Ensuring our sustainability into the future.

Our Board

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Chris Leck
Chair

BA (Hons), MA (Applied Psych) 
MAHRI, GAICD

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.  Chris joins the Board of RLOA as a skills-based Director and is 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. 

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Maria Fuchs
Vice Chair
GAICD  

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. 

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Julian O'Rorke
Director 

CPA, MBus, BCom 

Julian is a finance, accounting and governance professional advisor with more than twelve years’ experience spanning numerous Big 4 accounting firms, ASX 5 and private multinational organisations. Julian has deep technical accounting, financial reporting, CFO advisory and consulting strategy experience developed within diverse teams and sectors. Julian spent 9 years working in external audit and CFO advisory services within various Big 4 accounting firms subsequently followed by several years working with BP and more recently, BHP.  Julian is a highly diverse and commercially focused finance professional who strives to add value and provide governance through team problem solving, and the utilisation of governance, finance and risk management frameworks. Julian is also a Board member of a Victorian based NDIS services provider and sits on an advisory board within a Hong Kong based hospitality group. Julian joined the Board of RLOA on the 22 of April 2022. 

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Cheryl Dixon
Director
GAICD  

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. 

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.

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Carole Caswell
Founder

BSocStud (UQ)

AMICDA, MAASW

Carole was the Chair of the Board of Directors of Rural Lifestyle Options Australia and one of the co-founders of the organisation. Carole is a retired Social Worker and her career within the human services sector spans from working for the Veterans Affairs, Immigration, and Defence Departments. She was psychiatric Social Worker at Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital and supervisor for the University of Queensland Social Work field education unit. Before retiring in 2005, Carole was the Queensland Regional Director of the Defence Community Organisation. In 2007, Carole was awarded the Australian of the Year Local Hero Regional Queensland for her voluntary work in the disability sector. 

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Ann Armstrong
Founder

AMICDA

Ann was the Vice Chair for the Board of Directors of Rural Lifestyle Options Australia and one of the co-founders of the organisation. Ann has an extensive background in small business and is also a parent of an adult who has an intellectual disability and mental illness. Ann is a proud ambassador for Rural Lifestyle Options Australia. Ann is a member of the Board’s Strategy and Risk Committee.