer, organisational, and event management. Including roles at Youth Action NSW and over 6 years in a range of directorships for UN Youth Australia, the country’s largest youth-run, youth-led nonprofit. 

Mena lives in the Western Sydney suburb of Erskine Park, NSW.

Jess Herne, a woman with short hair and glasses looks at the camera

Jess Herne

Chief Personnel Officer

Jess currently works as the Events Coordinator for Australian Progress, managing logistics for major conferences and training programs for civil society staff and leaders.

Jess was previously National President of United Nations Youth Australia, leading the organisation in its delivery of educational programs for thousands of young Australians and held a range of roles in the organisation in communications, logistics, and welfare. 

She also has a background in theatre and live production, primarily working with young people in high school and university.

Matthew Bowden

Core volunteer

Matthew Bowden has over 20 years experience as a company director in the community and not-for-profit sectors.

He has been a director at organisations including NCOSS (NSW Council of Social Service), IDRS (Intellectual Disability Rights Service) and the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.

Matthew has extensive management experience and was Co-Chief Executive Officer of People with Disability Australia Ltd for over 13 years.