RYLA Oceania Co-Founder & Director of RYLA Oceania

Hi I’m Bec, RYLA Oceania Co-Founder and Director of RYLA Oceania.

I attended RYLA back in 2008 in Rotary District 9690, served on the Leadership Team including as RYLA Director for six years and attended International RYLA in 2014. It’s been a long-time dream to build a national leadership program and it’s incredible to have RYLA Oceania coming to life!

I have a background in Corporate Social Responsibility and recently started a new role in Strategic Planning on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. My passion is empowering people to create the change they want to see in the world and I’m grateful to have been able to work towards this through my personal and professional life.


RYLA Oceania Co-Founder, Director of RYLA Oceania & Accountability Lead

Ben is passionate about RYLA and the impact it has on the lives of young adults. Ben first did RYLA in 2014, and he’s grateful to have returned as a Team Leader and Program Director while in Rotaract, and he’s currently the RYLA Chair of his District program as a Rotarian.

Ben is also the Co-Founder of RYLA Oceania and the President of the Rotary Oceania RYLA Alumni Association (RORAA). These initiatives were created to foster greater connections between RYLArians and increase the opportunities for Alumni to continue their RYLA journey.

On a professional level, Ben owns his own business and also provides coaching for people to excel in their careers.


Director of RYLA Oceania & Elevate Program Director

Profession: Lawyer

Gemma has studied a double degree in law and international studies and currently working as a Graduate at Law in a Sydney firm.

RYLA has been an incredible and thankfully a continual journey for Gemma. She was program director for District 9675 in 2019 and have thoroughly enjoyed creating and developing the RYLA Oceania program.

RYLA Oceania has become a strong passion of hers. Through the shared goal of assisting others in their personal and professional development she has very much learned and improved in her own journey.

Emma Bell

Leadership Curriculum Lead

Sally Foster

Leadership Curriculum Support

Alastair Sharpe

Community Projects Lead

Sarah Van Der Kley

Community Projects Support

Sarah is a keen high school teacher who has been teaching for the last six years sharing what she loves most with other -history and law.

In terms of leadership, Rotary has played a significant role in her journey where she has been a facilitator and participant on RYPEN, RYLA and RYLA Elevate. Outside of work and leadership, you would find Sarah practicing her downward dog in yoga, going for a hike along the coast, binge watching Friends on TV and trying a chicken parmy wherever she can.

Oliver Lotz

Accountability Support

Oliver is a PhD candidate at The University of Sydney. His project is in developing a tool to help the next generation of bioprinters dramatically reduce the rates of medical implant rejection and construct a variety of other healthcare devices. Oliver’s many passions include writing, languages and cooking.

He participated in RYLA in 2018, became a mentor in 2019, and most recently helped facilitate the TED-style event at RYLA Oceania in 2020.

Emma Stuart

Operations Lead

linda Gidlund

Wellness Lead

Greetings from the edge of northeast Melbourne! Many roles and interests as a wife, sister, daughter, friend, gardener, reader of fact and fiction, supporter of others, problem solver, mediator, chocoholic, food is my transportable hobby, green tea, red wine is nice, cooking and baking, interest – life long learner, leadership, teamwork, communication and music!

I am a member of Diamond Creek Rotary with many in Rotary hats since 1996. Passionate about young people and giving back to my community. I’ve contributed to RYLA in many ways since the late 90s.

Keen about RYLA Oceania as it is meets one of my long-term goals for RYLA. The goal being RYLArians achieving projects in the community. As RYLA is a positive life changing experience think of what RYLA Oceania will achieve.

My profession is educational/instructional designer and facilitator. I design learning programs and in some cases I facilitate the learning programs.

Ryan leaper

Finance Director