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OUR BOARD AND MANAGEMENT

LES HAYWARD

CHAIR

Les joined the board in 2013 and is the current 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

VICE CHAIRPERSON

Margaret Banks has extensive leadership experience in a wide range of settings. She has received a number of awards in recognition of her leadership in education and in the Public Service. She is a Fellow of both The Australian College of Educators and the Australian Council of Educational Leaders.

Margaret has held positions of Deputy Director General of Schools in the Western Australian Department of Education and Training, Chief Executive of the Department of Employment, Education and Training in the Northern Territory and in the Senior Executive Service of the Australian Government, Canberra. She served as a University Senator for Murdoch and Charles Darwin Universities.

She was the Local Employment Coordinator for the South West Perth Priority Employment Area, a role which included improving employment pathways in Kwinana, Rockingham and Mandurah. Currently she is a member of several committees and Boards. Margaret joined the Board of Bridging the Gap in October 2015.

THOMAS ROBERTSON

SECRETARY

Thomas Robertson is a lawyer and financial planner. He runs his own law firm, Plain Legal, practicing in the areas of commercial law, property, wills, estates and trusts. He is financial planner practicing in a small firm across all personal financial needs.

Before returning to Perth in 2015, he was Company Secretary and Head of Legal, Risk and Compliance with OneVue Holdings Limited and part of the management team at the time of its listing on the ASX. Previously he was Head of Compliance for IOOF Holdings Limited.

He filled a casual vacancy as a member of the Council of the University of Technology, Sydney for a term ending October 2012. The University Council is the peak decision making and governance body of the university. He was elected as a Councillor of North Sydney Council in May 2012 and served as the council’s representative on the Joint Regional Planning Panel for Sydney East. Planning Panels operate across NSW to provide independent, merit-based decision making on regionally significant development.

Thomas is a lawyer admitted in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in February 2013. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Technology, Sydney; a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Western Australia; and Graduate Diplomas in Applied Finance & Investment and Financial Planning from the Securities Institute of Australia.

Thomas is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (F Fin); Associate Practitioner Member of the Financial Planning Association (AFA) and member of the Law Society of Western Australia.

WAYNE MILNES

TREASURER

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.

ANTHONY MORIBITO

DIRECTOR

Anthony Moribito joined the Board in 2020 bringing with him skills in financial and risk management, leadership, negotiations, relationship development, stakeholder engagement and developing teams.

Anthony achieved a major life goal when he was drafted at pick number 4 in the 2009 AFL National Draft. He spent the following 7 years forging a career as an elite athlete with the Fremantle Football Club. His personal resilience and mental fortitude was tested and honed when he required three consecutive knee reconstructions after his debut season, but still managed to make it back to the AFL field after an absence of over 1000 days.

With a Bachelor of Commerce and qualifications in AFL Coaching, Anthony is now working in the insurance industry, assisting clients with managing the various risk exposures that their businesses face.

Anthony is passionate about sharing his skills and experiences on the footy field with young people. He conducts coaching and mentoring sessions for junior athletes and regularly presents his story as an elite athlete sharing the life lessons he learnt over his journey around resilience and perseverance.

MARK CHASTON

DIRECTOR

Mark has a degree in Landscape Architecture from Leeds Polytechnic in the UK and an MBA from Edith Cowan University.

Mark’s career started in landscape contracting in the UK. He worked “on the tools” before moving into contracts management and estimating. He was one of six working directors on the board of the third largest contractor in the UK. During this time, the company won several national awards and worked throughout the UK as well as in France.

Mark moved to Perth in May 1996 where he worked as General Manager of a local landscape contracting business.

Having grown up working on his father’s building sites, it was a natural and enjoyable career choice to work in landscape contracting.

In 2002 Mark decided it was time for a career change and trained as a financial planner. After 18 years he decided to sell his financial planning business when he turned 60. His time as a financial planner was well spent as he enjoyed helping his clients to find clarity and a way forward in their financial lives.

Mark has always had a passion for fabric and craft and he fell in love with embroidery and quilting many years ago. After selling the financial planning business, Mark set up Embroidermark to pursue this passion. Embroidermark help their clients to grow their business through brand promotion. They do this by supplying quality office and workwear and providing custom embroidery. Mark feels that everybody should have access to good quality office and workwear and his aim is to help local, small business to achieve this goal.

Mark is a founding member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Baldivis. He is also a Paul Harris Fellow. Mark enjoys the fellowship of Rotary and supporting the local community.

TRACEY DAVENPORT

CEO

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 12 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.

MARK THORPE

RTO & TRAINING MANAGER

Mark Is passionate about training and is a qualified Trainer and Assessor with many years of experience gained from his time as an instructor while serving as an officer in the Australian Army Reserve and as a member of the National Training Team with Scouts Australia.

He has worked in numerous roles with Registered Training Organisations developing, reviewing and delivering training.

Mark holds a Graduate Diploma of Logistic Management and a Diploma of Leadership and Management in addition to qualifications in business and training.

Mark has been working for Bridging the Gap for two years, initially as an Employability Skills Trainer, then as Coordinator for the Employability Skills Training program, before being appointed as the Acting RTO & Training Manager.

Mark has extensive experience across many industries including oil and gas, logistics, transport, finance and training.

JANE DAVIES

Business Development Manager

JJane is a marketing and commercial leader with over 25 years’ experience in the commercial, not-for-profit and government sectors. During this time, she also spent many years working with Aboriginal communities, families and individuals all over WA, assisting them to development their business ideas and aspirations.

Her industry expertise focuses on high-level, results driven business development which encompasses marketing, communications, digital and brand strategy, audience engagement, and organisational growth.

Jane’s skills and experience in community engagement, consumer behaviour and research, stakeholder development and management, marketing planning, brand development and management and audience growth are extensive.

With qualifications that include an M.B.A., a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management, Jane possesses highly-developed analytical and research skills combined with the creative vision to drive business growth initiatives.