Ensuring our sustainability into the future.
BA (Hons), MA (Applied Psych)
Chris is a practical and results-oriented Human Resource and Organisational consultant with over 30 years’ experience in achieving significant business outcomes for clients through designing and implementing enhanced remuneration, organisational, governance, management, people strategies and systems. His professional knowledge embraces the fields of reward and remuneration strategy, organisational consulting and governance reviews. His client base extends across many industry sectors and organisation types including around 50 not for profit organisations. As a skills-based Director, Chris is also currently on two Boards – RSL’s Remuneration and Nominations Committee, and he is also a volunteer Director on the Management Committee of the Nambour Community Centre. Chris is a member of the Board’s Strategy and Risk Committee and the Board's Chief Executive Officer's Recruitment, Review and Remuneration Committee. Chris joined the Board of RLOA on the 5 of June 2020.
Maria is a professional Engineer with over 20 years of experience, embracing project management, design and scoping, planning and resource management, investigation and analysis, and problem solving and negotiation. Maria has over 6 years of director experience with not-for-profits and completed the AICD Company Director course in 2018. Her professional experience covers B2C business, strategic thinking, risk management, impact investing and emotional intelligence. Her background in governance, and honorary leadership roles that make social and environmental impacts and investments at a board level, aligns with RLOA organisation’s purpose, and we welcome her to our Board. Maria joined the Board of RLOA on the 22 of April 2022.
Cheryl has deep experience of nearly 30 years in the banking and finance sector, leading the development and execution of business strategy, business outcomes and growth in people. More recently as Executive Manager of PEXA, Cheryl is transforming the way property is transacted online. Cheryl is known for being a resilient, courageous, practical, and transformational leader. Cheryl completed the AISD Company Directors course in 2016, and continues to serve as the first independent Director of the Queensland Rifle Association. Cheryl’s skills in governance, strategy, financial and stakeholder management will enable her to make a major contribution as RLOA continues to grow and evolve. Cheryl joined the Board of RLOA on the 22 of April 2022.
Leigh is an independent consultant with over 30 years’ experience in leading organisational strategy, stakeholder and corporate affairs, governance and performance reporting. She has worked at executive and senior management level across government, transport, research and development and agriculture sectors. Leigh brings to RLOA extensive expertise in developing and executing sustainable growth strategies, building and maintaining strong stakeholder relations, and driving best practice risk management, corporate compliance and performance monitoring. Leigh has a Bachelor of Commerce and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, with experience on government and not-for-profit boards. Leigh joined the Board of RLOA on the 8 of May 2023.
Tribute and thank you to our retiring founders.
The Board of Directors for Rural Lifestyle Options Australia would like to thank Carole Caswell and Ann Armstrong for their vision, commitment and drive over the past 30 years.
For 30 years, Carole served as the esteemed Chair of the Board of Directors of Rural Lifestyle Options Australia, which she co-founded. With a distinguished career in the Human Services sector, Carole's experience encompasses working for prominent government departments such as Veterans Affairs, Immigration and Defence. Throughout her career, Carole made significant contributions as a psychiatric Social Worker at Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital and as a Supervisor for the University of Queensland Social Work Field Education Unit. As the former Queensland Regional Director of the Defence Community Organisation, Carole played a vital role in supporting the local community before her retirement in 2005. Her selfless dedication to volunteer work in the disability sector earned her the prestigious Australian of the Year Local Hero Regional Queensland award in 2007. In 2023, Carole was recognised as a Lifetime Ambassador of Rural Lifestyle Options Australia in addition to receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the organisation over the past 30 years.
For 30 years, Ann served on the Board of Directors of Rural Lifestyle Options Australia, which she co-founded. Before retiring as Vice Chair and with a wealth of experience in small business, Ann brought invaluable expertise to the organisation. As a parent of an adult who has an intellectual disability and mental illness, Ann is deeply committed to the cause of Rural Lifestyle Options Australia and serves as a proud ambassador for the organisation. In 2023, Ann was recognised as a Lifetime Ambassador of Rural Lifestyle Options Australia in addition to receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the organisation over the past 30 years.
In recognition of 30 years of loyal service.
In 2023, Carole and Ann were appointed Lifetime Ambassadors for their hard work and loyal commitment to building Rural Lifestyle Options Australia into what it is today. Their efforts have left a long-lasting legacy and their impact will continue to inspire those within the organisation and more broadly within the NDIS sector for many years to come.
Their 30 years of work was also recognised with a new Award Category with Carole Caswell and Ann Armstrong being the first ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ recipients at RLOA. We thank founders, Carole Caswell and Ann Armstrong, for their outstanding efforts, exceptional contribution and long-term commitment in creating and leading change at Rural Lifestyle Options Australia over the past 30 years and are grateful for their ongoing support.