We understand rural and regional communities.
Chief Executive Officer
CertIVTAE, DipDis, DipGov, AdvDipCounsPsych, AdvDipMgt, AdvDipComSecMgt, BSocSc(SocWelf), GradDipComSecMgt, GradDipStratLed, GradDipMgt(Learn)
MAHRI, FAIOP, FICDA, CMgr FIML
Michelle Latailakepa joined Rural Lifestyle Options Australia in February 2015 and is the Chief Executive Officer for the organisation. Michelle leads Rural Lifestyle Options Australia with a diverse range of executive experience gained from 25 years of driving positive change within the Human Services sector. Michelle’s leadership played an important role in revitalizing our services, and ensured Rural Lifestyle Options Australia not only successfully transitioned to the National Disability Insurance Scheme but also thrived in this new competitive environment. Michelle’s commitment, values and her lifelong passion has been and continues to be, creating inclusive communities where the unique skills, talents and attributes of all people are valued, acknowledged and welcomed.
Chief Operating Officer
David Gordon joined Rural Lifestyle Options Australia in April 2015 and is the Chief Operating Officer for the organisation. David brings over 35 years’ experience to the role having held executive positions within the banking and finance industries and oversees the ‘Finance and Compliance’ and ‘New Business, Communications and Innovation’ divisions. In collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer, David has played a key role in developing and implementing the company’s operational strategy. As Chief Operating Officer, David oversees the monitoring, reporting and management of the company’s finance and acts as an advisor to the Chief Executive Officer for new opportunities for business development. David has played a key role in developing the organisations unit costings and successful preparations for the transition to NDIS.
Executive Leader Brand and Innovation
AMICDA, AMAMI CPM
Nicholas Power joined Rural Lifestyle Options Australia in May 2015 and is the Executive Leader Brand and Innovation for the organisation. Nicholas has played a key role in establishing an online presence for the organisation as well as a suite of promotional materials to be used for both networking and events. As Executive Leader Brand and Innovation, Nicholas is responsible for maintaining the brand integrity of the organisation and developing strategic marketing initiatives across the organisation. This role primarily works with the Chief Operating Officer to identify new business opportunities that deliver on our Social Impact Plan and is accountable for delivering these opportunities in a seamless fashion whilst providing innovative solutions to assist other divisions.
Executive Leader People and Culture
CertIVHR, DipMgt, DipProjMgt, BBus(HRM)
Fiona Gazzard joined Rural Lifestyle Options Australia in February 2019 and brings over 15 years’ experience in the Human Resources space to the Executive Leader People and Culture role. Fiona oversees the ‘People and Culture Division’ which provides advice and support to employees, supervisors, and managers across a range of different People and Culture related strategic and operational initiatives including Recruitment and Selection, Induction and Probation, Wellbeing and Employee Assistance, Industrial Relations, Performance Management, Workplace, Health and Safety, Learning and Development, and Workforce Planning and Engagement. As Executive Leader People and Culture, Fiona provides support and leadership to the People and Culture team and she is passionate about strategically linking Human Resources contribution to organisational business goals whilst maintaining an employee centred focus.
Executive Leader Support Services
CertIVTAE, CertIVComServ, DipMan
Robert Rees joined Rural Lifestyle Options Australia in April 2019 and is the Executive Leader Support Services for the organisation. As Executive Leader Support Services, Robert is responsible for the quality of services provided to NDIS participants supported through Rural Lifestyle Options Australia and the provision of NIISQ services. Robert provides support and leadership to the Service Managers and Manager Intake and Support Coordination. This role is integral in maintaining and expanding relationships, developing partnerships, ensuring quality services are delivered, responding to participant feedback and extending NDIS and Supported Independent Living options. Robert was part of the NDIS pilot program in Victoria in 2014 and brings over 25 years of experience supporting people with a disability. His favourite aspect about working for the organisation is "working with participants and their families to achieve their goals" stating that "there is no better feeling than seeing participants succeed in what they have set out to do".