YHA farewells Victorian CEO and announces merger

The former CEO of YHA Victoria, Shelley Lavender, retired on 31 December 2011 and on January 1, 2012, YHA Victoria merged with YHA Ltd.   

YHA took another step towards becoming a national organisation in Australia when YHA Victoria merged with YHA Ltd (now covering operations in the ACT, NSW, the NT, Queensland and Victoria).

The YHA Ltd main office is located in Sydney, headed by CEO Julian Ledger; with operations manager Rob Henke, CFO Stephen Lynch and marketing manager Janet McGarry.

Regional managers are based in Brisbane (Kimberly Mustchin, northern region) and Melbourne (Kim Francis, southern region).

The former CEO of YHA Victoria, Shelley Lavender (pictured), who was a key proponent of the merger, retired on 31 December 2011, after 16 years in the role. During that time, Shelley was instrumental in bringing the Hostelling International Quality Assurance program (HIQ) to Australia. She also oversaw the development of several new hostels, including Melbourne Central YHA, Grampians Eco YHA at Halls Gap and Eco Beach YHA, Apollo Bay. The latter two are renowned for their passive solar design and range of measures aimed at creating renewable power, reducing energy and water use, and minimising waste.

Simultaneously, measures were put in place to ‘retro-fit’ other existing hostels, such as Melbourne Metro YHA. As a consequence, these three hostels owned by YHA in Victoria have Ecotourism Australia accreditation. Shelley’s commitment to the environment also extends to being a board member of Ecotourism Australia.

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