She trained as a social worker and previously worked in probation, NI Women’s Aid and prior to her appointment was the Director of Include Youth for almost 17 years. Include Youth is an organisation that works to promote and protect the rights and best interests of disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.
Koulla was involved with a number of strategic and inter-agency bodies seeking to improve outcomes for children, families and communities. She is a passionate advocate for the rights of all children, especially those with the most challenging behaviours, and she represented these issues on these bodies.
Koulla was involved with a number of voluntary and community based organisations. She was a Board member of the Patient and Client Council, a school governor, a member of the NI Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership, and the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland.
As a Human Rights institution, the NI Commissioner for Children and Young People is appointed by the First and Deputy First Ministers and tasked to promote and safeguard the rights and best interests of children and young people across Northern Ireland. This includes advising public authorities, and holding them to account in a variety of ways, on their delivery of children’s rights. Koulla set key strategic priorities for her term in Office. These included addressing educational inequalities, tackling child poverty, improving emotional and mental well-being and addressing the on-going legacy of the conflict on children and young people.
Koulla is of Greek Cypriot origin, is married and has two daughters. She is also an avid Arsenal supporter.