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OUR BOARD AND MANAGEMENT

WAYNE MILNES

CHAIR

Wayne has a wealth of experience in the finance and commercial sectors, having spent 30 plus years with National Australia Bank, 15 of those in the position of Commercial Business Manager.

Wayne retired from the banking industry in 2009 to spend time with his lovely wife Suzanne, enjoying golf and basketball – a sport he has been dedicated to for 36 years. In 2012,

Wayne re-joined the workforce on a part-time basis as a Business Agent for Harcourt Real Estate in Kwinana and is also a West Australian Consultant for Melbourne Company Mortgagee Service.

BRAD DEAN

TREASURER

Brad joined the board of Bridging the Gap in 2011 and is the current treasurer and a member of the Finance Subcommittee.

Living in the region for over 20 years, Brad has been an active member of the community, holding board positions on The Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce, The Rockingham and Port Kennedy Community Bank and The Peel Thunder Football Club.

Brad is a director of local accounting firm, BDR Business Accountants and is a member of both CPA Australia and The Tax Institute of Australia.

Outside of work, Brad is heavily involved with Variety  -The Children’s Charity and is a regular participant on The Variety Bash, an annual event which raises and distributes much needed funds to disadvantaged children.

LES HAYWARD

DEPUTY CHAIR

Les joined the board in 2013 and is the current Vice Chair.  A Qualified Financial Adviser with over 20 years corporate, financial, and wealth management experience, Les commenced his corporate career in 1993 after serving in the Australian Army.  Les’s experience includes senior executive and contract management roles in both private & government sectors including, Department of Defence, Defence Signals Directorate, Foreign Government Diplomatic services and Federal Aviation services as well national roles in strategy, business development, training & operations management.

In 2005, Les commenced working in the finance sector and in 2009 established Prosperity Wealth Management, a successful WA based Financial Planning Practice, and is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Elders Financial Planning Pty Ltd.   As a Director & Principal Adviser of Prosperity Wealth Management, Les and his team work intimately with clients to identify & achieve their business & personal financial, risk management & retirement goals & aspirations.  Les’s dedication and commitment to best practice advice, customer service & business leadership was recognised in 2013, & again in 2017, when his practice was awarded the prestigious Elders Financial Planning, “Practice of the Year Award”.

Les is a local boy who grew up in safety Bay before living in Canberra, Brisbane & Sydney, & now lives in Perth with his wife Leanne and two children.  Les has strong community & business links in the Rockingham / Kwinana area having been a founding member of the Rockingham Chapter of Business Network International (BNI) having served as President & Vice President on several occasions.

Les holds a BA in Political Science, Graduate Diploma of Business Admin, Diploma of Finance (Financial Planning), Diploma of Finance (Mortgage Broking) and Diploma of Training & Assessment.     

MARGARET BANKS

DIRECTOR

Margaret Banks has extensive leadership experience in a wide range of settings. She was awarded the 2008 Presidential Citation by the Australian Council for Education Leaders for inspirational leadership, and was named one of the Ten Education Smarts by the Bulletin Magazine in 2007. She is a Fellow of both The Australian College of Educators and the Australian Council of Educational Leaders. In 2012 she received the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Secretary’s Award for leadership within the Public Service.

As a member of the Australian Government Senior Executive Service from 2009 to 2012 she led the Branch responsible for national reforms in teacher quality. Margaret has held positions as Chief Executive of the Department of Employment, Education and Training in the Northern Territory from 2006 to 2008 and Deputy Director General of Schools in the Western Australian Department of Education and Training. She served as a University Senator for Murdoch and Charles Darwin Universities.

In 2011 she was appointed as the Local Employment Coordinator for the South West Perth Priority Employment Area. Currently Margaret works as an Independent Reviewer of Non- Government and Independent Public Schools. She is also a member of several committees and Boards. Margaret joined the Board of Bridging the Gap in October 2015.

SARAH THOMSON

DIRECTOR

Sarah is an accomplished marketing professional with 20 years’ experience across a broad cross section of industries including corporate, government, franchise and not-for-profit. Her career has taken her interstate where she was based in Sydney and then on to London to take up consulting work there. She has run her own digital marketing business since 2011 which is based in Kwinana. Her broad experience base is complimented with undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Marketing and Business Management.

Sarah is a resident in the City of Kwinana where both her and her husband run businesses and their children attend a local school. She is an active member of her school community where she volunteers her time to teach mah-jong after school. She is also an active member of the local business community having started the BNI chapter in Kwinana in 2013.

DONNA GORDIN

DIRECTOR

Donna’s career spans a variety of Industry’s including Mining, Hospitality and now Real Estate, where she has owned and run a small business (Home 2 Home Realty) since 2005 where she trains and employs local people in the Rockingham region.
Donna has been actively involved in politics since 2008. Her passion for politics saw her endorsed as a Candidate in both the 2010 and 2013 Federal Elections. While unsuccessful in her in campaign to win, the local community benefited as a result. Additionally, Donna was able to assist BTG in securing a Green Army Project. She is connected to the local community through her fundraising for NFP groups, and an active member of BNI and is a Committee Member of Camp Kulin Charities Inc.

ALISON PALMER

CEO

Alison is an experienced and accomplished Executive Manager with a strong background in human and community services in both the public sector and not-for-profit environments. .

With a keen passion and enthusiasm for working within the industry Alison has a wealth of professional skills and expertise in strategic planning, business growth and development, leadership and management, financial acumen, tendering/procurement, quality service implementation and evaluating and managing a wide range of community programmes and services for over 25 years.

Alison is a dynamic, responsive and performance driven leader who consistently exceeds expectations and achieves results through the execution of high impact strategies, innovation and optimising organisational systems and the capacity of staff.

TRACEY DAVENPORT

ACCOUNTANT

Tracey is a CPA qualified Accountant, with 20 years experience in the Public, Charity and Not for Profit Sector.

Tracey moved from the UK in 2007 where she left her role as Finance Manager at the largest not for profit adult hospice in the UK. Following her passion for the industry she studied at London South Bank University and gained a Masters Degree in Charity Accounting and Financial Management.

Moving to Australia, she has also set up a small business offering holiday lets and short stay rentals for others making the move. Outside of work Tracey embraces the Australian lifestyle and enjoys most outdoor pursuits.

LAUREEN WEYELL

PROGRAMMES & WHS MANAGER

Laureen’s on-going commitment to Bridging the Gap encompasses 8 years of dedication, enthusiasm and initiative.

Laureen has a wealth of experience from a varied employment back ground, initially starting out as a PA to the Director of Employment & Training in the Northern Territory; next saw Laureen working in conjunction with MP, Bronwen Bishop providing a voice for service families via the NCGSF. Later Laureen owned and operated her own business in Waikiki for a period of seven years. Following this Laureen qualified and became a successful real estate agent “sales” working for LJ Hooker Rockingham.

During her time with BTG Laureen has successfully gained a Diploma in Employment Services, Cert IV Employment Services, she is a qualified Indigenous Mentor, trains regularly in WH&S and is a registered member of Work Safe. Laureen states since commencing with Bridging the Gap she has found her niche and is excited to be part of the of the new BTG community organisation moving forward.

REBECCA MACKENZIE

NGULLA FACILITIES MANAGER and CaLM TRAINER & ASSESSOR

Bec has been involved in horticulture, indigenous conservation and environmental sustainability for over 15 years and has become known as an expert in her field. Working with Councils and Government agencies Bec has experience of the real life practical issues surrounding conservation and has become extraordinarily adept at problem solving in the field!

With qualifications in Conservation and Land Management Bec also enjoys her role as a trainer and mentor to the young people who join our Cert II in Conservation and Land Management course, passing on her knowledge and passion for the environment to the next generation!