Board of governance

Robyn Smith

Chairperson

Robyn has extensive experience working in commonwealth and state public services. Robyn was a registered nurse and licenced real estate agent in NSW prior to 2015 when she resigned from full time employment in both sectors. Robyn worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs(DVA) in Lismore from 1994 to 2015 as the Veterans Affairs Network (VAN) Manager and held the position of Manager & Community Health Advisor. Along with the four person team, Robyn established the DVA/VAN office in Lismore serving the veteran and ex-service community from the Qld border, south to Kempsey and west to Moree. Prior to this, Robyn held several positions as a registered nurse with NSW Health, NSW Department of Education and ACT Department of Education. Post 2015, Robyn worked part time for the ABS as an Area Supervisor for the 2016 & 2021 census as well in retail positions in Lismore. In her prior capacities Robyn chaired both commercial and residential body corporates in Lismore prior to settling in SE Qld in 2023.

Neil Davies

Vice Chairperson

Neil is a public servant with over 25 years experience working in employment and economic development areas, particularly for Aboriginal people. He brings to our board an in depth knowledge of how governments work and the supports available for community organisations such as us. Neil holds a Cert IV and Diploma in Management and Leadership as well as a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management.

Deniel Taylor

Treasurer

After a career in the Australian Airforce, Deniel began a career in financial management working within the private sector. Deniel has a strong commitment to civil society and has spent many years volunteering in community organisations.

Chris Hartley

Board member

Chris is a Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales Centre for Social Impact. Chris has nearly a decade of experience in the homelessness sector, working as a senior policy officer with Homelessness NSW and as a policy officer/solicitor with the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service. In these roles, Chris has successfully led campaigns to achieve major federal, state and local government reform in the area of housing and homelessness policy. Chris is an expert in developing creative and empowering systems that enable people experiencing homelessness to participate in research and advocacy. This includes the establishment of Street Care, NSW’s first advisory group consisting entirely of people with a lived experience of homelessness. Chris is currently on the operations group of the Everybody’s Home campaign and on the executive team of the Constellation Project.

Debra Pugh

Board member

Debra has a strong commitment to community justice and equity and has worked in the community care sector for over 25 years. Debra has qualifications in nursing and teaching, experience in aged care, disability service provision and has completed several university qualifications culminating in a Masters Degree in Adult Education and Training. Debra is the executive officer of a small NGO operating across the New England region of NSW.

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