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Troy brings wealth of experience to Queensland youth role

Troy and his wife TeKaari and their grand-daughter Wairere.

How did a First Nations man from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in Idaho, United States, end up as Queensland Youth Services Manager?

Firstly, a mission trip to New Zealand. Troy Yancey loved it so much that he decided to stay. In the 20 years he lived in New Zealand, Troy married, TeKaari Reedy, a Māori from Ngati Porou/Ngati Wai, and they now have four children and one grandchild. He studied at Massey University and Idaho State University. He has worked a variety of jobs in the children’s and youth sectors.

Five years ago, the family went on holiday to Australia. They loved it so much they decided to stay. The family moved to the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane just before COVID-19 arrived.

Flashback to 1991 – a young Troy and Tekaari in Takapuwahia, New Zealand.

Recently, Troy decided he wanted to return to a team environment, so he applied for his current role, which started in November 2022.

“I like to develop staff to reach their capacity, draw upon their strengths so they better care for our clients and grow our services,” Troy said. “My job is to help them shine!”

For most of his career, Troy’s psychology background has supported his work in schools, prisons, the mental health sector and early childhood. In addition to his professional roles, Troy and his wife have also fostered over 23 children.

“I’ve always had a thing working with kids, especially those who are struggling or in trouble. I appreciate their personalities, problem-solving skills, and ability to think on their feet,” he said. “Every child needs to feel safe, be loved, and be given a chance. I love those kids because I was one of them.”

Troy is enjoying working with the various youth services around Queensland and getting to understand how The Salvation Army works in this space.

“I really believe strongly in the possibilities,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun building relationships with the corps.”

One project Troy is working on with the local corps is a short to medium-term housing project for youth in Bundaberg. “There is some pretty cool stuff happening in the regions through the Salvos,” he said.

“I’d have to say it’s one of the best organisations to work for because it is well-resourced to make an impact,” Troy said. “I’m finding that things either happen at the speed of light or take so long, but I see we can do so much stuff together as the corps and social mission streams work together.”

Troy mentioned his faith journey began through his paternal grandparents. As he watched siblings and friends go to prison or join gangs, his grandparents introduced him to God and church life.

“God has been life-saving for me personally,” Troy said. “My life’s work is to give back and help people choose a better path.”


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