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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

LES HAYWARD

DEPUTY CHAIR

Les is a business and personal risk & wealth management specialist with over 20 year’s corporate, financial services, mortgage, risk and wealth management industry experience. Commencing his corporate career in 1991 after serving several years in the Australian Defence Force, Les has worked in various senior executive roles servicing both the private & federal government sector including Defence & Foreign government installations, HQADF, ASIO, Canberra Airport & US Embassy, as well as various national roles in strategy, business development, risk management, training & operations management.

In 2005 Les commenced working in the finance sector and in 2009 decided to transition into his own Practice, establishing Prosperity Wealth Management & Niche Wealth Management – both authorised representatives of Elders Financial Planning Pty Ltd. As a Director of Prosperity & Niche Wealth Management Les and his team work intimately with private and business clients to identify and understand their business and personal financial goals and aspirations.

Les’s dedication and commitment to his customers was recognised in October 2013 when he was awarded the Elders Financial Planning “Practice of the Year Award”.

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 19 years, Brad has been an active member of the community holding executive positions on The South Coast Regional Chambers of Commerce, The Rockingham Community Bank, and numerous smaller local organisations.

Brad is a director of local accounting firm, BDR Business Accountants and is a current member of the CPA Australia’s – WA Public Practice Committee.

Outside of work Brad is heavily involved with the Variety Bash which is an annual event which raises and distributes much needed funds for needy and disadvantaged children

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.

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.

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 both BNI and the Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce.

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

MANAGER, PROGRAMMES & WHS

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 & GREEN ARMY COORDINATOR

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 the Green Army, passing on her knowledge and passion for the environment to the next generation!