Our Story

During 2020, in the midst of movements for racial justice, climate action, and a pandemic that showed the deep inequalities within our society, our team at Respond noticed that young people were yearning to help. To create a more just future. However, often without the answer to a key question - where do I start?

Respond was created in the bedroom and dorm rooms of our team in Melbourne to help answer this question. Supported by our partner organizations, Respond was able to connect dozens of young Australians to volunteer positions in just a few weeks. Now as an ACNC registered not-for-profit, we continue to build our platform and network of not-for-profits. 

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Liam Taylor



When not hiking around our nation's capital, Liam works as our Director and guides Respond's operations. He is driven to empower other young people to make a real difference through volunteering. Respond was originally founded out of Liam's bedroom during a Covid-19 lockdown with the help of some of his closest friends. Liam is especially passionate about Australia's refugee policies. He is currently studying at The Australian National University in Canberra. 

Linda Montealegre

Creative Director (She/Her)

Linda is the creative whizz behind all of Respond's web design and social content. When she is not busy working in Melbourne's media industry, she helps co-chair Respond's team in Melbourne. Driven by a passion to be a part of the solution to the injustices we face as a society, Linda helped to establish Respond in 2020. She is especially passionate about intersectional activism that addresses race and class. She is currently studying at Swinburne University. 

James Henderson

Head Technical Officer


James, or "Hendo", is the coding/IT/overall technical genius that has developed Respond's online platform and database. He is incredibly passionate about the conservation of our environment and the impact of climate change and utilizes his technical skills to empower others to make a difference in this space. When not fixing Liam and Linda's computers and co-charing our Melbourne team, James can be found lifesaving or surfing or usually both. He is currently studying at RMIT University. 


Charlotte Brownlee

Partnerships Coordinator


Charlotte is Respond's networking star that liaises with our incredible partner organizations and ensures our members can access the latest volunteer positions. She is particularly passionate about the climate crisis we are all facing and the urgent action needed to be taken to address it. When she is not responding to Respond's emails, she enjoys the odd podcast and novel. Charlotte is currently studying at the University of Melbourne. 

Zac Zabarauskus

Partnerships Coordinator


An organizational prodigy, Zac ensures Respond runs smoothly and helps establish new partnerships. With a deep concern about the poverty that exists in Australia and globally, Zac uses his impressive spreadsheets to coordinate our database to assist others in finding meaningful volunteer roles. As a movie buff, Zac can be found at Palace Cinemas or deep in IMDB. He is currently studying at RMIT University. 

Maddi Emery

Video Content Editor


The next Greta Gerwig, Maddi is responsible for all of Respond's video content. She is passionate about telling stories and sharing under-represented perspectives to help raise awareness about social injustice. She spends her spare time doing fashion photography and experimenting with other creative mediums. She also has a really cute dog!! Maddi is currently studying at RMIT University.  

Kelman Chen

Finance and Legal Officer


Kelman ensures all of Respond's finances and ACNC compliance obligations are met. Sound boring? Well, he is also our resident DJ, performing in some of Melbourne's biggest venues when he is not volunteering. As a first-generation Australian, Kelman particularly empathizes with those from refugee or culturally diverse backgrounds and is passionate about achieving greater equality in our society. He studies at the University of Melbourne. 

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Abby Zappa

Content Editor


Abby is the resident writer at Respond who edits our Blog and helps highlight important issues facing our society and the not-for-profits making a real difference in addressing them. She currently lives in sunny Queensland and loves reading and staying active. Abby is particularly passionate about empowering women and girls through education. She is currently studying at the University of Queensland.