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 Meet the Team 

We might seem like a small team, but we are a part of something much bigger. YTO is an initiative of North Central LLEN in partnership with Goldfields, Campaspe Cohuna and Central Ranges LLEN. 


Ryan Hale

Project Director
Phone: 0484 351 357
Office Days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Pronouns: He/him/his


Manue René

Communications, Engagement & Project Officer
Phone: 0484 556 189​
Office Days: Tuesday - Friday 
Pronouns: They/them/theirs

Wendy Hopkins

Project Officer (Central Ranges LLEN)
Phone: 0409 670 395
Office Days: Tuesday & Thursday 
Pronouns: She/her/hers

About Ryan

Ryan’s career adventure started around age 9, when he’d wash his neighbour’s car for $1. He then landed an (unpaid) job at his primary school library before raking in the big bucks ($7 a day) at his high school canteen.


From these humble beginnings a creative career was launched and for the last 20 years Ryan has been producing festivals across three continents and helping young people build their creative practices and get their work in front of audiences. He’s also worked as a freelance writer, editor and proofreader, built and run pop-up bars, put on a bunch of parties and exhibitions and pulled a LOT of beers.


Ryan is passionate about equal opportunity and believes that everyone should be able to pursue their own career adventure in a way that works for them. He’s also been known to get quite passionate about cryptic crosswords and table tennis.

About Wendy

Wendy is the newest member of the YTO team. More about her coming soon!

About Manue

Manue's main hobbies have always been reading, writing and telling stories and they are incredibly surprised they are now doing that as a job.


Their first best selling series was the 'Super Snowflake' saga that rocked their primary school. Having studied a Bachelors of Communication (Journalism) at RMIT, they jumped straight into radio presenting and hosting with JOY 94.9 and writing for ACCLAIM magazine. They have been a volunteer for Australian Conservation Foundation and Oxfam Australia.

Manue's first job was working the Woolworths check-outs where they honed their skills as a pun-maker. They also learned that a job gives you access to people in your community, even if you're just asking someone how their day is going as you pack their bags.

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