Ensuring our sustainability into the future.

Our Board

Carole Caswell

BSocStud (UQ)


Carole is 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. 

Ann Armstrong
Vice Chair


Ann is 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.

Chris Leck
Director / Company Secretary 

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.  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. 

Julian O'Rorke

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. 

Tribute and thanks to Dirk Melton for his Service

The Board of RLOA wishes to thank Dirk Melton for his valued contribution as a Director for the past two years. Dirk has been instrumental in steering RLOA towards becoming a more commercially sustainable organisation for the long-term future for our participants and staff. Dirk was always diligent and well prepared for Board meetings and had a great ability to look at complex financial statements and quickly get to the crux of issues. Dirk also has a deep knowledge of corporate strategy, systems theory and worked well with senior management on framing our current strategy and presenting ideas for our restructure. Dirk has a strong sense of social justice which permeated all of his contributions and also has high standards, holding senior managers to account as well as Directors more generally, and we have all learned something from his many contributions. Dirk also has the ability to see trends much earlier than most other people which has also been very helpful to the Board as a whole. In recent times Dirk has shared with us that there has been great upheaval in his family life and personal health, and we accepted his resignation against that background. All Directors truly wish Dirk all the best for the future.