our team - staff and Founders

OUR staff

Menah McKenzie

Female Senior Youth Worker

Philamena is a proud Burarra woman from Maningrida and also proud of her Scottish heritage from her grand father.

She has worked in youth services for over 4 years, across 4 Arnhem land communities delivering programs that support wellbeing, health, education and leadership. She also played a role in mentoring local youth workers in communities, planning and delivering youth events, and is also an event manager on the annual Lurra Festival. Philamena established The Youth leadership committee at GYS Maningrida to enable youth leadership opportunities. She has also led youth initiatives, such as the 2016 Yarning up strong healing our youth suicide prevention forum, and has recently started coordinating the Salt water divas women in music program to empower and develop women on their music journey’s. Recognised for her work and efforts, Philamena was a finalist in the young achievers awards in 2017 and a category winner in 2019. She’s passionate about guiding people young and old towards their healing journey. 

Ray-Ray McKenzie

Workshop Facilitator
& Youth Trainee

Ray-Ray is a cultural young woman from West Arnhem Land with roots tracking back to central Desert and Western Australia. She loves contributing to her community and supporting marginalised groups to better there wellbeing in any way that she can and is always willing to offer a helping hand and help where need be. Rayray left school in year 10 due to the limited support the school offered to her in times of struggle and hardship to then pursue a career in youth work / community development to try an bridge the gaps she faced as a first nations young woman navigating society. Raychelle was nominated for a young achiver award in 2020 and was nationally recognised for her contributions to our Balunu Leadership Advisory Committee (BLAC) and  is our Youth Apprentice at Balunu. She takes care of Balunu’s small events, Social media pages and helps co-facilitate the Strong young Tiddas Program.

Outside of Balunu Ray-Ray often performs her own original songs, raps and spoken word / poems.


David Cole


I had the vision for Balunu for many years before actively working. The Balunu Foundation to me is the result of my life experiences and my personal challenges I have faced. Overcoming these struggles to break the cycle for my children has motivated me to try helping other youth also to break the cycles of which many Indigenous people are stuck in.

I see this vision as my purpose and it is my passion to reach out to help as many Indigenous people to rise above all that holds us back to create positive cycles for the generations to come. I am committed to this vision and truly believe that if we all unite and walk together we can achieve greatness and undo the injustices of the past by taking positive affirmative action today to make tomorrow a better place for all.

Mim Cole


Mim Cole is a co-founder of Balunu

Want to volunteer or work with us? Get in touch below.

Our Location.

4 Totem Rd,

Ludmilla NT 0820

The Balunu Foundation Ltd is a non-profit, Australian Public Company limited by guarantee incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001. Balunu is a public benevolent institution and registered charity, exempt from income tax and registered as a deductible gift recipient.

ABN 23 122 954 698